The Publisher Monetization Model Breakdown

Publisher Monetization Model Breakdown
In order to make the most from content, publishers should be aware of the best monetization model to use for their business. This way, they can be prepared and ready to maximize revenue.

In order to make the most from content, publishers should be aware of the best monetization model to use for their business. This way, they can be prepared and ready to maximize revenue.

Publisher advertising is the most used and most effective source of revenue for many sites. The advertising industry has rapidly evolved to meet new technology and business standards. Now, advertising capabilities go beyond pop ups and banner advertisements, publishers can incorporate video, in-app, and mobile advertising to serve a new population of customers. In order for these advertisements to not only be displayed, but be effective, publishers need a satisfactory publisher monetization model. 

Grow Your Publisher Readership & Revenue

When learning how to monetize news websites, creators and publishers need to be aware of the multiple publisher monetization models they can use. Along with this, publishers need to be discerning in what monetization model will be most lucrative so they can maximize revenue. Here is a list of five publisher monetization models that sites can use. Each one has its own pros and cons and has the potential to offer different revenue sources to publishers.

1. E-Commerce Industry

The e-commerce industry is nothing short of vast. In order for a publisher to successfully tap into this monetization model, they need to have a relevant range of services and products they can profit from. Publishers that do well in this space typically are those who have tapped into their niche market. Having a specific target audience allows a publisher to cater to a unique group of people in a strategic way. 

The additional benefits of selecting a niche market is that advertisers who also target the same groups will be interested in purchasing ad space on a publishers site. This is a win-win for both advertiser and publisher, especially if the niche market is adequately honed. When this is achieved, both groups can see revenue growth. The e-commerce industry is growing fast and it is quickly becoming the preferred business model for many publishers. This business model is highly scalable but publishers need to focus on building their niche market first in order for this monetization model to pay off. 

Beyond niche marketing, the e-commerce industry offers publishers a wealth of partnership opportunities. Publishers can partner up with news aggregates, advertisers and more to expand their reach. In fact, partnering with Invisibly can serve as a solution to filling the gaps in brand awareness and monetization that publishers face.

2. User-generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content is becoming a buzzword in the marketing and publishing space. When it is understood and properly harnessed, user-generated content becomes one of the most scalable business models a publisher can use. Reason being, it takes the advertising lift off of companies and puts it in the hands of their customers. In essence, user-generated content (also known as UGC or consumer-generated content) is original, brand-specific/branded content created by consumers and posted to social media. UGC comes in many forms, including images, videos, reviews, a testimonial, or even a podcast. It is taking word-of-mouth advertising to another level. 

Publishers who use the monetization model typically see high profit margins, high ad revenue, strong brand awareness, and increased web traffic. Another positive is the potential to build a strong and engaged audience. In fact, user-generated content is known for keeping an audience engaged long-term. The only thing to be aware of is that there is a considerably high risk factor. Publishers need to monitor their companies UGC guidelines closely to prevent inappropriate content and duplicate content.

3. Curated/Aggregated Content

Content curation has become a favorite publisher monetization model for most news sites. Still, they aren’t the only publisher type that can take advantage of curated content. Content curation and aggregation sites essentially find the best content available online and host it for audiences in one place. The content can come from multiple different sources. Publishers are basically selling quality and convenience in one place. 

The benefit for monetization is that publishers can take advantage of trending topics without having to hire writers and content creators. The cons to this monetization model is that advertisers are typically wary of hosting ads on aggregate sites. The reason being is because web traffic and searches are normally lower for these types of websites. Consequently, advertisers take caution when buying ad space for fear of not seeing revenue returns. Plus, aggregates tend to lose out on audiences who are looking for unique content. Having a healthy mix of aggregated and in-house content production might be the way of the future for many publishers since they can service multiple audiences. 

4. Premium Content

Premium content has become king. The demand from audiences for high quality and reliable content is higher than ever. If publishers are willing to do the legwork, there is money to be made from producing high-quality content. When publishers adopt this model, they can make the most money from restricting access to this content. Publishers can place their content behind paywalls and subscriptions. This can be beneficial for obtaining a reliable revenue source. Advertisers are also likely to place ads on premium content sites since the web traffic is normally higher and the content is unique. 


It is important to note that producing content in-house is the foundation for the publisher monetization model. While the content is unique, the staff costs can be high. Especially when publishers are looking to produce reliable content, the hiring cost for expert writers can lead to sticker shock. Due to the upfront costs, it can be difficult to see returns quickly. Most sites need to wait at least eighteen months before seeing revenue from premium content. 

5. Downloadable Content

To piggy-back off premium content, downloadable content relies on offering quality content to users. This monetization model offers great potential for revenue and brand awareness. When downloadable content is high quality, publishers tend to see a surge in web traffic. Publishers can entice users by offering some downloadable content for free and then gating the rest of the content with a fee. Combining both user-generated content and premium content can help these sites grow quickly. 

Still, there are some downsides to this model. For starters, publishers need to monitor copyright policies on the content they are offering for downloads. In addition, there needs to be constant reviews of the downloads to scan for malware and viruses. If Google suspects any foul play with the downloadable content, a publisher’s site can be suspended or banned completely.  It is crucial to remember that downloadable content only succeeds when the content quality is exceptional. Without quality content, publishers will struggle to find success with this model. Not only this, but publishers can also see a decline in web traffic and revenue. 

Choosing the Publication Revenue Model

Many publishers have found success by incorporating these monetization models and others in their overall business strategy. Each of these models have positives and negatives so it is important for publishers to be discerning in their choices. Furthermore, publishers will see increased success by incorporating multiple revenue streams into their sites. This adds extra security as they experiment with different revenue strategies. 


Publishers should keep in mind that while one method might seem scalable, they need to apply it to their own business. With this, publishers need to make sure they have the resources to be successful with a given monetization model. When a newsite diversifies their revenue streams they open themselves up to exceed their earning potential. Knowing exactly how to monetize news websites is crucial to publisher and business success. The options above, should give news publishers a head start in monetizing their content. For more publishing trends and premium content information, head to Invisibly’s blog page to discover more. 

Want to partner with Invisibly and start growing your readership and brand awareness of your content? Get the process started today.

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