Monetize your journalism by not trying to monetize all of your journalism


Executive Director of LION Publishers Matt DeRienzo has a strategy for newspapers that want to turn subscriptions and paid memberships into a main revenue source. His advice is to stop trying to make money from every service your newspaper provides.

When newspapers see transactions simply as a tradeoff between the goods they provide and the revenue they receive, they might not be as successful as other outlets that focus on getting consumers to support their organization’s mission.

Newspapers that have a mission that readers support are more likely to have consumer loyalty. The questions outlets should ask themselves are: What is your mission and why should readers support it? Is your newspaper writing about certain topics to gain more page clicks or is it notifying people about a topic that affects quality of life?

Thinking about your business model can help answer these questions. A digital advertising model’s goal is to make as much money as possible out of every visitor that comes once to your website. A subscription or membership model’s goal is to make visitors want to keep coming back to your website.

Read more to see the advantages of a membership business model, which DeRienzo says has a long-term view of serving the public first. These models have the ability to get readers on board with their mission and in turn, buy the product.

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