Is 17 cents a day too much for a Saab blog?

The paywall for the blog came about a year ago. After 10 years and with a slight stomach ache and a number of concerns. Since then, it has cost 17 cents per day with the cheapest subscription if you want to read all of the content without restriction. After around a year, it is time to take stock. Was that the right decision back then?

Saab blog

Unfounded stomach ache

It must be said that the media landscape is changing radically. Almost every smaller local newspaper now relies on a paywall for its digital offering. Otherwise it could not survive, because journalistic content has its value, creates work and first and foremost costs money. This is now accepted, and the blog, as a small medium, is not that different from a local news platform.

The stomach ache was unfounded. The required number of 300 subscribers was reached, not quickly, but after a few months. Since then, their numbers have grown steadily, month after month, and the project's financial survival is assured.

That's a good thing, because a stable budget gives you freedom. Projects such as various Saab cups or first-aid bags and everything that is coming soon are financed in this way. New software has been purchased, new hardware has been ordered. For the first time in more than 10 years of history, the blog is an honest project. What investments he needs, he can pay for. That was not always so.

The readership

The stomach ache had, of course, to do with the possible development of the number of readers. Would they break in? I didn't want to rule out a minus of 60 or 70%. Saab is a very special side issue, the brand hasn't been around for 10 years, so there are some concerns. After 11 months, the all-clear can also be given here.

Of course, the fabulous numbers for 2020, with almost 1.2 million readers, are far from what can currently be expected. But we will probably close just under the million in 2021. A moderate decrease compared to the previous year and much better numbers than in the years 2016 to 19.

The old ghosts

The blog costs 17 cents a day with the cheapest subscription if you want to read all of its content. There are 8 or 9 contributions per week, a video archive and a heritage archive, which is under construction. After more and more posts have been disappearing behind the paywall for a few weeks now, after a period of familiarization of almost a year, old ghosts have crept from the farthest corner.

17 cents are too much for some readers. In addition, in their opinion, the payment modalities are not correct. Purchase options on account, PayPal and credit card would not be sufficient. The chicken that would be brought to me is also missing. Or the menhir that could be exchanged. And in general, subscriptions are a nasty trap, even though they are deliberately not automatically renewed on the blog and have to be re-booked when they expire.

Sometimes you can't help

I can't help the old ghosts that are appearing in my mailbox at the moment and unloading their displeasure there. They don't want to read in the future, their keynote is sometimes borderline, and they threaten to switch to the many other (Saab) blogs.

You have to let ghosts fly if they want to. 17 cents are too much? Then that's just the way it is, and I fear that the thrifty minds who would like to see the free labor of third parties as their privilege must travel on. Wherever the journey leads.

The contributions behind the paywall are increasing. Because I owe it to those who finance the blog as subscribers. It is thanks to them that 2022 begins with a predictable budget. An almost luxurious situation that has never been seen before. It makes it easier to write the blog and focus on the writing as such. Thanks for that!

The project will continue to develop. Even if Saab no longer exists and it is (only) about old, analog cars as an affair of the heart. Standing still is not an option.

Is a Saabexit creeping in?

There was one more question that will concern some readers. After I announced that I would soon part with some Saab artifacts for a social project, the gloomy assumption arose that this was the beginning of a creeping Saab exit.

A blogger who runs off the field, as the saying goes, and who prepares his exit.

After several readers feared - here is a clear denial. I keep writing as long as there are ideas and I enjoy it. Of the Sales the artifacts are coming for the reasons I mentioned back in November. There is no secret strategy behind it.

17 thoughts on "Is 17 cents a day too much for a Saab blog?"

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    Even if a little later, but no less warmly, I would like to say thank you for the daily commitment of you Tom and your team. Where else is there so much information about our hobby SAAB! Plus the creative ideas in the shop. You have to be tough if you want to resist.
    It's best to be weak!
    If you don't want to pay for the whole thing, just let it be. Everyone else is happy that things are looking so good financially at the moment and will hopefully stay that way. Thank you again and all the best for the new year with a lot of SAAB!

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    Hi Tom,

    I'm looking forward to renewing my subscription again. Every contribution makes the day more beautiful.


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    Tom… no, no further compliments on the blog or on your work. Everything has already been said and I can only agree with that. Great, great and keep it up.

    And I like to repeat my statement from the last few years ... if you don't appreciate your work with a - now really Saab un-typical not premium amount - you shouldn't be surprised that you only get lightweight reports. After all, it is much more what the person gets than they invest.

    Even if I put my foot in it now, but why does the term “Schma….er” pop up in my head so quickly? Just take, give nothing. In the circle of acquaintances, such a person would only stay with a half-life of less than 5 minutes.

    It is best to offer the 0 subscription version from now on. Nothing to pay ... NIX to read.
    And then only refer to the “cheap” subscription type for the “special” requests 🙂

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      Thanks, now I really had to laugh. I like the “Oer” variant.

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    Hi Tom,
    nice that you keep this blog alive.
    The information is always interesting, also thank you very much for the insight into private life.
    Unfortunately there are always people who basically have something to complain about, but nobody is forced to take out a subscription.
    Keep up the good work, the mix is ​​right.
    Saabige greetings

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    I haven't regretted my decision to subscribe to Aero X for a day. I find that the quality of the articles has improved even more over the last year - and on some topics the information gained from them is far ahead of the "rest of the world". The best example was the article about the emerging problems at Evergrande, which only found its way into the news weeks after we were informed about it on the blog, when the company had to take the oath of disclosure.

    I have great respect for your and your team's work, Tom, and I wish you a Merry Christmas in your new house.

    Another question comes up, do the subscribers get a message when the subscription expires so that they can extend it in time?

    Greetings from Vienna

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      Hello Peter, the system sends a friendly reminder a few days before it expires. And if there is a problem, we'd be happy to help.

  • blank

    Hello Tom

    No, it's definitely not too much to ask and personally I think the options are great

    Thank you very much for your efforts, the many exciting articles and and and….

    I'm personally looking forward to the coming year with the blog and the Saab stories

    PS How does the extension of the
    Subscriptions? Is it automatic or do we have to start something again?



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    The blog is my daily relaxation. Gladly also briefly during work. I think the direction that is being taken is absolutely right. Almost every contribution is worth reading - and that for a few cents has been constant for years. Those who do not want to invest the few cents have the most disadvantages themselves. He's missing something.

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    If everything in life worked so smoothly like this blog, then life would be almost unbearable 😉!
    It is a total “feel good blog”:
    Nice people as readers: inside ...
    Honest offers ...
    A pleasant keynote in the text amounts ...
    No crude spirits ... (and the blog should be able to let go of ghosts)
    A great blog team ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
    SAAB fed up every week (even several times), where else can you get that ???
    The blog (without foreign advertising !!!) is worth every €!
    Looking forward to 2022 ...

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    Subscriptions & contracts

    I hadn't recorded (or forgotten again) that the subscription is NOT renewed automatically ...

    It's as fair and transparent as it gets.

    The fact that topics and offers are gradually available to subscribers more and more exclusively over the course of a year, and depending on the subscription, is a smooth and logical transition.

    I can't find anything to complain about. It's all done well and fairly.

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    I do not think that a menhir acceptance would change anything. It is probably exactly the people who got upset years ago that there was advertising on the blog and therefore boycotted the annual fundraising campaigns.

    Now the advertising is gone, but the problem has gotten bigger. Because you can only read every 2nd or 3rd article. 🙂

    Tom, you can't please everyone. Travelers should be allowed to travel on relaxed 😉

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    Dear Tom.

    First of all: thank you again for your tireless commitment and the countless enjoyable reading moments. Not just about Saab. The blog has now become my personal sunny island of happiness. I basically consider it a privilege to be able to live our autimobile passion called "Saab". Without you and the blog it would not have been possible in this intensive, passionate and interesting form. I still believe that this is worth well over 17 cents a day.
    And travelers shouldn't be stopped ...

    I'm looking forward to an eventful, very Saabiges 2022.
    And sincerely greet all “staying”

    The Lizi

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      Love her! You said all that was necessary. Please keep it up and everyone who pays for the blog will continue to be satisfied readers!

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    Hi Tom,
    thank you for everything and keep it up.
    You write that the subscription "expires" after a I have to do something, become active? I will know more by 06.01.22 at the latest...
    Greeting André

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      You will receive a reminder email and can extend your subscription. Some readers do this monthly, it works fine.

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    Good things have their price ... and their added value. At SAAB, it is a long service life combined with an otherwise unattainable exclusivity (... and this is comparatively cheap!).
    The blog helps me to keep my SAAB alive and to be up to date on the topic of SAAB and all peripheral areas and also to give well-founded answers to the incredulous questions (you still drive SAAB, is this the new SAAB, SAAB builds cars again, ...) to be able to ... .. and last but not least, the blog is a kind of retailer replacement with promotions, merchandising products, etc. Yes, I also only had the small subscription, immediately asked why and now finally increased it.
    I hope that at the end of the subscription you will get an email where you can extend it with 2 clicks, please make it as easy as possible! Otherwise it is ok that the subscription is not renewed automatically.

    I look forward to many more exciting articles, thank you !!

Comments are closed.