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Ask HN: Pay per article
2 points by jansommer 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments
I love to write long, in depth interactive articles on highly technical topics, and spend many hours on research. I'm aiming for articles that are more interesting and fun than immediately applicable, a kind of intellectual entertainment and learning.

This is something I'd like to monetize somehow. Nobody likes ads so that's not an option, and I think most people are fed up with subscriptions. Assuming that my articles are actually good and that the reader, someone who have been programming for many years, is interested in the topic(s) described, would it make sense to sell on a pay per article model? Every article would include a refund me button, in case things didn't live up to the readers expectations.

A concrete example: Say there's an article that teaches you how to build a custom embedded Linux, cross compile software to it, c internals, serial debugging in qemu with gdb/gdbserver, how to write a streaming parser in Haskell for Linux kernel calls, how to run Linux in the browser and use it from JavaScript etc. (all in the same article, with a common goal for all tasks). The article would come with a video walkthrough as well. Would articles like that be worth anything, and if yes, what's a fair price?






Patreon? Post some articles for free and make more advanced articles and q&a sessions only for subscribers.

> Say there's an article that teaches you how to build a custom embedded Linux, cross compile software to it, c internals, serial debugging in qemu with gdb/gdbserver, how to write a streaming parser in Haskell for Linux kernel calls, how to run Linux in the browser and use it from JavaScript etc. (all in the same article, with a common goal for all tasks).

As jstx1 says in a sibling comment, this is not an article. You can call it a course, or a magazine or a book, but it's not an article. Keep each article focused in a single topic.


> Say there's an article that teaches you how to build a custom embedded Linux, cross compile software to it, c internals, serial debugging in qemu with gdb/gdbserver, how to write a streaming parser in Haskell for Linux kernel calls, how to run Linux in the browser and use it from JavaScript etc. (all in the same article, with a common goal for all tasks). The article would come with a video walkthrough as well.

You're describing a course, not an article. People do pay for courses. I don't think that many people will pay for an article that can be read in a few minutes.


The wording should indeed be course and not article. Having to pay for articles seem to be a bit frowned upon.

Option 1: Direct to reader.

The act of paying is a pain point.

There is always hesitancy because there is always a decision, there is always a need to make a judgment.

If it is every article, there are more pain points.

Write a newsletter.

Take subscriptions.

Option 2:

There are organizations that pay writers for content.

Sell to them.

Good luck. There are platforms for it.



Auch. I am attempting to earn money on topics that are of interest to me, which I think will be fun for others to read.

Consider your writing part of your marketing.

Put out a tip jar or patreon.

A subscription-based email newsletter is another option.

Writing in general pays quite poorly. It can however be a gateway to other things.




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