Tales from behind the Milwaukee Magazine paywall


When I was hired by the Milwaukee Sentinel my parents thought I was a court reporter.

They were just happy that I had a job. So was I.

Until, long story short, I lost it. Now I am doing it here.

dudeabide11sAnd I am going to take on some help from Milwaukee Magazine in doing so.

From the first my plan was to write about  movies and media since the Journal Sentinel no longer did.

I saw a vacuum and in a low-hanging fruit, sort of way tried to fill it.

Traffic has been brisk driven by interest in a tumultuous Milwaukee media marketplace and my social media outbursts.

The result may look like a hobby site, but it feels like work.

And to keep the Dudek abode open I have to figure out how monetize things.

With the least amount of disruption for either of us.

What is the next step? Kickstarter? Sponsored posts? Telethon?

(Seriously, I’m asking. Please email ideas using the link on this page or put them in the comments section, especially if you want to place an ad that will reach a significant and engaged readership.)

I hooked up with Milwaukee Magazine because they were interested enough to ask me to do so.

What happens next is a work-in-progress on my end, and involves a pay wall at their end.

Why pay for content? Because unique content has unique value.

A Poynter Institute story concluded the best paywall should involve “a method that allows for small amounts – 10 cents, a few pennies – to be billed from a user’s account almost without them noticing.”

AKA: micropayments.

That is the model being adopted by Milwaukee Magazine. It is administered by Imoneza, a Brookfield company whose business model is “Intelligent micropayments for digital media.”

Some of my content will still appear here for free – you know, the stuff not worth paying for – some will appear on MilwaukeeMag.com for a modest fee. I guess. I think.

I’m just a little dongle in a strategy that includes other Milwaukee Magazine content. A story in the July issue by Howie Magner on World War II vets is behind a paywall, with the teaser below:

“MilwaukeeMag.com is your All-Access Members Pass to everything Milwaukee. Read single articles or subscribe to everything (including the digital version of Milwaukee Magazine) available to our members for one low annual price of $19. To make things easier (and secure) we partnered with iMoneza, based right here in Brookfield to provide a secure payment gateway. Log in to iMoneza or create an iMoneza account to purchase access to this page or a subscription to this site. “

According to its website, Imoneza is a “next generation payment gateway and digital wallet that allows you to access, manage and pay for the online content you want,” using your account.

Sign up for it here and for as much or little as you want.

I started with $10.

Hopefully, some of my content is valuable enough to pay peanuts for.


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  • Do you get enough traffic that Adwords or other paid placement would generate revenue?

  • Mark Pfeifer

    I am very willing to pay as long as the charge is reasonable, say $15 a year. RobertFeder.com and RadioInsight.com have moved to this model.

  • Haven’t explored Adwords. Thanks.

  • Know-It-All

    I love ya, man, but I’m not paying another $10-$15/year above the $19/year I already pay for the print edition.

  • I hear you man. But I THINK its included in your subscription. Maybe I’m wrong. Check it out though.

    • Know-It-All

      I called the MKE Office a little bit ago and was told it’s currently not included.

  • BadgerGirl

    It feels kind of weird to have to pay again for Milwaukee Magazine content that I have already paid for. But if I look at the situation from another direction, would I pay $19 per year to read your reviews and media news, then I would. But I think that I will wait to kick in the cash until I run up against your first firewall.

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