Online Business Models
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Online Business Models
Web-Based Business Strategies and Monetization Models
Curated by Robin Good
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In The Age of Attention Scarcity Content Curation Is a Revenue-Maker Because It Saves People Time

In The Age of Attention Scarcity Content Curation Is a Revenue-Maker Because It Saves People Time | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:

How can content curation in a niche information area be monetized? Ask Joe Wilkert.

He writes: "There’s too much content out there anyway and I certainly don’t need access to even more of it. What I really need is more curation and less volume.

I want someone else to read it all and then tell me what I absolutely need to read.

They act as a filter and I pay them because they save me time and make me smarter."

The article points to the added value that traditional content publishers can offer their readers by opening the gates to community curators, who, by doing what they like the most, can bring back lots of more subscribers and attention to their brands.

"...There are sports experts, business experts, local community experts, etc. These curators are reading everything you’re publishing and picking the best of the best... They in turn publish their lists to a whole new set of subscribers; these readers pay for access to only the content recommended by the curator, not the full editions.

The best curators float to the top and drive more subscriptions than the others and you pay them a commission for each subscriber they bring in. Curators establish brand names for themselves, as in, “hey, if you’re into travel you need to subscribe to Bob Thomas…he finds all the best travel articles so I don’t have to.

But there's more, as Mr Wilker points out. The opportunities don't end there.

Rightful. Recommended. 8/10

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Reading time: 3' mins.

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Image credit: Honey dripping by Shutterstock

Brandon Meek's curator insight, May 6, 2014 11:38 AM

With so many great writers with great ideas, it only makes sense that we collect the things we find interesting and share them with others.

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Alternative Monetization Strategies For Freelance Web Designers

Alternative Monetization Strategies For Freelance Web Designers | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Here is a good article illustrating the several different alternatives available to any web designer to extend his revenue channels.

The creation and sale of design templates, icons collections, ebooks, advertising as well as the development of dedicated tools, software and plugins can be just some of the many extra revenue-making options available.

From the original article: "To summarize, the main lesson I’ve learned over the last couple of years is to have a long-term view and invest in yourself, not chase a quick buck.

The plan is rather simple, then: build a network, cultivate a strong identity to ensure the network knows who you are, and then come up with a product you can market to it."

Informative. Resorceful. 8/10

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Crowdsourced Business Models: A Guide To Create Revenue With The Help of Everyone Else

Robin Good: If you are looking for a good introductory guide to the use of crowds for the generation of revenue and the extended monetization of existing line of products/services, I definitely recommend giving a good look to this guide prepared by Ross Dawson and Steve Bynghall.

In the guide you can find out why crowdsourced business models are so promising and why they are being adopted rapidly by the major brands around the world.

Recommended reading. 8/10

Read or download the full guide here: 

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Online Newspapers and Paywalls: It's The Relationship That Counts, Not The Traffic

Online Newspapers and Paywalls: It's The Relationship That Counts, Not The Traffic | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: At GigaOM, Mathew Ingram has a very good article on online newspapers and their rising problem with monetization.

If I had to synthesize its content and re-title it, I would write: "Traffic Is Worth Zero If You Are Looking for New Revenues - Try The Open Journalism Model".

Here a few key excerpts from the original article: "The problem for both the Post and the Guardian is the same as that confronting virtually every other major newspaper: print-advertising revenue, which a majority of papers rely on for the bulk of their income, continues to fall off a very large cliff..."

The alternatives, non-standard solutions, may be using the so-called Open Journalism model.

"Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger described them fairly succinctly...

in a nutshell, readers can contribute by providing their time, their information or their money.

Ideally, a truly interactive digital-media outlet would make use of all three of these, in order to build relationships with readers that are about more than just a cash grab.

"...trying to increase the ways in which its readers can contribute to or become involved in news stories — including opening up its story-assignment schedule to the public for commentary."

"...think of the relationship with readers as being about more than just money, and then let the monetization flow out of that relationship, rather than the reverse."

"...try the “reverse paywall” method suggested by Jeff Jarvis and former Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti...

...that encourages readers to “level up” and provide either more information about themselves or more effort in a variety of ways, and then gives them benefits as a result."

Truthful. Insightful. 9/10

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Advertising Not: How Context and Sharing Disrupt The Most Popular Online Business Model

Advertising Not: How Context and Sharing Disrupt The Most Popular Online Business Model | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Felix Salmon on the Reuters blogs has a short but insightful article on how content creation and distribution is changing and on the diminishing value of being an integrated silo that created, edits, publishes and distributes its own content.

He writes: "Facebook and Google have become two of the biggest media companies in the world in extremely short amounts of time, precisely because they don’t have much interest in owning any content.

Rupert Murdoch looks at Google and sees a pirate because he does everything: he both creates content (think 20th Century Fox), and also distributes it (think Sky TV). ...

While the social, digital world is one where the biggest media companies have a much lighter touch, and where the content creators with the broadest reach will be the ones who care the least about protecting their copyrights.

I suspect that we’re only in the very early days of seeing how this is going to disrupt just about every media organization built on the idea of hosting a website and selling ads, including highly socially-attuned ones like the Huffington Post. HuffPo is built on the idea that when stories are shared on Twitter or Facebook, that will drive traffic back to, where it can then monetize that traffic by selling it to advertisers.

But in future, the most viral stories are going to have a life of their own, being shared across many different platforms and being read by people who will never visit the original site on which they were published."

Insightful. 9/10

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Optimize Your Ad Revenue with SwitchAds

Optimize Your Ad Revenue with SwitchAds | Online Business Models |


Robin Good's insight:

Switchads is an automatic auction ad platform that allows you to have multiple ad networks compete for your the minimum CPM price that you set.

For example if you are running Google ads on your site you can activate SwitchAds easily and your Google ads will be replaced with alternative and higher paying ones, only if there are advertisers meeting your minimum set CPM.

In their words: "Using SwitchAds unique technology, we provide your website with access to increased advertiser budgets by getting them to bid on your inventory in an auction. This increases the competition and price for the advertising on your website."

In this way your risk is zero and you can only possibly gain some extra revenues.

Switchads makes money by adding his small commission on top of your minimum set CPM revenue. 

You can check stats and revenues in real time.

N.B.: I am currently testing Switchads on the top banner space of MasterNewMedia but I have too little data to yet express an evaluation. 

The only drawback I encountered has been setting my minimum CPM in British pounds.

Free to use.

Try it out now: 

How it works: 


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The Business of Information Refinement: How Journalism Can Leverage Big Data To Create Value and New Revenues

The Business of Information Refinement: How Journalism Can Leverage Big Data To Create Value and New Revenues | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Extracting meaning out of big data, illustrating and visualizing relationships and links between apparently disconnected items and approaching the gathering of information for the purpose of surfacing what otherwise would not be immediately evident, may all be commercially fertile areas as some of the pionerring examples seem to show.

From the original essay, part of the Data Journalism Handbook: "Many journalists seem to be unaware of the size of the revenue that is already generated through data collection, data analytics and visualization.

This is the business of information refinement.

With data tools and technologies it is increasingly possible to shed a light on highly complex issues, be this international finance, debt, demography, education and so on.

...These technologies can now be applied to journalism...

But how does this generate money for journalism?

The big, worldwide market that is currently opening up is all about transformation of publicly available data into something our that we can process: making data visible and making it human.

We want to be able to relate to the big numbers we hear every day in the news — what the millions and billions mean for each of us.

There are a number of very profitable data-driven media companies, who have simply applied this principle earlier than others. They enjoy healthy growth rates and sometimes impressive profits.

a) One example: Bloomberg. The company operates about 300,000 terminals and delivers financial data to it’s users. If you are in the money business this is a power tool. ... This core business generates an estimated US $6.3 billion per year, at least this what a piece by the New York Times estimated in 2008. As a result, Bloomberg has been hiring journalists left, right and centre, they bought the venerable but loss-making “Business Week” and so on.

b) Another example is the Canadian media conglomerate today known as Thomson Reuters. They started with one newspaper, bought up a number of well known titles in the UK, and then decided two decades ago to leave the newspaper business. Instead they have grown based on information services, aiming to provide a deeper perspective for clients in a number of industries. If you worry about how to make money with specialized information, the advice would be to just read about the company’s history in Wikipedia.

c) And look at the Economist. The magazine has built an excellent, influential brand on its media side. At the same time the “Economist Intelligence Unit” is now more like a consultancy, reporting about relevant trends and forecasts for almost any country in the world. They are employing hundreds of journalists and claim to serve about 1.5 million customers worldwide."

If you are still doubtful that big data, information refinement, news curation and specialized info services are areas where it is going to be tough to create revenues, think again.

Recommended. 9/10

Full essay:

Data Journalism Handbook:

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Rescooped by Robin Good from Is the iPad a revolution?!

Monetizable Content Types on Tablets: Magazines, Music, Videos, Books

Monetizable Content Types on Tablets: Magazines, Music, Videos, Books | Online Business Models |

"As developers hunker down and get into the business of trying to work out how to get consumers to buy more of their product on mobile devices, some revealing numbers out from Nielsen on what people are willing to pay for on tablets already."


Magazines - however - stand out as one of the content type likely ot be paid for. Time to address iPads with a new magazine, longer form format?

Via Guillaume Decugis
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Subscriptions May Be a Better Business Model for Online Independent Publishers | Reuters

Subscriptions May Be a Better Business Model for Online Independent Publishers | Reuters | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: A good short article by Felix Salmon at Reuters Blogs, highlights the importance of looking with different eyes at how to keep economically viable an online publishing venture that operates in a vertical niche.

He writes: "Professional-quality nanopublishing has never really worked online, because the ad-supported business model can’t make it work. In a world of micropayments, however, everything changes."

"...a niche long-form science-journalism website is never going to get the kind of scale which advertisers want.

Big-name brand advertisers want to reach lots of people lots of times. They’ll advertise on blogs, which can get audiences in the millions, but they’re not going to advertise on a site which only updates once a month or even once a week.

In general, the amount of inventory online is growing fast, and websites need to be able to keep up with that growth or start seeing their advertisers fall away, one by one.

With subscriptions, though, the math is much more compelling: if you get 20,000 people paying a buck apiece for that story, that’s $20,000, with no sales overhead; most of that money can end up going to editorial."

Insightful. 8/10

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