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Ways Online Publishers Make Money (Some Will Even Shock You)

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Constant confusion and overwhelming describes the job characteristics of an online publisher. An insider. A writer. In this business never stays the same. Algorithms making you visible on page one. Well, those change too. Websites that once worked now are over ran with apps and others even disrupted by mega platforms. A near broken company called Apple that made smart mobile mainstream has now changed the world. Business is changing in front of our eyes and most do not even see it.

So What Do We Do?

Old business models are no longer available. The world wide web has destroyed that so free content is everywhere. So how do you monetize and make money as an online publisher?

What Is A Publisher?

In the past it was the book publisher, newspaper publisher and all those in traditional roles of publishing old media. Today we have the new media. The rise of the social and mobile web has made us all publishers. Traditional roles no longer define a publisher. Those looking to publish now have so many different ways to publish it can become overwhelming for them. Audio, video, live streaming, images, photography, eBooks and the list goes on. Anyone wanting this profession must understand the new media outlets.

A Lean Business Model

Modern publishers need to keep their overhead down. Avoid fancy offices. Home offices and corner cafes will work fine. It worked for J.K. Rowlings. Don’t hire staff but outsource to key contractors that have skills you need. Keep simple. Focus on one media and one platform first.

Before Asking For Money This Is Vital

Build your audience before you need them. Every online publisher that bootstraps has gone out and given away free content until they have their tribe.

Few Things To Consider

Easy money came from banner ads and those days are now dead and gone. How do you double down on making money from your content, possible online influence and traffic? Here are several ways listed below that will generate money for a publisher.

  1. Blog posts (most obvious)
  2. Ebooks (downloads of ebooks from sponsors that allow an opt-in work well)
  3. Webinars (Running a webinar for a company that wants to reach your audience. It may include a monthly sponsorship fee plus any affiliate sales)
  4. Podcasts (Examples: CMI, Tim Ferriss and John Lee Dumas)
  5. Interviews (Mixergy has interviews that are sponsored)
  6. Training (One hour training from a supplier on some sites is even sponsored)
  7. Sponsored channels (One specific channel can be sponsored and Instagrammers sit in that box)
  8. Premium content access for monthly subscription: Putting your best content behind a subscription paywall such as interviews, in depth resources and training and even the community is a tried and proven method. Low cost plugins for WordPress such as Wishlist Member can provide the platform for that.
  9. Affiliate revenue: Affiliate has had a bad name in some circles but making sure you are offering quality products that suit you audience is still a value add and should be in the mix in some form
  10. Kindle ebook – Creating a 50-100 page ebook that you sell on Amazon (or your own site as a PDF) is attractive for writers
  11. Banner advertising – This is harder as the amount you receive per 1,000 impressions is now very low. But it can provide some source of revenue. This works best for the big end of town
  12. Sponsored banners in your email templates the allow you to click through to a sponsors landing page

    ***Remember, these are not only ones that available to you. There are so many options and ways to publish that you should enjoy trying as many as you possibly can that way you get the feel of what works best for you.


Published by Sarah

Hello! I'm a self-employed entrepreneur. I enjoy affiliate marketing and photography in my spare time. I am currently in college for communications in social media and working towards my undergraduate degree in graphic design.

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