Imagine waking up each day, indulging in your absolute favorite hobby, helping others learn about what you do, talking about your passions with like minded individuals and doing it all for as long as you want to AND getting paid $40,000 a month to do it.
Sounds pretty darn good!
We may all chase the passive income dream, where we do nothing all day and the money keeps rolling in – and sure, no one is going to say no to that – but let’s remember that we won’t “do nothing” even if we become filthy rich. We all have ideas, things we would like to do, people we would like to help and as humans we have a desire to express ourselves creatively. Running a subscription site that lets you enjoy a hobby or passion and earn plenty from it, is a pretty good lifestyle.
How to create subscription sites was the topic of day three at the Andrew and Daryl Grant workshop. Continuing from day two on how to build an ebook business, the subscription site model is a logical progression. If you hit a hot topic with your ebook, why not go deep, create a sales funnel and offer more products to the same market under a subscription model.
Here’s some of the benefits of owning a subscription site:
It’s pretty clear what the main benefit of the subscription model is. With an ongoing cashflow source you can rely on a certain amount of money coming in each month. With that income source you can put resources into improving the service you deliver to your members, creating a nice reinforcing cycle improving the quality of what you deliver and making more money as a result.
On Sunday Daryl introduced us to various models of how to set up subscription sites. Most involve some form of free content email list or content site, funnelling people into a paid continuity program. The idea is to educate your prospects, blow them away with the quality of your free info, leaving them eager to sign up for your paid service. As Daryl stated – if your free stuff is that good, imagine how good the paid content must be! – that’s a pretty compelling proposition.
Daryl continued to discuss options regarding how to create the content for subscription services, since if people are paying a monthly fee there has to be ongoing fresh value. Once again, just like the ebook model, conducting interviews with experts is one option for content creation, however you can go much further than that by providing camtasia presentations, audio downloads, transcripts of audio, teleseminars, private coaching over the phone, live webinars – the options really are endless.
At a basic level you can break your ebook chapters down into a course, create an audio to compliment each chapter, perhaps include some interviews and transcripts too. If you have a twelve chapter ebook, then you already have an outline for the first twelve months of your subscription service.
Daryl and Andrew invited a friend, Rashid Kotwal, who is an expert in constructing membership sites, to demonstrate a few different software packages. Rashid showed us the back-end of AMember, a system for setting up a membership site, used by hundreds of people on the web, which I started using for version 1.0 of Blog Traffic School a few months ago and later switched to Butterfly Marketing.
Rashid kept things reasonably simple for the audience, which was made up of a lot of people with some deep fears of technology – and the back-end of AMember can be pretty scary when you first see it – so it was a wise move. He also demonstrated a few other sites running membership software packages Membergate and Visiongate.
The model Daryl and Andrew use for their subscription site is quite simple. They use AWeber (or now Infusionsoft) as the communication tool (email autoresponder) to send out links to e-classes, which are password protected by a basic server side protection (htaccess) that most servers have available. This might sound complicated to beginners, but trust me, for a tech person it’s very easy to set up. If you want to get a system like this in place you could probably pay less than the cost of one membership to your site on a monthly basis to keep it going.
I really like this formula because it’s quick and very easy to implement. You can start this way and as your program grows, move into more advanced membership tools and build up features. A membership site is a living and breathing entity so it’s important that you keep feeding it content and have a means to communicate with members. Email is something most people understand, so I believe regular emails are one of the best ways to set-up a subscription service. At a very basic level you could just use the email autoresponder and send out course materials through that and you would have a subscription service up and running (try Paypal for taking payments – it integrates with most autoresponders).
Towards the end of day three Daryl and Andrew reviewed various methods, outside of Pay Per Click, to drive traffic to their sites (both ebooks and membership sites). They mentioned affiliate programs, joint ventures, teleseminars, free DVDs, publicity, SEO, podcasts, interviews, co-registration (pipeline profits style), offfline advertising, and of course…blogging!
Daryl and Andrew grabbed me for a short talk on blogging. We chatted about the interview Daryl and I did for a podcast and what the result was in exposure for them and their subscription site. Plenty of people in the audience were very new to blogging and I enjoyed many discussions afterwards explaining blogging and how I make money from it. It certainly opened my eyes to the major knowledge gap that exists between those just getting into online marketing and those who live and breath it every day.
As a result of this experience I’ve decided to move forward the launch of my own blog mentoring program. If you are on my Blog Traffic Tips newsletter you will know all about this. I sent some questions out to my list and as I write this I have over 100 feedback responses from some wonderful people who have really helped give me an idea what problems you all face. Thanks to everyone who responded.
I’ll have more details about the launch of my mentoring program in the coming weeks – and yes it will be a subscription site – thanks to Andrew and Daryl for the kick in the pants to get this thing going sooner rather than later.
Daryl finished the day with discussion on pricing models and building a back-end to your subscription site, completing the traditional Internet business model, starting from niche selection and ending with a nice and shiny sales funnel earning thousands, if not millions of dollars a year.
Well, perhaps not, but certainly a fantastic introduction to how Internet marketing works and the proven success formula for creating an Internet business. If you currently feel lacking in a basic grasp of how Internet marketing works, the Daryl and Andrew four day seminar is certainly a good way to get up to speed quickly.
Day four Andrew took the stage and ran attendees through activities focused on taking action – the perfect way to end the weekend. I’ll discuss day four in my next blog post.
And learn how to build a better blog.