Social Media

Ways To Make Money From Digital Content in Social Media

Social MediaSocial media marketing won’t directly generate revenue but it will help in improving your search engine ranking and driving more traffic to your site – this will lead an increase in memberships or one-off payments.

The best way to run your social media is to co-ordinate all your channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, Google+, forums of which you’re a member, Squidoo – and post a link to your new content and also a link to one other social media outlet. This way you will create a circle of inbound links to your main content, meaning that any search for your article, no matter which social media outlet it finds, it will always lead to the content on your site.

Creating the circle of links will also increase the value of each link as your social media channels will all tie in closely. This is most often referred to as a “link wheel”. If you search that term on Google images you will find some very useful diagrams.

Social can also mean attending and possibly even hosting business networking events. These happen all the time all over the world so make sure to find out if any are happening near you. is a good place to check.



Ways To Make Money From Digital Content on Mobile

Depositphotos_32143053_mThanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, people increasingly expect information on-demand and at their fingertips. You need to make sure that you cater to your on-the-go customers to generate more traffic and activity for your site.

Do I need to make a separate mobile website?

This is a tricky area, as some mobile versions of websites work very well, whereas others don’t work as they should and tend to annoy visitors.

In a recent Forbes article, Darcy Travlos suggested that mobile users are far more engaged than web users because of the focus a mobile takes to hold and the time it takes to change content – e.g. backing out of a browser window in Safari on iOS and opening a new window.

At the same time mobile users are on the go, so will probably devote less time to reading. Thus they are less likely to read longer pieces of content. If you are creating content specifically for mobile you need to strike a balance between informative and interesting, and easy to read, watch or listen to on the go.

It seems best to take the time to create a mobile-friendly main site that still places your content at the forefront.

But how can I monetize mobile?
You need to consider how much you can be making from an app, because they cost a lot of money and some time to develop properly. It can cost around $5,000 (£3,200) to create a small content-based app, and around $50,000 (£32,000) to $150,000 (£96,000) for a big recognized brand app. These are very rough averages, as it all depends on what you’d like your app to deliver.

However, if it’s just a mobile content app with some in-app purchases, let’s say it takes around $5000 to create. Apple and Android take 30% of all app sales, so if you charge $1 for people to download your app, you’ve broken even after just over 7,100 downloads. And you know that once people have paid for and downloaded your app they’re probably going to spend some time engaging with it, which is good for you to show off your expertise and then goods and services. You could even charge more than a dollar for your app, meaning fewer downloads before you begin to generate profit – and, generally, the more people pay for an app the longer they will spend engaging with it.

Another way to attract more attention is to make your app free, you’ll get more downloads and more people engaging (but probably for less time than if it were a paid app). You can attract them with your great content and have options to become a subscriber/member of your site, offering your eCommerce products as in-app purchases. In-app purchases are one-off payments for a single product within an app — remember that both Apple and Android Market take 30% of all their app sales. You could have premium content available for download in your app or a button to redirect to your ebook for sale on Amazon!

In 2011, both Apple and Google (Android) introduced subscription capabilities for content-based apps. This meant that users could subscribe to the content at the touch of a button in apps like Netflix, the New York Times and Spotify.
Apple will take their 30% of any subscription set up within the app and only ask that the business not offer a “better deal” for subscription via their website — it must at least be the same price in the app, if not better.
Android Market on the other hand only takes 10% of subscription sales from Android content-based apps; this is something to consider.

However, Apple give 100% of subscription sales to the business for any customer who downloads the app having already subscribed. So you could offer your subscription on your website but add that it can be used as a “digital subscription” once they have downloaded your app.

Think very carefully about whether you want to develop an app, and weigh up any quotes you may get from app developers against how much you think you can charge for the app, or how much you think you might make from in-app purchases. The app market is still relatively new considering its popularity, so it is difficult to gauge how much you can make from an app. A good way would be to see if any of your competitors or businesses of a similar size have developed an app and how well that is doing.

Creating a great mobile content experience can be tricky, but once you’ve got it sorted, mobile users are super-engaged… so make sure you pick what you’re displaying carefully to keep them there and get them interested enough in your content to part with some money.

Flat design vector concept of e-commerce symbols, online shopping and buying

Ways To Make Money From Digital Content on the Web

Flat design vector concept of e-commerce symbols, online shopping and buying

A website remains the primary way to bring in money from published content. The three most widely used ways of generating income from a content website are:

a) Paying members or subscribers

b) Advertising

c) eCommerce


a) Paying Members

This avenue is especially popular amongst people who run a subscription magazine, but there are so many things you can offer to your website’s members or subscribers.

You can have specialist articles that only your members can access while still having a few free ones to let would-be clients visiting your site know that you are an expert; they will then come to trust that you know what you are talking about, and over time become more willing to pay for membership. You could offer a premium database to paying members; for example, if you run a database of publishing businesses, your paying clients can access niche lists and contact details.

Offering premium multimedia content like instructional videos is another way to attract paying members. You could also offer money off other paid services you may provide as an extra incentive to become a member.

The best idea is to find an all-in-one solution software for subscription or membership websites which can:

  • provide hosting for your site and membership database
  • provide an organized way for you to manage your content
  • include billing so you can take payments
  • provide great member features like profiles and forums

If you have everything all in one place it makes it much simpler and easier to run the website. A very good all-in-one solution is SubHub.



b) Advertising

Many publishers who begin to drive a good amount of traffic to their site can then begin monetizing by placing advertisements on their website.

Many businesses now use Google AdSense to place relevant and contextual ads on their site and earn revenue. AdSense is a very popular tool because its banners are less intrusive than most and all the ads they pick to appear will be related to your own site’s content. You can place three Google AdSense units per page.

Google has said that content-rich websites have been very successful with AdSense, so it is a great tool for any content publisher and very much worth looking into.

Another common kind of ad to place on your site is a display ad, usually as a rectangular clickable banner ad with a graphic but many other formats are available now.

Some ads go above and beyond a static graphic in attempts to engage the visitor into clicking on them: a video or even an interactive game. Try to make sure the adverts that you are displaying on your site are relevant to your site’s subject – that way you’ll probably generate more clicks and therefore more revenue!


c) eCommerce

“Electronic commerce” is basically the selling (and buying) of goods and services online and is the area where you can really stretch out and get extra-creative to bring in money. eCommerce products can range from an ebook you may have written to the smallest pieces of merchandise with your business logo on, like key rings. eCommerce payments are usually one-off, unless you are selling a course or series of products, and are a good way to bring in extra profit to your business.

This is the second in a six-article series on how to make money from online digital content.

The first article can be read here: Five Ways To Make Money From Digital B2B Content

The next article can be read here: Ways To Make Money From Digital Content on Mobile

businessman looking gold egg

Five Ways To Make Money From Digital B2B Content

businessman looking gold eggWe live in the digital age and over two billion people are connected via the internet. If your B2B content is not digitized today you are missing out on a worldwide business audience and many extra channels for bringing in money. Recent figures showed that Nike’s digital marketing channels are now generating more profit than their “traditional” methods.

Beginning to monetize digital content can be daunting as there appear to be so many different ways now! We’ve broken them down into five different channels through which content publishers can begin to bring in money…

Publishing content for money is one of the fastest growing areas of online business, especially content geared towards other businesses (B2B publishing). If you have knowledge in your field, you can make money online from your expertise.

The five ways:

     1. Web

     2. Mobile

     3. Tablet

     4. Social

     5. Live

The most basic online presence your business can have is a website. Think about your design and usability. Once you have built it remember to test that it looks good and that everything works in all browsers.

There is a huge mobile market now and it will only expand as more companies introduce smartphones and the price of owning smartphones comes down. There are several options including mobile web, paid apps and free apps with in-app payments.

Similarly, the tablet device market is expanding with incredible speed, especially with Microsoft having just announced their ‘Surface’ tablet. Don’t get left behind by not considering this market at all.

Social media goes from strength to strength and with new networks springing up everywhere you need to keep up your presence. You can use them to your advantage by creating circles of links between all the networks which all lead to your content, which should improve your search engine ranking. There are all many real life social business networking events happening all the time, check for some in your local area.

There is the live event market, which is a great source of revenue which must not be overlooked. There is the opportunity to host and speak at live seminars and workshops, run paid training courses to share your knowledge and even spend one-to-one mentoring time with some of your clients.

This is an introduction to the five channels of distributing and making money from your content, and five more articles will follow — one for each revenue channel.

The next article can be read here: Ways To Make Money From Digital Content on the Web


Cookie Directive

cookieWhat is a cookie?

A cookie is a chunk of data stored in your browser/device as a small text file by a website when a page is visited. This data is then sent back to the website on subsequent visits or when you navigate different pages within the domain. This enables your browser to remember if you are logged in to the site, if you have visited the site previously and to remember your preferences for the site.

Cookies can only contain data and not code so therefore cannot carry viruses or install malware on a computer.
The International Chamber of Commerce has separated cookies into four categories:

1. Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies allow access to services a visitor has specifically asked for like a shopping basket or e-billing. These make the website work, so there is no opt-in required.

2. Performance Cookies

These cookies track things like site analytics (page visits, error messages, bounce etc.) and, although aggregated and anonymous, require opt-in.

3. Functionality Cookies

These cookies allow a site to remember things like login details, geocaching (e.g. using specific currency), the ability to comment on a blogpost and personal preferences like font size. These can be anonymous and won’t track usage on other sites, but must be opt-in.

4. Targeting/Advertising Cookies

These cookies are sometimes known as third-party cookies. These are cookies being created by a different domain than that in the address bar. For example, this happens when a website has an advertising banner on it. The advert sets a cookie which then allows the advertiser to track the user across all the sites on which they advertise.
When I log into Facebook the ads displayed in the sidebar by Google show adverts for knitting sites and products. This is because I have previously Googled searched “knitting”, and when I did this Google set a cookie which stored this data and remembered it later on Facebook – targeting cookies. These are the main reason the law was implemented and must be opt-in.

Your website is probably much smaller than Google and doesn’t store cookies in this specific way, but will still use necessary, performance and functionality cookies to track visitors to your site. If you use social media plugins like a Twitter stream on your site or have any advertising from a third-party it will also be using advertising cookies too.

What is the law?

I’ll start with the bottom line: You have to demonstrate that you are actively seeking visitors’ permission to set cookies.

I.e., most cookies must be opt-in.

The law was introduced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in May 2011 and website operators have until May 26th 2012, when the law goes active, to comply.

What do I need to do?

In short, you need to demonstrate that you are actively seeking permission to set cookies! For bigger sites, we would recommend that you do a quick Cookie Audit to see what sorts of cookies you are using, and they will then suggest the best way to comply with cookie law for your site. For smaller sites, there are a few different ways you can demonstrate seeking permission.

How do I do it?

For those with bigger sites, who wish to audit how their site uses cookies, here is a good free resource for a self-audit (it uses a Google Chrome plugin):

Here’s another one:

Once you’ve done your audit, we recommend adding a Javascript plugin to your site which will pop-up asking for permission before any cookies are set, allowing your site to comply with the directive!

This is a free, easy to use resource:

If you would like SubHub to fully install this for you for a one-off fee of $97 then don’t hesitate to contact

More Information

For more information about cookies and what they do visit

To read the ICC’s complete guide to compliance visit

Some other useful sites: