About the Author:
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants
and the International
Association of Computer Professionals,
develops products that help computer professionals market
and manage their businesses.
She is author of
Run a Successful Computer Training Business,
Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business
Your Sanity in a Home Business.
also develops business plans, marketing strategies,
financial projections, & proposals for Internet
projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients
an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.
lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .
C.E.S. Business Consultants
Making the Pay-for-Content
"experts" say that charging subscriptions
or admission fees for access to web content does not
work. There are also those who feel that everything
on the Internet should be free. However, there are
some sites like the Wall Street Journal, and my own site, that market content successfully. What
are some of the main keys that make a
"pay-per-content" model successful?
You have to add
value above and beyond just content. For example,
our association not only provides content to members,
but also gives them credibility because they agree to
a code of ethics and receive use of our membership
seal. We also give them advertising on our site, such as listings under various categories and banner ads and spotlight them on the site.
We add a very personal
touch to our content by giving members the sense that
we're holding their hand and helping their computer businesses grow. Deriving profit from a
"pay-for-content" model alone can be difficult,
but when you add other intrinsic benefits, you've got
With so much
information available for free why would anyone
pay for what you offer?
professionals see their time as money.
How many people have the time/effort to spend
weeding through the ever-growing number of
web sites to find what they need? A
profitable "pay-for-content" site has the
information all prepared for subscribers in one
place. Also, by sorting through the hype and
biased information for them, you save
subscribers hours of on-line research time.
The busy individual will perceive this as a
- People will
pay for hard-to-find information. If your
content is exclusive, customized or perceived as
vital, people will pay for the use of or
access to it. Also, some people simply don't
know how to research and find information on
the Web; they are willing to pay you to do it
If you're selling
content on the Web, give visitors a taste of what you
have to offer. This can be done in these two ways:
memberships: If your information changes
frequently, this is a good way to go. For
example, if you offer customized daily alerts on
various topics, you could give visitors
access to your information for a trial period
(2 weeks or a month). The try-before-you-buy
approach is an effective tool here.
excerpts: If you are selling a book or a
newsletter, you can offer excerpts of it on
your site to give people a taste of what they
will find in the full publication.
"pay-for-content" sites make money, but there are those
that do. Use these tips to get you started. If you
have questions or need help, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.