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Conversion Rate Optimization
6 tips to monetize traffic on media sites

6 Tricks That Fast-Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic

About 4 in 10 US adults check digital media sites every day – that’s 38%!

If you’re a growing business in the digital publishing industry, you’re probably thinking, “How do I make this amount of traffic work for me?”

Chances are you’re already running dozens of experiments to find the best ways to monetize your traffic. Or, maybe you’re just planning to do so. So what’s the best way to start?

There are several strategies you can use to convert your readers into long-term sources of income. Let’s take a look at 6 easy ways that you can get started with today.

#1 Paywall Popup

PayWall popup is a blocker that lets only your subscribers through to access specific content, making it effective if you are serious about promoting some very special content.

Some media sites debate the effectiveness of PayWalls, but if you create mind-blowing content and your readers can’t get enough of it, why not to use it? You’re running a business, so your customers should be ready to pay for the things that are useful and beneficial to them.

Paywall example on 1 6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic

Digital publisher was one of the first media sites to charge $5 a week, or $260 a year to access content. Similarily, Telegraph Media Group launched a PayWall so that most of their content was free, but they offered a premium subscription offering the most exclusive content to members-only and charged $112 per year for it.

#2 Metered Access

Another popular subscription to media sites is metered access. This allows visitors to read a certain number of articles per month for free. Then, a popup suggests they sign up for further access.

Such a system was established by the Financial Times, where visitors can read five free articles. A similar system is used by National Observers with the limit of three articles.

Metered subscription is not limited to monetizing traffic. Many media sites use it to grow their audience and are successful at attracting a global audience by offering content free or at a discount to international users.

The example of metered access on National Observer 6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic

#3 Banner Ads

Does native advertisement sound complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not. Display banner ads are one of the simplest yet most effective ways to monetize your traffic.

If your site has decent traffic, authority, and your customers trust you, hosting your own banner can be a lucrative move. Talk to your team to choose ad size, display duration, position, high converting copy, and template.

There are countless resources for banner ads best practices, and you can find some fantastic content to get you started here: how to craft good banners.

The New Yorker Banner Ad1 6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic
via The New Yorker

#4 Donation Popup

If you are in a non-profit business, you may need to monetize traffic in order to keep your site running, and donation popups are an ideal solution in this scenario.

It’s quite simple. Just place some friendly language in a popup to raise funds.

Wikipedia does it well.

via Wikipedia 6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic
via Wikipedia

Again, there are great tips on creating banners and popups that benefit your UX.

#5 Native Ads

Native ads have two typical goals for the media industry:

- Positioning your brand image in minds of customers and prospects
- Motivating consumers and prospects to take a particular action

To be clear – there is a difference between online display ads and native advertisement. Native ads are displayed in the flow of editorial content.

A typical placement of native ads is in headers and navigation bars. It can look like a call to action, online video advertorials, sponsored or branded content.

IMB branded content on Atlantic 6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic

IBM branded content


#6 Grow Your List With Lead Magnets

Most media sites utilize robust email marketing strategies. While you may not sell directly through email marketing, the goal of your emails could be to engage your subscribers or take some desired action. But in order to utilize email, you have to have a list of people who are interested in hearing from you.

One of the most practiced ways to build email lists is to offer something of value in return for visitors’ emails. It can be your latest article, infographic, video, special discount or any other piece of content.

A quick and easy way to test such lead magnets is to use popups to offer the content and solicit an email address. While there are many marketers who still believe that popups are annoying, a well-planned popup strategy is highly effective.

If you’re not convinced by popups, you can always just place your offer somewhere on your site. Check out how Vix Media places their sign-up box in the footer.


Example of list building on  6 Tricks That Fast Growing Media Sites Use To Monetize Traffic


Which Strategy Will You Try To Monetize Your Traffic?

Traffic can be a huge asset if you leverage it properly. If you’re ready to start earning extra revenue on your media site, get started by trying one of these strategies to monetize traffic:

  • Paywall Popup
  • Metered Access
  • Banner Ads
  • Donation Popup
  • Native Ads
  • Build Email Lists with Lead Magnets

Don’t leave money on the table! A well-planned and expertly executed traffic monetizing strategy can take your business to the next level.

Did you try these? What was the result? Share, comment, and suggest in the comments below.

This Post? Leave a Comment Below!

    Hi there Landon,

    These are really nice tricks for me and other bloggers I guess, to monetize our blog.

    • Landon Donovan


      Glad you liked it!