How do you make money on the Internet writing a free wine blog?

“Now where’s the link to pay to subscribe to the WC blog?”

You can’t – so the blog is moving to paid subscriptions on March 15

The blog will move to paid subscriptions, beginning March 15. It’s a decision a long time coming, and one I have agonized about for months. But it’s the only way that I can continue to offer the kind of wine writing you deserve and that I want to do.

And, because I value those of you who read the blog, current subscribers will get a chance to move to the new system at a substantial discount.

Otherwise, nothing will change. You’ll still get all of the same features and the blog will still focus on wine that most of us can afford to buy – wine costing less than $15 (and usually much less than that). The Hall of Fame and Cheap Wine of the Year aren’t going anywhere, and you’ll still get 52 wines of the week that focus on value and quality.

Plus, I’ll still keep my reporter’s eye on the wine business, letting you know about all of the foolishness perpetrated to sell you wine that you don’t want to drink at a price you don’t want to pay.

Because, as one subscriber wrote when I was trying to figure out this subscription thing: “I have always thought I got your true opinion on value wines not tainted by big money. No one was paying you for favorable press.”

And that certainly won’t change.

Hence, the same five posts a week, 52 weeks a year, plus access to the website – and, as a bonus, no more ads. What will change is that it will cost $7 a month for the blog, or $70 a year. Current subscribers can continue for a 20 percent discount off of that — just $56 a year. Click this link to subscribe. Otherwise, the daily email will stop coming when I turn it off on March 14.

Yes, I know some of you won’t make the move with the blog. And I’ll be sorry to see you go. You’re one of the best things about doing this, people who are as passionate about cheap wine as I am. But, given the economic realities of the Internet these days, there isn’t much of a choice. If I don’t move to a subscription format, the blog will have to end sooner rather than later, and that might have been at the end of this year.

In fact, the change probably should have happened sooner. I’ve been so hung up on circulation (one of the curses of being an ex-newspaperman) that I didn’t see the larger picture. Circulation doesn’t matter on the Internet anymore; what matters are people willing to pay for high quality, informed, and honest writing.

And, with all due modestly, that’s what I’ve been doing five days a week for more than 13 years. That’s certainly worth the price of a good glass of cheap wine each month, yes?

Photo courtesy of, using a Creative Commons license

4 thoughts on “How do you make money on the Internet writing a free wine blog?

  • By Steve -

    Just subscribed!

  • By Doug -

    Would suggest changing your favicon to something other than the WordPress default.

  • By Robert P Behlendorf -

    Seems to me you have an economic dilemma. Wine Business Monthly – WBM – publishes your blogs on a regular basis. When you start charging money, I suspect WBM will decline the offer. Then you lose the distribution. If you do not charge WBM and they publish your stuff, I can read it for free. Suggestion. Write two – one for WBM and one for paid eyes to see. Make the free one whet the appetite for more in-depth offerings for a fee. Best of both worlds. Sounds easy. But to keep the WBM distribution outlet might be worth the effort. Another tip. The paid subscribers should get a premium. Monogrammed corkscrew or something like that so they know you at every bottle. Personally conducted wine country tours also offer upscale revenue potential. End of session. Please call my office to remit my consultation fee. I charge by the word. Thank You.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      Thanks for the note. Most of what you note has been accounted for when the blog switches to subscription. This was a long and very tedious process, in which my head hurt more than once to try and figure most of the sticky points out.

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