As an editor of a news website, the thought of introducing a paywall (I'll explain how ours will work shortly) goes against your instincts.
My goal as an editor is to try to get as many people as possible to read our articles. But the reality of the industry is that clicks alone don't pay the bills. If we want to continue to grow as we have done over the last five years we need to ask readers to contribute directly.
We are working in an environment in which big global companies like Facebook and Google have snapped up a huge proportion of global advertising. We still have some brilliant advertisers, and will continue to value those relationships, but like most other media we also need other, more stable, forms of income.
More and more people are using ad-blocking software, and Facebook recently changed its news feed algorithms so many regular readers no longer see our stories.
Advertising alone can never reliably fund the kind of service we as a company and I as the editor of The Local Spain, want to offer you, our readers.
Having paid members will put more power at The Local with our readers. We want members to help guide us on what stories or issues we need to cover and to help us cover them. We'll be feeding back our Members' input into our editorial decisions, to help you determine how we can serve you best.
This will help us get better at explaining Spain, whether it's why Spain is still struggling to deal with its Franco legacy or how Spanish women are experiencing their own #Metoo movement
We also want to look deeper at issues affecting our international readers who live in Spain, whether it's why now is the right time to buy a property in Spain or how Brexit fears are driving calls for the right to dual citizenship in Spain
We've also looked at how to adapt to living in Spain giving insight into the things foreigners do that make Spaniards feel really awkward and what NEVER to do when dining in Spain.
We've tried to put the record straight about Spain and the Spanish debunking traditionally held stereotypes about the Spanish and bringing the real news behind tabloid headlines.
We also bring you handy guides to explore new cities. For example the Top Ten ultimate pintxos to devour in San Sebastian or Ten of the best secrets to discover in Barcelona.
From my point of view a major positive about asking readers to pay is that the responsibility will make us improve what we do. But also, if we can reduce our reliance on advertising we can concentrate more on the stories that matter.
How will it work?
A paywall will be introduced that means after a certain amount of articles readers will be asked to become a Member in order to carry on reading.
That means occasional readers of The Local will be still able to read the vast majority of articles we publish for free although they wont be able to read certain more in-depth articles, which will be for Members only.
As for prices, at the beginning readers will be offered a 50 percent discount price to sign up.
In Spain we are giving an early bird offer that costs just €2.49/month or €24.99/year.
That also gives you unlimited access to our eight other news sites including premium content on our French, German, Swedish and Italian sites.