For every conscientious blogger dedicated to their craft, there is always this struggle: how do I get paid for my time? One way to get revenue is to encourage readers to subscribe to content. It’s already working the US, will UK blog readers be ready to pay their favourite bloggers for content too?
Why do people read blogs?
Understanding why readers remain loyal to a blog is essential. 77% of internet users read a blog, 346 million globally, it continues to be a thriving medium commanding a reasonable level of trust and influence over purchase decisions. Evergreen content underpins most bloggers consistent web traffic but successful blogs will include a steady flow of new ideas and topical, current commentary making readers feel connecting to their world. This combination inspires readers and keeps them coming back. But how do bloggers fund this?
Sponsored or ‘native’ content
We know that influencer marketing is on the rise, with creative departments devoting more of their budget to this activity, usually in the form of sponsored posts (or 'native; posts as they are sometimes known as). But how do readers feel about this type of advertising? YouGov delved into the reader's’ reaction with this research, which showed while readers are disappointed to discover the content is an advert, the younger demographic of readers are accepting the concept more readily. Attitudes are changing.
The YouGov research also showed that readers appreciate sponsored posts more where they feel they’ve been informed or uplifted in some way. So, if bloggers do have to carry sponsored content to pay the bills, it will work best where they bring their own tone and style to the subject matter but also consider the reader’s experience carefully.
Building quality audiences who engage with a blog is a finely coordinated effort, from producing original content through to promoting and drawing in readers. Bloggers have to strike a balance between sponsored content and ads and their own unique material and make it all carry their own voice. The voice which made them engaging in the first place.
The ‘pay your creator’ revolution
In the US tools like Patreon are projected to bring a staggering $150m of revenue directly to bloggers in 2017, an average of $50k per user. The platform enables YouTube audience members to pay a subscription to their favourite channels, you pay when the creator published an episode. Their model proves that readers are prepared to pay for content, rather than risk being misled by native content.
Blog Authentic is all about getting creators paid more. It’s the thread which runs through everything we do. So we devised the Create More scheme for the UK market. Specifically for written word blogs and social media influencers, it’s a widget and payment system which allows you to collect a monthly subscription in exchange for giving readers perks. It's an opportunity to create an exclusive tier in bloggers' audiences, one that is willing to pay!
Image credit: Alejandro Escamilla/ Unsplash