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).