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8 Ways To Start Monetizing Digital Content

Digital content monetization featured image

You have the skills to make digital content, and you need to earn money to support your B2B software business. So how can you make the two mesh?

The good news is that monetizing content on the internet is easier in 2024 than it’s ever been. There have never been more options, both for types of content to create and for ways to profit from them.

This article explores eight ways that you can start utilizing content monetization online this year, along with strategies for creating premium quality content that converts, marketing to your target audience, and distributing the final product.

How digital content can make you money

Digital content can always make you money, as long as it provides value to your target audience.

The definition of “value” is fluid when it comes to content on the internet. For example, YouTube and TikTok are brimming with funny videos meant to offer entertainment and escapism to their viewers. But for all of those, there are also TED Talks, documentaries, and tutorials that provide education and knowledge.

Though seemingly disparate, both these types of value are equally desirable because each one has an audience. More than that, each one solves a particular problem that many consumers have.

Following our example above, a skit or a comedy set solves a common problem for many viewers, which is that they want something to watch that will distract them from reality and simultaneously uplift their mood. Similarly, a TED Talk or tutorial can fill in the gaps in someone’s knowledge of a particular concept or practice, giving them the tools they need to take action in real life.

The key is knowing what your audience wants or needs. Or, in marketing speak, you need to know about gaps in the market that you could potentially fill. Where there’s a gap in the market, there are users—plus competing brands and advertisers—who are willing to pay for (or pay to market) a product or service that fills it. That counts for the digital market, too.

Types of digital content

Here are some examples of the types of online content that are ripe for content monetization:

1.   Articles

According to a Statista survey taken in Q3 2023, the average media user in the United States spends over an hour reading a combination of online and print press media every day. That includes the most prevalent type of press media, which is articles and blog posts.

Statista survey showing time spent online in the US

Source: Statista

Articles are one of the oldest forms of content to be translated into digital form. They can serve multiple purposes, including:

● To offer new insights and education in a specific niche (like this article does for marketers and business owners)

● To inform and disseminate information, as with your local news station or The New York Times

● To share opinions, as with a blog post on a personal blog

● To promote or list products and services, as with a listicle

2.   Videos

The same Statista survey from above showed that American internet users spend an average of 4.39 hours watching videos online daily. That includes both on-demand and streaming, both of which are supported by popular online video platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

3.   E-books

In 2022, the Pew Research Center reported that three out of ten Americans were reading e-books. Publishing this type of digital content is also relatively accessible, so it’s a win-win on both the B and the B side of B2B.

Pew research of ebooks vs print books popularity in the US

Source: Pew Research Center

E-books span as many genres as print books across both nonfiction and fiction, so you can publish anything you want in this format. They can also sell anywhere from $0.99 to $14.99, depending on market demand. With enough sales, you can turn a tidy profit.

4.   Podcasts

Podcasts are extremely popular in 2024, with some podcast shows seeing millions of listeners per episode (which translates to millions of opportunities to earn money). It’s also an easy type of content to get into, as there are hundreds of categories to choose from.

Some popular types/genres of podcast shows include:

● History

● True crime

● Interviews

● News

● Fitness

● Music

● Comedy

● Film and television

● Books

5.   Music

Music will forever be one of the most consumed types of media in the US, if not the world. The ability to upload tracks and whole albums digitally to the internet—and monetize them—means that more artists can find an audience and even make a living from their passion.

6.   Email newsletters

Emails have all but replaced the print newsletters of yesteryear. They’re a great way to share information about your latest digital creations, and they’re also easy to monetize. Best of all, though, they’re still effective in the age of social media dominance. Emails help business owners build trust and credibility with consumers, two benefits that they don’t always receive from social media posts alone.

7.   Artwork or graphic design

Art is still a highly sought-after commodity, even on the internet. In 2024, artists can use programs like Procreate or Adobe Illustrator to translate their drawing skills into creating digital content. They can also put their talents to use for businesses and marketing agencies by designing logos and other branded graphic design elements.

8.   Courses

Some intrepid business owners have begun creating and selling online courses to teach their audience about topics or how to do something. These courses vary widely in length, subject matter, and the type of digital content—including videos (and don’t forget to add subtitles to your video), e-books, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, and more.

One can literally create an online course about anything (including content strategy frameworks for B2B software businesses). And if you can market it well enough, you can always sell it—often at a premium price.

8 ways to monetize online content

If you can create content for a digital product, there’s always a way to monetize it. There may even be entire content monetization platforms to support it, like AdSense or the YouTube Partner Program. We cover those two platforms and more below, as we explore eight different ways to monetize digital content in 2024.

1.   Sell ad space on your website

If you have a website or a blog, one of the easiest ways to monetize your content, articles, and blog posts is to sell ad space.

Google AdSense Start page

Source: Google AdSense Start page

By joining something called an ad network, you can choose what kind of advertisers you’re comfortable featuring on your site, as well as which parts of your webpage you want to dedicate to ads. Then, when a space is sold to an advertiser, you’ll share the profits from the ad revenue and the impressions of that ad with the ad network.

Popular ad networks are:

● Google AdSense

● Setupad

● Amazon Ads

● Infolinks

● Monumetric

2.   Join the YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) is the only native method for content monetization on a YouTube channel. Once you become eligible for the YPP, you can start earning money from ad impressions as well as views. You’ll also get access to other content monetization methods like YouTube Subscriptions, Super Stickers, and Super Chat.

By integrating an AI YouTube summarizer into your content creation process, you can efficiently generate concise previews of your videos, boosting viewer engagement and supporting your monetization efforts.

Head over to this guide to learn how to create your first YouTube video.

3.   Write and self-publish e-books

If you work or are an expert in a specific industry or niche, you can write an e-book about it, self-publish it on a marketplace like Amazon, and take home 35%-70% of the list price (excluding tax). You can also sell e-books directly from your site using Shopify or Woocommerce.

4.   Offer exclusive content through paid subscriptions or memberships

Paid subscriptions and memberships are becoming increasingly popular for corporations as well as small-time digital creators, and they can generate revenue for business owners, too.

The way to take advantage of this content monetization method is to offer exclusive, premium content to consumers who pay a fee to start a subscription or join your membership list. You can handle the payment system and content distribution yourself, or use a third-party site like Patreon. There are also platforms like YouTube and TikTok that come with subscription features already built in.

5.   Try affiliate marketing

Businesses that establish loyal followings and put out consistent work can often become affiliates for brands. As an affiliate, you’ll be given links to products or services to share in your personal content. Then, every time someone clicks on that link, you’ll receive a paid commission.

6.   Get brand sponsorships

Another way to leverage content monetization is to get brands to sponsor you. In this scenario, other brands pay you a set amount of money to promote them in your content. That payment isn’t conditional on whether anyone views it or clicks on any links. In that way, being sponsored can be even better than becoming an affiliate.

7.   Create online courses and sell them

Many of us have something to teach, and many more people are happy to pay to be taught. Creating an online course and selling it on your website allows you to provide useful knowledge to other people and turn a profit.

8.   Create art for commission

The ability to create digital art—whether it’s a stylized comic or a professional logo design—is a monetizable skill. You can take commissions for pieces of art through your personal website or establish yourself on an online marketplace like Fiverr, Upwork, or Gumroad.

Creating premium content that actually converts

Monetizing your digital content is only a piece of the puzzle to earning real money. The other significant piece is creating content that actually converts. In other words, you have to make something that other people will want to consume or buy. Otherwise, all your efforts to monetize content will be slashed.

But what is content that converts? Here are some ideas for making it happen.

● Listen to your audience

No doubt you have amazing ideas for future content, but remember to listen to your audience’s interests as well. They’re the ones providing you with impressions, views, listens, etc., so their wants and needs for content matter, too.

Be sure to also keep an eye on trending topics and hashtags within your niche, as these can be critical indicators of what’s most new and interesting to your target consumers.

● Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)

Putting a CTA in your content that’s direct but brief (i.e., “Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button!” or “Get access to even more content by joining my membership!”) can go a long way to increasing conversions.

● Emphasize quality

The higher the quality of your content, the more your passion and attention to detail will shine through it. These characteristics naturally attract a willing audience.

To increase the quality of your work, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Take classes to upskill, buy better equipment and software, or do whatever you have to do to improve your output. Remember, too, that the better your online content creation is, the more you can charge for it.

How to market and distribute your digital content

When you’re getting ready to market and distribute your digital products, use these tried-and-true strategies.

● Go where your audience is

When you’re trying to appeal to a specific segment of the market, you must go to where that segment is engaging on social media platforms to market to them by hiring influencers. For example, e-book sellers should know that TikTok is fast turning into a popular platform for marketing books. Some authors have become bestsellers overnight because their videos about their books went viral on #booktok.

● Optimize for search engines

No matter what type of content you’re producing or what platform you’re uploading it on, always practice search engine optimization (SEO). This is a strategy for helping your content rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), in the hopes that more users will click on it.

Learn more about SEO from our article, How to Create an SEO Marketing Plan That Gets You to the Top Spot.

● Choose the amount of control you want over your product

How much control do you want over your digital products during the distribution process? If the answer is, “As much as possible,” then you’ll want to sell it yourself on your own website. If the answer is, “I want to do as little work as possible,” then opting for a marketplace like Amazon might be more up your alley.

Conclusion

Digital content is all around us, and there’s also a huge and never-ending market for more of it. If you have a particular knowledge or skillset, channel it into content monetization on your website, social media, or an online marketplace. Then, work with Omniscient and tap into our expertise in using premium content marketing and SEO to convert sales and grow.

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Author bio:

Alise is a content marketing manager at Setupad. Having worked in the adtech industry for more than three years, Alise has developed a strong attention to detail and research, as well as a passion for technology. Her work with content is aimed at helping publishers scale their businesses through powerful digital marketing strategies. Alise believes in the supremacy of holistic website optimization for incremental revenue gains.

Cassandra Rosas

Cass is the SEO Outreach Team Lead at Omniscient Digital, she loves writing about topics such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content operations, e-commerce, and social media marketing. In her spare time she likes listening to music, doing oil painting and watching SciFi movies.