You’ve got knowledge to share and there’s an audience of people who want to buy it. Excellent. So you build a portal and get to work creating engaging content. After a few feverish months of heavy duty production, you’ve written 50 great articles. Is that all you need? How much can you sell them for? How much content is “enough” anyway?
Rule of Thumb: Every Content Monetization Portal is Different
Spoiler alert: there’s no simple rule of thumb that says how much or how little content you’ll need to make your Content Monetization Portal a success. It depends greatly on your pricing model — and the price you’d like to sell the content. For instance, a monthly subscription model will need significantly more content than a per-download model, because users will be expecting an ongoing and ever-expanding library which they can enjoy over the long-term without necessarily completing. They may be logging in on a daily or weekly basis — and consuming a lot of content every time they do.
But before you decide on a model and dive into content development, you’ve got to think about what’s going to sell.
Curriculum Mentality: The Best Way to Make Sales is to Give Users What They Want
If you’re wondering how much content you need, the most vital consideration is your curriculum.
Think of your body of knowledge and compare it to your target audience’s needs. How much content will it take to teach them everything they need to know? It’s not about how much content you can or want to make — it’s about finding the appropriate scope so that the end user receives a robust, engaging, and ultimately valuable education. You can’t fake real value — and real value is what sells.
How can you formulate a curriculum? Use a Knowledge Map. These powerful tools can help you to identify, organize, and prioritize your knowledge before creating content, so that you’re not simply drafting articles at random.
In some cases, it’s easy to see that the knowledge you need to share is finite. For instance, perhaps you want to teach a course on the basics of warehouse safety — it might be quite easy to identify the beginning, middle, and end of such a curriculum. You may be able to teach everything on the subject in say, one downloadable eBook.
Other topics are more indefinite; perhaps your subject is “Managing Millennials in the Workplace”. This curriculum will likely have several subcategories, and many subjects might be ongoing and evolving as new best practices, studies, and trends come to light. This curriculum would likely work well as a subscription model.
In both cases, you can use a Knowledge Map to chart the course of your curriculum from its logical start onwards, tagging along the way which concepts are “101-level” versus which ones are more advanced, and prioritizing based on what’s “need to know” versus what’s additional material. But your curriculum shouldn’t be the only factor that dictates how much — or how little — content you use on your portal.
Market Comparison: See What’s Out There and Build Something Better
They say no man is an island — and this is also true of your Content Monetization Portal. Don’t create your portal in isolation; instead, conduct market research and assess what your competitors are offering. Your audience will surely compare their options, so you’ll want to make sure that your final product exceeds the other choices.
You’ll want to broaden your search beyond strictly direct competitors with Content Monetization Portals. Look what other experts in your industry or related fields are offering, and where they’re choosing to offer it. Some will have blogs on their corporate websites, others may have published traditional hard-copy books, and a few may have opted for one of the “big box” online course sites like Udemy or Lynda.com. These have limited options for branding, customization, gamification, and even content medium in comparison to your own Content Monetization Portal. Use a competitor analysis to help guide your decisions about:
- What to teach
- How much content to create
- What mediums to use
- What to charge
If your portal offers enough differentiated value from what’s already out there, like a gamified experience when others are not, or an ever-expanding content library while others are narrow and short-lived, you’ll be able to draw your target audience away from those competitors with the lesser offering.
How much content does your Content Monetization Portal need? The answer’s not “as much as humanly possible!”. Nor is it “as little as you can get away with!”. The amount of content you need to provide will be influenced by the type of portal you build, your business model, the offerings of your competitors and — most importantly — the curriculum that you plan to teach. Users aren’t willing to pay for disorganized or incomplete learning material; they can get that for free surfing the web. In order to sell your content, you’ll have to provide exceptional value — and that value lies in developing an end-to-end curriculum that makes it easy and engaging for the user to learn.