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How to Monetize Online Content — 5 Smart Steps to a Winning Offer

You built an audience using content marketing. Now you’re wondering how to monetize online content without chasing sponsors, spending a fortune on ads — or giving everything away.

Pleasing sponsors can feel like a job. You’re working for people who pay you to create content. Which means you aren’t really your own boss.

Maybe you’re pouring money into ads, which eats into any profits you make.

It’s possible you listened to advice from online marketers who recommend you sell your expertise for cheap. They say:

  • Take your knowledge and put it into a $497 course
  • Create a tripwire and ascend people up the “Value Ladder”
  • Make all your intellectual property accessible and then upsell your customers

And after you’ve done all that, you can make real money. 

It’s exhausting — and it’s not fair to you.

I have a much better solution that I think you’re going to like!

Imagine making money with your content. You don’t need to run ads, look for sponsors, or build low-ticket offers that you use to upsell people to a higher-priced offer afterwards. 

Related: How to Create a Premium Pricing Strategy for Your Online Business (3 Examples)

Read on, or watch the video above.

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How to monetize online content the smart way

You might have come across the phrase, “monetize your audience.” 

You don’t want to do that. 

You don’t want to try to monetize relationships. That undermines the trust you’ve worked so hard to build.

I’m going to how you how to monetize online content and turn your content assets into revenue.

You know I’m all for content marketing. I wrote two books about it — Master Content Marketing and Master Content Strategy.

But to generate consistent revenue with all that content that you’re creating, you have to take the next step.

Turn your content creation efforts into a consistent revenue source

If you’ve been working on creating consistent content, I want to congratulate you — even if you haven’t yet figured out how to monetize online content. 

You’ve already done the hard part! 

You built an audience, either on your email list, on your chosen social media platform, your podcast, your YouTube channel, or just on your personal contacts app. 

Wherever your audience is, when you’re ready to direct the destiny of your online business, develop an offer that’s designed to fit their needs. 

Let’s put that another way, so it’s 100% clear: 

If you want to OWN your destiny, you should OWN your income source. 

The good news is that once you have your audience, you’re in a perfect position to earn $10,000 to $20,000 a month with a single high-value offer. 

OWN your source of revenue; create your OWN offer; serve your OWN audience.

Related: The 7 Simplest Ways to Grow Your Email List Fast When You’re in Midlife

How to monetize online content by creating a high-value offer — and testing it fast

What defines a high-value offer? Where does the true value come from? A high-value offer does a few important things, for both you and your customers.

  • It delivers life-changing transformation
  • It inspires gushing testimonials from your customers, which makes it much easier to promote 
  • It makes a massive difference, not just to your customers, but to the bottom line of your business 

If you want to learn how to monetize online content the smart way, I recommend that you forget about ads, chasing sponsors, or selling your expertise for next to nothing.

A high-value offer is a much faster route to generating consistent revenue in your online business.

How to Monetize Online Content — the Smart Start Method

I’ve developed a super fast method to help people like you, who are experts in their field, to create a high-value offer. I call it my Smart Start Method, and it helps you to get your idea out of your head and into your market — and it can be done in a month. 

The Smart Start method is inspired by the Lean Software Development approach. If you haven’t heard that term before, it’s a framework that’s used by developers to create a piece of software that delivers only the necessary features. Once it’s in the hands of users, they improve the solution over time, based on user feedback. 

My Smart Start Method works the same way. It takes place during the first 30 days of my Offer Accelerator program

If you want to try the Smart Start yourself, I’m sharing that process right here.

Step 1: Research the market you want to enter

Step 1: Explore your market

The first thing you want to do is to research the market that you want to enter. Your goal here is to understand exactly what your market is looking for. 

The reason you need to do this is you might be suffering from the “Curse of Knowledge” — that state of being where you can’t remember what your beginner questions and challenges were.

This happens when you’re an expert!

It’s why I recommend that you take the time to do some market research.

And there’s a way to do it with simple market research techniques that are actually kind of fun.

Your market research will show you:

  • How the people you want to serve are talking about their challenges
  • What your prospects find lacking in the solutions that are on the market now

This allows you to go into the market with your eyes wide open, understanding what people truly need and how they’re talking about those needs. 

Your goal is to capture the exact language your customers are using so that you can use their own words to describe the challenges your offer solves.

If you can find and use that information, people will say things to you like, “It’s like you are inside my head and you understand exactly what I’m struggling with.” That’s because you picked up their language!

The market exploration process is an important first step. What’s next?

Related: How to Make Content Marketing Fun (and Much Easier)

Step 2: Identify your personal values

Step 2: Tap into your personal values to make your offer unique

The next step is to sit down and identify the personal values that you want to see reflected in the offer that you create. These are things like authenticity, humor, trustworthiness, and openness. 

Your offer should be a reflection of who you are and how you show up in the world — the values you’ve developed in your lifetime that represent who you are. 

When you infuse your offer with your personal values, it doesn’t look like it was stamped out of a factory. It doesn’t look like everybody else’s. 

You want your offer to be unique to you, and how you show up in your content marketing. 

That will make it easy for your followers or your subscribers to see how your offer is directly related to what they know you for.

So sit down with your favorite beverage in the most comfortable chair you can find, and just start listing:

  • What’s important to me?
  • How do other people describe me?
  • What would friends or colleagues describe what my values are? 

Sometimes it’s easier to think about it in terms of how people would describe you and your values than to just come up with a list of your own. Try it — you might be surprised at what you discover!

Related: Should You Build a Personal Brand or a Business Brand?

Step 3: Take stock of your current strengths

Step 3: Take stock of your current strengths and skills

The next thing you want to do is to take stock of your current strengths. You’ve developed skills over the years! 

When you use the Smart Start Method, you learn how to monetize online content by using your current skills. That makes it easier and faster to deliver your offer. 

You don’t have to learn how to create videos if you’ve never done them before, or create elaborate worksheets or assessments if you’ve never done those before. 

You have a skill set that you’ve developed, and there are certain things that you find easy to do.

  • Maybe you’re a strong writer
  • Maybe you love doing video
  • Maybe you enjoy delivering live, in-person workshops or giving speeches

Whatever your best skills are, I want you to take some time to note them.

That’s so important because I see people who have a lot of expertise say, “I want to develop a course. And I’m going to make it a video course because those are popular. So before I make that course, I have to figure out how to do video.”

You do not need to learn new skills.

You can deliver transformation to people using your existing skill set.

Take the time to get in touch with your current strengths.

  • What comes easy to you?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What is fast and simple for you to put together?

Use those skills to build an offer quickly and get it into the marketplace. 

Smart Start Test Version

Step 4: Develop a testable version of your high-value offer

Once you have done that market research, gotten in touch with your values, and identified your skill set, it’s time to develop a testable version of your offer. 

“Testable version” means an offer that delivers all the transformation to your customer, but it’s stripped down in terms of technology. 

You don’t need an elaborate learning management system to deliver it, or a complicated sales funnel to promote it. Not when you’re developing your testable offer. 

A note of caution: When you’re learning how to monetize online content and you’re in mid-career, there’s something you might run into that can trip you up at this stage.

It’s something that I see a lot.

You have high standards. By the time you’re ready to develop your own offer, you may have been in online programs — well-established online programs.

You might think, “If I’m going to come out with an online program, I need to make it a reflection of who I am, and it needs to be very professional and polished.”

It’s important to have high standards, and you will get there. But what I recommend is that you start out with a more pared-down approach to delivering your offer. 

Here’s why:

The best online offers are developed through an iterative process, where you put a version of your offer in front of your customers and get their feedback.

  • Find out what they find challenging
  • Discover what questions they still have 
  • Identify what might be confusing

Then you make your offer better, based on that feedback. 

Making those changes is very difficult if you have developed a super-polished version of your offer without first getting feedback from customers. 

This is why I recommend that the first time out of the gate, you create an offer that is less polished, but that still helps people.

This is a really important part of the process. And I’ll be honest with you, it’s not going to feel comfortable to come out with something that’s not polished. 

My Smart Start Method helps you to develop a testable offer that delivers true transformation. It helps your audience without all the beautiful, polished branding and bells and whistles.

Once you’ve developed your testable offer, you can move on to the final step in how to monetize online content.

Related: Ready to Sell Your Services Online? Follow These 8 Simple Steps to Test for Success

Smart Start Sell Your Test Offer

Step 5: Test your offer with real, paying customers

Final step! It’s time to offer this test version for sale. The only way to really test how to monetize online content is to ask people to pay for the offer you create. 

Put your offer in front of your existing audience — your podcast listeners, YouTube subscribers, email list, social media followers, or maybe your personal contact list.

Let them know you developed a solution for them. Tell them it’s not super polished, but you want their feedback. 

Tell them you want to work with them and help them with this new offer. And you can’t wait to give them a special price for being among the first people to test this offer. 

You can call this group founding members or charter members.

(Don’t call them beta testers. That implies your offer is missing something important.)

Lots of people love getting in on the ground floor of something new. They enjoy being a part of the process that makes the offer truly great.

Create a high-value offer tailored for your audience

When you go through these five steps, it is completely possible for you to build a powerful high-value product or service that generates $10,000 to $20,000 in revenue every month. 

This is the best recommendation I can give you for learning how to monetize online content — develop your very own, high-value offer. 

Your high-value offer is tailored for your audience, expresses your personal values, draws on your current strengths, and delivers a life-changing transformation that people are happy to pay for.

If you want to explore how to monetize online content with my help and guidance, take a look at OfferAccelerator.com and apply.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson coaches people in mid-career to build profitable online businesses. Apply to work with Pamela in her Offer Accelerator, learn more about her books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.

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