Monetize Your Writing with Micropayments
In our nearly six years, we've strived to create a platform that helps you get your words out to the world, no matter what drives you to create them. Today on Write.as, writers publish everything from anonymous flash fiction to professional newsletters like Monday Kickoff. Many write for the pure joy of it; others write to further ends.
We've long thought about how we can help support our most avid writers. Like our bootstrapped company, they too need a sustainable way to create their work. They need flexible tools to help them create what they want. They need digital platforms that enable them to be free and independent.
After several months of development, today we're happy to announce our first step toward such a platform, with the launch of our first monetization features on Write.as.
Introducing Web Monetization
To start, we've added support for Web Monetization (WM), a browser technology that enables viewers to send very small payments, called micropayments, to a website's creator in real time.
We chose this proposed standard because it aligns perfectly with our ideals. It's an open protocol rather than another walled-garden solution, giving artists the independence they need. It makes payment friction-free, just as our platform enables seamless writing and publishing. And it puts user privacy first — the core idea behind every product we build.
How it works
As a reader, Web Monetization allows you to buy a single subscription through a provider such as Coil, and get access to all paid content across the web that supports Web Monetization. This includes blogs on Write.as, an ad-free experience on Imgur, independent sites from around the web, and plenty more. With that subscription, all you need is a special browser or extension to access paid content.
As a writer, Web Monetization enables you to accept micropayments for your work, whether it's published here on Write.as, on your own website, or anywhere else the protocol is supported. Setup is pretty straightforward — you'll first create a digital wallet, copy your “payment pointer,” and then add it to your website.
To start accepting micropayments on Write.as, you'll simply add your payment pointer to your blog's Customize page:
With that added, you're all set! Readers with a Coil Membership (or who pay another Web Monetization provider in the future) will start sending you micropayments as soon as they start reading your blog.
With the launch of Web Monetization support, we're also introducing the ability to offer exclusive paid content on your blog. To create a paid article, while writing, you'll insert a special shortcode where you want the paid content to begin:
You can put this anywhere you want: at the beginning of the post to make the entire thing exclusive, somewhere in the middle to offer some content for free, or at the end, just before a bit of bonus content, following the “100+20 rule”. We've built this with flexibility in mind, so you're free to experiment and find what works best for you and your readers.
Once you've added this shortcode, readers with a Coil subscription will see that part of the article unlock as soon as we verify payment. And those without one will see a gentle prompt to get a Coil subscription, so they can easily start reading your paid content.
Finally, on your blog's home page, readers will be able to clearly see which articles feature paid content. To see it in action, check out the latest post on our founder Matt's blog.
Micropayment support is just the start for us. Just as we enable writers to distribute their work through a variety of channels — whether via the web, email, RSS, e-book, fediverse, or social media — we plan to support a variety of payment methods and pricing models to give writers more choice and flexibility.
In the meantime, enjoy experimenting with Web Monetization, and let us know what you think — whether by replying in the fediverse (@email@example.com) or discussing on our forum!