As a publisher, you can offer benefits as a thank-you to your members. These benefits are part of your plans and help motivate your community to support you.

There are so many different things you can offer. Some publishers are able to collect members without having to offer any benefits. Others offer their members a little thank-you in return, like a personal shout-out in a podcast. Other publishers want to be a little more exclusive, asking visitors to become members in order to access their content.

Publisher strategies – what will work best for your publication?

Which strategy you pursue depends entirely on what will suit your publication best.

A good place to start is by asking yourself what you can realistically achieve. Does exclusive content make sense for your publication? How much dialogue are you prepared to have with your members? Should they be able to have a say in the content you produce?

On the other hand, you need to think about your members and their likely motivations. Are they people who would become members in order to gain access to exclusive content? Or might they support you even without any concrete benefits, simply because they want your publication to continue?

Once you've got these questions answered, you can match your publication with one – or more – of the following strategies:

Benefit

What members
pay for

Steady Features used

Example Steady Publishers

Content

Exclusive content behind paywall, exclusive podcast episodes, exclusive newsletters, Access to archived articles

Hard paywall, Exclusive RSS audio feed, exclusive podcast episodes on Spotify or Podigee, floating button

gal-dem, The Quietus, GAY TIMES, Slow News, Krautreporter, Wolf, VERSUS, The Pod, BRICKS

Early Access

Get exclusive content before everyone else gets it

Hard paywall, removed 2 weeks after publishing article

Louie Media, BRICKS, Übermedien, Titanic

Empowering the publisher / Continuity of service

allow publisher to continue their work / support an important cause

Floating button, Logos and Banners

The Quietus, Voxeurop, Linkiesta, The New European, BildBlog

Comment / Vote

Participation/Comment feature, having a say in content direction

Direct messages and comments in posts, Floating button, Steady Switch

Krautreporter, Slow News, Wolf, VERSUS

Community

Access to exclusive Slack channel, Facebook group or other exclusive platforms

Direct messages, comments in posts, Members CSV export, Zapier integration

gal-dem, Wolf, VERSUS, Social Media Watchblog

Features

Exclusive features

Steady Switch

Fan-Fiktion

Remove Ads or remove Soft Paywall

No ads on website, ad-free podcast feed

Soft paywall, Steady Switch

Postillon, Titanic, Fan-Fiktion, Wochendämmerung

Commercial Sponsorship

Have your name/logo mentioned

-

The New European, JUnit, Social Media Watchblog

Print materials

Postcards, books, or print magazine

Members CSV export, get shipping addresses from members

GAY TIMES, gal-dem, The New European, BRICKS, Titanic, The Overtake

Invitations / Events

invitation to exclusive events or free event tickets

Members CSV export

gal-dem, GAY TIMES, Louie Media, Titanic, Postillon, BRICKS

Mentioning of Benefactors

Name mentioned in article

-

GAY TIMES, The New European, The Overtake, Postillon

General information for benefits

  • The benefits should not be based on your goals, but on how you want to engage your members and what you can realistically achieve.

  • You shouldn’t offer physical items, but focus on digital benefits, like early or exclusive access to content, an exclusive hangout or something similar. (Small physical gifts like postcards or printed versions of what you offer digitally are fine).

  • Competitions and lotteries are not permitted as benefits.

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