More and more businesses are beginning to realize the potential for increased revenue through monetizing content they already have. It’s an intriguingly simple solution to problems caused from decreased advertising and the mounting costs of running a business.
As Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income says, “A successful business is simply a solution to somebody’s pain or problem.” If your content helps people solve problems, you can—and maybe should—charge for it. It’s valuable. And it means success. The opportunity to get paid to help people is neglected far too often. Make the most out of your business! You’re making a difference in the world and you ought to get paid to do so!
A simple way to monetize your content: install a paywall plugin on your website that prompts visitors to purchase a subscription in order to access your exclusive content.
For those considering using a paywall to bring in additional revenue, here are three main strategies to explore in the world of paywall solutions:
- Hard paywall
- Soft paywall (aka metered paywall)
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when deciding which type of paywall is best for your business.
A hard paywall is where all content on your site is put under lock and key and hidden from public view. When people visit your site, they’re notified that they must purchase a digital content subscription to receive access. Some companies have boldly taken the risk and implemented a hard paywall, such as The Wall Street Journal and The Times (London).
This method is the riskiest of the three, as visitors who click a link in a search engine result or a link shared by a friend don’t want to see a pop-up telling them they have to pay. Still, for companies who have built up a large following and are well-known, a hard paywall can work for them. Companies with smaller audiences are unlikely to do as well following this model.
A soft paywall, otherwise known as a metered paywall, is a much safer way to monetize your content without driving your audience away. This method allows visitors a specified amount of access free (e.g., five, ten, or twenty articles/videos per month). When a visitor reaches their maximum amount of free content, they are prompted to purchase a digital subscription.
One obvious reason this works so well is that your visitors are allowed to sample your content and see whether it fits their needs. Once they’ve seen that your content really is valuable and helps them solve a problem, they’re far more likely to purchase a subscription. You’ve hooked them by offering free content, and now they’re willing to pay to receive more of it.
The freemium method is another option less intrusive than a hard paywall for those who have lots of valuable content. The basic concept is similar to that of the soft paywall in that visitors automatically receive access to the content on your site that is permanently free and open for anyone. The rest of your content is locked behind a paywall, accessible to those with paid subscriptions.
At this point your audience is divided into two groups: those who are content with your free content alone, and those hard-core fans who want everything you produce and are happy to receive the extra content you offer through a paid subscription. In this way you serve a wider audience and are still monetizing your content—while engaging a portion of your audience on a deeper level.
Spend some time figuring out the best paywall solution for you and invest in your business with a good paywall service. Your content is valuable and people should pay for it.