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f you want to make money as a digital marketer, expert Joe Pulizzi says selling a product should be at the bottom of your to do list. Content is king, and quality social content for companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo has become a steady revenue stream.
During a discussion on a September 2017 edition of The Social Examiner podcast, “How to Generate Revenue with Your Content,” Pulizzi dove into the value of social content for businesses.
“More important than products are content and communication,” said Pulizzi. “I believe that the time is coming where content will no longer be a cost-center but a profit center, and we as strategic communicators can monetize it without being limited to just products.”
The Recipe for Successfully Monetizing Content
As competition grows across industries, Pulizzi reiterates the importance of targeting the right audience. Emphasizing that products can be copied, but an audience of loyal fans cannot. Building up an audience takes patience, hard work and consistent effort and will be impossible without quality content. That, Pulizzi says, is the key: nurturing your audience with a steady flow of quality content and you have the recipe for success.
As your social following grows naturally, digital marketers will start to gather more feedback. With this information, digital marketers will have a better pulse or understanding of the content the audience is looking for. Then, with a better perspective on your audience, you will have the resources to give them the content they want– the only difference is you’ll charge a premium for it.
“Once you have your audience, you can sell them anything!” says Pulizzi.
Now that you’ve become focused on selling to people and not selling a product, there will be several other opportunities for monetizing in addition to premium content. Pulizzi recommends starting out with one or two of the following methods:
- Selling ad space on your blog site
- Adding subscription-based services to your content
- Manufacturing merchandise
- Leveraging additional paid services
- Asking for donations
- Publishing an eBook
Taking Advantage of Opportunities
Evidence of the successful implementation of these monetization strategies is food blogger Chelsea Lords who made 40k in her first year of blogging. For Lords, building her following started with producing quality content.
“The internet does not need more content, it is extremely oversaturated. What it does need is better content,” said Lords. “I believe having a lot of content is meaningless and that superior, high-quality images are the first key to monetizing your content.”
Lords knew quality started with her photography. Completely self-taught, Lords has blogged about her experiences outlining essentials for beginners when attempting to take their own high-quality photos. Her first tip is to start by studying and discovering different types of photography. Once you’ve gathered perspective, Lords says practice makes perfect as you genuinely strive to create your own style without mimicking the work of others.
Following these steps, Lords blog, “Chelsea’s Messy Apron,” generates millions of site visitors each month. With her increasing following comes an increasing amount of opportunities to monetize content. Like Pulizzi, Lords has leveraged opportunities to charge a premium for specialized content. In addition, as she continues to deliver high-quality content her inbox is overflowing with work requests.
On her site there are not any products for sale, Lords does not drive sales for her sponsors. To Pulizzi’s original point, her content has become a profit center. By doing something as simple as selling ad space, charging for premium content and selling sponsorships, Lords successfully turns profits each month.
For a food blogger like Lords it doesn’t matter the recipe, whether she’s making Cincinnati Chili, Sweet Potato Corn Bowls, or Lemon Parmesan Chicken the key is always the right ingredients. For digital marketers the recipe for successfully monetizing social content is a simple combination: build the right audience and produce high-quality content.
Written by Cory Gill