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WP PLUGINS: Content Recommendations for Publisher Monetization

Posted on 5.19.2016

Digital content publishers - large and small alike - struggle to find a balance between providing a good experience for users and the monetization that must occur as a result of that visit(s).

There are numerous models for publishers to consider, of course, including subscriptions and paywalls, but increasingly many have opted to monetize their digital presence by providing access to more/additional content through paid recommendations (go ahead, you can call it "native advertising" if you want).


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The practice is very common and nowhere more so than on those websites using the current most popular content management system (CMS): WordPress.

What content recommendation enables website (and yes, WordPress) publishers to do is help users get to the information or experience they ultimately want, detecting and presenting content that is most beneficial to each user's journey, guiding them along the optimal conversion path - however that conversion is defined; be it engagement (a share), monetization (a sale), or both.

Sometimes that content will come from the publisher, sometimes as a result of a directly purchased ad, and sometimes from a third-party. In the case of the latter, there are thousands of plugins available for WordPress that provide sites with content recommendation functionality coupled with a platform for monetization.

We've focused exclusively on those offerings that provide an opportunity for WordPress publishers to monetize their content in addition to providing content suggestions for their own site, but many of the solutions available from platform providers can provide functionality of any software system.

Cross-Promotion Content Recommendations by Engageya -
Downloads: 600+ Rating: 3.8/5
This plugin checks all the necessary boxes when it comes to providing content recommendations but differentiates itself by helping participating publishers bring in new traffic from other websites when using the platform's Reader Exchange Ecosystem; a "click-for-credit" traffic sharing system.

Content.ad -
Active Installs: 8,000 Rating: 3/5
A content recommendation platform that is generating billions of impressions each month. The plugin is mobile friendly, provides customizable JavaScript and CSS, and the payment model isn't too bad either. Content.ad offers monthly payouts and a competitive 70 percent revenue share.

Context.ly Recommends -
Active Installs: 1,000+ Rating: 3.7/5
For those not looking to directly monetize their content, there are also numerous powerful options available including the Recommends plugin from Context.ly. The plugin comes with a free trail, but operates on a paid subscription basis; and that investment offers up one of the most powerful recommendation engines around for WordPress sites, providing multiple recommendation modules, related and personalized content and even evergreen content - the oldies but goodies that resonate the most with previous visitors.

Shareaholic -
Active Installs: 100,000 Rating: 4.5
By far one the most popular all-in-one type plugins for WordPress, Shareaholic features including related content recommendations, social sharing, following, social analytics and site monetization (promoted content, native ads and affiliate links) making it a strong and reliable option for WordPress publishers.

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