I’m seeing more and more websites putting their content behind a paywall. While these sites allow you to read some of the article for free before hiding the rest, others give you a set number of free articles to view before forcing you to sign up to read others. Although I don’t like this practice I understand why it’s happening: Creating and hosting content is expensive. So today I want to answer this question: Should you put your content behind a paywall? Let’s find out.
Should You Put Your Content Behind A Paywall? Yes!
If your website provides the following, I believe it’s fair to put either all of it or some of the content behind a paywall:
- News agencies
- Posting content multiple times a day, daily
- Providing niche content
- The site employs staff creating and maintaining blog posts and/or articles
The reason I believe it’s fine to implement a paywall strategy because you or your staff is using their time and energy to create and maintain content. Depending on your industry or your site’s vision, maybe each piece takes days or weeks to write and produce. You may have to do interviews and pay others to be part of it. Thus, you need a good return on that investment or you can’t produce that content anymore.
However, you must understand this will turn off some of your visitors. Especially if your article is popular. So be ready for people to steal your content or try to find ways around the paywall. I highly suggest you invest in some software or an agency that will help protect your content from unauthorized use. Or you can offer those individuals discounts to lure them into paying for your content.
Should You Put Your Content Behind A Paywall? No!
If the only reason you put your content behind a paywall is to make money, then you shouldn’t do so. This will only make your visitors upset.
Again, I understand you need to make money from your venture. However, there are other ways to do so. I wrote about placing ads on your websites (which I do). You can also include affiliate links on your site and within your articles, as well as develop sponsorship opportunities.
Lastly, consider creating another part of your site secured behind a paywall to host premium content. That way you can use the free part of your as a springboard to your premium content. Thus, your visitors are happy that they get to read some free content and have the opportunity to pay to read more.
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