Blogs and online subscription
As coordinator of blogging for YDR at Yorkblog.com, I’ve been keeping an eye on what effect the online subscription policy is having on our statistics. I initially worried that putting blogs behind a paywall would lead to a drop in readership.
We only have a few months of data to work with, but so far so… well, not so bad.
As you might expect, page views apparently dropped with implementation of the paywall. But our numbers had been declining somewhat prior to that anyway, owing to a dated blog platform that had lost some key functionality such as search. We switched to WordPress right around the time the paywall went into effect, so that in itself led to fewer page views as we worked out a few technical bugs.
But now our numbers are headed back up after a low in September — good news.
Another variable: We’ve since added some new blogs and restructured some other blogging efforts in a way that allows large groups of staff members to contribute, keeping those blogs updated with fresh material every day. New blogs include The Docket Sheet, Twenty & Change, Smart and this one, YDR Insider, focused on newsroom transparency.
The bottom line is that we have a new baseline for our blogs, and the coming months will give a truer picture of the paywall’s effect.