This article was written by the Zwierciadło team and lightly edited by IPI for length and clarity. Receive regular updates on IPI’s innovation and media sustainability work by subscribing to our newsletter, The Outlook: Media Innovation Unlocked.

Zwierciadło is a monthly magazine and online platform that focuses on social issues and mental health for women. When we joined the accelerator, our goal was to introduce a subscription-based revenue model. However, we were unsure about where to start and concerned about potentially losing our readers—no women’s platform in Poland had attempted this before. Nevertheless, we recognized that our value lies in our unique content on well-being and mental health.

We always strive to align closely with our readers’ needs and publish content they find essential, but we had never directly asked them what they specifically wanted to know, relying instead on social media and data analysis.

The accelerator experience taught us that the subscription model should extend beyond just a paywall; it should also involve building a strong community around our brand. This community would engage in dialogues about its needs and how we can fulfill them long-term. To this end, we established the Zwierciadło Club—a space where we not only publish articles, podcasts, and videocasts about mental health and well-being but also invite members to cultural events, offer discounts from our business partners, and organize online meetings with specialists.

A crucial lesson was to prototype and implement solutions quickly, then refine and enhance them in subsequent iterations. That’s why we’re launching with a simplified version of the Club, which we will refine and expand in the coming months to include a special Facebook group, Q&A sessions with specialists, and offline meetings.

By thinking of our brand as a digital product that delivers unique value, and by gathering users in the Club, we create a more effective platform for engaging in meaningful dialogues about their expectations and contributions to their lives.

Overall, participating in the IPI accelerator has professionally guided us through the entire process—from conceptualizing a subscription-based revenue model to implementing it in a way that aligns with our core values of building healthy, close relationships within a supportive and strong community.


IPI’s New Media Incubator is part of the Media Innovation Europe (MIE) project, co-funded by the European Commission. The programme is led by the International Press Institute, implemented in collaboration with Thomson Media, the Media Development Foundation and BIRN.