A good portion of this industry is still trying to figure out how to make money for the first time (hint: charge people). But for those who’ve mastered that, I want to talk about the next step: making money twice (or three or four times).
Making money off original content isn’t hard as long as you aren’t afraid of making money. You can sell it, you can offer subscriptions to it, you can talk about it, etc. But what’s more interesting — and easier — is making money again of something that already made you money before.
Repackaging allows you to earn money multiple times on the same content. It’s a great way to grow your revenues without significant marginal cost.
Money One: A lot of our ideas originate on this blog. We post articles which generate traffic. We make money off the traffic by running Deck ads in the sidebar. We make a few thousand a month off The Deck ads.
Money Two: We bundled up the best blog posts about our software development philosophy and turned it into a PDF book called Getting Real. We sell the PDF for $19. We’ve made a few hundred thousand dollars from the PDF.
Money Three: We take the Getting Real PDF and turn it into a paperback at Lulu.com. We sell the paperback for $25 and we make a few thousand a month on royalties. The paperback is currently ranked the 4th best seller on Lulu.
Money Four: We took the content from Getting Real and produced a Getting Real conference series. We held a few conferences a year and made about $50K per conference. We’ve produced about 5 of these conferences.
It adds up
So if we add this all up, we made about $100K on The Deck ads (The Deck has been around about two years and we are a founding partner), $350K on the Getting Real PDF, about $65K on the Getting Real paperback, and about $250K on the Getting Real conferences (before that they were called Building of Basecamp).
That’s roughly $765,000 over a few years off roughly the same content. Insight and ideas about how we run our business. Blog entries, PDF, paperback, and conferences.
We probably could have done a few more things and pushed that total over a million. Regardless, making a little extra here and there over something you’ve already produced is a great way to grow revenues.