I made the decision to go with a premium content model after finding the Ghost publishing platform through a friend.
I put my time into creating high-quality content that helps people change their lives and in return, I receive support from paying members.
Live Work Travel is a side business for me. I mainly work with clients but the former teacher in me is driven to share all of the things I’ve learned (and keep learning) throughout my career.
I often put 10-20 hours a week into LWT. If that was client work, it’d be bringing me anywhere from $2-4K.
Before moving to premium content, I put in all that time for free. Now, my incredible members support me, chipping in to show appreciation for the time and effort that goes into creating the value that I share.
This site is here to educate, and while there’s tons of great free content out there on the internet, (I direct my readers to it whenever possible), it feels fair to ask for compensation for the time I spend in creating my premium content.
As the creator of Ghost.io, John Nolan said “… there’s a nascent new world of new publishers who have a rather obnoxiously simple idea:
Create something valuable which directly serves the interests of audience members, then ask them to pay to access it. You know, like every other business in the world.”
Live Work Travel is a small but passionate community and I want to keep it that way. I’m not trying to appeal to everyone, just those who are interested in learning from what I have to share. I don’t need a massive audience to boost my ego or want to constantly be promoting myself and LWT all over the internet. In the words of my good friend Carley, I just want to focus on "doing good shit over time."
See I’ve worked for the sleazy marketers, people whose entire focus is sell, sell sell. Squeezing every drop of money that they can from their audience. Creating new courses that mysteriously seem almost exactly the same as their existing courses (... if we slap a new name on it, put some new graphics in, shuffle the order of the content, film a couple new videos and throw in 20% new stuff, they won’t realize this is recycled information...).
I know that type well.
And I know the basic model well.
- Start a blog
- Give away tons of content for free (and in order to generate large amounts of content so you can seem valuable, write lots of useless fluff)
- Give away freebies like e-books or templates to get people on your email list
- Use that list to try and sell them your products
- Once they buy the product, make bigger more expensive products and get them to buy those too
- And so it goes …
This works for some people. But it never felt right for me. I don’t like stressing about trying to build an email list. Being on social media all the time. Doing tons of press and promotion.
What do I love?
Creating good shit.
This premium model allows me to focus on that, and it allows the people who want to read that good shit to support me.
It feels real. It feels authentic. Instead of trying to create a massive audience, I’m focused on speaking directly to those who want to hear what I have to say.
Instead of making a commercial product, pumping it up with preservatives and hawking it to every supermarket in the country, I’m toiling away to produce small batch top-quality artisanal wares to sell at the local farmers market.
Will I become a rich and flashy mogul doing so?
Hell no and thank goodness!
The accessibility benefits of the subscription model …
Something else I’m really excited about is the accessibility that comes with this model.
Even if you don’t have $100, or $250, or $500 to invest in a course, you can still invest in yourself by using the premium content on the blog to jumpstart your freelancing career.
The content will also grow with you as your career grows, providing a mixture of beginner, intermediate, and advanced content to suit whatever is going on in your world at the time.
This is also super exciting for emerging markets. As I’ve traveled around the world I’ve met lots of motivated people in other countries who would love to jump into freelancing but aren’t quite sure where to start.
They’re interested in the advice I have to offer, but $250 for an online course is quite simply out of reach in a country where the typical hourly wage may be $5 an hour.
This is something I’ve turned over and over for a while, trying to figure out how I can make the advice I offer at LWT available in other countries at a reasonable rate. With the subscription model, this works.
(Down the road it’ll also contribute to my ability to make my site available in Spanish as well as English. As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world (and my second language) it’s important to me to give the millions of people in Spanish speaking countries access to life-changing freelance advice in their native language.)
If you're interested in learning more about premium content, check out the Membership page here.