It takes two to tango as they say, so lets dance!
I think my readers understand that at the end of the day I’m trying to make money by creating content for their edutainment.
I know what some of you are thinking, “How dare you expect to earn a living by creating content! You should be happy creating and having anyone consume. Likes should be enough!”…
I might agree with you if I felt like my time was worthless and the content that I have released was crap, but it’s not and my readership numbers attest to this! Pure and simple, you guys like my content and come back regularly… not the hallmark of bad content! 😉
I am happy that I have readers who are regularly enjoying my work, sadly however, likes do not pay rent or feed a baby, hence the need to monetize my blog! 😎
I currently have a few sponsors/subscribers over on Patreon, which I am immensely grateful for!
The difficulty I am finding is that I have to walk a line of balancing what kinds of posts and projects I want to do with what kinds of posts & projects you want to read… but I have no idea why my readers like the posts they like and without feedback from you I have no idea what you actually want to read about or what you would like me to work on.
My site allows readers to post comments on every article I post and I have a Contact From available to users as well… however the only people who seem to avail themselves of these features are spammers!
Even when a comment seemingly praises my articles further investigation has almost always shown that the poster is really simply linking back to their porn or gambling site and using my blog to establish links with a reputable site…
Frankly, I like the idea of keeping ALL my posts & projects totally free and open to the public and having my regular readers support my work while growing my audience though I have considered the various “pay wall” options that are being employed by other creators:
Free (Tip Supported): As the name implies, everything is free and you simply tip me as you see fit and can afford to do so. This is how my BitCoin Tip Jar works… however I am thinking of adding or switching to a “PayPal Tip Jar” as more people are familiar with making payments using PayPal and at the end of the day I need the money so if you would rather I use PayPal… let me know. 🙂
Freemium (Free & Paid Content & Service Tiers): This is a popular choice (especially among groups of creators) where you have free public offerings to get people familiar with your brand but select portions of your content or services are behind a paywall or for sale in a book or other printed form.
Teaser (Bait & Switch): Here’s an article about X… oh and only the first 50 words are free… to read the rest of the article join and pay… Personally I have a real problem with this method and I don’t think it really works, at least I can say I have never and been convinced to join and pay with this tactic.
Closed Subscription (Premium): You signup and get what you pay for, access to the content that you want.
Basically it looks like almost all creators are using some variation of these profit models, though of course this list isn’t guaranteed to be exhaustive either!
I am essentially operating on a freemium model where I am releasing all my free public content here on my blog (and or github profile) and then I use my Patreon account to publish content exclusively for my paying subscribers.
I currently have 3 tiers of Patreon supporter $1 Supporters, $5 Users & $25 Developers though you can choose to pay whatever you want with a minimum of $1 and these tiers reflect the types and nature of work I had expected to be doing when I first created them however I am contemplating making changes to my supporter tiers as well as the “rewards” they receive.
For one, I am doing more edutainment creation and less prototyping & “software as a service” type work than I had anticipated which doesn’t lend itself so cleanly to a Supporters, Users & Developers tier system.
Additionally, it’s actually rather hard to create unique and interesting programming projects week after week and build a series of articles around them. It is possible but it takes a lot of work and planning and by the time I have gotten that far, it’s time to publish, leaving me little time to expand and extend the ideas for paying tiers to get additional value. As I mentioned above, I think the freemium model really shines when you have a group of creative people working to churn out stream of content.
So, let me put the issue before you guys (my audience):
What are some things you guys actually want as reward tiers for paid subscriptions?
What kinds of content would you like more of?
Do you like the code heavy posts or want more of my commentary and perspective articles?
Do you like when I share stories and professional experiences?
What am I not offering that I could, that would convince you to support me over on Patreon for less than $0.04 cents a day?
I am deeply interested in hearing from my readers and hopefully after getting feedback I can adjust my strategy to meet your needs!
Here’s the thing though, I realize that some of you are just not in the position to support me financially at this time and I can appreciate that!
There are a few creators that I am following where i’m in that situation. Despite the fact that I love their work I just don’t have the cash to spare in my budget at this time.
Here’s what I think though, I can’t support them financially but I can “carry some water for them” which is to say that I can offer them free advertising, I can tell other people (you guys) about their work as a way to help them grow!
So if you like my work but can’t support me at this time, tell all your friends and colleagues about the articles of mine that you like, chances are they will enjoy them too!
Therefore, since this is my soapbox I will put my money where my mouth is by practicing what I preach and tell you guys about a few creators that I think are pretty cool, and to be completely clear, none of them are paying me, and I have received nothing in exchange for talking about them here.
This UK based creator produces these deceptively simple ultra short stories and whimsical artwork to go along with them. The art features the character’s of the stores “The Little Fears” and they operate on a Freemium model with their posts and stores available for free while selling Little Fears merchandise, prints and story books. I am sure you will come to enjoy their work as much as I have!
Cristian Mihai is an experienced & published author, and blogger who’s work is available on Amazon as well as his store where you can buy e-books as well as signed paperbacks. In addition to Cristian’s writing, he blogs about life, art, being a writer, overcoming adversity and also occasionally highlights other creators work in “reblogs” that showcase interesting content. Cristian is also using a Freemium model by offering his articles and occasionally snippets of his books for free and sells services and premium content.
Failed Normal is owned and operated by the internet famous Eli Etherton (though he’s better known for his work as YouTube Creator “Eli the Computer Guy”) who in his own words can be described as “snarky, salty” and at times even “bombastic” but it’s always tempered with honest and professional commentary that is usually tech or business related however it need not be as Eli has this amazing ability to converse on just about any topic for hours and I find it wonderfully insightful and entertaining! Eli is also using a Freemium model where he publishes his videos to the public for 30 days for free. After which they go behind his subscriber paywal. He also offers in person and remote Skype meetings.
These are three really cool creators that I personally enjoy and recommend that you check out!
If I have managed to inform or entertain you then, please consider supporting me over on Patreon.
All my posts are made possible by the generous contributions and hard work of my sponsors!
I will see you all in my next post!