It’s the age of paid content — and Media Nation is dipping its toe in the water

Recently I wrote about Substack for GBH News — what was good about it (superior payment tools) and what was unimpressive (it’s just a bloggy newsletter, or a newslettery blog).

Writing the column sparked my interest in paid content, and that only intensified when I read Ben Smith’s piece in The New York Times about Heather Cox Richardson. A Boston College history professor who writes “Letters from An American” on Substack, Richardson is pulling in an estimate $1 million or so a year. She’s working very hard at it — a lot harder than I want to work. But it’s difficult not to be intrigued by the possibility of pulling in some money, even if it’s a tiny fraction of what she’s making.

I don’t want to move to Substack, and I don’t want to put any of my content behind a paywall. What I’ve done instead is set up a page on Patreon that lets you purchase a voluntary subscription to Media Nation for $5 a month. Subscribers will receive the additional benefit for an exclusive newsletter, although, to be honest, I haven’t figured out what to do with that yet.

Media Nation will remain free, and other than the newsletter, I’m not planning at the moment to do more than I’m already doing. (Of course, that could change if this takes off.) If you would like to lend your support to my work in the form of a subscription, I hope you’ll consider signing up.

2 thoughts on “It’s the age of paid content — and Media Nation is dipping its toe in the water

  1. Charles Rogers

    Great to see this piece Dan; thank you for the opinion on Substack. Knee-jerk is alway to sign right up. Your views add more context.

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