I’m Grateful for the Push Up Paid Content Mountain

Climbing Paid Content Large Mountain is no joke. It takes training, strategy and a will to go on in the face of adversity. That’s why I’m so grateful for the help AdPulp readers provided during our Journalism Fund campaign, which ended last night.

Cecilia Doan, Matt Graff, John January, Jeff Hardison, Steffan Postaer, Daniel Wood, John Gross, Dianne Axtell, Chris Maley and Greg Veerman decided to support this project, and the people who create it, with their own hard-earned money. I’m inspired and touched by their generous actions.

If you followed my updates throughout the campaign, you’ll recall the initial push was tough going. What changed is my use of email to make direct appeals. I didn’t send many, but the rate of return was encouraging to say the least. Of course, mailing out personal appeals to friends is hardly the definition of crowdfunding. I guess that’s okay, because it’s one more lesson learned.

And that lesson again is what exactly? Putting requests out into the bloatosphere, for anything really–for comments on a blog post, for help finding a designer, or to sell something–is a tough business. Because a blog post, social update and/or ad isn’t personal. With content that goes out to a broader audience, people do not feel as connected to the problem, or to the writer, as they do when it’s a one-to-one request made in person, or via email.

So what role, if any, does all the free content provided here play? The daily free servings work to open the door to new friendships and business relationships. Two of the 10 funding sources above knew me before AdPulp ever existed. Of the remaining eight, four I know personally and the other four I know via the web and hope to meet in person some day.

Naturally, the next question is does this campaign provide an indication that premium content offerings will work here? I think it does. When 10 generous people are willing to give an average for $49, just to help the cause so to speak, I have to believe the audience for paid premium content (where one actually gets a tangible product in return) is here and ready to buy when they clearly see what’s in it for them.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.