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Content monetisation opportunities: Paper VS Digital

Team PaperLit

In the publishing stratosphere, content monetisation opportunities are constantly evolving

Whether you work with the old-school paper issues or with the far more technologically-advanced digital version, you have no doubt spent a lot of time thinking about the best ways to monetise your content. And if you haven’t? Well, you should be! Below, you can read about how these opportunities vary from one magazine to another and which is right for you.

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Now, it’s no secret that print magazines are somewhat of a dying breed and content monetisation opportunities are a little hard to come by (especially compared to the digital world). So, what strategies could you use? Let’s look at two of the most popular.

Ad sales

Magazines, whether they be online or on paper, have always relied heavily on advertising as their primary source of revenue. Ad sales are not just a short-term money maker but also the perfect opportunity to build long-term relationships with advertisers, in particular those that really align with your magazine’s overall mission and core values. Your marketing efforts to grow your subscriber base and email newsletter list will help to fuel your ad sales too.

To get started, create a media kit and showcase what your magazine is all about. Just remember that the ads which you include in your magazine should be relevant and appeal to your readers.


Now, you can’t deny that digital magazines are fast growing in popularity, but many people still enjoy the feeling of a paper magazine in their hands. You should attempt to capitalise on this and offer your faithful readers the opportunity to subscribe to your magazine.

This means that your readers will not have to go out and buy a copy of the magazine and that instead, they will find it at their home every month! What could be simpler? Add to this that you can make a tidy profit from offering subscriptions and you’ll see that it’s the dream content monetisation strategy.


So, as you can see with print magazines, we have a rather limited number of options to monetise our content, but digital magazine options are rapidly evolving. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies that you could adopt.

Ad sales

As previously stated, ad sales have always been the lifeblood of the magazine industry and have become even more vital for digital magazines as this content is usually offered for free. However, digital publishers are being forced to rethink how they incorporate ads into their magazines as they can really make or break the connection that a reader feels. To begin, ensure that your ads do not ruin the user experience. Nothing makes people click out of a site quicker than a constant stream of pop-ups, auto-play videos and overlays.

Once you have established a plan to incorporate ads in a non-intrusive way, you have to consider what you should advertise. The key is to offer your readers a selection of products and services that are relevant to them. This will ensure that they know that you have their needs first and that you are not only concerned about profit. After all, engaging your readers is the best currency in this tough economic climate! So, tread carefully with online ads, they could be your biggest profit, but they could also be your pitfall.

Affiliate Linking

Including affiliate links in your content is an extremely efficient and effective way to monetise. After all, we are a consumer-heavy society. A large number of e-commerce sites have affiliate programs that basically offer you rewards for sending traffic to their site and driving up sales. In order to include affiliate links in a way that will catch the reader’s eyes, you could provide detailed reviews of products that are available on an e-commerce site. Or you could even follow the steps of Buzzfeed and compile a list of best internet purchases or the like and then leave the link that credits the affiliate for any sales.

Many affiliate product reviewers, promoters or influences rely on search engines to direct traffic to their articles as more visibility means more potential sales. It’s a very simple yet effective way to monetise your content and something that really only benefits your readers!

Repurposed Content

A lot of time and effort was spent strategizing and creating the perfect content for your print issues. Some of this content will undoubtedly be evergreen content: by publishing it on your blog or on external sites, you will be able to monetize it. Furthermore, this content is an invaluable source of information for your readers.

Content monetisation varies greatly from paper to print, but the one constant is that you should put your readers needs first!