Charge Readers for Accessing Your Content
Subscription websites where people pay to read premium content is one way to make money with your website. You offer a sample of your content free so that readers can see its value. The premium content is hidden behind a firewall accessible only to paid subscribers.
Let us make one thing clear at the beginning. Readers are not going to pay for information that they can easily get elsewhere. To charge for content, you must provide expert information that are not easily available, and that people want.
Website Subscriptions for On-line Media
While print news has been traditionally offered under the subscription model, on-line news have been typically offered free. On-line content was monetized through advertisements displayed in the content. However, this model is becoming unviable because ad click rates and payments for clicks are both declining steeply.
Newspapers are now trying to adopt website subscription model to become profitable. However, people have become accustomed to free content on the Web and are reluctant to pay. Subscription numbers fall steeply when readers are asked to pay.
Free Access Communities and Privacy
On the other hand, there are some factors that make readers wary of free access sites. Readers typically form communities with shared interests, and like to comment on news and other members’ views. When access is free, there will be many lurkers in these communities harvesting information about members.
People are becoming increasingly conscious about the need to protect their privacy and many might be willing to pay to protect it. This is an opportunity for subscription-based Web communities. If you can provide such a forum, and content of value to members, you can consider creating a subscription website.
A Subscription Site to Impart Your Hard-Earned Knowledge
If you have training in a particular field, and have gained specific experience of producing desired outcomes by following specific procedures, you can think of creating a subscription website. Many people will be interested in learning such practical things as how to write computer programs, or publish a book that they plan to write.
Draw on your know-how and write in authentic and complete detail about different practical (or reference) issues. Add pages regularly so that users will find fresh content and the site becomes a substantial reference source. In the free section, show samples of what they will find on the paid pages.
Generate traffic to your website using traffic generating campaigns. If you have done things right, including selecting the right topic to write about, you should be able to generate income through subscriptions. The links below will help you get more information about publishing a subscription site.
Subscription Website Resources
The following links will take you to sites that offer different kinds of information you need to create successful subscription websites
How publishers can make money on-line: Mequoda provides all kinds of information about subscription websites.
Creating a membership website: Subhub will take over the routines of maintaining your subscription website, leaving you free to focus on developing valuable content.
Generating traffic to your website: Website Traffic Building discusses specific methods to promote your website and attract interested visitors.
In the next article we discuss the options for creating a subscription website.