The switch to the Saab subscription model began a month ago. Paid content on the blog after 10 years. A change of time that I drove with a portion of stomach ache and concerns. There were warning voices in advance. It is corona time and therefore the worst possible time for this idea. An objection that was certainly justified.
But is there a good time for this? Postpone the plan? Instead, call for donations again? No option, I'd rather have pulled the plug - despite many imponderables. The question of whether someone would want to pay for Saab content was open.
The “marketability” of the entire project idea was thus put to the test. Even if the hurdle of a minimum of 200 subscribers for the financial base load was very low, even these 200 people have to be inspired first.
Saab subscription - is it working?
After the announcement of the Subscription model no further news on the topic. January as the month of transition, with a large number of freely accessible articles, was the test phase. And there was a surprise. The desired 200 subscriptions were booked before the end of the month, and the blog project's economic existence was secured.
Of course, this change also had an impact on the readers, who had to get out of their comfort zone. Yes, you have to log in to read. You have to know your username and password. Just roughly, that's not enough. Computers are known to be stupid, but very hard-working. You take missing or wrong letters personally, and after exactly 5 unsuccessful attempts the firewall takes you out of the running.
From which I subsequently have to free the reader.
The first few days were a bit stressful, on both sides, but this hurdle was overcome with a lot of humor and a very pleasant tone. The change also has an impact on my work, and if I had guessed it beforehand, I would have taken the risk years ago.
All the trolls on the blog have disappeared, there is nothing left to moderate. Communication has won, the plus in friendliness is beneficial.
What are the next steps?
As promised, there will continue to be free content every week, albeit on a reduced scale. Historical content will remain freely accessible in the future; I have not accepted the temptation to hide a couple of 1.000 posts behind the paywall.
The story continues. Additional subscribers can make for a better blog. More content, maybe exciting projects and campaigns. The next few months will show what is possible. The market, or, more precisely, the readers, decide on the feasibility of ideas.
I take it easy. Without expectations and without pressure. The Saab reading material is secured in the medium term, the brand remains digitally updated daily. And that's quite a lot.