A cartoon about monetization
by Susie Cagle (@susie_c); all images © the author
Monetization. It sort of sounds like a made-up word, but it’s a very real requirement of publishing on the Web. So how do blogs, magazines, and other online publishing concerns actually turn clicks into cash?
Advertisements: The traditional media relationship: trading property for capital in a straightforward and transparent transaction.
Sponsored content (also called native advertising): A little less straightforward and a whole lot more slippery, these advertisements disguised as content can be anything from an explicit advertorial to a more subtle (read: undisclosed) pay-for-play deal.
Merchandising: It’s not enough to publish quality work—one must also publish quality, logo-emblazoned accessories for one’s readership.
Affiliate links: Why stop at selling one’s own products? These e-commerce relationships allow outlets to get a cut of the profits from any item they pimp and link—as well as any other item you may buy along the way.
Events: Print may be dead, but meat-space can still pay—especially if you get a cut of the bar tab.
Crowd-funding: When all else fails, there’s always Kickstarter/IndieGoGo/WePay/PassingTheHat/BeggingYourFriendsForHelp, et. al.