How To Make Money Online: The Subscription Business Model

The "Subscription Business Model" Online is simply where a website charges a visitor for something the website provides.  A website can charge a subscription for written content such as articles, short stories, or research reports.  This is many times the case for newspapers like The Wall Street Journal's online website. It can also charge a subscription for usage of a program such as Accounting Software, where a subscriber on the website is allowed access to using custom accounting software.  E-commerce websites selling goods or products can also use the subscriber model, with companies such as wholesalers and exclusive merchandise clubs charging members for access to the website, to buy goods.

Premium (paid) subscription website models
  • Membership: Sites which over "exclusive deals" and "only to wholesalers" are generally called membership sites, and may charge to initially enter membership.  
  • Newsletter:  Those whom tout how to make a million on Penny Stocks or make billions from home, have a picture of a nice sports car in the back of their profile, and then ask you to pay for their advice which they will send you in an email: are a prime example of The Newsletter Subscription Model.
  • Reference:  The reference subscription model is like paying for library books.  Sites like WestLaw and LexisNexis have made a great deal of money charging lawyers to reference old legal cases and scholarly articles pertaining to federal and state laws.  While wikipedia is completely free, there are some websites that charge for premium reference materials and literature.  These websites are considered Premium Subscription Reference Models.
  • Periodical: A subscription model that entails literature or content published on a regular basis is a Periodical Subscription Model.  
  • Magazine: The Magazine Subscription Model and The Periodical are not really any different from each other with the exception that most online magazine models are published on a set day and keep a certain focus on a particular topic.   
  • Application:  The Application Subscription is a key buzz term used for websites or mobile portals that make users subscribe to their "APP" or web application.  In general, the subscriber pays a fee monthly, yearly, or regularly for the use of the application software provider by the web developer or website. 
Affinity (free) subscription website models
  • Community: Sites like allow developers to join a community of other developers and program/develop the Internet with others.  This is the essence of the "community subscription model". Most free subscription models generate revenues in other ways such as advertising or charging for "extras" within the community.  For example, Facebook is free, but have you ever tried sending a message to a non-friend in India (there's a charge!!).
  • Portal: A portal subscription website aggregates content from outside sources. Portals are intended to build and feed an audience; they are specifically designed for SEO, email marketing, list building, and lead generation. Check out this great article on: The Portal Subscription Model
  • Blog: A site like the one you are reading this on,, is considered a blog.  If you click our RSS feed, and subscribe to our blog, then you have just experienced an example of the free "Blog Subscription" model.
While there are plenty of Subscription Model names and attributes, the truth is the Internet is still in it's infancy and the possibilities are endless.  You can be the first to create a new subscription model.  If we left out a certain model or you feel like we misrepresented anything at all, please let us know by either sending us a message or commenting below.  Check out our other post on how to make money online.

Hope this was helpful,

The PushYourRank Team
Author: Nicholas Coriano

About The Author: Nicholas Coriano is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Social Media Marketer, SEO Consultant and the founder of this blog and The  While developing websites for his own businesses and marketing his entrepreneurial ventures online, he began blogging useful tips and "how-to" articles on for reference purposes.  To retain Nicholas for help with your Website, Social Media, SEO or other online/technology needs, email

About (the Blog) is a blog that helps small businesses, start-ups, developers, amateurs website builders, bloggers and entrepreneurs develop their websites, their social media presence, their search engine optimization techniques and more  The Blog publishes articles about Ecommerce, Email Marketing and How To Make Money well as any topic that pertains to the Internet or Online.  If you need help developing a website, SEO or Social Media outsourcing, see, if you would like to advertise or have us publish an article on a certain subject, please email us at