How Foreign Lobby Report is increasing revenue with pay-per-article

Specialized revenue for a specialized publication

Foreign Lobby Report has found a combination of revenue streams that fit both their particular publication and their audience.

Most publications gather revenue in two ways: with subscriptions and with advertising. But those aren’t the only options. Foreign Lobby is making the most of their content with a regular subscription, with donations, and with pay-per-post articles. 

The usual paywall model

Foreign Lobby writes long-form, high-value articles on a rarified topic: the who, what, and why of foreign lobbying efforts in the United States. It’s a topic with a lot of value to a fairly narrow audience. They’ve had to mix-and-match to find the right revenue methods for them.

They started with the usual paid subscription — monthly or annual — and a metered paywall, allowing readers to sample a few articles before purchasing. The articles can be found in search and shared in social for wider distribution. It’s a strategy that most publications use to great effect.

It didn’t work for Foreign Lobby. Their subject matter is too specialized for the kind of high-volume readership that makes free samples economical. The leaking paywall didn’t convert. Readers came, read their prescribed number of articles, and departed without ever having to subscribe.

Clearly they needed to lock down the paywall, but without free articles on the meter, how to entice new readership?

A new approach

The answer came with Leaky Paywall’s Pay Per Post Add-on.

The Pay Per Post Add-on allows publications to sell access to individual articles (or videos or PDFs or documents). For a publisher of long-form, high-value content like Foreign Lobby Report, this was exactly the solution they needed.

Detailed headlines tell readers exactly what they’re purchasing. The one-time purchase option allows them to get the information without committing to a subscription. These articles serve the same purpose as free metered articles, but without giving away too much value.

It was a strategy that worked. Readers not only purchased a single article, they came back for more. The individual articles were so successful that Foreign Lobby was able to double the price point from $2.50 to $5 each.

And the tighter paywall has started to convert full, paid subscriptions as well.

Bonus round

Foreign Lobby Report decided to open up one more revenue stream as well. Like most publishers (and essentially every publisher of long-form, high-value articles), their publication is mission-based.

And mission-based publications are the perfect vehicle for donations.

With the mission to “track all of the latest influence campaigns” levied in the U.S. by foreign governments and corporations, Foreign Lobby is very clear on why they don’t accept advertising revenue. Instead, they simply ask for continued support for the independence of their journalism.

It’s an entirely effective strategy, made easily possible with the Name Your Price Leaky Paywall Add-On. Simple set-up and great results. 

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