July 1st, 2009
Contenture introduces microsubscriptions to help you monetize your blog
When it comes to figuring out how to make a living off of producing content—especially online content—everyone is scratching their heads. Newspapers, television stations, and of course bloggers. One thing is for sure: ads aren’t quite cutting it, these days.
What to do? Well, the folks over at Portland-based Contenture have been offering up some other ideas for bloggers to get reimbursed for their efforts—by making it up on volume. Today, they’ve launched their latest feature: microsubscriptions.
Contenture’s first offering—which I’ve been testing on Silicon Florist—involves passively dipping into a reader’s monthly Web stipend as they swing by the site. I pay a flat fee per month. When I visit participating sites, they get a little payment each time I hit their site.
How much? Well to date I’ve made $8.36 on Contenture micropayments. Which, while it isn’t a ton, is $8.36 more than I would have made otherwise. Without selling ads or gumming up the site with a bunch of hoohah. So that’s not bad. And I have to assume that some of the other sites using Contenture are getting better results than that.
But what about folks who want a more consistent and repeatable payment for their efforts? Well, that’s where Contenture’s microsubscriptions come in.
Any site can use microsubscriptions. Contenture lets you set the monthly price for your premium content at a minimum of $0.10 per month. You can also implement more than one subscription on your site (e.g. a web service with different paid plans).
With microsubscriptions you can deliver premium content to only those folks who pay for it. What content? That’s up to you. It could be special articles, reports, or your whole darn stream of content, for that matter. You decide. And your readers decide whether you’re worth the price.
What’s more, sites can offer as many different subscriptions as they want.
What’s the catch? Well, you have to pay to play. At least a buck a month. But really, how hard is that? I mean, I’ve got an eight month subscription purchased with my Contenture earnings already. The other cost? Contenture is going to take 10% of your earnings to cover their service.
Well, and for folks to pay for subscriptions, they have to be Contenture members, of course.
Users must be Contenture members to pay you for microsubscriptions, so we are lowering the cost of a Contenture account to $1 a month.… This covers our transaction costs, and lets you charge as little as you want to for your service or website. In addition, you still get paid when other Contenture members visit your website, even if they don’t subscribe to your premium services.
I haven’t figured out any sort of content to test the subscription model yet. But I’ll keep thinking. And I’ll keep you posted about the kind of revenue I’m seeing from Contenture.