Paid content is content for a website or any other platform that a user has to pay in order to view. This represents a marked shift to the usual business model used by the majority of websites and blogs: which is to provide free content and then place advertisements on that content.
Most of us are used to getting our content on the web for free. We read articles, watch videos and more all for free and don’t expect to pay anything for the privilege. And thus, when we become web marketers or bloggers, this is often how we will go about designing our business model. That is to say that we will make our content free and then use advertisements or our own products in order to monetize that content.
But what if you could instead charge a fee for the content? Would offering paid content potentially provide a convenient way to monetize that would allow us to have tighter control over our profits and our turnover?
There are several different ways that paid content can be delivered. One option is to add some kind of gate or pay wall. Here, the website will be free and easy to access, up to the point where it isn’t… Certain content that the creator/owner deems to be particularly desirable will be kept behind this pay wall, such that the users can only access it by paying.
There are also now platforms available that can manage this kind of access on the behalf of the creator. The most recent example of this is YouTube, which now allows some creators to keep their videos hidden behind a pay wall and used on a per-payment basis.
Otherwise, content might be accessible only to members, who may pay either a one-off fee, or who might pay a subscription. This is still the method used by many newspaper websites and the reason for this is likely that they don’t want to give away their content for free if that means that people aren’t going to be wiling to pay for the actual physical copy any more. In other words, if you can read all the top stories in a newspaper for free online, why would you consider paying to read them in print?
This kind of content has a lot of benefits for the creator as it makes a form of recurring income, which is something that is normally missing from other forms of passive income. With a recurring monthly fee, a creator can rest assured they will get paid at least a minimum amount at the end of each month and they can use that in order to plan their finances going forward.