The first session I attended at Affiliate Summit West 2012 was “The Future of Content Monetization and Publishing”. One of the main reasons of attendance was that my friend John Chow was in the panel. The panel included another old friend Ian Fernando, Steve Hall, and Murray Newland.
There was another session at the same time that I was interested in called “25 Ways You Can Improve Your Website” which would’ve been a great article for our other blog List25, but I figured that WPBeginner audience is more interested in the future of content monetization.
John shared an interesting way that he makes money from his blog. He runs a pre-designed funnel that he tested a lot. Every email subscriber goes through a series of funnels where they get auto-responders that don’t do a hard pitch sale. Rather he makes strong recommendation. According to John, overtime all email subscribers that go through his list are worth at least $10. He is getting roughly 200 subscribers every day. That’s a lot of money if you think about it.
The key point that was mentioned was never go for a hard sale. Something that my friend and NY Times Best Seller Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about in his book Thank You Economy. The way business is done online is changing very fast. You cannot try to close a deal on your first interaction. Trust, Credibility, and Authority is now playing a much larger role than it used to.
The future of content monetization is going toward slightly sponsored content. Where you would normally write a related yet informative post and then do a soft-promotion for the sponsor. This is happening a lot on popular sites like Mashable. Ofcourse they follow FTC guideline by stating the sponsor, so the users know that the post is sponsored. One thing that I must stress is that you should never take branded content. If you are doing a sponsored review, do it yourself. Don’t let the company send it to you. It looks like a Press Release that way. You would lose a lot of trust if you just starting publishing pitches. You should publish your personal experiences rather than putting out a fake persona.
A lot of experts are discrediting email lists, but along with these panelists, I think that Email Lists are here to stay. You can build a very personal interaction using email lists if you do it right. Second, it will be the most profitable source of income for you if you do it right. Check out our article on What, Why, and How-To’s of Email Newsletters. If you don’t have an email list for your blog, then you should get it right now!
The biggest source of content for the panelists are questions and answers from their users. You need to make yourself open to your audience on social media outlets, so they can ask questions if they have it. We do this all the time. Majority of our content is based on user content that people ask us via email or social networks. The future of content publishing is going towards this route. Your articles are mainly written for your users. You want to write what they want to know. The best way of doing that is by getting them to tell you.