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Monetize Your Blog through Text Messages – TextMarks

TextmarksAn interesting new monetization strategy for bloggers is emerging today – letting readers subscribe to your blog via Text Messages.

TextMarks has launched this new service which allows bloggers to either charge $4.99 or $9.99 per month to their readers to get these instantaneous alerts.

It’s currently only available to US cell phone users on Cingular, Verizon, Sprint or Alltel.

I’m not sure it’d work for the majority of blogs as an income stream – but for those who break news that people must know – then it could be a worthwhile monetization stream to look into.

How much do bloggers make from TextMarks subscriptions? From reading the Terms of Use it seems that publishers only make 30% of the subscription (while I know they’d have costs and the carriers take their cut it seems a little low for my liking – as a content provider I’d be hoping to make as much out of it as the carriers themselves (who can make as much as 50% by the looks of things).

Some questions for readers:

  • Would you pay for this type of service?
  • What type of blogs/sites would you pay for this type of service on?
  • Do you think your readers would pay for it?

Via TechCrunch

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. lornadoone says:

    Wow. I can’t imagine paying to get blog posts; but I’m sure there are people who feel differently. My blog doesn’t have any breaking news on it, so I don’t see anyone paying for updates.

    Would the draw for that be that it was somehow cheaper than just getting an internet-capable phone? Maybe text messages would be easier to read than checking out the site on your phone.

    Hmm . . . seems like an odd idea to me.

  2. Alex Shalman says:

    Like you said, I doubt that the readers of most blogs would have a need for such a service. Even if your blog is updated multiple types a day, people could just check them out online, or subscribe to blogs via e-mail alerts which could be forwarded to their cell phones.

    Things like weather updates, local traffic reports, and important warning information could be a useful text message alert. Also, most phones, other than PDAs, are not useful for reading long articles.

    For example, my blog at http://www.alexshalman.com/blog, would not draw many sales through text alerts. My readers can easily go online in the morning, lunch time or before bed. Many times I tend to post-date the publishing of my articles for early morning EST. I feel like reading my article first thing in the morning could put someone in a better mood and let them have a better, happier and more productive day (depending on what I happen to write about ofcourse).

  3. ShoeMoney says:

    hmm I do a lot of sms delivery and to be honest there is no costs… unless they are using a 3rd party. The carriers charge there customers to recieve sms messages and anyone can setup a sms gateway.

    (note to self: make free sms service for bloggers)

  4. Ashish Mohta says:

    1.I can pay for this if it comes in handy.Many people would like if they blog is browsable through their mobile.As far as I know there is one plugin available for making your mobile compatible for being accessed through.

    2.I am not sure i got that question, if you can explain a little more.

    3.As more number of people are tending to access net through mobiles, it can came in handy may be not now but thats the future.Blogs being accessed from mobiles is closer. 5 or 10$ is not much if they are really intended towards it.

    However with the ease of internet it might not get a boom now.It has to wait till the industry shifts more on mobiles.Its predicted one day Mobiles will replace laptops.Thats the Future

    I would definetly give it a try when i come back from work.

  5. I wouldn’t use this on the consumer end. Getting updates on the mobile would just get annoying. Plus, I can get the same updates via RSS or email just as quickly and free.

    I don’t envision a big adoption of this service, but its an interesting idea anyway..

  6. Jeff says:

    Unless it was something critical to know, I probably wouldn’t get it. When I think of getting text alerts, I think of something free someone is giving me to get them to subscribe to their product.

    I could see sports blogs making use of this, and Engadget or TechCrunch could use it since they’ve got the early adopters.

    I’m pretty sure my readers wouldn’t pay…and I wouldn’t ask them too because I wouldn’t pay for a service like that.

    My 2 cents.

    http://averageidea.com

  7. Anne H says:

    People may want to check out ZapTXT. They offer an alert service to cell phones and are free. You can customize it for specific words too.

    http://zaptxt.com/home/

  8. Tat says:

    I wouldn’t pay to offer that service to my readers unless my blog was already on a paid subscription based model. Then I’d include it in the price of initial subscription if I could.

    Wouldn’t on the receiving end either unless that was the only way to get the news And it was news I had to have or else. RSS is fast enough for me, and I can get most feeds on my phone, or create rss to email that will talk to my phone.

    I don’t think MY readers would pay for it, but it seems like it would work with a model that was already on a pay system. IE- If there was a special in-depth version of your blog that was $5 – $30 a month, the extra info is critical enough to my business that it woud be cost effective and I’d pay for both that and text email access.

  9. Maki says:

    Definitely think my readers won’t pay for it. I don’t think It’ll pay for this service also because my laptop and PDA is more than adequate to keep up with blog updates.

    I’ll only pay for this service if I own a celebrity blog. Celebrity blogs are very competitive when it comes to breaking entertainment news or scandals and I won’t mind paying for TextMarks because you’ll earn it back anyway with ad revenues.

  10. Hoboken411 says:

    I use ZapTXT on my site, and my users can get free SMS messages for the entire site, certain keywords, or comments for just one article.

    Why make them pay, when they can have that feature for free?

    While it’s nice to be able to monetize, that’s an awful costly fee in my opinion, and doesn’t add much value to the reader considering the alternatives available.

  11. engtech says:

    You can get this for free. I wish I could remember the source, but there is a free alternative to this.

    With stuff like r-mail.org you can easily pipe RSS to any email-to-text gateway for free.

  12. cd says:

    1. I will never pay for it not because it costs money but because it brings too much interruption and distraction to my life. Internet, emails, cell phones… are enough, I guess.
    2. Well, if I’m a trader, I probably want up-to-date information related to my biz quick.

  13. This article was covered by techcrunch ;)

  14. Darren Rowse says:

    Targeted Web Traffic – thats why I put a little link at the end saying ‘via Tech Crunch’ to acknowledge where I first saw it :-)

  15. Henry says:

    It seems you need to have a mobile phone number yourself to register. So this does mean that it available only to US Publishers?

  16. Nick says:

    Darren,

    This is a great resource.. Excellent for Filipino Bloggers, since there is a huge market for text… Thanks for the heads up.

  17. jhay says:

    Quite interesting, then again why would I subscribe to a blog on my mobile phone for a fee when I could subscribe and access it via my laptop or desktop with only my internet bill to worry about?

  18. I agree with Christer Edwards, on the consumer end, those messages can get very very annoying…

  19. Andy says:

    Modern phones come with RSS capability which is free (other than minute data charges) to use.

  20. + moDok + says:

    Text messages are huge in many parts of Asia and there are a lot of companies that offer similar services for free. I don’t think anyone would be willing to pay for it unless the information was really time sensitive.

  21. kyle says:

    many of these companies make someone pay along the way. usually something like the receiver getting chrged ends up happening. Ive been using peekamo.com and its pretty safe , free and i dont get spam.

  22. Emily says:

    I have made alot off this service by signing up as many cell phones as possible.

  23. Is it free? or we should buy a specific application.

  24. Dan says:

    The content has to be really good and valuable to get anyone to pay, besides there are other alternatives available which you can use for free so I guess this kind of monetization would have a very limited use unless you have a great idea to make it work.

  25. Patrick says:

    I don’t think MY readers would pay for it, but it seems like it would work with a model that was already on a pay system.

  26. No.
    i will not use this in my blog.
    because currently my blog is on a high and i don’t want to decrease my traffic
    http://educationguideonline.blogspot.com

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