Anyone setting up an online membership obviously needs to sell memberships, but what kind of content do people pay for? 

After all, having an offer that converts is the critical element in marketing your membership… and that implies having something that people are willing and able to pay for.

So, let’s talk about the kinds of content that are being sold. 


What kind of content do people pay for?

The kind of content people pay for ranges from educational content to health and wellness. The best selling products typically satisfy a burning need, desire, or pain point for your prospects. Let’s get into it more below:

Educational Content 

During the global lockdown, many people sought to improve themselves by learning new skills or improving existing ones. In this environment, educational content did very well: 

  • Online courses sold as a subscription provided in depth lessons for people to follow
  • Tutorials which could be offered as one-off lessons also did well
  • Ebooks were of course a big seller, but…
  • Educational subscriptions provided the biggest bang for the buck in terms of knowledge acquisition because subscribers could interact with knowledgeable experts

Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and MasterClass sell educational content to users and clients, which is always in demand. Other educational content that can be sold can involve marketing regular hobbies, such as: 

  • Language learning
  • Guitar lessons
  • Or baking

All of these could be sold as a subscription if you have the knowledge needed to teach others. There is a vast number of fields that could accommodate a subscription model, teaching others how to do what you’re already an expert in.

Also, as an entrepreneur, it’s incredibly valuable to be up-to-date with your sector. Sometimes, enrolling in a course is a great method of refreshing some old insights learned. 

News and Information

Accessing a respected news source is vital in today’s online world. This is especially true for niche topics that larger publications don’t cover in depth.

These can take the form of online subscription new sites, blogs on 3rd party platforms such as Substack, data services such as, monthly newsletters, etc. 

Other content people and entrepreneurs are willing to pay for are reports and studies gathered through in-depth research requiring significant data collection. For example, what are the reading habits of adults aged 50-70? How many new gold mines came online last year and how many ounces will they add to world supply? Both the data collection process and topics covered can vary widely. 

Great business data and insights can help entrepreneurs plan their next move. Outlets which provide quality data include: 

  • Stock shortlists and industry data for investors
  • Government data (such as,, or your local government portal)
  • Social media reports and insights (Google, Meta, and X)
  • Scientific data and health (World Health Organisation,, and Open Science Data Cloud) 
  • Data relating to real estate (market data, etc)

These reports and studies can shed light on areas of interest and use several expensive techniques, from peer group studies to setting up tests and more.   

If you find that there’s a demand, you can offer subscriptions with updated information to keep selling your best customers.

Health and Wellness

The health and wellness sector is booming. Many individuals seek content to assist them with their fitness regime or explain how to keep themselves healthy. 

You can sell content through subscription-based fitness apps, meditation apps, meal planning services, and online personal training.

Self-help programs, which aim to streamline and improve lives, are also part of this category for those seeking new habits to adopt. Just look at Maik Süter’s vegan blog. Click to read:

Another segment of this category includes health content as a resource, such as medical journals and research, allowing professionals to keep up with the industry. 

While we now know, “What kind of content do people pay for?” what is the difference between free and paid content? 

What is the difference between free and paid content?

The difference between free and paid content beyond monetary cost is that free content is usually thinner in information, or advertising supported. Ads are less viable today than they have been over the past 25 years as Google becomes hostile to the business model, but free content can still be used as lead generation.

This is where the idea of “freemium” comes into play. One marketing strategy for selling information content is to give a bunch of it away for free to bring readers to your website and then charging readers for additional information or upgraded content that may go deeper into the details in your niche.

A company such as Housing Wire, for example, offers a number of free articles and vlogs before readers are asked to subscribe to read more content. 

Sites such as Net Net Hunter offer free learning resources, with the aim of converting some of those readers into paying members who access expert advice and lists of stocks that fit their niche investment strategy.

So, what kind of content do people pay for? This really needs to be high value content that scratches some itch – more so, solves a customer problem, desire, or ideally a pain point. Educational content, informational content, and data subscriptions may all fit into this mould… but it varies from niche to niche.