We’ve gotten used to thinking that everything online is free. But businesses are learning that while “free” is a great way to drive traffic, it’s not so good for making money. And consumers are learning that while “free” is great for the pocketbook, it’s not always so great in terms of quality. More and more online, people are being asked to pay for “the good stuff,” and you can do the same on your blog.
What can you ask people to pay for?
• Deeper, more sophisticated content
• Replays of interviews or Q&A calls
• Step-by-step tutorials
• Access to training materials such as worksheets, planning guides, spreadsheets, etc.
Here are some hints for offering premium content on your blog:
• Give a taste. If you’re offering recipes, show an image of the completed dish to encourage people to pay to access the full recipe. If you are selling audios, list a few bullet pointed “takeaways,” or provide a sample of the audio, like iTunes does. Give people an idea of what to expect and they’ll be more likely to want to “pay to play.”
• Keep it simple. Too many options confuses people, and a confused mind does nothing. Don’t offer too many bells and whistles or packages; just keep it basic, especially at first.
• Educate people. Particularly if you are in a non-technical field, people may be hesitant to purchase something they think they can get for free. Emphasize the benefits of your material – convenience, quality, exclusivity, etc. Point out how your product is superior to others, or how it will save them time or money.
• Include testimonials. Give people a reason to trust you, and to say “Yes.” By including testimonials of satisfied customers on your blog, you can help potential purchasers over the hurdle of making the decision to purchase. Video testimonials are especially effective.
There are a number of WordPress plug-ins to allow you to restrict access to certain areas of your WordPress blog – or you can keep things very simple and just password-protect specific posts or areas. In any case, just as a velvet rope at the entrance to the hottest nightclub in town indicates that something good is going on inside, barring entrance to certain areas of your blog will make visitors very curious – maybe curious enough to pay!