On 25 Aug 2012
When I charged $5/month back in 2006, I got 417 subscribers out of about 10,000 previously-free subscribers. So that's $2,085 per month.
To me this proves that if the pricing is right, you will get subscriptions. Obviously, the lower the price, the larger the number of subscriptions - however, I do not think the relationship is a linear one, since there is an exponential number of people that can afford a very low price (e.g. $9.99 per year), vs. a relatively low price ($5/month), vs. a relatively quite high price ($7/month). Even if you got the 100 people to pay that latter amount, you would be capping your earning potential, whereas at the lowest rate you could always expect new subscriptions, as more people who can afford the cost, find out about the site.
In essence, if you are going to try the subscription model, I truly believe super low cost is the way to go, if it is to work at all (which of course, it may not, as with any business) - but at least it makes more sense to me on paper/logically than the other subscription approaches you have tried, especially in consideration of your relatively high readership, which means that if this is going to 'maybe' work, you may get a sense for it fairly quickly (I would give it at least 6-12 months, but easy for me to say).
I don't like paying for anything on a weekly basis
Me neither! just the thought of having to reconcile a weekly charge in quicken would discourage me from doing a weekly subscription (call me lazy I guess).
Squatting in East CoCo says
Patrick should make money.
Most entertainment sites make money through advertising.
I agree with both statements - the first one is why I posted this in the first place (I do not think $7/week will be successful, and it looks like neither does Patrick), the latter one is a possible alternate/parallel business model that Patrick has struggled/discussed in the past (realtors wanting to advertise, etc...)
The value isn't there.
My Economist subscription runs about $3 a week.
Fully agreed - it is too expensive because the value is not there - in addition, the pool of potential buyers that could afford it (if it was valuable enough) is extremely limited (considering this is essentially discretionary spending).
But then suddenly I was trapped doing customer service for lots of people when their email was blocked by some spam filter, and I had my regular job to deal with, and I didn't feel I could take days off. I started resenting it as an extra obligation for money I didn't even need at the time.
It sounds like you need to do some soul searching about what you like to do and don't like to do. I guess you chose the 100 subscriber approach because you feel you would have a manageable amount of subscribers to deal with, which makes sense from that perspective. You may want to think about the ratio of programmers to customers for 'the industry'...someone like facebook is able to support huge amounts of users per programmer...you are obviously not facebook resource wise, but your site (certainly as far as the links stuff goes) is quite simple, so you should ask yourself why it takes so much time to service relatively low number of customers (e.g. maybe you need some help with UI and programming to make the site more intuitive and robust...which I think you sorely do).
It's kind of bizarre that they were ever so popular.
They are popular because you are good at picking those links. You found something you are good at that people like, that's the right foundation...you just need to find the right business model.Patrick says
So that business is dead now too.
I thought padmapper was awesome (as per my previous posts - and the rationale why you should compete with Craigslist as I mentioned); conversely, your aggregation approach not so much. However, both quite poor business models, since they depended on CL's data, which neither of you had arranged with CL to use...not a sustainable model.Patrick says
those 4 hours per day
Do you even enjoy doing the links? I almost get the sense that is is a painful chore...if you enjoy doing it, I think you should keep at it (while finding a way to monetize it), if not, you should kill it and move on.
My 2 cents, just hoping to help out in my own way.