For quite a long-time publishing has not been a place for people who want to rich. We are talking both print and digital here, with both mediums having struggled in recent times to come out on the black side of the balance sheet. But profitability can be achieved and there are people who are doing it successfully, it just requires some serious focus, the ability to make hard choices and the right team of people to help implement the plan. So, if you are running a website and you are hoping that it can be run profitably, here are a few tips and ideas to help get you on eh right path.
Advertising is important
Since the very beginning of publishing, advertising has been important. In short, a platform builds an audience and then charges a brand to interact or communicate with that audience. It is a business model that is as old as time. But the problem with digital advertising is that the supply of ad impressions far outstrips the demand for them, which means that the price is very low. Despite this, many publishers insist on keep cost heavy teams of sales reps who they hope will bring in a valuable deal. The sad reality, however, is that premium deals are getting less and less with most deals being done via programmatic channels. So, find a Google ads management company and engage with them. Dominate the space and let the expensive staff go. Your partner will almost certainly work with you on a rev share basis which lowers your exposure and incentivizes your partner to get results.
Traditionally newspapers and magazines charged cover prices. In other words, people paid to read them. The internet saw that model change as content was made available for free. What it meant was that the number of advertising impressions escalated causing the price to plummet while at the same time, the only other bankable revenue stream outside of advertising evaporated. But the mindset of giving everything away for free is slowly changing with many newspapers now charging for premium content or insights. Others, like Wikipedia and the Guardian, ask for donations to help sustain themselves. In short, paying for content is becoming okay once again.
All the angles
There are more ways than just two to generate revenue for your website. Advertising and subscriptions are great but look for other areas as well. Advertorial, referrals, product reviews, the sale of content… the list can go on. The reality is that you have to be in the game to win the game and you need to be alert to as many opportunities as possible. If you are only monetizing your platform in two ways, then you are missing out and you will not be profitable. The reality is that there is no silver bullet that will make you profitable. It is about finding multiple different revenue streams and getting a little bit from a lot of places.