Working online can be a unique, albeit difficult, experience. Especially when your job doesn’t have a clear service and fee method. For example, many online freelancers specialize in one skill—accounting, writing, or coding.

Yet, a large portion of online workers are actually publishers. This means that they don’t have to specialize in a service in order to make money. These marketers’ or publishers’ sole purpose is to advertise content. Whether it be their own content or an affiliate’s content.

If you look online, you will find thousands of different marketing strategies. However, publishers seldom know how to use these strategies. Let alone they know how to monetize content using these strategies.

All publishers just need to figure out what these strategies are and how to use them properly. After that, monetizing content becomes a breeze.

Whether you want to monetize your websites or apps. Whether you’ve got affiliate software to market. Even if you’ve got a catalog of products that need monetizing. Keep reading for strategies that smart digital publishers use to monetize content.

Affiliate Marketing

It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum of creating content or looking for content to advertise.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best strategies to monetize content. Having content to advertise means nothing if you can’t monetize when a user interacts with it!

Affiliate marketing is a mutual exchange between willing publishers and affiliate companies.

An advertiser will commission publishers to market their content and products.

Each publisher is compensated based on the number of user interactions they generate.

There are many types of user interactions, the most common being “on-click” interactions. Affiliate programs can offer any or all of the following commission rates:

  • Cost per click;
  • Cost per thousand impressions (views);
  • Cost per action / sale / lead;
  • Cost per install;
  • Cost per engagement;
  • RevShare.

Your advertiser can define commission rates across one or many of these actions. Commission rates are provided in the terms and conditions.

Each advertiser will provide its own terms and conditions. Make sure you understand what their rates and T&Cs are before you sign up with them!

The quickest way to partner with a brand is to join the Admitad Partner Network.

Admitad is a great place for publishers to connect with advertisers, and vice versa.

Through Admitad, you can partner with many advertisers and manage them all in the same place.

Admitad even provides a tool for publishers to generate their own affiliate links.

You can generate standard links that direct users to your advertiser’s front page. Or you can generate deeplinks that send viewers straight to a product or content page.

Once you’ve got your affiliate links, you can track their usage and earn a commission. Each affiliate link is unique to a specific publisher.

That way, you can ensure no other publisher can make money off of your hard work!

Strategies Publishers use to Monetize Content

Once you’ve set up your affiliate account, we can get onto the actual content of this article. We’ll cover the following strategies digital publishers use to monetize content:

Within each of these, there is a range of avenues for publishers to take. Though, don’t think you’re all set just because you understand the strategy! The ability to use these strategies will develop over time, but it’s best to lay the foundation now.

Once you’ve seen some marketing strategies, we’ll cover the mistakes that publishers make. While it’s great to monetize content, it can be detrimental to all your hard work. It may seem ironic, but certain monetizing methods put your current income at risk.

Whatever strategy you set up, ensure you’ve put in safety guards in case it all comes tumbling down!

How to Monetize Apps

The most common strategies for monetizing content through apps include:

  • Free app with the paid upgrade;
  • Free app with advertising;
  • Subscription (every month or year);
  • Once-off purchase;
  • In-app purchases;
  • Partnership apps.

There are three main types of free apps.

The first free app is the most common way that publishers monetize content. These apps have various pop-up and banner ads around all content. Though the initial download and daily use are free.

Most apps have the above model as their base and add other monetization models on top of it.

The next type of app involves a paid upgrade. This can include the removal of ads and access to paid content.

An app with a paid upgrade can either have a one-time payment or a subscription. Customers can use an app as much as they’d like once they’ve bought it.

With a subscription app, the customer must pay every month or year to continue using it.

Any of the above models can have in-app purchases. In-app purchases include a store for extra content or accessories for the app.

Many games include an online store where players can buy extra coins or gemstones.

The in-app purchases depend on what the app has to offer itself.

The last way to monetize content on an app is to create a partnership or sponsored app. These are usually apps dedicated to the advertiser and its content.

Every link is an affiliate link and redirects users back to the advertiser’s homepage. Purchases are made by sending users to specific affiliate product pages.

How to Monetize Websites

As a publisher, an affiliate website can generate massive amounts of income. Websites allow for more space that users can use to browse through content.

Website speed is based on the plan you buy. You can even buy more space to ensure that any number of viewers can pass through your site at a time.

Once you’ve got your website set up, monetizing content is easy through the following methods:

  • Ecommerce stores;
  • Memberships and subscriptions;
  • Sell ad space;
  • Offer online courses;
  • Sponsored posts;
  • Sponsored recommendations.

If you want to know how to monetize your content, try adding an ecommerce store to your website. You’ll see just how quickly a decent store can generate income!

An ecommerce site can contain your own products or links to affiliate products.

A website is a great place to offer ad space to other publishers. This creates an extra stream of income and creates a membership incentive.

If you’ve got ads scattered around your website, users can pay to remove them.

A membership or subscription can involve the removal of ads as well as access to better content.

Subscriptions can be charged to customer accounts either monthly or yearly. Most websites offer debit payments. That means you have to cancel the subscription if you don’t want to be charged next month!

The last way to monetize content is to upload sponsored posts and recommendations.

Once you have your affiliates in place, you can easily add them to a list of recommended services. You can even allow other publishers or brands to post sponsored content on your site.

How to Monetize Products

There are two types of products that get advertised and bought online; these include:

  • Physical products;
  • Digital products.

Physical products are products that you order online and have shipped to an address. Physical products require proper transport and storage; otherwise, the customer can return them.

Digital products are anything else that can be sold online. These products have no physical properties. Some examples include software, music, videos, any type of graphics, and online services.

Yes, there are sites that provide all of these in free versions, but most products have a price tag.

It’s good to start off by putting an actual price on each product or service. That way, you know how much marketing is needed to get someone to buy it.

The more expensive the item, the more persuading is required.

Keep the following best practices in mind when promoting and advertising your products:

  • Show the benefits;
  • Be honest about any faults or issues;
  • Provide proper images;
  • Compile an enticing write-up;
  • Keep users’ interests in mind;
  • Ask for your audience’s opinion.

If you can stick to these, you’ll understand exactly how publishers monetize content.

The best publishers are honest about the products they advertise. Users come back for their recommendations as they can trust that publisher.

If you provide false advertising, you’ll lose out on many potential customers.

Make a decent write-up on each product. State the best features and discuss the cons of using that product. Using proper language and grammar can go a long way in sales!

How to Monetize Software

When it comes to software, it can be a bit more difficult to monetize and market. However, many publishers have figured out how to monetize content even through software.

The most common software monetization methods include:

  • Software licensing;
  • Software subscriptions;
  • “Freemium” software;
  • Open-source software;
  • In-app purchases.

The best part about the software is that you can require users to buy a license to use it. Once you’ve created a piece of software, you own the rights to it.

Unless someone buys it from you, you control if a license is needed or not.

Software subscriptions can work hand-in-hand with software licenses. Publishers can ask for a monthly fee to keep the software license active. Many publishers also offer a discounted yearly price. That way, users can pay less to keep it active for longer.

“Freemium” software refers to any software that offers a trial version.

Once the trial is up, the software must be paid for or it no longer works. This gives customers a taste of what the software is like before they make a final purchase.

Open-source software allows anyone to make edits to the actual code. However, don’t mistake “open-source” for “free.” Use the open-source factor of your software as a selling point.

For any of the above options, you can also offer additional items that can be bought with the software. This can include extra content or tools, as well as personalization options.

Monetization Mistakes and Challenges

Many publishers love to advertise affiliate content online. However, there are a few challenges that publishers face when monetizing digital content.

The most common publisher challenges include:

  • Ad-block software;
  • Cracked software, services, and resources;
  • Affiliates not paying.

Ad-blocking software immediately removes any chance of a publisher earning a commission. If someone blocks out the ads, the ads won’t be recorded as seen.

Potential customers then miss a product that they would’ve clicked on otherwise.

Cracked software, services, and resources refer to products stolen from the original seller. The thieves provide these products for free on non-trustworthy websites.

Some coders even steal the code from apps and recreate it as a new, free app.

The biggest challenge that publishers face is when their affiliate partners don’t pay. All the hard work a publisher has done goes down the drain.

While publishers face external challenges, some of their challenges are caused by themselves.

Some common monetization mistakes publishers make involve:

  • Prioritizing money over customers;
  • Limiting your monetization options;
  • Not knowing what users want;
  • Trying too hard to make a sale.

The biggest mistake a publisher makes is to limit the ways in which they monetize content.

Often, publishers forget to monetize their social media and messaging accounts.

Luckily, ConvertSocial can monetize either of these in an instant.

The other mistake occurs when publishers focus more on money than on the customer. This leads to overselling and chasing users away!


Now that you know which strategies smart digital publishers use to monetize content, you can try them for yourself. If you’re uncertain about doing too much at once, try one new monetization method at a time. You can slowly build up to include all the income streams you want.

The best part about affiliate marketing is that you can put in as much effort as you’d like. You can work every day to market your affiliate links worldwide.

The sky is the limit when it comes to potential income through affiliate marketing.

The more monetization methods you implement, the more your income will grow. Though some of these methods require daily attention or consistent marketing. Whatever the requirement is, make sure you have time for it before you include it!

If you’ve tried everything and still can’t make money through affiliate marketing, that’s okay too. Take a break and try out another online freelancing job. Once you’ve cleared your mind, you can go back and try affiliate marketing again.