Blogging

Would You Ever Pay for a Blog Subscription?

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A blog I visit from time to time announced that as of later this month, readers will have to pay a blog subscription for their content.

I felt disappointed when I read of the blog subscription model the site planned to move to.

I enjoy the site’s content, which often focuses on how corporate logos and identities evolve. Sometimes, I see the changes as good. Sometimes, they leave me shaking my head.

But I always find it interesting to read the story behind such changes.

I suppose I’ll have to find such stories elsewhere now. That’s unless I’m willing to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription to the site. At the moment, I’m not willing to take on extra expenses. In fact, I’m looking through some of my current monthly obligations to see if there are any I could live with dropping.

It’s not that they’re asking for a lot of money. They want $2 per month — or a yearly discount of $20. As subscription prices go, that’s a relatively low amount.

But then the questions come:

  • How often do I read the content?
  • How big of an impact does it have on my life?
  • If I never see it again, could I live without it?
  • What could I better spend that money on?

When you ask those questions, you realize that it’s fun content, but not something I just have to have.

So now that they’re on a subscription model, I’ll just let others enjoy it.

It’s not that I don’t sympathize with their plight.

Just last week, for example, I wrote about the cost of having a self-hosted site. You can get away with paying under $200 a year for a decent site. That includes your domain, hosting and a few bells and whistles.

For businesses — presumably those with higher levels of readership — those costs can jump up quickly.

The main reason this business listed for its decision to move to a blog subscription model is its site’s survival. I get it: the blog isn’t their primary business. It’s an offshoot of that business. But it takes time away from other projects to populate a blog. That’s what blogs do.

Digital is still difficult to monetize. Return on investment — ROI for those of you who like abbreviations — can be a difficult challenge for businesses.

Unfortunately, that’s the way it is.

But at the same time, some of us who are still trying to find a way to monetize our own sites without compromising quality have a hard time paying for someone else’s content. Unless that content is just so good that I make it a point to go there on a daily basis. In this case, that’s not what I do.

I subscribe to a handful of sites.

But the sites to which I subscribe aren’t blogs. They’re newspapers. I subscribe to my city’s paper, The Post and Courier, and I subscribe to The Washington Post, where I think the writing is superior. There may be one or two others I subscribe to, although I don’t have the list in front of me at the moment.

The difference is that I’m subscribing to bonafide news sites, not blogs.

I don’t currently pay for access to a single blog.

I don’t know that I ever would.

While there are blogs I visit semi-regularly, I haven’t found one I’d actually pay to read. Somehow, I don’t think I’m alone in that position.

That’s why I assume that while I try to be as entertaining and/or informative as I can, you probably wouldn’t pay one red proverbial cent to read what I write here.

I’ve never even considered moving to a blog subscription model. I don’t think it would work for me. But I hope it will work for them.

Are there blogs you pay a subscription to read? Are there any you’ve encountered that you’d even consider paying a subscription for?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.