A paywall us a way of monetizing content online so that website owners can control the content being accessed and earn an income from it. It is a system that sees limitations put in place based on whether you have subscribed or not. The best paywall for one blog may not be the best type for another newspaper site. There are hard and soft paywalls and the type a website owner puts in place will depend on the audience, their goals and the number of subscribers they have. A hard paywall pretty much does not let any access to any content until you are a paying subscriber. There are different soft paywalls, like a metered paywall. They allow some access in some way but it is limited and then again you need to pay. |
Making use of a metered paywall
1. Draw subscribers in – Using a subscription system you allow people to decide whether the content is worth paying money for. Give your users some kind of limited access. That might be a small number of free articles to read before the prompt page comes up for a subscription. People have a chance to finish the article they start so there are no frustrations, but the quality of the blog, magazine or newspaper might impress them enough to pay for more.
2. Allows users to share content – When you offer visitors some free content they are abler and likely to share your site with others and that creates a larger audience. When more come to your site, there is a higher number who will move from the limited free content to paying a subscription fee for full access. Make sure though that there is a share feature so your site can grow.
3. Have them wanting to finish reading – Rather than hitting them straight away with a sign-up page prompting them for payment, a soft paywall like a metered paywall will allow them a short period of time looking at the article. Usually, website owners choose a period of 30 to 60 seconds. This means they are more heavily into the article they are reading and so when the prompt to join does then pop up, more likely to sign up. You can also use the option of sending emails to readers asking them to become a subscriber.
4. Make your site easy to navigate – Make sure your site is easy to navigate as visitors are more likely going to trust your site and want to visit often. They will not subscribe to a site that is slow to load and hard to move around. Make sure your site is professional to look at and that content is high quality and of value. Readers are unlikely to sign up for something amateur that they cannot access from any device. Make the headings and subheadings clear and have different places on the site where subscription is possible.
5. Offer different options for subscription – The best paywall gives users different options when it comes to subscriptions so that there is more chance of people seeing something they are willing to agree to. Avoid making it overly complicated but have at least three offers, a basic, then monthly then yearly, with the latter offering them the best deal.
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