This page discusses a Content Website Monetization Plan for small- to medium-sized websites such as this one.
“Economics is the study of how humans make decisions in the face of scarcity. These can be individual decisions, family decisions, business decisions or societal decisions. If you look around carefully, you will see that scarcity is a fact of life.” (Greenlaw & Shapiro, 2020) So began our textbook and class on economics. I quote these statements to set the stage; we all function within constraints. We all have limits on our spending, our time, our attention, our ability or lack thereof to make the most of our intelligence. One of the ways I have found to be productive in utilizing said resources is by designing, developing, and maintaining a moderately sized content website which earns income.
As I mentioned, I own and operate a website. This web-based asset generates income above and beyond its expenses from the sale of e-books and via advertising. One of the opportunities I have is my desire to make the website more engaging and therefore more profitable. How is this an economic problem? It is a microeconomics problem. “Microeconomics focuses on the actions of individual agents within the economy, like households, workers, and businesses.” [emphasis mine] (Greenlaw & Shapiro, 2020) And to elaborate on how microeconomics instructs my decisions with this website, “What determines the products, and how many of each, a firm will produce and sell? What determines the prices a firm will charge? What determines how a firm will produce its products? What determines how many workers it will hire? How will a firm finance its business? When will a firm decide to expand, downsize, or even close?” (Greenlaw & Shapiro, 2020) All of these questions, as they relate to my own small business, are questions of business economics. While Greenlaw and Shapiro have asked a lot of questions, I see those as somewhat rhetorical and mostly instructive at the present time. I will be asking questions in this paper and I will be answering those questions with research I have gathered. As this business asset has been a “labor of love” over the past 12 years, it has not been a completely selfish endeavor. My visitors are all attempting to solve a problem, or answer a question, or search for a solution to an issue or concern that they have in their role as a pharmacy technician. And these visitors have contributed to the generation of over 600 webpages on the site, as they have told their story, experience, or shared their knowledge with other visitors.
I would like to develop a roadmap to make the website more profitable and to make it “stickier” so that visitors engage with the content for longer periods of time. These two goals are complementary because the longer visitors engage with the content on the site, the more likely they are to click on advertising or purchase an e-book. I would also like to provide even more value to my visitors and customers in some creative new ways. The content for this website was generated through my own 20-year career as a pharmacy technician and through ongoing research I have done into various pharmacy topics and subjects. The website’s unique written subject matter is comprised of articles both authored by myself, content that I commissioned by outsourcing it to ghostwriters, and content that was created by visitors. At last count, there are around 1,080 pages of content from those sources. I should also state, at the outset, that the audience for this paper are future owners of this website and any other interested parties or stakeholders in the buying and selling process. The degree to which I can successfully execute the following ideas are important determining factors in the future generation of visitor engagement, profitability, and the future sales price of this internet asset. As many websites such as mine are bought and sold based on a factor of earnings, such as 20 times annual earnings, getting the documented profitability higher will surely net a sales price more favorable to the author.
This paper discusses and answers the following questions in an effort to make a Content Website Monetization Plan:
1.) What is evergreen content? Why is evergreen content one of the best ways to future-proof a content-based website such as mine? What is the appropriate word-count length of my site’s written content?
2.) What are some ideas of how I could grow the length of time visitors spend on the site (ways to improve visitor engagement) and increase monetization?
3.) How could developing a social media marketing strategy assist my goal of increasing the quantity of visitors and moving the level of engagement higher?
4.) How could delving into the area of video-content creation fit into my content-development plan?
Without any further delay, let us dive right in to answering these questions!
1.) What is evergreen content? Why is evergreen content one of the best ways to future-proof this website? What is the appropriate word-count length of my sites written content? Which future pages are on my content development schedule?
“Evergreen content is search-optimized content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time - as the name implies. You may think that all online content is sustainable; after all, a blog post does not just disappear after you publish it. But evergreen content is different. It continues to be relevant long past its publication date, with search traffic growing over time.” ("The Beginner’s Guide to Evergreen Content", 2020) What topics within the pharmacy or healthcare niche are relevant for the long-term and would fit this criterion for the classification of “evergreen content”? the next quote will give a general answer to that question. While the quote was intended for a healthcare practice, the answer is applicable to my website. “Evergreen Content Examples for Healthcare: As I mentioned above, the healthcare industry is an easy one for evergreen content. Whatever your practice specializes in, you can always write about different health conditions you are treating, methods and procedures you are using, as well as pieces of prevention advice you would give to your patients. Even though treatment options might develop over time or technology for diagnosing may change, the conditions explored will always stay the same, which makes them perfectly timeless and forever relevant content.” ("How Evergreen Content Will Benefit Your Practice — Atlantic Health Solutions", 2020) While I do not own a medical practice (or hold a medical degree) I do think that there are an almost infinite number of medical conditions that are left to write about-and also the medications that are used to treat those illnesses. “Evergreen content is content that has long-term value. Like an evergreen tree that always has leaves, evergreen content always has a use. It’s a post or page that readers can reference for years to come because the information will always be relevant and valuable.” (Kosaka, 2020) Many medical conditions have been around for a long time. Perhaps writing about some of the tried-and-true medications that have been around for a long time, that have solid efficacy and safety profiles would be a good idea. “Almost all patients who come to your healthcare business will have questions, and a lot of them will be pretty similar. You can consider your patients as the statistical sample of the entire population. Posting the
answers to the most frequently asked questions from your patients will not only address your patients’ questions but potentially serve the entire internet population.” ("How Evergreen Content Will Benefit Your Practice — Atlantic Health Solutions", 2020) While, again, I do not run a medical practice, people are always going to search for answers to health questions online. Developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page sounds like a worthwhile endeavor. One project I would like to get more streamlined is to create a content development schedule. “A website without a steady stream of useful content is just an online brochure. It has no pulse. It is simply an online advertisement. But add useful content regularly and suddenly there is a compelling reason for people to visit. There is a reason to share, to link and to open the newsletters. Content generates the trust that generates the fans, the leads and the sales. The strategy, branding and website design were specific projects with a start date and an end date, but content marketing is done frequently and continuously.” (Crestodina, 2018) As evidenced by this citation, content development and content creation are ongoing and seemingly never-ending despite the inclusion of evergreen content.
2.) What are some ideas of how I could grow the length of time visitors spend on the site (ways to improve visitor engagement) and increase monetization?
On Extending the Word Count of my Individual Webpage Content
One way to increase engagement is to develop content that brings more value to my visitors. Business owner David Dodge offers his insights on the optimum length of a blog article: “Blogging is one of the most important things that you can do to improve your organic search rankings, establish you and your company as an authority in your niche, and to build an email marketing list. All of Google's algorithmic updates value high quality blog content, and at last glance the ideal length for a blog post is between 1600 to 2000 words. Think of high interest material for your niche, and make sure to pay special attention to your SEO and metatag descriptions.” (Dodge, 2020) I have paid close attention to my search engine optimization and the all-important meta-tag descriptions. What I need to do now is clear: I need to lengthen most of the pages on my site to the 1,600-2,000-word count length.
On How Infographics Can be Long-Term Visual Website Assets
One interesting area of growth for this asset is the addition of Infographics. “Infographics can be an excellent way to connect with your audience, and when posted to your blog, Pinterest and other social channels they can become long standing web assets that generate traffic for your business. If you would like to produce them yourself, you may want to try some sites like Easel.ly, Piktochart, or Infogr.am. To outsource, you might look for designers on Upwork or DesignCrowd.” (Dodge, 2020) I think adding a few well-placed infographics at key places in the content on the site would be a nice addition and make the text-based content a little easier to visualize. It appears infographics can be custom-produced, and I may throw my hat into the infographic ring in short order.
On Conducting Interviews to Add to the Content
One underutilized area of the website is my page on interviews. I only have one interview listed, and it is from at least 7 years ago. Many times, interviews can be conducted via email, “Interviews are a great way to add a human dimension to impersonal content while also establishing and conveying your desired brand image. An interview lends itself well to be re-used in other forms of content and can serve as the cornerstone in your content marketing strategy. Without much time investment, you can speak with individuals from across the industry to get their perspective and insights on topics relevant to your brand. Interviews are also flexible in terms of the format and equipment needed. An interview can be as easy as an email exchange or as complex as a video.” ("Pharmaceutical Content Marketing: The Best Types of Content for Reaching Prospective Pharma Clients — Pharma Acumen", 2020) Adding more content using interviews may help my visitors become more engaged. Interviews would be one additional way to provide value, offer diverse viewpoints and provide a variety of content that visitors could enjoy. Yet another way to increase engagement is by adding Pharmacy Technician Tutoring to my monetization menu.
On Adding Online Pharmacy Technician Tutoring to this Content Website Monetization Plan
Yet another way to add value and variety is by providing paid online tutoring to customers. Many new pharmacy technicians are wanting to study for and take the pharmacy technician certification examination (PTCE) provided by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). How could I best implement paid Zoom or Skype Virtual tutoring into my limited monetization mix? “Whether you’re new to tutoring or an established pro, listing your services on Wyzant is the most effective way to build and manage your own successful tutoring business.” ("How it works for tutors | Wyzant Tutoring", 2020) Wyzant is a website devoted to bringing tutors and clients together. Wyzant or other online tutoring platforms sound like the perfect place to start executing this value-added, engagement-improving monetization option. And speaking of engagement, it is important to keep my future tutoring clients focused on what is important. How should I do this? “Creating Effective, Interactive Lessons: As you will not be tutoring in-person, you will need to find ways to keep your Skype lessons engaging to hold your students’ attention. Using a variety of multimedia, such as videos, news articles and podcasts are a great way to keep your lesson content fun and interactive, while making the most of the Internet during your online lessons. You can also send your students documents or worksheets before the lesson, or save them in their Google Drive folder, so that they can also be used during your sessions.” (Saednejad, 2020) More great ideas for executing the plan of heightening engagement with customers. My next idea centers around paywalls and engagement.
On Creating a Paywall for Exclusive Content as part of a Content Website Monetization Plan
I need to quantify my engagement. Other ideas for increasing engagement as well as monetization are to create proprietary paywalled content and to accept micropayments. “"We need to go back to basics and understand consumer behavior on our sites, their movements, level of engagement and what content is relevant to them. We need to measure the time users spend on our sites, where they are going and how they engage with the advertising.” Measuring cost per engagement – in combination with cost per thousand and cost-per-click - will lead to more advertisers trusting the medium. Paywalls and micropayments may help marginally, but if we focus on engagement, we can ensure greater profits for publishers and better results for advertisers." (“Can we get them to pay?”, 2010) The next section will discuss how adding video-content will be beneficial.
3.) How could delving into the area of video-content creation fit into my content-development plan for a Content Website Monetization Plan?
On Strategically Creating Video Content and Marketing Video Content
Developing video content is, I am finding, essential to increasing the website’s visitor traffic. “Creating a marketing video for YouTube is a must for driving traffic to your website. YouTube is now the second popular search engine with over 3 billion searches, and is larger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL combined!” (Dodge, 2020) I would like to delve into the idea of what it would look like to add video content to my website. This would have to be rolled out video by video. So, as I do this, I would probably increase the quality of the video editing the more videos I shoot, produce and edit. I know that moving into video content creation is the direction I want to go. What are the first couple steps to getting into creating high quality video content? According to website SocialMediaToday.com, having a unified “video strategy” will ensure that I limit my excess spending and close the aperture of my intention so that I am more laser focused. “If you are making videos on a budget, then you need to have a strategy. This will guide your whole process, and reduce potential overspend by helping you stay focused.” (Bullock, 2020) How would I develop a unified video strategy? “There are a variety of reasons for deciding to grow your video strategy. You may be looking to build your search engine optimization (SEO), extend your reach, further your engagement, or foster a stronger community. It is important to decide which of these motivations are most important for your organization as you set your goals. Once you set your goals, you can develop your strategy. Your strategy is the map you follow to decide what types of content to produce. Your tactics are the actions you take to execute that strategy — in this case, the types of videos you choose to create and the channels you use to distribute them.” (Reed, 2020) Interestingly, I endeavor to do the last three things in that quote: “extend [my] reach, further [my] engagement, [and] foster a stronger community.” (Reed, 2020) I am doing a fairly good job with the search engine optimization, so let us leave that one off the table right now. I would like to extend my reach, and one of the ways I want to do that is to move into the video content vertical so that I will not have a website that is only in two dimensions. I want content in three dimensions. I think there are a lot of people on YouTube who could benefit from video content I will develop. How can I step up my social media marketing so that more traffic is directed to the website? How can I best inform my social media marketing strategy?
4.) How could developing a social media marketing strategy assist my goal of increasing the quantity of visitors and moving the level of engagement higher?
This is a key point to get right if you have a Content Website and you are looking for a Content Website Monetization Plan.
Utilizing social media marketing is almost a foregone conclusion to most enterprises conducting business on the internet. Social media is like a magnet that, if used correctly, can draw customers to the content I have worked so hard to produce, “Social media marketing is an important tool of digital marketing. The reach, the engagement and constant feedback from customers is making digital marketing the most popular tool for marketing. The constant evolution of engaging customers, affording them a - platform to network, share and socialize along with being opinionated about their choices is what keeps the customers coming back to social media.” (Paswan, 2018) One method that dovetails nicely with developing a social media marketing strategy is by making my website more like a social media platform. The next section explains this option.
On Ways to Make the Customer Experience More Personalized
One writer communicates how adding some “social media-like” elements to websites can help with the level of engagement by making the customer experience more personal. “Two salient types of personalization features delivered on websites are content personalization cues that enable users to reveal their preferences in terms of what product or service attributes they like or dislike (e.g., "Thumb up/down" or "Like/Dislike" buttons) and design personalization cues that allow users to indicate their preferences regarding how a website's core content is presented and laid out. Such features have become an integral part of many websites, including news services (e.g., Google News), music recommendations (e.g., Last.fm), or e-auctions (e.g., My eBay). As web personalization cues provide touch points for users to cocreate value, the absence of such feedback mechanisms is likely to produce unintended consequences for commercial websites. More specifically, commercial websites may inadvertently squander opportunities in tuning in to users' individual preferences and thereby forgo the chance to increase website stickiness and sales over time.” (Benlian, 2015)
So, we now have come full circle. “Economics is the study of how humans make decisions in the face of scarcity… and scarcity is a fact of life.” (Greenlaw & Shapiro, 2020) We end back with nearly the same quote that we began with. In conclusion, implementing this roadmap towards better engagement and increased profitability will take effective time management skills and discernment within the owner’s constraints on energy, attention, expenses and income, and intelligence. The ultimate outcome, whether the owner sells or holds the asset for the long-term, he can create a legacy as a valuable resource and monetization stream for decades.
Greenlaw, S., & Shapiro, D. (2020). 1 What Is Economics, and Why Is It Important? In Principles of Economics 2e (p. 1). OpenStax.org
The Beginner’s Guide to Evergreen Content. (2020). Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-evergreen-content
Kosaka, K. (2020). How to Make Evergreen Content that Boosts SEO Success - Alexa Blog. Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://blog.alexa.com/make-evergreen-content-boosts-seo-success/
Dodge, D. (2020). 30 Creative Ways to Market your Tutoring Business. Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://www.tutorware.com/30-creative-marketing-ideas-for-your-tutoring-business/
Bullock, L. (2020). How to Create High-Quality Video Content on a Budget. Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/how-to-create-high-quality-video-content-on-a-budget/562098/
Pharmaceutical Content Marketing: The Best Types of Content for Reaching Prospective Pharma Clients — Pharma Acumen. (2020). Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://pharmaacumen.com/pharmaceutical-content-marketing
How Evergreen Content Will Benefit Your Practice — Atlantic Health Solutions. (2020). Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://www.myatlantichealthsolutions.com/blog/how-evergreen-content-will-benefit-your-practice
Saednejad, N. (2020). Skype Tutoring: How to Teach Online Using Skype. Retrieved 3 December 2020, from https://www.thetutorwebsite.co.uk/articles/177,skype-tutoring-how-to-teach-online-using-skype.html
How it works for tutors | Wyzant Tutoring. (2020). Retrieved 6 December 2020, from https://www.wyzant.com/howitworks/tutors
Crestodina, A. (2018). Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing: Vol. Fifth Edition. Orbit Media Studios, Inc.
Benlian, A. (2015). Web Personalization Cues and Their Differential Effects on User Assessments of Website Value. Journal of Management Information Systems, 32(1), 225–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421222.2015.1029394
Paswan, A. (2018). Social Media Marketing Strategies. DAWN: Journal for Contemporary Research in Management, 5(1), 8–11.
Reed, K. (2020). How to Build a Complete Video Strategy for Your Organization. Retrieved 6 December 2020, from https://www.boxcast.com/blog/beyond-live-streaming-how-to-build-a-complete-video-strategy-for-your-organization
Can we get them to pay? (2010). Finweek, 59. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=54967186&site=ehost-live