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Why Providing Free Content Gets More Return Visits
Posted on October 20th 2012
I was reading an article online, and came across this:
I guarantee you I will not be visiting this website again (even though they have awesome sloth advertisements). A big yellow box telling me that I only have so many free articles left makes me feel trapped. And on the internet, that is the last thing I want to feel. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ”full access” subscription plan is making this website’s visitors run away in droves.
After all, whenever a website tries to make me pay for content (or take dumb surveys to see the rest of the article), I can’t hit the back button fast enough. For every one website that is subscription only, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of websites where its writers and creators are offering the same perspective and story for free.
There are several other different ways to generate income instead of forcing people to pay for your content. Advertisements, monthly sponsors, and even a donation button (possibly not surprisingly, this works better on me than trying to rope me into a payment plan) are just some ideas.
I am a big believer in putting forth your best foot forward content-wise, sharing what you know, and then being prepared to take in the interest and income as it comes. In order to charge for something, especially content, websites need to offer something unique that isn’t easily duplicated hundreds of times over for free.
If I am a comic book collector and you are offering a subscription to view exclusive interviews with Stan Lee or the artists of the new Batman that won’t be found anywhere else, then you might start bringing in the dough. Otherwise, give subscription plans a rest and just enjoy the traffic.