Freemium for Blogs
While contemplating business models for my blog one idea has been the nowadays common freemium model. Freemium means a basic free product and additional premium services. It's very popular with software. What does freemium for blogs mean though?
What premium offer makes sense for a SEO blog or rather a SEO 2.0 one?
I recently joined Contenture, a micropayment service that basically allows you to turn a blog or site into a freemium model publication with ease. The payments are facilitated automatically by Contenture so that users just pay once and then the money gets divided between the publications they really read.
They suggest some basic modes of distinguishing the free from the premium features of a blog. It's suggestions like:
- removing ads for paying members
- granting access to the archives for paying members only
- commenting only for paying members only
I can't really recommend those. All of them have some big drawbacks.
In the SEO industry we have plenty of examples of successful freemium business models. SEOmoz and SEO Book are just two of them. Both of them offer a
- membership forum
- premium tools
besides the free content and tools they offer.
Now I don't program tools myself and to be honest I do not believe in tools. I use them myself but they are worthless even in SEO if you do not have the basic knowledge and social skills to do SEO. In SEO 2.0 we deal more with humans than with software. So how do you imagine premium offers or services in a SEO 2.0 context? Any ideas? You know, I might come up one day with some and offer them so rather tell me right away what you need.
To be clear: I don't plan to create a membership forum any time soon. My time is very limited and I don't think this is the business model that will work for me. Still it's a viable option for some both the users as those offering such forums.
A question for everybody: What premium features would you want to see on SEO 2.0? Don't make me put ads all over place so I can remove them ;-) !