It seems the public is coming to the end of an era when it comes to free content on the Internet. While most of us still like to be able to find a recipe or a fact about Napoleon for our kid’s book report, more people are coming to realize that free opinion blogs are worth…well, about as much as we pay for them. Free news is often biased, poorly written and downright crazy (lizard people? Flat earth?)
In fact, research from the eighth annual Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford has found that public concern about misinformation is making some people more careful about the brands the content they consume online. The change is most noteworthy among people who are younger and better educated. Forty percent of Americans are now saying they rely on more “reputable” sources for information.
Be a Reputable Source of Information
So how do you become reputable? For starters, ensuring your content is high quality, properly referenced and visually polished can help. Another way you can protect your reputation as a content provider is by installing a paywall. After all, the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal do it. But you might think…who is going to find me if I’m behind a paywall?
The solution is to make some of your content free to attract readers. Keep your best content, however, behind a paywall that asks for a small amount – a few dollars, perhaps – to read your more in-depth posts, according to a recent blog post by Subscription DNA.
“Offer original, premium content that’s only available to people who pay in addition to your regular content,” according to the blog. “Slate’s Slate Plus membership service, which provides membership-only content for a $50-per-year fee, is a great example. They took in 9,000 paying subscribers in their first year, demonstrating the efficacy of the model.”
But What About Ads?
If you’re putting baby goats in pajamas or dressing up as unicorns and talking about gaming, and you’ve got millions of unique visitors, ads will probably work for you. Be remember that click rates on ads are very low, so if you’re only attracting a few hundred readers, or even a few thousand, it’s unlikely you’re going to earn enough in ads to buy a cup of coffee.
Manage Your Premium Content
Premium subscription management platforms like SubscriptionDNA give you a way to manage subscription billing, membership management, subscription sign-up, content filtering, paywall management, and even marketing all in one place. Contact Subscription DNA to learn how you can turn your premium content into a source of revenue.