If you’re starting an online business, you might be asking yourself what the best way to monetize your product is. People often jump to the conclusion that people don’t want to pay for things, so advertising is the only way to go. Unfortunately, advertising is a tough way to monetize a product.
You need to get substantial numbers before you are even of interest to many advertisers. Of course, you can always sign up for a network, so that they can package up your impressions and sell them along with a lot of others. Unfortunately, this does two things. One, you’re not going to get very high rates because it doesn’t matter what an ad on your product should cost, just what the average cost of the ad across the network is valued at. Two, you end up giving up a very large part of what is spent on your impressions. The company handling everything for you takes somewhere in the 40-50% range, usually. So, what you end up with is scraps.
Maybe advertising is not the way to go. If you think that people won’t pay for your product, the better question is, “Why not?” Do you have a bad product or are you marketing it wrong? Board of Innovation put together a deck that they shared on SlideShare.net that discusses some techniques to get your customers to pay for your product. It’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time to take a look and garner some inspiration.