5 Revenue-Generating Monetization Strategies for Job Boards

We’re in this game for the moolah. The money. Dollar, dollar bills y’all.

As such, anybody and everybody who owns a job board (or any sort of online business, for that matter) is constantly looking to improve their bottom line and maximize potential profit. To do that, however, you can’t just rely on a single monetization strategy (like a single payment per job listing) — you need to diversify your income to ensure that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket.

Why Diversification is So Important

Never put all your eggs in one basket.

We hear that a lot, don’t we? But how many of us truly understand what the proverb means? Not many, I’m willing to bet. And even fewer follow up on that advice and actually do spread their eggs around in multiple baskets.

To show you first-hand the importance of diversification of monetization strategies, here’s a fictional example.

Joe runs a job board. He knows that he should be diversifying his income and setting up multiple channels through which income can flow in, but he never really got around to it. Then one month, Joe’s job board takes a huge hit in organic traffic. After investigating, he finds out that one of his competitors conducted negative SEO on his site — cleaning up the mess is gonna take him some time.

However, the only monetization strategy he has set up is a pay per job listing. And since so few job seekers are visiting his site, his customer base is also taking a hit. Joe needs every dollar  he can make to pay his bills and rent, but his only revenue stream has all of a sudden dried up.

So what steps could Joe have taken to make sure that his entire income stream didn’t take a hit? For one, he could have had a membership packages available for job posters and seekers with 6-month or 12-month contracts that provide him with recurring revenue. Or, Joe could have setup third-party advertising on his website to ensure he was milking every dollar possible out of his job board.

A lot of people say that you should play to your strengths, and leave your weaknesses alone. While that’s a correct proverb and one that I fully support, the only way you get to know what your strengths are (notice the plural) is if you diversify and test enough monetization strategies.

Has the importance of spreading your eggs around sunk in yet? Good. Without further ado, I present to you 5 monetization strategies for job board owners.

1. Membership Packages


Image source: Howard via Flickr.

We briefly discussed this monetization strategy with the example of Joe. Frankly, it’s one of the most effectual (though highly underused) income streams around for job board owners.

I love memberships because they provide you with recurring revenue. That means money heading to your bank account on every single month … practically on autopilot, because the only thing you need to do is get a customer to sign up and then convince them to stay on.

Don’t know what you could charge a monthly membership fee for? Here are a few ideas:

  • resume access (e.g. $0.10 x number of resumes you have per month)
  • regular job listings (e.g. 5 job listings per month)
  • access to a forum where like-minded recruiters & employers share time-saving hacks and tips for sifting through job applications
  • access to educational resources concerning recruiting/employee training, etc. (provided by you)

Chunk that all together, and you have a nice little membership package you can charge a premium for. For multiple levels of membership, just give access to more or less items.

2. Third-Party Advertising

I also mentioned this option in Joe’s example. Whenever I do, people are quick to point out to me that hosting third-party advertising on your site can quickly repel and drive away potential traffic and customers. Because no matter how professional your website looks, hosting ads always makes you look at least a teeny weeny bit unprofessional.

But you know what? Sometimes, you just have to be okay with that.

It’s not the end of the world if you lose a couple hundred visitors or repel a few customers. Why? Because the money you make with the ads could easily offset your losses and leave you well in the black.

It’s all about the bottom line, people.

I wouldn’t recommend signing up for Google AdSense (or most ad networks), however, as they are notorious for serving up irrelevant ads which a) don’t get you many clicks and b) can drive away more customers & traffic than you can afford.

The simple alternative is direct ad sales, where someone with a business relevant to your job board pays you for ad space upfront. The same process can happen through a third-party program like BuySellAds.

3. Featured Listings

I know, I know. Featured listings is old news, right? Practically everyone who’s updated their job board after 2007 has them.

But hold on — don’t tune out just yet. While you may have an extra payment process for featured listings in place and may even be making a little extra money with it, the fact is that you could be making a lot more by offering multiple levels of featured listing.

I got this idea from a job board that I personally frequent as a freelance blogger. When posting a listing, a recruiter can opt for different levels of “featuredness” with differing amounts of payment. For instance:

  • highlighted for thirty days ($50)
  • highlighted and at the top of the list for 5 days ($50)
  • highlighted and at the top of the list for 10 days ($100)
  • etc.

Image source: Steve via Flickr.

Remember though, you don’t want to have too many choices, because that could kill your conversion rate.

4. Resources for Recruiters

As a job board owner, you may have a lot of first-hand experience and knowledge about recruiting and employment under your belt. Experience and knowledge that people are willing to pay for.

Jot down the advice you would give to a new recruiter or a small business looking to train or hire new employees, and turn it into a digital product — a series of videos, an eBook, whatever. Can’t write? Hire a ghostwriter. Can’t shoot videos? Hire someone who can.

Not only will selling such resources help you to increase income, but you’ll also be earmarking yourself as an industry expert.

5. Resources for Job Seekers

On the flipside of the coin, you might be an experienced freelancer who, over the years, has applied to hundreds of job listings and applications. You know what works in an application, and you know what doesn’t.

Let me tell you from personal experience — new job seekers will kill for that info.

Well, to be honest, they might not kill, but they sure will pay. 🙂

You can package up your advice as an eBook, video series, or (better yet) a mentoring/coaching package where job seekers pay by the hour to talk to you.

Wrapping Up

If your job board hasn’t been producing the amount of revenue you originally thought it would, it’s a safe bet to assume that you haven’t diversified enough. Invest your time and money into setting up another revenue stream, like membership packages, educational resources, third-party advertising, or multiple levels of featured listings.

You might just find yourself looking at a skyrocketing in your revenue.

    • Jonathan

      Hey Mark,

      Great, thanks for the compliment! Happy to be of service. 🙂


  1. Great read filled with good starter tips. Thanks, Jonathan! (Also, great SEO on your site.)

    • Jonathan

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for the kind words. All SEO compliments should go to Greg Winiarski, owner of this site and developer of the fabulous WP Job Board plugin. I’m just his blogger. 🙂


  2. Nitin

    Can Adsense be integrated with wpjobboard?

    • Hi, by default WPJB does not have integration with AdSense, but you can put Adsense ads on your site using any of the AdSense plugin in WordPress Plugin Repository.

      • Nitin

        Greg, I doubt if that is possible. I mean is there any adsense plugin you can suggest that will allow ads with the job post. I could not find any.

        Nitin G

  3. Mike

    Can I offer different membership plans with recurring payment options with free trial periods?

    1-year recurring with 30-day trial, 1 month recurring with 3-day trial, etc?

    • Greg

      Hi, i am afraid that by default it is not really possible to setup memberships with trials.

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