Exclusive Pay-Per-Read Content

How To Cash In With A Subscription Based Business

After recently reading about Sweet Arches, the young medical student who makes £5,000 per month sharing pictures of her feet with people who pay a monthly fee to see them, I decided to explore the subscription business model some more.

Depending on what you are sharing and at what price, you can earn quite a lot of money each month by doing very little.

Like all the other profitable business models, this is a numbers game. With a subscription based business you are not exchanging your time for money working for just one person at a time, you are supplying a product or service each month to a lot of people.

Charging just £5 a month to access content isn’t a lot. One person paying you £5 won’t make you rich. But what if you had 1000 people paying you just £5 a month?

You are now earning £5,000 a month.

£5 itself is not a lot or money. It is one of those small amounts where people are very unlikely to cancel as long as they are getting value for money.

And if you can deliver that value digitally with little to no cost to yourself, you can charge as little or as much as you like.

Imagine that for £5 a month you were producing a quality 4 page email newsletter where you taught people something which they wanted to learn.

Firstly: the subscribers are getting to learn what they want to learn.

Secondly: they are not paying out a lot of money which is going to adversely affect their bank accounts if times turn bad… like they have for many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirdly:  For a low price, their expectations are easier managed. They won’t expect a ton of content for only £5.

Now compare that to charging £27 a month for a 6 page email newsletter where the content is basically similar in quality.

People are more likely to cancel the £27 subscription when times get hard. If they are not getting £27 or more in value then spending the £27 in subscription fees is detrimental to their position.

Don’t me wrong, if you can get plenty of happy punters paying you £27 for your monthly product or service then do so. No point in killing off something which works.

However, please be aware, the more you charge the expectation to deliver more or better quality content/service will be a lot higher.

At least with a low subscription you can get away with doing a small amount of work and then selling it just once to a lot of people.

If what you provide appeals to a lot of people or is needed by many, you can make a lot of money for what is essentially a few days work.

This is a business model which has been used a lot by the adult industry. Several half hour videos and a day or two taking a stack of new photos is more than enough content to generate a lot of money over a month or two.

It is how girls like Sweet Arches are making more money in their spare time than what they are earning in their day jobs… that is if any of them actually have a day job these days.

Many have quit work to make more money instead by focusing on this subscription based business. I was recently told about one who left the police force who gave herself a few years to make a million then retire. And she did it.

But please understand that it doesn’t have to be just adult material which is shared.

Seanan McGuire is a bestselling author who uses Patreon.com to supplement her income by publishing (incredibly short) short stories.

She earns on average £10,000 each story she publishes which is often 2 or more each month.

I can tell you that these stories she shares are incredibly short. Seanan is in a great position as she is a successful bestselling author with a large fanbase.

She only needs a small amount of people who are willing to pay her to see more of her work, interact with her and basically follow her activities.

Seanan has 10 different price tiers.

The tenth one has not had any buyers, which at £1,269.50 per short story is not surprising but if you look closely at these pics you will see that there are people who are paying more than the £1

In the picture below you will see that out of the 40 available places of the £42.50 subscription deal, 27 people are paying and out of the 30 available places of the £85 subscription deal,  8 people are paying.

Just 8 people are contributing £680 to her monthly income and 27 are giving her a further £1,147.50.  The average monthly wage in the UK (in 2020) was £1,950, Seanan is nearly earning that from only 35 fans.

Each tier has different benefits and a tier gives a lot more than the one below it. So for those who are paying £85, they will get access to a lot more content than those who are paying the lower subscription fees.

At the end of the day, it all adds up to around £10,000 per short story. I recommend checking out her Patreon profile to see what you get with each tier as there is just too much to cover in this report.

Platforms like OnlyFans and AdmireMe.vip also have different price tiers, and they also allow users to set one-off prices for specific content, accept tips from fans, charge to send messages and charge to do live interactions.

They are geared up to make maximum profit from people who are wanting that little extra something. Whether you can generate any extra money using the paid for messaging system with less adult centred hobbies remains to be seen.

A lot of the users of these platforms utilise social media like Twitter and Instagram to find paying subscribers. Social media is great for this because you can share a lot of content for free and build up a large following.

The foot picture sharing Sweet Arches, has over 100,000 followers on her Instagram. You don’t need a lot of those followers to pay for your content to start earning a nice monthly income.

If just 1% of 100,000 followers paid you £5 a month to access your content, you will be earning £5,000 per month. Not bad if the content you are sharing takes you less than a week to create.

Magazines & Newsletters

One of the oldest subscription businesses around is the magazine. Magazines and newsletters fall under the information publishing business model.

A magazine or newsletter contains information about a subject which people are willing to pay for. It can be information which they want to learn or simply just know more about a hobby.

With the world now becoming more digital, more and more magazines and newsletters are becoming online based.

This not only makes them a lot easier to produce and deliver, it makes them incredibly cheap to produce allowing anyone to start an online magazine.

Take this one on Patreon.com

This is an online only magazine for knitting called Knitty. At the time of writing this, they have 2,977 patreons who are paying to access the magazine.

The cheapest tier is £2. So if all 2,997 were only paying £2 per edition, the people behind Knitty are generating £5,994 per new edition.

There are so many hobbies and niches which could make an interesting subscription based business such as:

  • Gardening
  • Deep sea diving
  • Horse riding
  • Keeping dogs
  • Football
  • Darts
  • Internet marketing
  • Stocks and shares
  • Model trains
  • Beer brewing
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • The list is endless

If a hobby is popular and people enjoy doing it, there will be people who are willing to pay to see/do/learn more.

Hobbies like deep sea diving will require a lot of pictures and videos which can mean a lot of hard professional work requiring specific and expensive equipment which will eat in to your profits.

Others can be more word based and if pictures were required, a standard smartphone can deliver a quality image. I would opt more for that kind of business personally.

Growing your subscription business is going to be the hardest part but it will be made a lot easier if your subject is a fun and interesting hobby or niche.

Social media is great for sharing fun hobbies and you can soon get a lot of followers if what you share is interesting to people.

Going back to Sweet Arches, she amassed a huge following by simply sharing pictures of her feet which a lot of people enjoy. (Crazy I know, but some people really do love to look at feet!)

It’s off the back of that free content your subscription business is built.

You can entice people to join by giving away a free gift. A physical gift has a better perceived value but that could cost you so you protect yourself by either:

1 – Charging for the delivery of the item and at the point of payment offer them access to your subscription newsletter so that you recoup your costs and have a monthly subscriber.

2 – Or if you use Patreon, offer to send a free gift to those who paid for a specific tier but inform them that you will send the gift once they have paid for two or three months of your subscriptions.

You can entice people to join your subscription based members-only product after they have purchasing a cheap book… click the link below to learn more.

Another example is the Bad Faith podcast.

I don’t know a lot about the Bad Faith podcast other than it is American, it is two shows in one and it discusses politics and pop culture featuring a rotating cast of performers, politicians, artists and activists.

What I do find interesting is that they are generating £23,000 per month from subscribers.

Their subscribers are people who are willing to pay to listen to their podcasts.

There are thousands of free podcasts people can listen to… yet here we have people collectively paying £23,000 to listen to a podcast.

This looks to be a professionally put together podcast, but it really isn’t hard to record a podcast today.

Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can record a decent podcast and video from the comfort of their own home for pennies should you be interested in doing that.

To Recap

Subscription service businesses can be an incredible profitable business especially if:

  • You are the only person involved i.e. not requiring a lot of staff or offices.
  • The content is easy to create and does not require a lot of expensive equipment or 3rd party involvement.
  • The content commands a higher than average price and/or appeals to a lot of people.
  • People will happily pay each and every month to access it.
  • Is digital and delivered online