Over the next year, Liverpool-Kop.com will transition into a subscription only membership site, which means visitors will gain access to the site by paying a small monthly fee.
Main Reasons for the Change
* I want to get rid of all advertising on the site, and the only way to do this (and make the site sustainable) is to switch to a subscription-based system. As soon as the site hits 1000 subscribers, all advertising will be permanently removed, which will immeasurably improve site speed and user experience. I'm sick of advertising, and I know many visitors feel the same.
* Trolling, plagiarism (i.e. content thieves stealing entire articles verbatim) and/or sabotage attempts are a daily occurrence, and making the site members-only will help to eradicate these issues.
* One of the ongoing goals of the site is to foster a community where fans can discuss LFC without having to fight off trolls, snipers, and online bullies. It is imperative that all visitors feel able to express any football-related view without fear of being harassed, insulted or otherwise attacked, and locking out trolls, bullies, and snipers will add another layer of protection for the site's members.
* I'd like to post more in-depth, statistically-based articles about tactics, players, and the club's finances. As long-time readers will know, these type of articles were once LK's main focus, but due to commercial considerations (and reader demand), I had to diversify the topics being explored.
* I plan to create iOS and Android apps for the site, and app design becomes infinitely easier when there are no advertising zones to integrate. Plus, quality app design is expensive, and subscriptions will help pay for this.
* Unique perspective on Liverpool FC, and a highly individual viewpoint on the club that you won't find anywhere else. In-depth analysis of all aspects of Liverpool FC, and the chance to be part of genuinely independent site, which is totally different from any other football site on the net.
* Thriving, troll-free discussion community, which contains (arguably) the highest quality Liverpool FC discussion on the net.
* A totally ad-free experience (once the site hits 1000 subscribers). This is a cast-iron guarantee, or your money back (and will be enshrined in terms and conditions of membership).
* Free access to the site's extensive article history, which includes years of extensive analysis of every aspect of the club. These articles will be resurfaced and repurposed for subscribers, along with a document library of every major LFC-related research document you can imagine (club accounts going back 30+ years; significant historical press releases; FA minutes for LFC disciplinary hearings etc).
* Guest posts from experts and passionate, articulate Liverpool fans.
* Return of the LK Prediction League!
* Free Apps for iOS and Android.
* Membership discounts for long-term visitors/commenters.
* Ongoing membership discounts when certain subscription milestones are met (i.e. global reduction in monthly fees once the site hits 2000, 3000, 5000 subscribers etc.
Various subscriptions will be available (Monthly, 6-monthly, yearly etc), with discounts in place for longer subscriptions, but the following is a general overview:
* New Visitors: One month free (to test out the site), and then they'll have the option to subscribe.
* Long-Term Commenters: Free subscription for 1-2 years. That basically includes everyone who posts regularly and all long-term commenters (including those who constantly disagree with me, which is most people). If subscriber numbers reach the required levels, then subscriptions for regulars will almost certainly stay free for years.
* Discounted subscriptions for new users who reach certain comment milestones (i.e. 10% discount for 1000 comments etc).
* Global discounts for all users based on subscription milestones.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but prices will probably be around £3.00 per month (or equivalent in your local currency), for new subscribers, which basically amounts to around 9 pence per day.
After tens years online, and over 160 millions visits (127m of which are since 2010), the site has a loyal following, and every month, at least 80% of total visitors are returning visitors. I'm genuinely humbled by this loyalty, and I hope that many of you will stay loyal as I take the site to the next level.
Of course, I know many will refuse to subscribe, and that's fair enough, but the subscription model is the future, and that's the way the site has to go in order to keep moving forward.
Please feel free to leave any thoughts, questions, or queries in the comment section below. Alternatively, you can email me by clicking the 'contact' link at the top of the page.