If you insist on charging for content, 3 simple rules to follow
August 20, 2002
Steve Outing's latest column on the trend toward paid-for content is wordy, but makes 3 excellent points that small publishers should take to heart:
1. Keep enough free content on the site so that search engines have something to index. Otherwise, all of today's search engine visitors will vanish - even before they were asked to pay.
2. Small publishers should form content networks - with a single subscription buying content on several sites, which would allow them to better compete for online funds: "With only so much money available (and willingness) to pay for online content and a wildly growing pool of content costing money, we're setting ourselves up for a serious supply and demand imbalance."
3. Payment needs to be painless - so offer various methods and make the process easy for readers who are arriving via a search engine or other referrer and NOT via the home page of the site.