Blog monetization

Content publishing via blogs is being produced at a voracious pace. But advertising revenue probably can’t sustain blog businesses except for the hottest blogs, and even then, they seem to be paths to other revenue or profit. Small time bloggers tend to profit from the notoriety, network, and access their efforts produce. Some hope to be picked up by larger media outlets. Others build service businesses around their expertise as demonstrated by their blogging.

What about micropayments? Micropayments for content seems to have failed online. Why is that? Is no one willing to pay for content any more? Is it that no one is willing to pay for text, picture, audio, and video that is not packaged in physical media? Perhaps, is it that no one is willing to do so unless it is bought through a place like iTunes? Or maybe they are only willing to do so when it’s relatively expensive, such as a market research report.

If a blogger charged for a portion of their content–such as the analysis portion of a given blog article, would readers simply ignore it?

If a credible blogger consistently wrote fairly lengthy, quality content and charged 5-10 cents for certain article portions, would this die right out of the gate? I suppose today it would, since their is no model for it (at least none that has taken hold), nor is there a trusted facilitator/infrastructure for this.

Why is that? It would be relatively simple to create the payment platform. How about “MicroPay”? Maybe MicroPay only bills you when you’ve accrued $3 of charges accessing content from member blogs. Maybe MicroPay is smart about timing so it can group microcharges (say weekly) to minimize per transaction charges from the payment processors. iTunes does this.

It seems to me at some point, supply and demand has to work. As a blog reader, if I am willing to consume piles of free content, but unwilling to pay for ANY, what am I saying about the value of the content I am consuming? Am I consuming worthless content?

Maybe most bloggers value getting as much readership as possible so far above monetization that they can’t consider anything that would reduce their audience. Curious what percentage of bloggers (say with over 250 daily readers) fall into this category. Obviously if “everybody was doing it” (microcharging), this issue would be mitigated. There are 5-10 blogs out of 150 I subscribe to for which I would REGULARLY pay 5-10 cents for various content. Probably another 50 for which I might occasionally pay. The rest I probably would only rarely or never. But even for these, as long as a sizable and still valuable portion of their content was free, I would still subscribe to their feed.


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