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16th December 2013

Pump up the volume!

Ideas to generate revenue via your website audience.

You will be relieved to know, that just as there are not just 1 or two methods for measuring a sites value, there are also multiple ways to monetise your site. Now that you have seen the multiple ways you can value your site beyond it’s “hits”, check out these ideas for generating revenue complimented by your valuable targeted audience.

Ad space

An obvious source of income for any site that has targeted traffic to it is banner advertisements.

Banners and buttons are not just limited to an item in the header and something in the side bar, they can also be placed on specific pages with specific content offering targeted advertising. For example, if you had a section of your site dedicated to finance, it would make sense to offer ad space to finance consultancies and financial software companies. This allows you to monetise multiple areas of your site.

Ads appearing within content as highlighted keywords, or small blocks can also be placed. If the ad is relevant to the content, it is much more likely to produce a click through.

There are many tools out there that will allow you to setup advertising campaigns on your website with logic that will allow you to offer premium real estate within context specific environments. One of these platforms is the open source system OpenX.

Supplier directory

Highlighting the advantages of getting exposure on your site, showing the metrics shown in this post, and giving suppliers in your industry the option to get some year round exposure should be an attractive offer.

For your visitors, this will become a valuable resource of suppliers they can use for their relevant procurement and service needs.

Event organisers: If you have sponsors and exhibitors at your events you already have a database of leads to upsell the supplier directory to. You could bundle this in with stand booking where you add a percentage or charge for a 6 – 12 month listing within the online directory.

Job Listings

Depending upon your sector, there may be an advantage in offering job listings on your site. Your growing online community is an attractive area for employers to get exposure to talent within their sector. With automated online payment systems, this need be no extra burden to manage.

Checkout online services such as easyjobboards.com to plug into your site, or talk to your digital agency to see if they have service available within the CMS they supply you to provide this feature.

Paid Membership

As an expert in your field, you are likely privy to highly valuable content. You could package this information up behind a “pay wall” on your site. Membership can be charged monthly or annually, and automated payment can be integrated relieving the back office burden.

Event organisers: Remember you have access to a plethora of information through the seminars that you put on. Don’t forget to look at uploading your video content, speaker notes etc. Also your prospective content purchasers are your entire registration database, even if they didn’t make it to the event.

Pay for content

For those of you that don’t have access to regular content to create enough demand for a monthly/yearly renewable membership, but do own some valuable information, data, reports or advice then you could opt for offering a snippet of that information with a paid option to reveal and or download the rest of the content.

Featured content

Sponsors at time have messages they would like to communicate to your community, so offering featured content on your site that could include editorial provided by the sponsor. You can charge a premium for this type of access to your website. Make sure you check the content provided and adjust it to ensure it is keyword rich, and relevant so as not to affect your SEO.

Sponsored areas

A simple and unobtrusive way of selling further sponsorship is by offering “section sponsored by” or “article sponsored by” or “category sponsored by” tags with a logo and or small profile in relevant areas of your site.

Industry tools

Alongside providing regular content that keeps visitors coming back for more, providing industry tools online that become “must use” programs for people in your community will drive regular repeat visits. This not only adds value to your digital asset in repeat visits but again can be revenue generating by offering some tools for free with premium upgrades.

A great way of providing tools without having to invest in developing your own products is to offer hosted open source platforms, or connect with online industry relevant software providers and partner with them to offer their service through your site.

Community areas

With repeat visitors, why not encourage your community to generate their own content, network and interact with other like-minded individuals? We have all seen the success of Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin where user generated content draws people together and also becomes an extremely valuable asset to the community owner.

Why should Mark Zuckerberg own your community? There are several open source and low cost solutions that you can utilise to create your own community online, with of course tools to give you control of how the community connect.

Monetising this area of course could simply be to offer advertising spacing, and sponsored status messages within the platform, however the content users are sharing such as likes, information about themselves, what they are interested in and looking for is invaluable and information worth paying for, thus another area you can generate income from.

Check out these open source platforms for creating your own community:

Or this pay for solution, ning.

Sponsored email

As you convert visitors into subscribers to your regular email updates, you can sell space within your newsletters and updates, as well as offering to send campaigns on behalf of sponsors etc. There is of course etiquette to consider, and bombarding your community is not a good idea, however with the help of the right people, finding a good balance of good content, and revenue generating messages is yet another way to generate revenue from your valuable assets.

In closing

So in closing, these are just a few ideas you could implement to pump up your revenue, there are plenty more where that came from.

If you would like to talk through any of the ideas I have suggested, why not drop me an email on[email protected] or call me on (UK) 0845 054 0070. I love to talk (long blog post gave that away).

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