Make Money Blogging via Paid Subscriptions – No, Seriously

Posted on Posted in Best of, Blogging

We’ve talked before about the various ways you can monetize your blog. Carrying advertisements is the most popular (and successful) model. But there are many other monetization methods, too, and every once in a while some nutter even throws out the “how about charging for access?” (We laugh him out of the comments thread, of course.) But it’s official: I’ve found a blog which charges for subscription, and it appears to be doing quite well.

Disclaimer: I have no clue if the site I refer to has 10 or 10,000 paying subscribers, but I am assuming they do have enough to be profitable, because they’ve been around and running their current business model for quite some time.

RFIDNews.org is a blog that has news on developments in the world of RFID (specifically, from a business perspective). The latest news is free, but they charge $99 for access to their archives.

Now, I don’t want to just point to a site that’s doing this, without analyzing how and why they’re pulling it off. The following are some reasons why I think RFIDNews.org is able to charge for archives:

  • Scarcity of information on the topic – although there are quite a few RFID blogs, very few post consistently, or give any information that would be useful to a businessperson (most just post news that the average consumer would be interested in). For the topic, think RFID for businesses, not RFID for consumers. Anyway, if the information you’re charging for is freely available elsewhere, good luck selling it! If it isn’t, however, you may be in business.
  • A business focus – It’s a lot easier to fork out $99 when you can expense the cost (and when it’s not even your own money your spending, i.e., the company you work for pays for your access, and what’s $99 to them?)
  • Area where knowledge is highly tied to a business’ profitability – If spending $99 gives you knowledge about supply chain efficiencies or RFID implementation advice that your competitors don’t have, that could be worth a lot of money to you. In fact, one piece of information could more than pay for the subscription.

A few other notes:

  • Notice that they supplement the subscription revenue by carrying ads – thus they make money off of their free visitors, too.
  • But if the older archived pages are “locked up”, it may mean search engines can’t access them. Quite possibly their free SE traffic is quite limited then (since it comes mostly from archived pages).

Author: andyh

7 thoughts on “Make Money Blogging via Paid Subscriptions – No, Seriously

  1. @Help Me Make Money: “… seeing probloggers like you who do not have any adsense ads, I get a little confused.” So why don’t they carry heaps of ads?

    That’s easy – have a look at the SERVICES that Performancing offers; for example, their Authority Builder. This sets up a revenue stream of $2,700 a month for 12 months, billed quarterly. (Why those figures and period? It’s all about maximising the income while minimising the costs. For example, if you don’t need money every month, you can get paid quarterly and divide your billing costs by three. You can bet Performancing have taken some troubleto fine-tune them.)

    When you have a convincing pitch (and theirs is extremely slick!), you can easily sell a service to businesses to capitalise on all the expertise you have – which boils down to (1) having the relevant experience and (2) having properly learned the lessons that that experience brings. And if you can sell services, you don’t have to carry ads.

    Interestingly, the few small (job) ads that Performancing carry also create a small revenue stream – with all the work (except the one-time setup) done by the advertiser!

  2. As a beginner, I’m starting with Adsense on my blog for monetization. But seeing probloggers like you who do not have any adsense ads, I get a little confused. I suppose it’ll change when my blog grows as well.

  3. Nick, as you mentioned the good design I had to take a look at it. It’s brilliant … I am going green with envy 🙂

    Well, they could tune their event list but overall it’s great, fast and well tuned for easy reading.

    I want such a stylesheet for my Textpattern installation!

  4. With that business model it’s pretty easy to see why clients pay for content. It’s an aggregation service and you don’t have to pay a desktop researcher to do all the research work in the wild.

    For valid and proved content the price is pretty cheap. That said I must say that I did NOT look at all the mentioned sites!

    And RFID is a really HUGE future market in b2b and b2c supply chains which is just starting to develop.

  5. Doesn’t marketingsherpa.com do the same sort of thing? Something close to $200/yr, I thought. There are a lot topics where you could do this or something similar. Examples are law, health, a certain type of computer programming (say blog platform customization). But you’d have to be very experienced in the topic.

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