Many website designers run their own niche blog, and if the content is unique enough, a designer might be able to sell subscriptions to it. The content has to be very high quality, though, and few design blogs meet that standard.
A List Apart is one that does, and it could potentially turn a profit selling subscriptions. But the subscription route is a risky move because it alienates many users and shrinks ad revenue substantially.
Jeffrey Zeldman, publisher, founder and executive creative director of A List Apart, gives two reasons why A List Apart does not put its content behind a paywall:
- It’s against our belief in free online content.
- It wouldn’t work unless our competitors also put their content behind a paywall. We appeal to a discerning base of web designers, but if we went behind a paywall, it would be as if we had stopped publishing. Our readers would turn elsewhere.”