Making paid content work for your site

September 16, 2010

An interesting point from an article on Min Online:

“Our premise is that everyone should have some sort of subscription content on a site,” says Matthew Mitchell. His company [MediaPass] works with publishers and bloggers to identify the sections of their sites that are of highest value to the right segments of their audience—the content so good some people will pay to access it. “There should always be a mix,” he says. “For some it may be 5% of their content and for some 95%.”

The idea, says Mitchell, is that even if you can get a small percentage of people to pay for a small percentage of content, the revenue beats advertising (although shouldn’t replace it). The challenge is making it easy technically, which is, of course, what MediaPass claims to do for media companies.

Overall I like this idea, especially Mitchell’s point that the goal is to find that specific content that you offer that readers can’t – or don’t want to – get anywhere else. For one brand it might be reviews, for another analysis, for a third games. But the key is to find out what your USP is online, and to capitalize on it. (Recipes, for instance, are probably a losing proposition as paid content, unless you’re offering something so absolutely amazing that you can compete with the rest of the web.)

What would you pay for? If you had access to a service like MediaPass for your magazine website, would you try it out?

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