Digital Publishing Reader Revenue
3 mins read

5 things publishers can do to increase revenues this quarter

piggy bank with money in slot

We get it—because many of us have been there. You have just a few more months to deliver a serious jolt to your revenue and get it where it needs to be. 

Like most publishers, your revenue stream probably has many sources. Maybe they include display ads, subscriptions, events, and newsletters. And like many publishers, the amount you get from any one of those sources is probably in constant flux. By continuing to make adjustments, even small ones, you can see which ones could earn you more money. 

Here are a few of the tried-and-true methods small and large publishers have used to keep their revenues on the increase. 

1. Unlock more inventory by addressing adblocking now

More than 1 in every 4 U.S. internet users use an ad blocker, according to eMarketer, and while uptake rates have slowed, there are still about 3 million more people installing such software each year. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, and many of those using ad blockers have become set in their ways. If 25% of your traffic is not being monetized because they’re using adblockers, you have an immediate/untapped source of revenue already coming to your site.

Unlocking visitors immediately provides maximum Q4 boost so your impressions get monetized with big holiday CPMs, which are typically 1.5-2X+ greater from mid-November through December.

However, if you have established trust with your readers, some may be willing to turn off their ad blockers or add you to their whitelists, especially if you make it easy for them.

Ad reinsertion is another option for publishers seeking adblock recovery. It does have to be used thoughtfully, in order to preserve a good experience for readers. 

Unlocked blockers also deliver high “first look” CPMs, since ad buyers will pay a premium for impressions coming from users that may not have seen an ad for months or more. 

2. Sell ad-free or ad-lite subscriptions

Depending on your vertical and the uniqueness of the content you provide, you may be able to sell readers a site experience that comes with fewer ads. It’s crucial that you make it very easy for readers to sign up for such a subscription, with a clean and straightforward path.

10 out of 10 times you’ll earn far more from a user paying even just $1 a month for a subscription than you’d make from that same user in ad monetization. Try this with your adblock visitors: you’re not monetizing them at this point, and many are willing to pay for digital content and services.

3. Grow and monetize your newsletter

Your newsletter might be able to pull more weight, with a bit more resources. Many companies have been able to start publishing more than the typical once-a-week offering. If you already have the correct cadence for your audience, or you already send newsletters on different topics, consider creating a special end-of-week roundup for readers who want just the most important and popular stories across your offerings.

When it comes to monetizing your newsletters, platforms like Liveintent and Passendo allow you to place ads programmatically, brokering an auction for inventory among advertisers seeking exposure among the audiences you’ve grown.

4. Create and monetize custom videos 

Video advertising is another potential source of extra revenue, but it’s not one that easy to ramp up at first. Companies like Wibbitz can help you leapfrog the initial steps. Its video creation tools let publishers create short-form videos that complement the rest of their content. Its players can be easily embedded into your site, and Wibbitz can handle inserting ads into your content, making it a turn-key solution. Other companies are willing to pay you directly to embed their player onto your page, but it’s essential that such pairings are natural and work for both you and your audience. 

5. Don’t forget affiliate revenue 

Once a small part of many websites’ monetization strategies, affiliate marketing has taken off in the past few years, with major media sites and many others collecting referral fees when readers buy products and services through links on their site. In addition, other sites pay for driving traffic to their site, rather than for actual purchases. Amazon’s affiliate program is the most prominent, but there are many others, and it pays to research to see which would be the best fit (and more profitable), given your site and audience.

Michael Yeon, VP Marketing, Admiral

By Admiral
Admiral helps digital publishers grow visitor relationships via adblock recovery, per-site subscriptions, multi-site subscriptions, email subscriptions, social subscriptions, privacy consent and more, powered by Admiral’s one-tag, one-vendor, one visitor experience Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) platform.

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