After realising the unfavourable effects of ads on user experience and data consumption, I found it necessary to investigate alternative ways an online publication can monetize their website.
Yes, it is possible to let go of Google AdSense (pay per click), banners and pop-ups and go ad-free.
The ad-free diet doesn’t have to be full blown, but should at least limit the number of ads your website carries for the time being.
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However, going the ad-free route may not be the best approach for newcomers in the blogging or website scene.
Most likely you will have to go the Google AdSense and Ads route whilst building your site, content, and following, so look here for advice on how to make money through ads.
My advice, don’t try this just as yet, but keep it in the back of your mind, you will know and feel when the time is right.
So here are some interesting ways you can monetize without the use of ads:
- Sell your own products: If you have gathered solid experience and knowledge in a field, consider using the website as a launchpad to sell your own product, you could create a section to showcase your own product. Another option to consider would be selling products related to the subject of your blog or website.
- Apply Native Advertising: Sometimes referred to as “disguised adverts”. The adverts are either in an article, video or infographic form. The articles match the general style of and form of other articles published on the website but created to promote a specific product or service. The product becomes the subject of the content and is, therefore, merged as one.
- Do Consultation Work: Services like consulting are also an attractive option for website owners with training and experience in their respective fields. This is definitely not a monetizing method for someone who is just starting out or having a brand new website. Experience can be leveraged to start your own consultation company.
- Sponsored Reviews: You could partner with companies to write reviews on some of their products within the scope of the blog or website. These paid reviews are a win-win as you are paid to review a product your readers have a genuine interest in.
- Donations: If your viewership is as loyal to you as you are to them, there would be no problems in asking for donations to help the ship stay afloat. I would not recommend this a primary source of revenue as donations fluctuate and cannot be predicted.
- Subscription: You could ask your readers to pay a subscription fee to view content, you have to leverage the quality of your content vs the demand for it to set a reasonable subscription price.
Not everyone can implement these measures for their blogs or websites.
You have to be aware of the market you are operating in and the type viewership you have.
It is interesting to note that sites like NewDay, Daily News, and Herald, who receive considerably high traffic, have not gone the subscription route.
If one can pay for a newspaper in print form then why not subscribe to get content? They have realized something in our market that doesn’t allow for this move.
I think online Ads will never die, they will always be presented in new ways and forms.
As long as there is a product or service to sell and an audience to target the internet will be a hive of ad activity.