A Gentle Suggestion

     A number of news and commentary sites I’ve enjoyed reading for years have recently set up for-subscribers-only sections. Those sections are only accessible after one agrees to a yearly payment. In effect, the subscriber must trust the site with access to one of his credit cards. I’m absolutely unwilling to do this, no matter how much I’d like to read the articles in the paywalled-off sections.

     So I have a suggestion for those sites. Offer an alternative: a one-time donation of $X that would grant the reader subscriber privileges for one year, and a one-time donation of $10X that would grant him subscriber privileges for his lifetime – in both cases payable through PayPal or some other credit-card-concealing mechanism. The immediate revenue would be welcome, I’m sure. In the case of the lifetime donation, having that much “up front” instead of receiving bits of it in yearly dribbles might also be attractive.

     If this is impractical, I’d like to know why.


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  1. It’s perfectly do-able, but wouldn’t generate the kind of money that fuels their dream of retiring early.
    The thing is, asking for a lesser amount works. I have a subscription to PJ Media. It’s very reasonably priced, and gains the subscriber access to ALL of PJM.

    Now, that’s a bargain.

    Independent blogs could do the same. Affiliate, and grant access to subscribers of the affiliate. Proceeds to be split, 50-50, between the affiliate and the blog that referred the subscriber.

    • Max M Wiley on May 6, 2022 at 9:02 AM

    I’m going to be standing up a blog soon. It will be one of only a few outreach efforts to help promote my books, which should start coming this fall. I am torn between just making it all free and telling people to buy my books if they want to support me, and having the sociopolitical commentary be free and the instructional pieces on real skills in the prepper sphere be behind a small paywall.
    The problem is finding a payment processor. PayPal and Patreon have both made it clear they are actively hostile to people that prefer to think for themselves. I’ve been wondering if Substack might be the solution, but that leaves one vulnerable to cancel culture. In the end, I think the paywall might be more trouble than it is worth. But then I’ll have books people can buy, so I don’t know what the answer is for the average blogger.

    1. I hear that Stripe is friendly toward us. For the moment, at least.

    • Abbe Faria on May 7, 2022 at 10:30 AM

    Apple Pay is the only way to go.

    They completely protect my credit cards numbers from the transaction process and they don’t keep a hold of any of our funds. If you accept Apple Pay then I will consider donating and subscribing online, even if I don’t know you.

    Otherwise I will just keep my money.

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