by Niall Doherty

I’ve decided to start charging for content here at Disrupting the Rabblement. I’ll get into the why of it all in a minute, but first let me fill you in on the essentials:

  1. I’ll continue to publish articles twice weekly. My first article each week will be viewable by everyone, but only paid subscribers will be able to read the second.
  2. As a thank you for supporting me all along, existing email subscribers will be grandfathered in as paid subscribers. So if you’re already on my email list, you won’t have to pay anything unless you wish to do so. You can continue just as you are and you’ll still be able to read all my articles. As of Thursday however, the only way to read everything I publish will be to become a paid subscriber.
  3. Actually, that last bit’s not entirely true: If you don’t want to subscribe free before Thursday or pay to subscribe afterwards, you can just wait a year. All my “premium” articles will be made public 365 days from date of posting. (Hat tip to Raam Dev for this idea.)
  4. While I’ll aim to deliver quality every time I push publish, I intend to save what I perceive to be my better articles for paid subscribers.
  5. How much will it cost to subscribe? That’s up to you. Drew Jacob gave me the idea of using a pay-what-you-want model. Starting Thursday, new subscribers can opt to pay between $3 and $20 per month for full access. I figure $3 is low enough to be affordable by pretty much everyone who’d like to support my work, while those willing and able to pay a bit more will also have the opportunity to do so.
  6. For those of you already subscribed but who would like to pay: Stay tuned for an email on Thursday explaining how you can do that.
  7. Additional bonuses for paid subscribers: Monthly finance and traffic reports (which will not be made public after a year), plus free copies of any paid products related to Disrupting the Rabblement that I might release down the line.

Why start charging for my writing?

Simply put: So I’ll have better things to write about. Or, as Julien would say: To help free my time and do cooler shit.

One of the biggest insights I gained from that survey a few weeks back was just how much you folks like it when I take on different life experiments, push my comfort zone, and then write about my experiences (prime examples: Random Acts of Courage, flirting in Amsterdam).

Unfortunately, the way I currently earn the majority of my income (freelance web design) often gets in the way of all that. My work requires a reasonably fast and reliable Internet connection so I can build websites and check in regularly with clients. On account of this, I’ve been confined almost exclusively to cities these past seven months. And within those cities I’ve more often than not been sitting in front of my laptop, trying to keep the money flowing.

I’d much rather be out exploring all corners of these strange countries I’m traveling through, meeting lots of cool people, and taking on all kinds of personal challenges. Besides having a blast doing those things, it’s the writing about such experiences that results in an ever-increasing amount of people telling me that I’ve made a significant positive difference in their lives, while I’ve yet to hear likewise about any website I’ve designed.

The simplicity of writing also means I’m less dependent on having Internet access wherever I go. Sure, I still need to publish articles online, process emails and upload the occasional video, but that’s peanuts compared to the access required for me to be a fully functioning web designer.

What all the above adds up to is a strong, new-found belief that I should try make a career of this writing thing. Paid access for Disrupting the Rabblement is a step in that direction, and I’m hoping it will be a win-win for me and your legendary reading self.

This will be an experiment. I’m not sure yet how it will work out, but there’ll be no hiding the results since I’ll publish the exact amount I earn from paid subscriptions in my monthly finance reports, and those of you with access will be able to see precisely how I spend the money, as well. I intend to be fully transparent about everything, as usual, for better or worse.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Looking forward to hearing from you.