Before the company's Twitter marketing campaign went viral, Squarespace wasn't a brand known to many. But the company has experienced rapid growth building a niche in the competitive market for content management solutions/publishing platforms. And it has done it by doing something many others have avoided: charging users.
I spoke with Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson about the company, its success with a paid business model and what ROI the company's viral Twitter marketing campaign produced.
How do you sell hardcovers for $26.99 when your book argues that information wants to be free? When you're Chris Anderson, you give away "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" online.
Anderson takes issue with critics — most notably so far Malcolm
Gladwell — who think his book argues that "information wants to be free."
According to Anderson, "Some information wants to be
free. And some information wants to be really expensive."
And the "LongTail" author and Wired editor is hoping that while readers can access the online version of his book for free, they'll still want to pay to read the book in hardcover form.
The strategy stands to gain Anderson some points in the attention economy for walking his talk of free, but will his publisher make any money giving away his goods for free?
Paid content and subscription services are hot once again thanks to an economic downturn that has reminded online publishers that ad revenues are not impervious.
But paid content isn't easy online (newspapers can attest to that) and many publishers inevitably fail at making the transition from free to paid. Here are several ways you can boost your chances of succeeding when selling content online.
He may be selling books, but reality has not been kind to Chris Anderson. His theory that the future of business is selling more of less as presented in his best-selling book, The Long Tail, is refuted by observational data.
And his latest
novel idea - that the future of business is $0.00 - looks downright
absurd in today's economy. That's the thesis behind his upcoming book, Free. In fact, it's so absurd that Anderson had to address the elephant in
the room in a recent guest piece in The Wall Street Journal.