Blog Monetization – Is Pay-Per-Read (PPR) the next thing?

I have been reading a couple of posts on other blogs that raised questions whether the bloggers should now start charging their readers for contents that they deliver! As a blogger, the idea came as a shock to me as my concept of blogging in the direction of penalizing the readers, though I still monetize this blog.

Blogging is all about ‘freedom‘ – both for the authors and their readers. This powerful but simple means of publishing content gave unmatched opportunities for millions of people around the world to voice their opinions. The readers on the other hand were able to pick and read whatever they want to at their own convenience. And now the greed seems to be taking priority over moral values as everybody seems to be after money, no matter how it comes!

History of blog monetization

At first it was all about plain web logscontent, content and more content! Soon the content started getting organized as the blogging platforms evolved and the concept of blogging, which was originally meant for casual writing, started to become more professional. Initially, there was no need to attract readers but it soon became a marketing topic as the monetization potentials were discovered.

Soon enough, typical intrusive advertisements and banners were introduced that gave bloggers some pocket money and motivation to write more. At this point time, the content was still not forced to be optimized or altered. But, the advent of non-intrusive and context based ads saw the platform technologies getting optimized to target search traffic and the need to have keywords in your content arose. Thousands of bloggers along with ‘the big boss’ Google had a great party time!

The mad chase after online income then forced bloggers to write content for which they get paid and this was the era of ‘Paid reviews‘. Already rich and famous bloggers cashed in more and their blog contents, though continued to be famous, started to stink! And these bloggers even started to write about what they are not used to.

Around the same time the trend of multi-level marketing evolved and referral/affiliate income mechanisms were devised. Many a time, the readers were tricked into these schemes many of them even paid for the same!

Several unethical ways of making money was soon followed and accordingly ad systems and technologies to monetize each pixel of your blog space were invented. Monetizing your blog roll, other links, RSS feed, guest blogs and even the comments (I heard that one of the leading MMO bloggers used to charge the readers to post a no no-follow comment!) became something very common.

Still no sign of respite for the readers!

With all these numerous ways of making money already in practice – sometimes even at the cost of the readers’ comfort and privacy – there seems to be no slowing down in the commercialization of blogs! And now they are talking about making the readers pay for what they consume. Is not that against what web logs actually stand for?

I personally believe that all these talks about Pay-Per-Read will not do any good to the concept of blogging nor would it produce great bloggers and blogs. If they have to pay and read, they could as well go subscribe to printed magazines and news papers right?

Over to you…

Now, I would like to know what you – as bloggers and blog readers – think about this idea of ‘pay to read’. I am sure somebody like John Chow must be drooling at the new opportunity to make more money, but I would like you to answer the following question.

Is Pay-Per-Read a good trend or thinking at all?

Is it fine to make the readers pay for specialty tips and services that are posted on blogs?

Will you read a blog if it requires you to sign up and authenticate and actually track/make you pay for what you read?

Happy blogging!

Comments

  1. To be honest, I would never pay to read a blog, but maybe that’s just I’m cheap 😛

    Others might pay to read famous blogs like Problogger that offer quality content, but I don’t a blog could change into a Pay-Per-Read blog if it doesn’t have much authority

    Rajaie AlKorani’s last blog post…Top Commentators Widget Added

  2. This would be very easy to cheat. Open all the links in new tabs. Chat with a friend on messenger for 5 mins, then go back and close all those tabs. Then click you have read them.

    axioblogger’s last blog post…Make Your Gmail Secure

  3. Nagraj :

    I think time will come for that also for sure ………….seeing the trend for money in every aspect of blogging……..but it has wait still…..i think……..atleast i dont pay to read …….

    Nagraj’s last blog post…Simple animal with complex genome : Trichoplax adhaerens

  4. @Rajaie, nor would I pay to read a blog. Moreover, I may not even think of making the readers pay

    @axioblogger, I did not quite follow your point. Are you talking about how to hack a Pay-Per-Read blog?

    @Nagraj, I share your feelings as even I would not think of paying and reading some blog. At the same time, as you said those prolific, rich and famous bloggers may get some readers for their special content. In other words, if at all the situation arises, this concept will make the rich richer – though at the expense of loosing some readership!

  5. moserw :

    Hmmm. The next stage of evolution in blogs I guess. These days anything can and in fact does happen for the sake of money so I am not surprised. I personally would not since I know better and easier ways to make money, but I cannot say I will find fault with others who do it. I know how important money is these days and if people want to make money reading blogs then so be it. I would however not offer money to people to visit or read my blog…

  6. Hi Ajith,

    I can’t see that happening. Can you imagine? We visit our friends blogs and would have to pay to read what they wrote. Then would they pay us if we comment?

    I’m sure someone is trying to make a quick buck and thought that idea would be a great way to do it.

    I vote “no”

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post…Plugins, Questions and Open Mic

  7. @Rajiv, hey, you brought in another point here… offering money to read the blog! It’s the other side of what I talked about and it certainly is a possibility as well. In fact, there are many paid-to-view options available for other content and ads than blogs. Paid-to-click, in a way, is much the same thing though there’s not guarantee that there will be genuine readers.

    @Barbara, I know you and you walk your talk :) you certainly will be last person to even think about making your readers pay for the content…

    And your voting is along what I thought…

  8. Lucas :

    I don’t think people would be doing this PPR thing. A lot of them already are having a hard time getting subscribers to read their content for free. What more if people had to pay, right?

    Lucas’s last blog post…Buying Blog Reviews: Poor Marketing Strategy?

  9. @Lucas, not sure if anybody is already doing it but there’s been talks on some blogs about the same. Personally, I feel that it’s a crazy idea…

    Cheers,
    Ajith

  10. Appalled! :

    So, people who want to have a blog should work on matterial for all to freely read is NUTS.You all should be ashamed. You are the greedy ones. Personally I work daily on my blog and write short stories that consume lots of my time. And then you want me to let you read it for free, Yah – Right !This is called , free loaders. You want to have your cake and eat it too. You certainly should be ashamed to want to use someone else for you pleasure and entertainment. Do you need any other free handouts?

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