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7 Content Monetization Engines You Should Pay Attention to in 2015

Matthew Capala

The days when keyword-optimized landing pages with downloadable PDFs, powered by PayPal and video testimonials performed best are long over. Established brands or long-standing websites with decent traffic can still convert hard-won site visitors into paying customers using the tactics and technologies of the past. You can do much better by exploiting some of the overlooked content monetization engines out there.

Why? Because both Google and consumers have evolved.

Info product marketing in 2015 is about learning new ways to distribute and monetize content so that you can reach incremental buyers and leads on platforms that offer a large number of engaged users who are there for one reason: to buy premium content.

These high-growth platforms, such as Amazon Kindle, Audible or Udemy, are also ranked well in Google and have their own distribution channels.

Above all, their algorithms are built in a way that rewards network effect — every additional user brings a lot of value to your business because your authority increases. For example, Amazon algorithm gives your content more "love" as more users sign up for it. It’s a win-win. You can’t match that with a downloadable PDF on your site.

According to Mike Fishbin who published multiple info products using the platforms mentioned below:

Publishing on Udemy and Amazon allows you to tap into large audiences who are prone to paying for content. Udemy and Amazon are like search engines where users have their credit card information stored and are ready to buy. These networks consistently send customers to my info products, providing me with multiple automated passive income streams.

Seven Often Overlooked Content Monetization Engines

Here are the top seven content monetization platforms I’ve used, or I am planning to using in 2015, to grow my info product business.

1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Kindle books are the cornerstone of my info product strategy. They are fast to market and highly profitable; you can earn up to 70% revenue controlling the price. With Amazon KDP you can independently publish content to reach millions of readers in couple days. Your book will be available for sales to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and more.

I also enrolled in KDP Select, which enables you to earn more money through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Couple other cool features include Amazon’s promotional toolkit you can use every 90 days, but you have to keep your Kindle book exclusively on Amazon for that period of time.

Kindle Direct Publishing is an overlooked Content Monetization Platform

Best thing about Amazon, you can get on the "best seller" list with smart marketing strategy leveraging keyword research tools and Amazon promotional features. I used a low-price kindle resource handbook, “99 SEO Tools for 99 Cents,” to promote my higher-price, flagship book, “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.”

"99 SEO tools for 99 cents" by Matthew Capala on Amazon.com

2. CreateSpace

CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon, offer free tools and professional services to help you with self-publishing and distribution. It offers easy integration with Amazon. If your Kindle book is long enough (I would say a minimum of 150-200 pages) putting together a paperback with CreateSpace is a no-brainer. Additionally, CreateSpace has its on e-store where you get a listing in addition to Amazon. Manufacturing and shipping is taken care of. Your book remains in-stock, without inventory, made on-demand when customers order. CreateSpace also offers music and video on demand services so you can monetize different content types.

CreateSpace is another overlooked Content Monetization Platform

3. Audible

Audible is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information and educational programming on the Internet. You can use Audible to sell digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. I am launching my audiobook in January and I am excited to try this new medium. Audible has also become the world's largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. Amazon owns Audible, so it’s integrated with your Amazon store.

audible is an extremely popular site but an often overlooked content monetization platform

4. Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)

ACX is a marketplace where professional authors, agents, publishers and other content creators can come together to publish an audiobook. Also owned by Amazon, this platform is integrated with Amazon store and Audible, and also iTunes. At ACX, you can be matched with narrators, engineers, recording studios and other Producers capable of producing a finished audiobook, as well as with audiobook publishers.

I used ACX to audition voiceover actors to produce my audiobook. That’s how I found Andrew Mason, who runs a successful podcast on iTunes, with whom I partnered to narrate my audiobook.

ACX is a great Content Monetization Platform to use.

5. Udemy

Udemy is the largest marketplace for online learning. Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and earn money from student tuition charges. Udemy offers big scale for instructors, it has served more than 4 million students, and offers over 20k course alternatives. I published my SEO course on Udemy a couple of weeks ago, and I’m excited to bring it to market in 2015.

Courses on Udemy  offer great value as Content Monetization Platforms.

6. SkillShare

Similarly to Udemy, Skillshare is an online learning community for creators. Online classes at Skillshare are taught by industry experts and focus on learning by doing. The majority of courses focus more on interaction than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project. The main categories of learning are creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology, with subtopics covering a myriad of skills.

I reached out to Mike Fishbein who recently put up his SkillShare course titled, "How to Write a Book in 2 Week (And Make Money Self-Publishing on Amazon)." According to Mike:

Skillshare is different in that it is a "netflix model" — students pay a monthly subscription fee and then instructors get paid based on who takes their course. It's like Kindle Unlimited. Platforms like SkillShare and SkillFeed allow reposting, so if you posted your online course on Udemy it wouldn’t hurt to repost it on other platforms.

Use Skillshare if you're looking for an under-utilized Content Monetization Platform

7. SkillFeed

SkillFeed is an online marketplace for educational content. Its “all-you-can-learn” platform supports multidisciplinary skill learning and sharing with a monthly subscription. SkillFeed (a Shutterstock company) supports multiple content formats, such as online courses and tutorials.

Have you missed the boat? No worries. The platforms presented here are still largely untapped niches that represent gold-rush opportunities for creative content marketers who use keyword research and analytical insights to win big.

Looking to learn more? Join my free, live webinar, Content Monetization Engines: Generating Growth with Info Product Marketing Like It’s 2015, on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (EST). You'll learn how to:

  • Differentiate your content using the "infotainment" product design strategy
  • Design a winning info product go-to-market plan to use the "spider method"
  • Leverage high-growth content monetization platforms, such as Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace, Audible, Udemy, Skillskare, Fedora and more
  • Build a long-lasting info product brand and extend it’s life-cycle by repurposing content into various formats, including Kindle, audio and paperback books or online courses
  • Scale the distribution of your info product to reach fragmented audiences on the Web
  • Leverage your existing platform, including website, blog traffic and social media community to launch your info product
  • Build an info product funnel that fits into your overall marketing mix

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Matthew Capala is the founder of Alphametic, a data-driven search marketing agency with a portfolio of clients including L’Oreal, Shopkeep, Novartis, Lendio and Quest Diagnostics; publisher of Search Decoder; and author of award-winning international bestseller “SEO Like I’m 5.” He writes on The Next Web and Entrepreneur, and speaks on main stages at conferences such as Digital Summit, Social Media Week, and Internet Summit. His work and ideas have been featured on Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Mashable, Problogger, and Inc. He’s been invited to deliver his signature SEO workshops to some of the world’s largest brands in destinations ranging from a luxury retreat in Trinidad to a corporate summit in the Swiss Alps.
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2000 symbols remain
Gumroad and clickbank are absent...shouldn't they be on the list?
On second thought, I wonder if iTunes should be on the list... one the one hand podcasting is rather free and the type of content to monetize is mostly entertainment music and videos, on the other hand I think you can technically charge for podcasts so if these were training podcasts... thoughts?
Michael Stricker
Matthew Capala
Matt - I wonder if Google Helpouts and other paid teaching channels are a better model for monetization?
Michael Stricker
Michael Stricker
Have you had any experience with MarketMotive that you could share?
Michael Stricker
Thanks Mike - I did not know about MarketMotive - I'll check them out!