How to Make Money with Curated Content Websites
Content curation is huge right now. Sites are curating everything from WordPress news to weird tech products to pretty much anything else. But are these sites actually making any money? And if you start your own content curation website, how can you make money with curated content?
In this post, I’ve put together a huge list of ideas to make money from your content curation website. You probably won’t implement every single one of these ideas into your curated content site, but choosing a few of them will give you a nice, diversified revenue stream.
Best of all, if you’re using WordPress and a plugin like WP RSS Aggregator, all of these monetization methods are pretty easy to implement.
Ok, enough chatter! Here are 15 different ways in which you can generate an income from content curation.
1. Display Banner Ads
This one is super simple! Use your content curation to draw in visitors and then monetize those visitors by displaying banner ads. You can either display banner ads that you sell yourself or use a third-party service like Buy Sell Ads to help get advertisers.
A plugin like Ads Pro Plugin can also help you display your own banner ads on WordPress.
2. Promote Featured Content
When you build an audience with content curation, that audience has value. Companies will be willing to pay extra to get access to your visitors’ eyeballs. So you can curate content like usual, but sell special featured posts that get extra attention.
Though WP Mayor isn’t a content curation site, we use sponsored posts to generate revenue. And you can do the exact same thing for your content curation site. Just make sure to clearly state that the post is sponsored to stay on the FCC’s good side! If you’re in America, that is.
3. Google AdSense Or Other Programmatic Advertising
Google AdSense is an incredibly popular way to monetize all types of websites. It’s great because:
- The ads are relevant to your content and visitors
- You don’t need to go looking for advertisers yourself
For example, Slashdot uses prominent AdSense ad blocks to generate revenue from content curation:
There are also other smaller ad networks which function similarly to Google AdSense.
You can either promote AdSense in each piece of curated content or on your homepage/sidebar. A plugin like MyThemeShop’s WP In Post Ads makes it easy to insert AdSense or other ads directly into your curated content.
4. Promote Various Affiliate Products
If you’re promoting products or services, you can generate money from something called affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you get a cut of any sales from customers you send to a site. For example, Amazon runs a program called Amazon Associates where you get a percentage of any purchase on Amazon.
You could create a content curation site based on Amazon products using an RSS feed from their affiliate program. Each time a visitor buys a product, you make money! Plenty of curation sites use affiliate marketing to generate money. This is Why I’m Broke is a perfect example.
5. Sell Premium Content
This one is similar to a membership subscription, except you still give away most of your content for free. Instead of locking everything behind a paywall, you only lock up a portion of your content as premium. Readers can read the regular curated content for free, but to get access to the good stuff, they need to pay!
6. Ask for Donations
Hey, no one said the only way to make money is commercializing your site! If you want to keep your curated content free, you can simply ask readers for donations to keep the lights on. You probably won’t get rich from donations, but if your content is valuable, readers may be willing to pitch in.
Adding a plugin like Charitable to your content curation site lets you easily accept donations.
7. Make it a Membership Subscription
If the content you’re curating is especially valuable, your readers themselves might be willing to pay for it. So instead of offering your curated content for free, only make your content available to people who buy into a membership.
Basically, people are paying you to take the time to curate content for them. So if you go for this monetization method, you need to make sure you’re curating especially insightful content that subscribers get real value from.
8. Build An Email List
Building an email list gives you an evergreen asset that will keep its value even if you stop your content curation site. Your curated content is what draws readers to your site. But then you can use a WordPress opt-in plugin to get them to sign up for your email list.
Then, you can promote offers or ads in your email list among other content you think your subscribers will find interesting.
Or, if you have a non-curated website, you can still use a curated newsletter to build your list. For example, popular SEO service Moz built a valuable newsletter by curating the 10 best pieces of content that they could find:
9. Create and Monetize a Forum
Once you’ve built an audience with content curation, you can try to progress to building a community in the form of a forum. If you’re using WP RSS Aggregator or another WordPress plugin to curate content, you can easily add a forum to your WordPress site using something like bbPress.
Start off slow with a free forum. Once you grow the free area of your forum, you can add monetization with private premium boards.
10. Sell Merchandise for Your Brand
Plenty of curation sites build up their own valuable brand. If you’ve got a loyal following, you can sell your own merchandise, rather than promoting other people’s products. That way, you get to keep more of the profits! Sites like CafePress and others make it easy to sell your own t-shirts, posters and more without needing to invest in your own printing equipment.
11. Advertise on Error Pages (like 404)
This is another one that won’t make you big bucks, but can generate a little side income. Whenever visitors reach an error page (e.g. your 404 page), you can display ads instead of a generic 404 page.
Again, you won’t retire on your earnings from error pages, but every bit counts, right?
12. Start a Savings Club
You’d be surprised how willing companies are to give out special discounts. So one way to curate content is to start a savings club. All you need to do is ask for discounts from affiliates. Then, you can charge users a small fee for access to all your savings.
Users are happy because they still save more than they have to pay, and you’re happy because you’re making money from curating content!
13. Coach Other People
Once you’ve established yourself as a success, you can actually use that to generate even more income for yourself by offering coaching sessions for people looking to follow in your footsteps.
A service like Clarity.fm lets you sell coaching by the minute and is easy to integrate with a content curation site built on WordPress.
14. Run Paid Webinars or Use Webinars to Generate Leads
If you don’t want to sell one-on-one coaching sessions, you can also host group webinars. You can either charge for attending the webinar or use the webinar to generate a set of leads that you sell other services to.
15. Sell Your Content Curation Site
And lastly, if you want to get out of the content curation game, you can be rewarded with a healthy lump sum. Curation sites typically sell for ~6-20x what they make per month depending on their revenue history. So if your curation site makes $1,000 per month with an established revenue history, you could be looking at $20,000+ on the open market!
That’s not a bad payoff, right?
How Do I Add Curated Content to My WordPress Site?
Want to try out all these monetization methods for yourself? It’s easy to create your own curated content website using a plugin like WP RSS Aggregator. And you can even get started for free!
We have a whole guide to creating a curated content website with WP RSS Aggregator, but I’ll hit the high points below. With the free plugin, you can import any RSS feed into your WordPress site. That means you can bring in content from:
- News sites
- Google Alerts
- Social media
- Event sites
- Other eCommerce stores with valid RSS feeds
- Music sites
- And literally anything else that has a working feed!
And you can add some basic filtering like limiting the number of items from individual feeds.
You can either make your site entirely curated content or just make curated content a small part of a larger website.
For example, WP News Desk uses WP RSS Aggregator to bring in a variety of WordPress-related news posts:
And Divi Theme News uses WP RSS Aggregator to generate income through affiliate marketing for WordPress themes:
You could also grab an Amazon product RSS feed to create something like the aforementioned This is Why I’m Broke and earn money through Amazon Associates:
If you go with some of the premium add-ons, you’ll be able to filter the content you import by keywords or tags (great for better curation), enhance how feed items display, and lots more.
So if you’re ready to start making money with content curation, give WP RSS Aggregator a look and start your curated content site today!