Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Trends in Paid Online Content
The Wall Street Journal has a nice piece outlining a trend that we have discussed before here at Small Business Trends: the growth in paid Internet content.

Contrary to popular wisdom, all content is not free online. Paid content is a huge market, to the tune of $1.6 billion (USD) in the U.S. last year.

And it continues to grow. According to the Online Publishers Association, a source cited in the article, U.S. consumers alone spent $300 Million (USD) more on paid content last year than the year before.

Michael Totty in the Wall Street Journal outlines the key factors for successful Internet content sales:
  • Make sure you have something to sell that users can't get elsewhere for free. The harder it is to find or the more unique, the more likely you can get paid for it.

  • Give away some information on the site for free. In other words, offer a free registration level and give away the kind of information that is available elsewhere for free. Then offer password-restricted sections of the site where you charge for the information that is (1) scarce or (2) delivered with some kind of value-add such as a service.

  • Provide free samples and trial subscriptions in order to turn free subscribers into paying ones. Even on many highly successful sites, the number of paid subscribers/purchasers is a mere fraction of the total subscribers.

  • Ease your users into becoming paid subscribers. Set prices low and raise them over time to get to your target price. Offer multiple price levels.

  • Create package offerings and bundle multiple services and content pieces together under a single fee. Only 12% of content sellers charge "by the drink."

  • Retain your subscribers by giving them more for their money.

  • Upsell and cross-sell to build add-on revenues. The cost of acquiring new customers is high. You want to retain your existing customers, increasing the volume of sales to them over time.

Many small content-based Internet businesses (including weblogs) are struggling to make money from their sites. Although a paid content model is not as simple to implement as an advertising based model, the Journal article suggests that if the business model is carefully designed and executed, paid content can work. The article has a lot of useful detail. Click here to read the full article -- IF you are a paid subscriber.
More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.