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How publishers can diversify revenue streams

For publishers to diversify their revenue streams, they have to know their audience and their content, before they can generate competition.

5 min read

Digital TechnologyMarketing

Publishers revenue streams advertising

Heightened, ongoing economic impacts can bring increasingly-tight purse strings – from both consumers and advertisers. For publishers looking to monetize their content, this can bring a host of challenges, as their primary source of income is put at risk. 

Naturally, diversifying your sources of revenue can provide a fallback in challenging economic times — but did you know it can also help to promote creativity

While it may seem daunting, thinking about ways to diversify your revenue does not have to be complicated. Think about your site, and the products you are already offering the market — and then go behind the scenes, so to speak. By examining your holistic process, you may find services you offer that can be effectively monetized.

In addition, by examining the core of your products, you may spark an idea for a new offering that can effectively expand your market reach. 

Know your audience

The first step in determining how to diversify your revenue streams is knowing your unique audience. With the depreciation of third-party cookies, it is more important than ever to find new ways to learn who your audience is and to be able to react to their unique needs. First-party data is widely considered to be a valuable way to understand your consumers — especially since consumers choose to give their data to the brands and websites they care about, to get a better user experience or product recommendations. 

Next, you need to know your content. What does your site offer that your audience cannot find elsewhere? For example, deal-centric shopping sites scour the internet for the best items on sale and provide their customers with unique opportunities to save money.

Find your niche — be it a particular topic or media type and think about the ways that focus can be expanded into new revenue streams. In knowing both your audience and your content, you can determine the best strategy to provide a greater array of offerings. 

Knowledge is power 

For those without a physical product to offer, looking to diversify revenue streams can feel like a particular challenge. However, you can easily use your unique content as its product, especially if you have teachable insights to share within your niche.

There are many ways to monetize this content. For example, you could create a monetized newsletter to share the latest insights before they are available on your site with subscribers on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Alternatively, you could offer in-depth, exclusive content through your site, accessible through micropayments or a subscription service. This does not have to be an intensive process — in looking for topics to delve into, your existing content can serve as a valuable jumping-off point to expand on.

These solutions depend on the engagement of your audience, so you’ll want to ensure that you have a solid base of repeat visitors to your site, as well as a metric to keep track of your audience makeup over time. Repurposing your existing content in one of these engaging formats is an easy way to consider expanding your product offerings, and therefore diversify your income. 

Generate competition 

Offering advertising is one of the most common ways you can diversify your revenue. You’ll want to ensure that the advertising you run on your site is relevant to your product offerings. In a crowded and competitive market of online content, one way to gain an edge on your monetization strategy is by generating competition amongst advertisers. Consider working with multiple advertisers to increase your demand, thereby giving you access to more competitive rates. 

Of course, with the sheer number of solutions available in your advertising attempts, finding the right combination of advertisers will look different for every independent publisher. Major solutions, such as Google AdSense offer easy set-up, but less direct control than some open-web solutions. 

To find a combination that works best for your site, it can be worthwhile to take the time to explore different solutions, as you attempt to balance your advertising mix. This extra effort often leads to increased returns and higher payouts. 

The most crucial component is attribution. You will want to keep track of any new customers, where they are coming from and your number of conversions. 

Additionally, the more data you collect on your unique audience, the more easily you can market yourself to large advertisers and potential partners, to further establish yourself as a unique publisher. 

Regardless of how you choose to diversify your revenue streams, the most important elements should be determined by your pre-existing content and your ideal audience. Specific solutions will vary for each publisher, so it is important to explore the range of options available to you to determine a strategy that helps you to reach your goals. Additionally, attributing your traffic and your audience will help you to market yourself and ultimately grow your business

In an uncertain economy, diversifying revenue streams can help publishers expand their market reach. To do so, publishers need to know their audience and their content, before they can generate competition.


Hector Pantazopoulos is the co-founder and CRO of SourceKnowledge, a mrge company. With more than 10 years of experience in the online advertising and marketing industries, Hector co-founded SourceKnowledge to help e-commerce and retail brands to gain incremental lifts in sales with advertising outside of the walled gardens.

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