Issue #86 — How to run a sustainable membership program

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💯 Top picks

Running a paid membership program — by Craig Mod

Craig Mod openly shares everything learned from the first year of running the membership program Explorers Club. Filled with insights about finances, launching, pricing and more - make sure you give this one a read.

How to make sustainable income from a blog without ads or affiliate marketing

Our latest article on the Ghost blog explores how thousands of independent publishers are generating recurring revenue from their work in a sustainable way & includes loads of tips for how to get started yourself!

💸 Business models

How Morning Brew grew to $13m in revenue with 33 employees

“Morning Brew quickly grew an audience — and its profits — on the back of a single email newsletter. But to keep growth strong in 2020, the business newsletter startup will focus on specializing its sales team as its portfolio of brands continues to grow.”

Publishers are using a Starbucks Wi-Fi program to hunt for new readers

A creative way to get new readers to sign up for your subscriptions is to offer free content when hooked up to the wi-fi in the most popular coffee shop chain!

Readers reign supreme, and other takeaways from The New York Times end-of-year earnings report

“CEO Mark Thompson says "the single biggest reason” behind the paper’s success was the decision to give more autonomy to teams working on the publication’s various digital products.“

Paths to Subscription: Why recent subscribers chose to pay for news

This report resurfaced this week and we thought it was worthwhile revisiting. Some of the key findings were that people can take a few months to decide whether to subscribe to a news product, and a free trial or a promotion is often what persuades people to pull the trigger.

Reality check: subscriptions are not  going to work for everyone and here is why

This article explores whether we’ve considered if everyone can succeed with subscriptions and offers some nuanced tips about how to get ahead.

✍️ Modern journalism

Publishers are growing audiences by producing less content

“Increasingly, publishers are seeing that less is more when it comes to producing content.”

What product teams should know about working with newsrooms

“As news organisations further integrate technology into their work, journalists are often told to “embrace product thinking.” But is there room for product developers to also embrace journalistic thinking?”

Yes, we still need the news – but it needs to be done differently

Experts share their antidotes and solutions for fixing the news!

👩‍💻 Technology

Poynter researched five CMSs to kickstart your CMS transition

Poynter researched five CMSs to kickstart your CMS transition

Get more information about Arc, Chorus, Ghost (yay!), Newspack, and The News Project. Also check out their detailed guide of everything you need to know more moving to a new CMS.

$15bn/year – YouTube reveals its ad revenues for the first time

“Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the revenues in his first quarterly earnings release as head of company.”

Who should control the internet's .org addresses?

“The group that administers .org domains may be sold to a for-profit company. Critics worry that nonprofits and activists could suffer.”

Google announce new "better ads standards" for videos

Their new standards are based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide, which found three types of videos ads to be particularly disruptive, and have advised website owners stop using them.

🤷 WTF?

The internet is a toxic hellscape—but we can fix It

“The first step to cleaning up the smog of disinformation? Embrace your anxiety.”