How to monetize your digital publication

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You can turn your digital publication into a revenue-generating business with the right strategies in place.

After determining your content strategy and building your audience, it’s time to partner with brands so you can generate revenue for all of your hard work. 

The first thing to consider is the right partners and brands to work with, to ensure the brands you work with are aligned with your target audience.

If you just take on a partner for the sake of earning revenue, your readers may not trust you, and this can hurt your reputation, which can affect your business. You may lose credibility, and you may also lose subscribers, so be sure to think about whether or not your potential partners strategically align with your audience. The key is to keep providing value for your audience and maintain trust and credibility.

Here are various ways to earn revenue on your digital platform:

Sponsored articles

Sponsored articles are an effective way to earn revenue. Once brands and companies are aware of your target audience, they may choose to work with your publication to spread their message.

So, for example, if you have a travel website and there is a hotel that wants to partner with you to spread the word about their latest hotel offers, they can pay you to create messaging around their hotel and promotion that you can feature on your digital publication and send out to your database.

However, one challenge with selling sponsored posts is that the client will not want to label their content as a sponsored post and will want to have dofollow in their links. Google hates this as Google is against selling links. They want a clear label that the article is a sponsored post or add a rel=”sponsored” to the outbound link so Google can know it is a paid link. If the publisher doesn’t do this and gets caught selling links, Google can slap a manual penalty on the publisher. 

So if your publication has sponsored posts, be sure to use the tips shared above.

Affiliate links

Publications can earn a commission when readers make purchases through their links. For example, for your travel website, you can partner with hotels and earn revenue/commission off every stay booked through your digital publication. Remember that it is important to partner with brands that your readers are interested in. This will keep the trust of your audience, and this encourages click-throughs, which can lead to positive results for you.

White label content

If you have many resources on your content team, you can supply content to other companies that they can use how they like. Again, let’s take an example of a travel website. There may be a luggage company creating content to capture an audience. They may not have any resources to help create the content they want and need for their website, however, because you have a whole team of writers, you can help supply content for them to use however they’d like. This can be a steady way to earn revenue on your platform, as they may need content monthly. This strategy can also help build trust in your company’s offerings.

Banner ads

Banner ads can be placed strategically on your website. It is important to align with the right brands and avoid placing an overwhelming amount of banner ads onto your site, as this will steer away your readers. You can generate revenue by the number of clicks and impressions you receive from an ad.


Digital publications can organize special events for their readers. Readers can pay for tickets to get access to these exclusive events, which can include exclusive workshops or access to a valuable panel that they wouldn’t be able to access anywhere else. Think about unique offerings you can supply for your audience.

Subscription model

Many publications offer up a subscription or membership model to their readers. Readers who pay may gain access to an unlimited number of articles, special features, exclusive content, and/or exclusive events. 

Monetizing your digital platform can take a lot of time and effort, but with the right avenues and strategies, you can be highly successful and highly profitable.

Image: Glenn Carstens-Peters

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