I have something on my mind. I’m thinking about a discussion I had on Twitter yesterday with James Chartrand of the wonderful Men with Pens blog. James and I are good friends and have regular brain storming sessions, mostly about making money with this blogging thing. Now, in all fairness, my blog network earns more than James’s blog, but I’m no where near ProBlogger‘s level of income, though I’m willing to bet I work just as hard. Yesterday, James and I were discussing some new ways to generate income blogging and we wondered…each day we both put our all into our blogs. We give away our secrets and tricks of the trade. We could generate tons of revenue with courses or books, but instead, we package it up for free on our blogs. Would blog readers pay to read a “premium” blog?
We took it to Twitter…
To say the results were interesting is an understatement. Most respondents said no, they wouldn’t pay to read posts by their favorite bloggers. A couple of Twitterers said the material would have to be brilliant and written by A-listers, but they wouldn’t pay for any old blogger off the street.
I find this whole thing thought provoking. In the freelance writing world, there’s a big campaign to make sure writers are paid what they’re worth and should never work for free or for slave wages, yet many of the same people admitted they wouldn’t pay for content either.
Some Twitterers express annoyance over bloggers who are constantly creating products to sell. It seems every few months there are courses or ebooks or some sort of affiliate programs launching. Many blog readers are saying they don’t want to be hit up for money all the time.
So let me ask you this…
I work on my blog full time. I spend at least three hours trolling for job leads for freelance writers and the rest of the day writing at least three informative posts for my community. I also receive over a thousand pieces of email a day, and do my best to answer them all. Bloggers put a lot of effort into what they do, and it’s done on their own time. Why are readers so outraged when we want to take on a sponsor, monetize a twit or charge for premium content?
When should bloggers stop giving it away?
Now I’m not saying we need to charge for every post or install turnstiles on all our blogs. However, the mere mention of “what if a few of us got together and put together a blog featuring premium content” had folks scoffing at the idea. Some suggested the content would have to be awfully brilliant to charge for it. Most successful bloggers put their all in to each and every post, to suggest we would turn out something less than brilliant is kind of, well, not a compliment.
So let’s discuss this…
Many bloggers work very hard to bring you good information every single day. You would pay money to read books saying what we say. You would pay money to take courses teaching what we teach.
Why wouldn’t you pay money to read a blog?