Nick Cernis, who has a truly wonderful blog called of all things Putting Things Off has an article titled The End of Free Content. There he makes an excellent case for making money on content with micropayments.
One definition is Micropayments are means for transferring very small amounts of money, in situations where collecting such small amounts of money with the usual. That comes from a Wikipedia about micropayment.
I actually wrote web copy for what may have been the first internet payment system, First Virtual. And indeed the payments were tiny… well under a dollar as I recall. Nick is talking about higher payments but still small amounts. I bought his ebook for $10.02 through paypal his UK pricing was converted. The ebooks I sell here are all under $20, which is pretty micro I guess.
Editor & Publisher took on micropayments as a solution to the woes of newspapers in an article called: Forget Micropayments — Here’s a Far Better Idea for Monetizing Content
The idea there I think is that newspapers would be better off using a system like Kachingle. As I understand it, subscribers pay $5 a month and the total raised each month gets apportioned to writers. If I’m vague it’s because their site lacks ease of access to details. Assuming I’m close, I don’t see the advantage of that system, particularly when ClickBank and PayPal (which has a micropayment system for charging less than $12.00 in place) are already working well. Maybe newspapers need a more complex system, but I can’t think why.
Corey Doctorow makes some excellent observations about micro and macropayments in Locus Magazine. I particularly like his realization that it’s not important that everyone who reads his book pays, but that those who might pay are able to, and his observation that Taking someone’s money is expensive. A good part of that expense is, of course, marketing.
Can creating your own info products to sell pay you more than say content sites? Maybe. If you’re willing to spend the time and some money on getting the word out they can be a source of royalty income – truly nice to have.
I believe in selling my own info products. It’s working for me. How about you? Do you have info products for sale? (Links encouraged)
Image from http://www.sxc.hu