2. Sell your Content: The Four Best Alternative Revenue Streams for Media Sites
This post is part of our series on the four best alternative revenue streams for media platforms. The follow up article is a look at The Sale of Products as a revenue method.
Be sure download our free white paper The Four Key Alternate Revenue Streams for Content Platforms for further insights.
Sell your Content Cleverly and Expand your Reach
As a media site, you create original content tailored to your specific audience with certain affinities. In our intro article, we suggested thinking of your content platform as an organic heirloom tomato farm that has a niche market and could build a global cult following - if it grows its reputation and reaches international tastemakers by working with the right businesses and people.
One of the best ways to expand your reputation and reach is to sell your content cleverly and there are two main ways to do so: syndication and networking.
Content syndication consists of selling your already published content to a media site, giving them permission to publish parts or all of it on their own platform. This alternate revenue stream tends to work best for digital newspapers, magazines and blogs, as there are a lot of established media platforms with a high demand for written content, willing to pay to publish yours. In fact, big and established publishers like The Telegraph Media Group have put in place specific teams dedicated solely to finding smaller publishers they can broadcast.
If you broker the right agreements with the right media sites, there’s much more in it for you than remuneration such as the exposure a high-traffic media site offers your platform by republishing your content.
The second way to sell your content creatively is by joining a publishing network, such as Vice Media or Slate Group’s podcasting network. Your platform becomes part of the network’s portfolio in return for transferring your ad space to the network to sell to their advertisers.
This revenue stream works well for all media sites but is most beneficial to the smaller ones, that don’t have the time or resources to manage their ad placement themselves. For example, Greatist joined Refinery29's advertising network when it didn’t have its own sales team and wanted to focus its resources on growing the core business.
However publishing networks seek high-traffic sites to add to their portfolios and attract advertisers. And so many have page reach requirements. As a result, platforms with a larger reach can usually capitalize on this revenue stream with more ease.
The key learning here is that to bring in income you need exposure and for that, you need to collaborate with the right people, platforms and businesses. And so, making smart agreements with the right brands is crucial.
If you want to learn more about the different revenue streams, download our free white paper here.