The future - how the blog project could go on

Since there will be no fundraising campaign on the blog this year, the question arises as to how the SaabBlog project will continue. On my first post, I received a lot of emails - from readers who thought about it and had suggestions. I quickly realized - it won't be easy!

Saab blog - the future

Of course, there is always the question in the background, what you are actually doing. Almost 10 years of Saab, a decade of nostalgia and a brand that will never come back. How do you justify the time you take every day for the project? Finding the answer to this becomes more difficult every year. And currently I can't think of a good one.

Except maybe that I like to write. About old cars and such ...

And maybe that especially in this world not everything has to be serious and efficient. Rather, that we have to afford niches where people are and where things can be analogous.

It is important, fundamentally important, to put the project on a healthy footing. After 10 years, finally! Of course, it is clear that there will only be this one attempt. If it goes wrong, then that was it. So everything should fit right from the start. There are two variations of what one could do. Suggestions to serve as a basis for discussion for readers:

Blog completely chargeable

The simplest solution for the future would be to switch the blog to paid content. Completely, which in principle would only bring advantages for me. The small, certainly manageable number of subscribers would result in technical disarmament. A lot would be easier to manage in the background, my life would be a bit slower.

Full access to the content would be available for an annual or monthly fee. If you don't pay, you stay outside. The simplest and most fair thing in the world.

The Saab brand would be the loser, of course. Your visibility would decrease. But honestly, this argument would have drawn a few years ago. Who, beyond the project, is interested in the brand?

Parts of the blog are chargeable

As an alternative, one could make part of the content free, but make another part subject to charge. For 2 or 3 posts a week you need a subscription, the rest is freely readable. Special services such as the COC archive or the High Mileage Club would only be available to subscribers.

The subscription could be designed in the form of an annual membership, which could perhaps have other amenities.

As a benefit, parts of the blog and content would remain open. A win for everyone who wants to get a taste of the Saab world and its saga.

In fact, after much deliberation, I only see these two alternatives. Because they are fair, and because in recent years it has always been the case that few pay, but many have fun. At the expense of those involved, which is not acceptable in the long run.

What could it cost?

The monthly amount would likely be between € 5 and € 6. About what you put down at the kiosk for a better magazine. Perhaps a little more in the first year, for the beginning, with an increasing number of subscribers but declining in solidarity.

Around 200 subscribers would be the basic requirement for the year 2021. If there are more, then there are better topics and more possibilities of what can be done and moved. Because, and that's what makes this project special, the money goes into content, and a fair budget simply means more reading fun.

It is also clear that the project lives only through those who read it. It depends on your opinion. Many suggestions have been made and there are still emails that I have to work through. Before the future course is set after Christmas, I want to hear more from the readers.

So, the opinions please!

46 thoughts on "The future - how the blog project could go on"

  • Hello Tom and Saabblog,

    “45 thoughts on“ The future - how it could go on with the blog project ”” ...
    ..that shows a little, like many readers who rarely comment (regrettably including me in the last 1,5 years), are interested in the future of the blog, and in the moment when it comes to this are.

    So much interesting (effect of the paywall on new customers), true (need for permanent funding without “annual begging”) and worth discussing (amount of the monthly fee) has already been written in your post and comments.

    I would like to join many and especially Ebasli: Version 2 (bad enough that the Saab are getting older and fewer, but also the blog readers ..)

    Saabige greetings and stay healthy!
    Jan

  • Unfortunately I read this post a little later but can only say that I will stick with it. I don't want to do without this blog.
    You won't find so many good articles about Saab in the store. So I'm ready to pay for it.
    Suggestion 2 is perhaps best because it is also easier to conclude advertising contracts.

  • I have loved and read the blog for years. The blog also contributed to the purchase of my first Saab earlier this year. I like to pay! Personally, I also feel that a two-pronged variant with open contributions is the best option to ensure that new Saab fans continue to come.
    I'm curious what happens.

  • You have to decide for yourself in the end.
    There is certainly a financial side, but if it could outweigh everything, put a lid on it ...
    That is not nice and can cause pain….
    Regardless of that, I've looked in here more often and it was always interesting for me as a SAAB driver.

    Good luck with your decision making ...

    The SAAB brand will be around for a long time as long as there are still great SAAB dealers / workshops that sell our cars

    maintain and let go

    Greetings from the north
    ..
    .

  • Moin Tom!
    In a nutshell:
    Solution 2 (partially chargeable) would also make sense for the reasons mentioned.
    And I'm definitely one of the (hopefully much more than) 200 🙂
    Because whether blog donation or subscription fee - at least I have planned the amount every year anyway.
    Thank you for your tireless efforts! Hopefully the majority of our people will still appreciate this when a more than appropriate and, to be honest, long overdue allowance is incurred ...
    Greetings from HH and a happy and above all healthy pre-Christmas season to everyone
    Olli

  • Hello Tom!
    I remain loyal to the blog even in the event of a subscription - no matter which solution your decision will be for! I don't want to miss the interesting, informative and entertaining content! And I know, also from my own experience in the editorial work for our Austrian Saab club magazine TrollPost, very much appreciate your tireless commitment to the blog!
    I hope that you will decide to continue the blog and look forward to many more exciting stories, information and guest contributions.
    Greetings, Erich

  • @ EF-elch Thanks for the action! I can't help you make a decision, but the commitment is great!

  • @Bergsaab - We don't currently have a PayPal button - but the intention counts 😉 From January we will see what happens. I am quite confident and believe in the readers 😉

  • .... have looked for the PayPal button in vain, yes, variant 2 hopefully there will also be 200 subscribers, with the 30 comments here ?!

  • Hey there!

    I stick with it!

    A subscription price of 60-90 euros a year is fair. My choice is the 2nd option, reasons for this have been given in detail by my fellow enthusiasts.

    Best regards from Bad Salzdetfurth for the best possible Advent season

    Uli

  • The “problem” how it could go on with the blog made me personally some “inconvenience” today - I had engaged the Saab Friends Thuringia for a new blog donation - our Deatline would have been the upcoming WE - as of today is already a decent one Sum came together - and now!?

  • It is m. E. Said almost everything - and when you first announced it, I agreed to pay a price for this information that inspires a Saab fan to rave about, dream and think. Good entertainment and good research has its price, that's just the way it is.

    However, in order to “lure” interested parties, perhaps those who have embellished the 9-3 I Viggen with Maptun (why not - what pleases is nice!), There should be an open and a closed part. Otherwise the bog mutates in the long run into a circle of “illustrious”, and new prospects are and will remain, with a few exceptions, non-existent.

    I don't want to think about or haggle about the price, only Tom can and should determine his cost estimate. And everyone can decide for themselves what this excellent information about Saab is worth to them.

    One thing should and must not happen, namely that the blog disappears!

  • I love this blog and I wouldn't want to miss reading it. If you pay monthly, I'll be there!

  • I am also a friend of partly free and partly paid articles, since the free ones have an advertising effect. Otherwise you just have to live with the risk of blogging because of the loss of subscribers.

    I would like to point out another type of free access that I find interesting. There are online media that allow a certain number of article hits per time free of charge, e.g. 10 per month.
    This variant has the charm that you can definitely read the article from the link that brought you here. If you like the theme and style, you may be able to look around until you reach a barrier.
    Something like this paired with a low entry barrier, for example a possible monthly membership, could also generate new paying readers in the future, if it can be realized with the system used.

    Another interesting aspect is how to pay? I myself am rather old-fashioned and a friend of transfers. In any case, no offer has yet brought me to buy a PayPal or Patreon account.

  • The second variant has the charm of being able to bait. But I would be there for both variants.

  • After reading today's article, I didn't have to think long about which variant I leaned towards: definitely the second, and I want to agree with @Ebasli's arguments, at least most of them. When comparing it with the print media, I would like to mention ZEIT-Online, which market their paid content under Z +. which you present with a picture and a short introduction.
    I can also imagine that for the blog: Interest is aroused and the reader can decide whether to stick with it and take out a subscription at some point (option: trial subscription?) Or just superficially interested in the topic. However, certain content should be open to everyone in order to attract as many readers and thus potential subscribers as possible.

    I would really like to express my displeasure about an absurdly (!) Expensive replacement part recently installed in the workshop, but that would bypass today's topic - is it enough for a guest post? Perhaps.

    In the hope that the blog will stay with us all for a long time to come, in whatever way
    I greet you from room DA.

  • Whichever way I'm with it. Why because it's SAAB! therefore

  • @Ebasli Thank you for the thoughts! Of course, the blog will also remain visible to search engines behind a possible payment barrier. The first lines will be “readable”, then the visitor can decide whether he wants a subscription or a membership.

    As for the mirror, I fully agree. I canceled my year-long subscription after a dramatically poorly researched article about the Chinese auto industry. Unfortunately, the journalistic quality no longer meets the standards that Hamburg once had. And again and again contributions are colored politically towards the desired result.

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  • No matter how, I'm a subscriber!

  • Moin from Hamburg,

    After donating voluntarily for (two) years, I don't really care whether I donate or pay a subscription. The blog is one of my most interesting places to read and it would hurt if it went under. But I also believe that parts should be freely available - to “fix” new subscribers and to disseminate information such as dates and advertisements.

    I would have one more wish: please publish the articles on the young timer blog again. If I want to read the whole story of the 9-3 I, I always have to go over the eternal memory of the internet ...

    Saabige greetings

    "Ove"

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  • Complies with Aero-93.
    I am happy about almost all articles that Tom publishes and am willing to pay € 60 - € 90 a year for them.
    I wish you a Merry Advent

  • Hi Tom,

    I agree with Volvaab Driver. With variant 2 there is the hope of attracting new interested parties and perhaps paying members! But no matter which variant I am included in both solutions.

  • Since I am completely with Black Swedes: one part is free (the one with little work in the background ;-)) the other part is chargeable (the texts / content that is soooo addicting :-))
    I'll say it bluntly: I don't like cheap / cheap / special offers / discounts. Etc.
    5 € = 2 cappuccinos per month !!!! That stunned me to discuss it.
    Well, I'll definitely pay. Also more if it helps the blog.
    Thank you 🙂 for the writing and research done so far! Great joy!
    VG from the heath ...

  • Saabantium - price and classifieds

    The idea of ​​4,99 is probably really good, as bogus as this misdirection is. The price of my “village newspaper” is also 4,95 (or 9,95). In my opinion, classified ads should be public, otherwise they are probably pretty ineffective, and they also lead readers to the site.

  • Hello Tom,

    a good decision and the annual collection would also be off the table.

    I also see that option 2 would be the better one to 'fix' possible new subscribers. older reports> 2 years old are visible.
    other content such as classifieds, comments, latest stories, etc. should be reserved for the payer.
    if your calculation allows, the € 5 (4,99?) contribution should not be exceeded at the beginning. these are certain limits that people struggle with.

    I'm looking forward to your final decision

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  • Dear Tom, just go ahead and continue to enjoy writing. I am happy to buy a subscription, regardless of the variant. I hope that enough Saabists see it that way and are happy to open their wallets for it.
    I wish you and us as readers a great future.

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  • Hello Tom and all the other blog readers, I would like the idea of ​​main parts for a fee, and some basic information, and possibly the appointment calendar, accessible free of charge. So you can read something quickly, and maybe you can still win new blog prospects. I hope that the blog will continue, many more exciting stories and information, and also guest contributions. I hope that the situation will get better someday and that we can read great stories from meetings.
    PS. I'm curious about the story of the picture above.

  • Hi Tom,

    yes, that's exactly what we all expected and is perfectly fine for the "loyal" readers and Saab fans and the price anyway - it also shows our appreciation for your great work!

    Concerning. I would like to add my - subjective - experiences with at least partly comparable offers to the question “partially or completely”. Maybe we can also draw conclusions from this. First of all, the question: To what extent are articles still found by search engines behind a payment barrier? That would certainly be important!

    One possibility would be, for example, that a longer part of the article (which “feeds” well and arouses interest) is open, but then you have to pay for reading on.

    Or a free test subscription of four weeks or at least two weeks.

    Now to my experiences: Whenever I look for something specific about local news here from Hamburg in the search engine, headings of the Hamburger Abendblatt appear, some of which certainly contain interesting articles. Not a single line of this can be read openly. But since I usually find the content on other media (Mopo, etc.) and the evening paper doesn't appeal to me anyway, I would never get the idea of ​​taking out a subscription there. Also, I was never lured there by a slightly longer free passage, so I really wanted to read on and would therefore have taken out a subscription.

    On the other hand, I have had a subscription to the “village newspaper” in my homeland, where my old mother lives, for a long time (currently due to an offer for five euros a month for one year, previously ten euros a month with monthly notice), in particular out of concern to be informed about the current Corona numbers and news there. Otherwise I would never have gotten to know. But behind the village newspaper is the NOZ, which also belongs to the editorial network Germany and of course also includes all topics of Germany and world politics. It's not done that badly, I read it every day and will probably even keep the subscription, even if Corona is hopefully over. With this newspaper, too, you can only read everything with a subscription, there is only a small picture and the headline can be seen openly, but you can also find the articles via the search engine.

    At Spiegel online, where large parts of the offer are freely available, I of course also read a lot. Then there are always interesting Spiegel-Plus articles, some of which are open for a long time, but then break off. I think that's a shame, but it wouldn't occur to me to buy a monthly subscription for € 20. Firstly, it is too expensive for me for the few encrypted articles and secondly, I was a Spiegel subscriber (print) for decades, but then canceled because of the diminishing journalistic quality in my opinion and because subscribers are not treated well. If I am particularly interested in a chargeable article, I just buy the magazine.

    I came to the blog through a search engine, by the way. When I was weighing the pros and cons and details for retrofitting a navigation system for my "new" Griffin convertible, which I had just purchased, I came across related (older) articles on the blog (which previously passed me by completely). Just through the blog (the older articles) I found the right solution for my navigation system and, above all, the excellent installation in Kiel.

    My CONCLUSION for the Saab blog: The unique selling point is certainly there. Those who are (new) interested or are looking for a very specific topic may also pay. But it is important that the articles can be found in the search engines. In addition, if technically possible, the opening lines (a "teaser") should always be readable. Older articles should perhaps be left open in whole or in part (as with Spiegel), or the respective "leading articles" on certain topics. This generates interest and the inclined prospect then clicks on to the current article, where he then reaches a barrier. And / or a trial subscription for new subscribers might not be bad either. I also liked the idea of ​​leaving articles open on highly topical, general topics, in particular on new types of drive, climate problems, all the electric madness, etc. There is a general need for clarification, which Tom is exemplary. What do you all mean?

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  • Hello Tom, I also see variant no. 2 with the chargeable part as the better solution. I like to be there and look forward to new reports. I will be happy to pay an annual fee in the amount mentioned.

    Kind regards
    Gebhard

  • Hi Tom,

    editorial work and the operation of infrastructure is an expense. And effort has a price.
    Therefore: The subscription variant is also my favorite. I think an annual contribution of 60 to 80 EUR is appropriate.
    I am still there.

    As a note from me:
    I am a registered user of the motor-talk forum for other vehicles in our portfolio.
    I also registered for the “Saab 9-3 II Sport” area there years ago. There is still movement there. It is also remarkable how often “purchase recommendations” for Saab vehicles are requested.
    The same applies to the “saab-cars.de” forum, which I am also registered with.

    That means: There are still people interested in our “favorite cars”.
    Therefore, I expressly advocate the offer of an additional “open” area in order to introduce these interested parties to the traditional brand through good information and thus perhaps win them over to a subscription.

    Would it be possible to “link” saabblog.net on these platforms in order to attract additional attention?

    I would like a decision-making process to the extent described. May the Christmas rest, whether festive or forced by the pandemic, give you the necessary strength to “carry on” in 2021.

    With best regards from Siegerland.
    Gunther

  • @ Black Swede Thank you for this specific, constructive opinion!

  • @Matthias I'm also divided, which is why I ask for opinions and decision-making aids. Thank you for your opinion!

  • To add something to the discussion. I would have to make the following suggestion:

    The daily press, I'll call it that, so everything about NEVS, events, meetings or new model cars and also stories from readers I would leave blank. Here is (probably) the least amount of effort involved.

    Everything else, the more in-depth reports, everything that has to do with classics and where a lot of heart and soul flows, I would rigorously charge a fee. Even the films, the digitization of which took time and effort. Those things are at the heart of the blog and what I love to read - and want to read in the future too.

    With that would be worth up to 10 € a month - no question about it. Tom, what do you think of the proposal?

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  • Hi, after I'm still chasing after my boyhood dream and at some point I might still want to buy my small car, this blog is of course very important to me. But I have found it more and more interesting lately, where it has opened up a bit in the direction of “modern times”.
    Anyway ... In my opinion, content should still remain free (I think that this is the only way to attract new customers). But as in previous years, I am also on board as a subscriber.
    Greetings from south-eastern Austria
    Roland

  • Hello Tom, I'm a bit split between “only those who are interested” (full subscription) and the “half-open” blog. But I think that the Saab drivers have always been distinguished by the fact that they are very individual but also cosmopolitan. After I was able to witness the handover of my neighbor's new vehicle for a Volvo XC 40 Recharged this morning (the new owner, previously BMW Z4, is completely overwhelmed with all the electronic fuss and doesn't even have a charging station), this Saab blog MUST be an appetizer for the following Stay open for generations. No matter how you decide, I'll be there !, Greetings from the Lower Rhine, Matthias

  • The favourite

    For me, the second version is clearly the favorite and I think that Tom has also read a certain tendency in this direction?

    Certain content should simply not be behind a payment barrier. For example an event calendar or a reader contribution about an event that has taken place. Everything that strengthens & promotes the offspring, participation and relationships, makes people want Saab and the community, should remain freely accessible.
    Articles about suitable entry-level models are perhaps better available in this sense than behind the barrier.

    In addition, one should pay. Anyone who owns one or more Saab cannot expect to be provided free of charge with tips and all possible historical and current information about their car (s) or even articles outside of the box.

    The comment function should also be behind the barrier. Also for freely accessible content.
    I haven't seen any obvious abuse for a long time, but the moderation and administration is certainly exhausting and unpleasant at times. Anyone who expresses themselves here occasionally or regularly and thus causes effort should also contribute to the financing of the platform they are using.

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  • Annual subscription of € 60.00 would be perfectly fine for me.

    Depending on the situation, you could occasionally make some posts freely accessible in the interests of promoting young talent.

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  • Hi Tom,
    an annual fee of € 60 to € 75 would be fine for me!

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  • Hello Tom,
    I look forward to a contribution every day and I don't want to miss it ... as long as you enjoy it. We shouldn't do it like the MPs, constantly sharpen the corona rules, which means
    BLOG COMPLETELY PAID!
    Have a nice Advent season
    Robert

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  • Dear Tom;
    I am in favor of the full subscription option. Anyone who invests so much commitment and time must also be rewarded accordingly.
    For the real SAAB lover, 6.- a month shouldn't be too much.
    Warm regards to the community.

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  • Hi Tom,

    I find the variant with the partly paid blog the better solution and am willing to pay a monthly or annual fee in the amount you specified. At this point, thank you very much for the many wonderful reports over the past few years.

    Greetings from Saxony
    Florian

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  • Paywall is ok…. In any case, only the fans of the brand are interested and they should please make a fair contribution
    Disadvantage: there are hardly any new ones ... you can prevent it by leaving a few free per month to get a taste for it. the satire page daily press has this system

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  • Moin Tom,
    I fully agree with Hans,

    many greetings from the Baltic Sea coast,
    Gerd

  • Hello Tom! I join the Hans S. I would like to continue to be pleased (!) With your lines and I am interested in reading the blog further. Doesn't matter what it costs, you should be fairly rewarded for your great work. I'm definitely there. LG from BA!

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  • Dear Tom, whatever you do, I'll be there! I am happy to help keep the Saab flag a little in the wind, the few euros a month are more than worth it to me! You can also continue to expect occasional guest contributions from me.
    Let's see what comes out of it, I'll be happy to give you good luck and good wishes on your way.
    Saabige greetings Hans

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  • Who would have thought that? Tom is serious, and I had already successfully suppressed that 😉. Well, the very best favorite morning reading is in real danger! Now I'm looking forward to the reactions.

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