As a result of the ongoing mobile revolution, many industries are evolving – and some are dying a slow, painful death. Gone are the days in which you had to consider readers who are accessing your content from a PC only. There’s a new kid in town – OK not so new, but insanely popular, and he can no longer be ignored.
Today, smartphone users have free, high-quality content available in the palm of their hands. And oh, how they sparkle; maybe they’re the proud owners of a new Galaxy, iPhone or Nexus, or any one of the T-Mobile smartphones. No matter what’s in their pocket or purse, Web publishers, bloggers and other small Web-based businesses continue to scramble to make their content available on these devices.
Mobile connectivity only looks to grow stronger in the coming years. According to recent Pew Internet Research statistics, people are increasingly feeling pressure to stay connected and abreast of news and information, which is good news for bloggers and content publishers.
If you publish content on the Web, what’s your distribution strategy? You can leverage the mobile platform to your advantage and make money blogging.
Optimize, Optimize, then Optimize Some More
Maintaining a dynamic website is a lot like developing an Android app – development is just the beginning, and testing is where the fun begins.
If you have a website that aims to cater to millions of people, then you need to understand where those people are and how they are accessing your content. That means, your site needs to look and act beautifully on the various mobile platforms. Of course, right now, the only platforms you need to take into account are iOS and Android, but consider the next generation of Windows phones and BlackBerry 10s, as well.
Lucky for you, developing an Android app that will work across all versions of Google’s mobile OS is a lot more complicated than launching a site that will work perfectly on all smartphones. The two words that will make your life significantly easier are “responsive design.”
Responsive design is a design solution that enables you to build a site with mobile in mind. The site adapts itself to the screen on which it is being viewed. Responsive design is a must if you want to offer your audience a decent user experience. As you know, a good user experience increases your retention rate and ultimately, boosts your Web traffic.
Visually Appealing Content
The fact that the mobile phone has a smaller screen than your PC means a few things. It means, as mentioned above, that your site has to fit the screen well so your content is easily accessible. It also means you need to figure out how to use the limited real estate to its maximum potential, and guess what? Text is not gonna cut it.
The nature of the mobile phone is that it is always on, accessible and highly engaging. Use that to your advantage. Offer visually appealing content with pictures, video and other forms of rich media.
Take advantage of not only the limited real estate but the fact that these display screens are becoming higher-resolution by the day. Beautiful graphics, inviting photos and engaging video placed in optimal locations throughout your content will ensure that your audience sticks around (and hopefully, brings their friends).
Monetize Your Content
The whole monetization aspect of digital content is becoming increasingly challenging for publishers. Well, good news: Mobile can solve that, if done right.
Yes, there are ads on PCs too, but the potential of mobile advertising far exceeds that of the desktop Web. Mobile allows for hyper-local, rich-media ads that enable you to offer relevant promotions to users in real time.
Just imagine: You write a piece on the future of wearable computing. The person reading it is located right next to a store that carries all sorts of devices that fall under that category. Obviously, the interest is there, the location is relevant, and now all that is left to do is capture that user’s attention with engaging advertising. Can a desktop do that?
Other Monetizing Options
Ads are, of course, only one option to monetize content on the mobile platform. Another is to offer a mobile ecommerce experience from within your property, whether it is on the mobile Web or in a native app. Let users buy things they are already interested in buying based on the type of content they consume.
There is also the option to offer a “freemium”-type solution, with some parts of your content behind a pay wall. While it might annoy some users, others will happily pay assuming your content is worth that investment.
There’s a whole new world available to you and your blog in mobile. Have you ventured there yet? What kinds of results are you seeing? We’d love to hear from you below.
Hillel Fuld is a tech blogger and mobile enthusiast. He is employed by inneractive, a leading player in the mobile monetization space, where he works as a Senior Evangelist. In addition, Hillel contributes to many leading sites such as Gigaom, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and others. Find out more about Hillel on Twitter and Google Plus