In the new, revenue-shy era of online publishing, knowledgeable “amateurs” and self-employed journalists like me publish (theoretically) on an equal footing with Big Media. Hyperlocal sites are providing tiny communities and large towns with real, connected online news; expert, lay commentators on everything from sport to fishing are giving away the kind of insight and coverage that professional journalists tied to industrial print publishing cycles can’t compete with.
But there’s just that nagging question: how does any of this make any money?
I write this blog for several reasons: one is to get more work as a freelance writer, editor and event manager. One is to give back to the online culture from which I take so much: as Kevin Anderson puts it with typical wisdom, there is a point to writing and sharing media just for the sake of it.
I use Google AdSense and make a pittance through very rare ad clickthroughs. Not holding out much hope there, unless I go down the Demand Media route and write about How to Trap a Leprechaun. Even then, without Demand’s sheer scale, that plan doesn’t work at all.
But there is a way to support this blog, your blog and others like it: Kachingle allows readers to support the blogs they read by making a small $5 (£4.13) a month payment through Paypal – that money is then distributed to the authors of the Kachingle-registered blogs you read. The service describes itself thus:
Kachingle is an innovative social micropayment service that enables readers to easily make ongoing, voluntary micropayments…Kachingle is simple, user-centric, and a user-controlled alternative to cumbersome subscriptions, paywalls, and pay-per-article plans that some media outlets are considering
Steve Outing recently made $65 from his Kachinglers – not enough to retire to the Bahamas, laughing on the beach about the demise of Big Media, but it’s a start. I’m happy to support his work and the work of others (here are the Kachingle participants I visit the most) because I like what they do and it’s worth paying for. Incidentally, I signed up after reading @Suw’s explanation here.
You can sign up by hovering over this button…
Then come back here and start Kachingling this site (please). And why not considering signing up for your blog/site?
This isn’t a silver bullet or a solution to the very many problems of supporting semi/professional online content. That will take a long list of different revenue sources and practices – Google ads is one answer, self-managed display ad platforms like Addiply are another and direct payments will play a role too. It’s all part of the move from not-for-profit to not-for-loss…
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- links for 2010-01-22 (psmithjournalist.com)
- Hyperlocal news: profits a long way off (guardian.co.uk)
- Hyperlocal business strategies: be professional, licence your content, franchise the model (psmithjournalist.com)
- B2B publishers make money from paywalls; can consumer media do the same? (psmithjournalist.com)