As you probably know, many local and niche publishers, particularly web-based publishers like Coffee Review, are not financially sustainable based solely on advertising revenue. Most of our advertisers are small coffee roasting companies with limited marketing budgets. Raising advertising rates is a painful prospect in normal times. It’s simply out of the question with many roasters facing severe financial hardships in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Our challenge is to find creative sources of revenue that can sustain and expand Coffee Review without restricting readers’ access to our content, or limiting our essential mission of helping consumers purchase superior coffees and celebrating the farmers and roasters who produce those coffees. Given we have as many as one million readers per year, we concluded that the best approach would be to solicit support from the most dedicated of those readers.
Frankly, while people are accustomed to paying a subscription fee for print publications, it’s difficult to get them to pay for online content, most of which is of dubious quality but nonetheless free. With that in mind, we recognized that we didn’t need everyone to pay, we simply needed a small portion of our most loyal readers to pay a small amount each month to support the modest costs of running a tasting lab and a website.
We think we have found a win-win-win solution, namely an optional membership program the benefits readers, Coffee Review, as well as the roasters and farmers that produce the superior quality coffees we review. To be clear, our new membership program is NOT a subscription program. All reviews and content on CoffeeReview.com will remain free to all visitors. Our membership program is an option for readers who pay a modest monthly fee to support Coffee Review‘s mission in return for some exciting and valuable member benefits.
Now, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission takes on a greater urgency. As part of the worldwide coffee community, we at Coffee Review are keenly aware of the personal and professional hardships facing everyone from our readers, to roasters and coffee shops, to baristas and food service workers, to farmers and importers. We will remain committed to our mission. With minor exceptions, we will continue to publish monthly reports and reviews according to our editorial calendar and review practices.
When you become a Coffee Review member, you will help us better pursue our mission and support our roaster partners and other small roasting companies during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Thanks in advance for considering joining our membership program.
We’ve partnered with Patreon to manage our membership program. You will be taken to Patreon.com to become a member.