Success in online content monetization is a long, hard struggle. It is known. And the net is dark and full of obstacles on your way to profiting from online content creation and curation.
The Strategy to The Iron Throne
In many ways, the online publishing arena is similar to the complex web of power struggles between the Great Houses of Westeros. Everyone wants more influence, more people and more money (or tits and wine, if you’re Tyrion). But there’s just not enough for everyone.
As an online publisher or blogger, you have to craft your own throne, in your own kingdom - your niche of choice. And you probably don’t want to use the swords of your vanquished enemies. Just looking at that throne makes our backs hurt. In building your own personal throne you want to use the right combination of skill, optimization and creativity.
But each publisher is different, just as every GoT house is different. So how would each Great House of The Seven Kingdoms approach online content monetization? And what would their tactics be?
House Lannister - Hear Me Roar! - Buzzy Viral Content & Arbitrage
The Lannister house is the wealthiest and fairest (in the show, even the half-man Tyrion is a good looking man), literally sitting on the gold in their mines. Or so they’d like us to think, anyway.
As publishers, their passion for perfection and beauty is likely to draw them toward visual content that catches the eye and light content that goes viral fast. Although pretty and attractive, the goal of the Lannister type publishers is to make money fast and often settle for lesser quality content in favor of more traffic. Some of which they will buy.
House Stark - Winter is Coming - News, Guides & Reviews
The biggest and strongest house in the North is one for tradition. The Starks worship the old Gods and put honor before profit or even life. Their traditionalism doesn’t win them many fans in King’s Landing, but it’s the main reason for the support the Starks get from the smaller houses of the North.
In the publishing world, the Starks are the old-school journalists, still fighting for the honor and integrity of the profession in the changing media landscape. Their niches of choice will often be news, reviews, how-to guides and tutorials.
As publishers of informative and honest content, Stark publishers may shy away from monetization techniques like content marketing to preserve their prestige.
House Tyrell - Growing Strong - Social Media & Original Content
As wealthy as the Lannisters, the Tyrells rule the Reach - the most populated area of Westeros. And they are all about the growth. But as their rose sigil implies - they have their thorns. Another thing the Tyrells are well known for are their luxurious and events in honor of the Seven Gods.
If the Tyrells were to establish a content publishing business, there’s no doubt their power would lie in social media and a large and loyal audience of followers. In addition, by offering hearty meals of quality content and entertainment to the people, the Tyrells are bound to gain more and more followers. And organic growth through viral distribution.
The Tyrells put a lot of importance in ceremony, courteous speech and manners, but in reality, they tend to be very ambitions and are more than likely to stab an enemy in the back than face them in battle.
House Targaryen - Fire and Blood - Thought Leadership
Once, they were the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms and the legends claim they have dragons’ blood in their veins. But it was their hubris that brought them down. And their dragons went extinct.
As publishers, Targaryens would likely be attracted to thought leadership as they believe to be above the Gods themselves. That’s why they could easily become the victims of their own sense of superiority and confidence. They might also rely too much on “doing whatever works” and narrowing their focus too much, creating incestious content creations that can either be hits in their niches, or damage their efforts. Your people will abandon you if you fail too much, no matter how long your name is, Khaleesi. Or how glorious your past is.
The Dragons may look like awesome pets to have, but they can only get you so far. Don’t be an overconfident Targaryen. You don’t really want to step into the fire and discovered you didn’t inherit the fire-proof gene.
House Greyjoy - We Do Not Sow - Content Curation
Far from the intrigues of King’s Landing, live the Greyjoys. Blunt, harsh and weathered by the storms of the Iron Isles, Greyjoys prefer to rob and take than pay for what they want.
These ruthless pirates are not beyond stealing content shamelessly. Or in better cases - just curate content from lesser publishers and live off that alone.
If you suspect you know a publisher like that, be sure to tell them that sowing really isn’t that bad. Grow your own, man!
A Song of Ads and Traffic
As long as there’s digital advertising, the struggle will continue. And much like the nobles of Westeros, you’ll need to be lucky and creative.