Few years ago you could put up a blog and write. Write passionately about something you knew about. Write good useful information and write regularly. And you could easily make money by doing this. Just throw some Adsense or other ads on it and visitors would come, click on ads and you could earn a lot.
These days are gone. Today CPC earnings are way down and the battle for traffic is way harder. Having unique content is no longer enough to draw thousands of visitors. It’s not enough even to draw hundred visitors per month. Things have changed a lot in the recent years.
Why Are We Writing This
We develop and sell several e-learning solutions and a drip marketing suite for more than 5 years. During these years I have personally interacted with probably thousands of customers working on all kind of content sites. Although there are some customers who earn from ads, most are having business models relying on paid access to premium content.
Watching how these businesses grow, listening to their problems and feature requests I have gained some insights about the many faces of this business.
So here I am to share some of what I learned by writing a series of articles that will review how you can make money with premium content in 2016 and ahead. And not just make some quick money but eventually build a stable business based on it.
This series will of course not reveal anyone’s specific business details, unless I have explicitly asked and received permission to publish them. Our customers privacy is top priority.
Current Successful Models of Business With Content
Making money with free content and advertising is out of scope of this series. There is a lot of information online on this topic. My personal experience and impressions from watching others is that this rarely works any more and you are far better to monetize your content directly (or indirectly by using it as sales funnel) rather than by placing third party ads.
This series will focus only on earning directly from your content, by charging for it in one or another way.
This currently boils down to several business models:
- Typical subscription / membership sites.
- E-learning sites and interactive learning environments.
- Partly public membership sites (some very interesting models here).
- Selling info-products.
- Paid newsletters
I do not aim to cover all possible business models. Maybe there are more. More interesting and original ones. If you know one and want to share it, let me know. I’ll talk only about ones I have explored in one or another way. I will talk only about stuff that is still working and not going anywhere any time soon.
There are several other important topics we’ll review here:
- The need of expertise to run paid content site
- The costs of running a paid content site
- The acquisition of users
The second article of the series is about membership / subscription sites. Click here to read it.