This week The Brooks Review (TBR) announced a [new writing business model][bmod] in the form of a paywall and [memberships][mem]. The basics of it are similar to the New York Times paywall, but TBR will be releasing all content on time delay. Since most of the content is not time sensitive (opinion pieces) it doesn’t really matter if you read them 7 days after they’re written.
I’ve been a member of [shawnblanc.net][sb] since the beginning and in truth that is the only site I’m a member of but I do have to wonder when I’ll get ‘membered out’. I do 100% understand that writers need to put food on the table, heck I’d love to turn writing into a larger portion of my income. I’m just not sure that there are enough people willing to pay for memberships to support all the sites that want to drop ads.
For me it’s easy to pay for something that will give me a direct business benefit. Like subscribing to a tutorial site so I learn more about my field. It gets harder to justify when there is no direct business benefit though, which is where TBR and Shawn Blanc fall.
In truth, I’ve been questioning why I’m still a member of shawnblanc.net lately. Not because of a change in the writing, just because I’m very careful about getting “dollar’d to death”. Pay for enough inexpensive monthly services and you’ve got a huge bill on your hands. I do like reading what Shawn writes (as well as TBR) though so I stay a member.
The next question for me is, do I drop $4/month for TBR?
Anyone else have monetization ideas for web writers (or blogging if you prefer)?
[bmod]: http://brooksreview.net/2012/07/new-tbr/ “The New TBR Business Model”
[mem]: http://brooksreview.net/members/ “TBR Memberships”