Should You Consider Selling A Subscription Newsletter?


In the modern media environment, folks trying to be profitable on the internet are increasingly leaning toward subscription models. This approach doesn't have to be built around a website or an app. In fact, it's worth looking back to a much older business model: the paid newsletter subscription. Consider these three factors as you decide whether you might want to take a bit of a trip back to the future.

Examining Other Viable Sources of Income

The first question most people should have when thinking about creating a paid newsletter subscription model is how does it compare to other potential sources of income. Over the last couple decades, a free model has dominated, thanks in a large part to the rise of internet advertising platforms such as Google Adsense. Ad blockers in web browsers and general customer push back against ads; however, they have blown a crater in the business model where folks create content, throw ads on pages, and collect revenue.

Even if you're able to hum along with the advertising model, there's something to be said for adding a paid newsletter service into the mix. Foremost, subscriptions mean steady and predictable income. This can make it easier for a publication to focus on core goals, such as creating valuable content that may take time instead of just spamming pages to the web as rapidly as possible.

Likewise, it's worth trying to reward your most loyal audience members with a premium product that's worth paying for. People enjoy having access to things others don't.

The Audience

A second major concern when moving toward a newsletter is whether you have the basis for putting one out. In particular, do you already have a mailing list to work with? If you've been handling marketing the right way, you should have been asking folks to opt in to receiving emails. This base of audience members can be used to build an audience for a paid newsletter.

Valuable Content

One big shift that occurs in the move toward a newsletter is that the focus has to move toward content that your core audience cares about. This is why the subscription model has thrived, going back to the print era, with folks who publish stock tips, political opinions, and industry news. Evaluate the premium content you have the ability to create and how it matches with your audience. Also, don't be afraid to create a smaller, free offering to drum up interest.


24 April 2019

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