Matt Forney
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Why You Should Purchase a NexxtLevelUp Membership

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A few months ago, I suggested to Virgle Kent that he consider implementing a paywall or some kind of monetization scheme with his magazine NexxtLevelUp. Conventional wisdom is that charging for online articles doesn’t work because there’s too much competing content available for free, as shown by how newspapers like the New York Times have consistently failed to draw a profit from their websites. What made me think otherwise was the successful launch of NSFW Corp, a new magazine headed up by Paul Carr and ex-Exile editor Mark Ames.

At the time, NSFW was charging a monthly subscription of $3 for access to all of their articles, as well as including an “unlock” feature that allowed subscribers to share articles with their friends. They also had a “Desknotes” feature where you could read behind-the-scenes conversations between Carr, Ames and the site’s other writers, and a nightly radio show. It was NSFW’s roster of top-notch writers like Ames, Gary Brecher and James Kotecki that convinced me to sign up, and even after the site made their articles freely available, the Desknotes feature—and the fact that I was helping out some of my favorite writers—motivated me to keep my subscription. It’s paid off in spades: NSFW Corp can afford to not only send their writers to cover news stories, but they can afford to hire fact-checkers and give their full-time employees health benefits.

All for just three dollars a month.

A couple days ago, VK announced that NexxtLevelUp now has a paywall. While the site’s roster will still produce plenty of free articles, posts that require a significant time/money investment and/or could potentially get the writer outed will cost you. NexxtLevelUp’s prices are beyond reasonable: only $6.50 for a six month platinum subscription at the most expensive, and a mere fifty cents for individual posts at the cheapest.

I signed up for a membership, and here’s why you should too.

First off, these guys are legit and providing valuable information. I’ve only met Nate in real life, but I’ve worked with all of NexxtLevelUp’s contributors behind the scenes online for a while now. They aren’t ghostly-skinned neckbeards whining about “divorce rape” from the safety of their parents’ basements, they’re smart, dependable men who are experts in their chosen fields. The articles that VK, Tanner, Nate and Chef in Jeans write are all about helping you get some style, get healthy, get swole and get laid, things that all men want to do. What’s $13 a year for unlimited access to a proven resource that can help you become a better man?

Secondly, the manosphere is slowly reaching a point where free is not enough.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Freely available blogs may be a bargain for you the reader, but if they’re any good, they come at a significant cost to the writer. As Hemingway said, “Easy reading is damned hard writing.” When you read an incisive, informative blog article, you’re looking at untold hours that went not only into writing and proofreading it, but maintaining the website it was posted on and acquiring the knowledge in the article itself. This is on top of everything else the writer has going on; all of NexxtLevelUp’s contributors have full-time jobs.

The only people who poo-poo bloggers as having an easy time are those who’ve never attempted to write or create anything of their own.

I’ve been immersed in the manosphere—and its predecessors—for years. In that time, I’ve seen innumerable blogs go Tango Uniform because the writer either got outed, real life took precedence, or they simply ran out of steam. Beyond a certain point, self-gratification isn’t enough to sustain a blogger’s interest, especially when there are bills to pay and kids to feed. When I suggested the paywall idea to VK, I told him that because he’s managing a magazine with multiple contributors, he’s going to burn out faster due to the increased workload. Having run projects similar to NexxtLevelUp in the past, I’m speaking from experience.

Put simply, if you want top-shelf writers in the manosphere to stick around, you can’t expect us to give you everything for free.

I’m not rich, but I’ve tried to adhere to this principle as much as I can. I’ve supported websites like The Spearhead that rely on reader donations to stay afloat. Even though file-sharing websites can get me anything I want for free, I make a point to buy albums from indie musicians I like solely as a show of support. NexxtLevelUp’s most expensive subscription option works out to a whopping $1.08 per month. You can’t even get a decent cup of coffee for that much.

If you can’t or won’t pay the equivalent of a can of Coke per month for a site that enriches and improves your life, what does that say about you?

I have my differences with VK, but he and his writers are putting out a great product, and I’d be a fool to not shell out a buck a month for it. If you have any interest in becoming a better man, you should sign up too.

Click here to purchase a membership to NexxtLevelUp.

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