Chances are, if you're just running a blog about your life, you're not likely to get a lot of people paying you for access (unless your life is just so super interesting…but even then, it's probably not going to work). Think carefully about what people, in an online environment that provides mountains of content for free, would be most likely to pay for, and build your site around that. For example:
- Content that will help them make or save them money. People are always looking for new ways to make money and increase their income. (You bought this book, right?) To get people to subscribe to your site or online newsletter and pay a recurring fee, consider offering very specific information rather than vague content. Vague, top-line type of information, or info that is provided on an one-time rather than recurring basis (like this book) are better suited for e-commerce sales. Something more specific and ongoing that can make a direct impact in someone's revenue stream, like expert stock tips or exclusive access to online coupons or discount codes, which change regularly, are more likely to entice people to subscribe to your site.
- Content that will allow people to network better. Although networks like Facebook and Twitter are free to use, there are other online networks that charge people a recurring subscription fee for access. Perhaps most successful are online dating sites. General dating sites like Match.com
provide opportunities for a wide range of singles to meet each other, while other sites, like JDate.com
, which tracks and analyzes social media marketing efforts, gives them tools to understand what's working and what's not, and helps them improve their outreach efforts. Similarly, there are sites that allow people to maintain and track their budgets, manage their diets, or track and enhance their fitness regimen. Other sites that do well by having users subscribe to content are sites that collect more reliable information than people could get elsewhere. For example, AngiesList.com
provides user reviews of contractors and other home-and health-related services companies. What they provide that's particularly appealing is a site where the only companies that are listed are companies that members have used and reviewed. (Service providers can't pay to be part of the site.) In addition, the reviews are more honest. (On free sites, there may be rampant review fraud, with some positive reviews being written by the company being reviewed and some negative reviews being written by competitors.) Creating a site where people have more faith in what they are reading is obviously a benefit people are willing to pay for.