Launch Your Own Subscription Site & Keep The Money Coming

Lessons From Daryl and Andrew – Day 3

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:

  • You get paid on a recurring basis
  • You build a community that helps to increase referrals organically
  • You foster loyalty and become an expert in your area – good for keeping the competition at bay
  • You get paid on a recurring basis

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.

Demonstrate Value

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.

Membership Site Software

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.

My Upcoming Mentoring Program on Blogging

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.

The Back-End and Pricing

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.

Yaro Starak

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Excellent write up Yaro. Makes a change from your recent posts ­čśë (Seriously, just kidding).

    What membership sites are you currently running at the moment?

    I have used aMember for the past 2 years on two sites and have to say is brilliant at delivering digital goods. What experience do you have with it selling subscriptions?

    What do you think is critical mass for a subscription site? ie: When do you think it’s ok to go from a free with advertising model to paid subscriptions/both?

  • Awesome Yaro!

  • Hey Dave – I have no membership sites at the moment, that’s why I’m so excited about this topic. I’ve been eager to get a blogging membership site going, but it’s been a slow process. I also want to be careful to jump into a topic I feel comfortable about delivering high quality info in, so I’ve been a bit overly-cautious. That’s about to change.

    In terms of critical mass I now believe provided you have the proof and a way to meet/attract the market that you launch with a paid product from day one, which is a “mistake” I’ve made in the past. I haven’t had the membership/product available to compliment my free materials.

    There’s no reason why you can’t launch a membership site before you have any content to go out the door and just make it as you go along with your clients. In some ways this can be better because you can react to client demands and deliver what they want in real time.

    How about you – do you have some membership sites you can show us?

  • […] Calls/Coaching) or even common front end media such as ebooks, newsletters (electronic and print), subscription services and […]

  • Hey Yaro, i will be relaunching my first membership site in a couple of days and really looking forward to it. I think the model its currently at, it will be extremely hard for people t pass up, its kind of like an irresistible offer :D. Feel free to email me for results, i should have some pretty good results by this Monday coming up.


  • Well, just relaunched it and will be relaunching it this Friday and it was a great experience. Have to add content to get the forum activity going, but the members were very happy with the content which is a super plus.

  • […] the money comes in from sales I may have referred months or years ago because I referred people to subscription sites. Some of the continuity affiliate programs I promote […]

  • […] Lessons From Daryl and Andrew – Day 3: Launch Your Own Subscription Site & Keep The Money Comin… […]

  • From my personal experience, almost every site requires you to subscribe to something, making it impossible to receive even free services without subscribing. So what I do is I have an email for such subscriptions which I use, but I don’t give much attention to everything that comes to this mailbox.

  • Great idea yaro and sounds very easy but its as difficult for readers like us!!!

  • Robert

    These are some great recommendations Yaro. I currently run a membership based website and these are some topics that are very important in a subscription business.

    Although many of these topics can be explained more deeply. For example on the service to accept payments and send emails. Now there are great companies that will take care of this for you. I currently use Chargify to automatically bill my customers, send emails to my customers, tell me when cards have been charged or failed, create and apply coupons and so much more. It really makes life easier when billing on a subscription basis.

  • Yaro
    I enjoyed this very much, and wonder if you can be of assistance.
    I am well known musician/ composer/ producer and have always given music lessons
    both live and on Skype. I am thankfully to busy with my career now to offer one on one lessons ( except for the college gig I have once a week)
    Through my travels with famous artists I have met aspiring musicians all over the world
    and have heard from 100’s of people who desire lessons with someone like me but who can’t afford my regular price of 50-80 an hour.
    I felt doing a subscription video service where lessons would be
    set up like real lessons ( lessons built on each other) unlike youtube where you look up what you want to know ( and many times the student has no idea what to look up … as they say you cant know what you dont know)would be advantageous for the student and went ahead.
    I signed with SPRIGOS and now have 13 subscribers at $25 a month.

    With Sprigos you pay a 49 dollar monthly fee plus a use fee ( per subscriber) of $3.50
    Then STRIPE ( which is all they will use) takes 2.9 percent plus 30 cents

    I feel like I can do better than all this. I’m a nice guy, and have created this subscription service that gives the student a way to have 4 lessons for $25 dollars
    instead of paying me $200 a month.

    My thought was that in time with 100, 1000, 10,000 subscribers, I would be making some real money while saving the subscriber a ton.

    Do you have some suggestions for how to set this all up so I am not paying the service, ( sprigos) ,.. a way for me to do this all without external costs?

    The lessons have video, audio and attachments ( PDF files etc)

    Thank you

    • Hi Jamie,

      The short answer is move away from Sprigos and launch your membership on your own website and platform. You will still need to use stripe or paypal or a merchant system, so that cost is not going away.

      Bear in mind there are technical things to work through, plus Sprigos might also be marketing your program for you, so you will lose these advantages if you switch to independent.

      Perhaps you can do both? Sell through Sprigos and host it yourself and sell directly. You should check their terms and see if that is allowed.

      Good luck, and make sure you read this free report I wrote about how to launch courses and membership sites – The Membership Site Masterplan


  • Yaro
    Just wanted to say thank you for responding. I happily followed you on facebook
    and will learn from you and stay in touch.
    My best
    Jamie Glaser

  • Great article. I am trying to decide if I should start off my online business experience with a blog, or go for it all and start a subscription service.

  • Veenu Sharma

    Thanks for this interesting post Yaro, this been such a really helpful article. I am planning to launch my own online Gym membership website by using e-commerce platform called Yo!Memberz. If you have any other in mind can you please recommend me so that i may have look at both of them and choose the best one for my business.

  • Definitely a great article. The value of building a community cannot be understated. After all, a business at its core is about building a community around a service you provide, whatever that service may be. The online subscription model is still in its infancy, not many marketers are keen on its power yet.

    The idea that a subscription / membership site drives organic leads is also something few marketers understand or take advantage of. Happy customers and clients that feel like they are a part of something will be much more likely to refer or recommend the service to someone they know, as opposed to a simple product, which is much more difficult to form loyalty and buzz around. Wonderful insights!

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