Multiple revenue streams-Beyond Advertising

By Kathleen Majorsky 

Advertising is an important source of revenue for independent sites, but as sites grow it is important to explore different revenue streams.

Ben Ilfeld from Sacramento Press and Howard Owens from The Batavian shared their own experiences in generating multiple streams of revenue.

Howard and Ben giving their talk about multiple revenue streams.

Key Take Away # 1: Multiple revenue streams are not always passive revenue streams.

Indie publishers are already stretched in day-to-day operations of running their sites.  It’s important to consider how much work a publisher will manage when starting a new revenue stream.  In the case of Howard, his talent pool for helping with managing extra revenue streams is limited.  A challenge he faces is balancing content management and traditional advertising activities in addition to the work of adding another revenue stream to his two-person operation.

Key Take Away # 2: Play to your strengths when it comes to adding additional revenue streams.

This is a lesson, Susan Mernit learned with her staff at Oakland Local. Oakland Local’s strengths are events and social media consulting.  In the past year, Oakland Local has increased social media services and education to their community and encountered great success in building the assets they already have.

Ben agrees with this strategy.  Sacramento Press also uses social media consulting and web development as an extra revenue stream.  If there are people on your team who are good at social media or web development services, use those people to offer advertisers those services.

Key Take Away # 3: Multiple trickles of passive revenue have the potential to create a flood.

One of the challenges voiced in this session was the need to find passive revenue streams.  The ideas that were tossed around like working with ad networks, local.com or text-link-ads might not bring in a ton of money, but collectively it can be helpful.

What other non-advertising revenue stream ideas do you have for your site?

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