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The 100 + 20 rule

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I read an interesting blog post, and it was talking about the different rules you have when creating free and premium content.

Every professional content creator faces a dilemma. On the one hand, you’d love to make your content as widely available as possible in order to grow your audience. On the other hand, you need to make money to pay the bills, so it’s unavoidable to add some friction in the form of paywalls, ads, and exclusive content for supporters. But those speed bumps inevitably turn away some potential followers. Content behind a paywall is less shareable, less searchable, and even users who would be happy to support you may be turned away by the hassle of signing up.

Coil blog

It starts by saying you can use the 5% free, 95% paid rule. This is when you have 5% of your content displayed as a teaser, and you hope to hook them into your content enough for them to want to subscribe and read the rest of the content which is 95%. It can be a good route if you have already built an email list of free members, and you want to persuade them to part with their cash for the extra effort you have put into your blog posts. However, it’s not great if you’re still trying to build some SEO and you’re attempting to rank your blog posts.

Then you have the 100% free and 100% paid plan. You have 100% free content that you use to lure readers in and build some SEO and page ranking. Then you have 100% paid-for content which is linked from your relevant free content. It’s a great way to build SEO, and build an audience, but it also requires double the amount of effort.

It then goes on to explain the 100+20 rule. You have 100% of the content free, but you add an extra 20% at the end. This is the bonus premium content. I realise that Medium, Ghost and Substack don’t have this feature. However, I realise they definitely should because it seems like a big win for both readers, supporters and the author themselves.

They use a recipe as an example. Say you have a recipe for a banana pudding. You would give your reader the entire recipe for free. Now, say you had a great cream recipe that would match the banana pudding. This would be your bonus content which your supporters can read.

It’s a great concept, and definitely something to think about when you write your content for your audience. Also, as I’ve said previously, I don’t think Medium, Ghost or Substack currently have this feature. However, there are two platforms I know who have this feature. WordPress if you pair it with their JetPack plugin and pay for a premium package and Coil which is currently a free platform. I think it will be paid platform at some point, but it will cost $5 a month, which I think is fairly inexpensive compared to other blogging platforms.

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