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15 Ways Content Platforms Can Maximize Revenue And Stay Ad-Free

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at September 9, 2021

Today’s consumers need to connect on a personal level with the brands, platforms and organizations they choose to engage with. No one wants to land on a page, website or app that’s cluttered with advertisements. When ads are shoved in people’s faces, they’ll often turn away and go somewhere less overwhelming. 

On the other hand, paid advertisements comprise a large portion of revenue for most blogs, social media and content platforms. If you want to make money off advertisements without losing customers, you must be thoughtful and strategic in your ad placement. Here, 15 members of Forbes Business Council discuss some effective ways for content platforms to maximize revenue while minimizing ads or going ad-free. 

1. Offer A Small Subscription

Content platforms and advertising have slowly become a sinister duo this past decade. As the public is becoming increasingly aware of this, there is a window of opportunity for these platforms. I believe that offering a small subscription that would allow a user to forgo receiving targeted advertisements or general advertisements could help content platforms drastically increase revenue. – Johnny Marines, Johnny Marines Enterprises

2. Create Community Groups

Content platforms can create “birds of a feather”-like community groups that offer personalized content, networking, discounts and other benefits for a small fee from members of those groups or offer paid digital experiences that audiences can purchase tickets to participate in. – Juliet Okafor, RevolutionCyber

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

3. Focus On Added Value

As content platforms become more of a commodity in the future, they’ll have to emulate other industries that have traveled the same path and focus on added value. They should focus on developing exclusive add-ons to their content and charge for early access to it. Also, create alliances with other products and services that their clients regularly use, like cloud storage and online shopping. – Andrés de Jongh, Vikua

4. Partner Up For Sponsorship

I would like to see content platforms partner with large brands to sponsor the entire platform for a period of time. This would allow them to showcase their offerings easily during the login process instead of while you are reading an article or as a pop-up. – Jeremiah Runyon, Superior Logistics Ohio

5. Ask For Micro-Payments

Ads will be replaced partly by micro-payments against the consumption of content. Because I co-own a media company focused on culture and heritage, I can see how content should rightfully demand payment from its consumers, as there is a direct value generated for the consumers. It’s understandable that the subscription model may not be fit for all and that’s where micro-payments should be tried. – Ashwin Srivastava, Sapio Analytics

6. Offer A Premium Upgrade

If it were me, I would follow YouTube’s approach and offer a premium upgrade for an ad-free experience, alternatively charging brands to not do sponsored ads but just to have a business page on the platform in a marketplace Facebook-style approach. It could be an exclusive area where users know they will be sold to. – Joseph Valente, Trade Mastermind

7. Create Multiple Levels

Create multiple levels of access to users at a price. Not everyone needs access to unlimited content, but some could benefit greatly on LinkedIn Premium and various news platforms, for example. Once value has been established and a user base is in place, content providers have a better opportunity to segment subscribers and provide critical content based on their needs and desires. – Tim Mueller, martinwolf M&A Advisors

8. Create A Lead Or Story

Our readers and audiences are smart. They deserve the respect of not adding chaos and clutter to their already over-programmed worlds. Whenever possible, create a lead or a story to share an experience—something that emotes and creates a feeling people can relate to rather than a forced ad. No one wants to be spoon-fed or spun. – Beth Jannery, Titan Strategic Communications

9. Generate Focused Groups

Content platforms should generate focused groups and create opinion leadership inside these groups. In these groups, direct ads will be minimized, more effective and targeted. – Vlad Vahromovs, Intellectsoft

10. Produce SEO Content

The right way to use content platforms to maximize revenue is to produce the content with SEO in mind. That way, you can generate demand by producing content that people are searching for. – Daniel Pereira,

11. Use A Paid Network

Set up a paid contributor network. Content platforms that are generating traffic can set up a contributor network where industry experts, influencers, thought leaders and business owners can pay a small monthly fee over 12 months to share their knowledge, expand their reach, build their brand and credibility. This is a highly scalable and profitable business model creating a win-win for both. – Judy Sahay, Crowd Media Group

12. Use ‘Help-First’ Mentality

I believe all content should be designed with a “help-first” mentality. “Help First” is actually a core value at our company. When your content truly helps your audience, they’ll find it and share it with others. Good SEO fundamentals are important, but monetizing an audience that looks to your platform for help can be easier to monetize without ads. – Scott Wolfe, Levelset

13. Increase Direct Engagement

We now live in a “creator economy” where every niche and interest group has content being produced for it. One recent trend for content platforms to reduce dependency on ads is to increase the direct engagement between creator and consumer. Consumers are willing to pay creators for exclusive or on-demand content and platforms can take a percentage of that. OnlyFans is a billion-dollar company with this model. – Vikram Ahuja, Talent500

14. Focus On Video Content

Video is queen. If you focus on engaging video content and use a platform to post on a regular basis, your engagement will likely increase. If your content and hashtags are relevant to your target audience, that increase in engagement should be with your primary target. – Shannon Brooks, Shannon Brooks Consulting

15. Sell Branded Merch

Quite simply: merch. Merchandise is a fun and easy way to connect with your customer base and get a little free advertising as well. Brand awareness spreads, and audiences love to show off their interests. It can build a connection with your audience that reaches out beyond the screen and pique the curiosity of anyone who sees it. It’s an easy way to advertise and churn in extra revenue. – Steve Byrne, EquiSource


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