If you have been dabbling in Internet Marketing and content and have not had the success you desire, it is time to take a step back and examine where the problem lies. Is it in the content itself, how it is being marketed, or is it simply in the presentation? The way you present and sell your content can often dramatically change your success. If you have been selling an eBook perhaps it is time to consider other mediums to deliver your content altogether.
One popular method of delivering content online is a membership site. These are paid sites where your customers are given access to exclusive data, insights, or your secret tips and tricks. Most often, customers will need to pay monthly fees to access your site.
These are obviously popular because of their potential for recurring income. After all, you probably did not enter this business to make a killing in a short time frame and then nothing 6 months later. Chances are you entered this business to establish for yourself a career that lets you work your own hours and has potentially unlimited earning potential. Residual income is therefore one of your top goals and why membership sites, if correctly implemented, can be so effective.
Building a membership site can be a very tedious job. Your effort will be more than worth it in the long run if it’s a success though. Before you go on a site building spree (which a lot of people do and then they find themselves alone asking “Where did I go wrong?”), there are certainly some crucial elements to consider:
First, membership sites usually have a target audience. If you try to appeal to everyone you will end up with one big confusing site and zero member-base. Ideally your site will reflect the things that you know best. Potential members can immediately see that the person behind the web site knows what he is doing. Do not fake your knowledge or credentials! People will see through to the man/woman behind the curtain and you will quickly be back to where you started.
Consider doing some research on your target audience. Remember you have to deliver what they want and how they want it to be a success. You can get this information through your own research or by using others’. Asking your site’s visitors to fill out surveys may be the best way to find out what it is YOUR site’s visitors are looking for, but always be looking for ways to draw in new visitors and, hopefully, paying customers.
Finally, remember building a membership site is not a get rich quick scheme or a way to get famous fast. If you are looking for both fame and fortune then perhaps another industry will suit your needs. It could take you as much as six months to a year or more to build up everything from scratch. This includes web design, web development, registering a domain name, web hosting, payment system, and, most importantly, the content. This all depends on the amount of time each day you are willing to and able to dedicate to your site. Also, as a membership site, your members will expect new content each billing cycle and you must deliver that if you hope to keep members for extended lengths of time.
ECourses and Installments
It is worth briefly mentioning that if you are not comfortable building a membership site, another method to get more value out of your content is to simply break it up into chunks. You can create smaller installments or eCourses which are easier for the consumer to “digest” and may encourage them to not only put to use your content, but desire more. People often will be discouraged if they are bombarded with a gigantic eBook all at once, but if offered the same content in 5 or 10 installments will be able to easily work through the content over the course of a few weeks or months. This method of content delivery can also be used alongside or even included in a membership site, as means to encourage users to maintain membership beyond their initial billing cycle.
One critical element to Internet marketing and to maintaining a healthy membership site is building, properly using, and maintaining an effective list. Your list is simply a list of customers or potential customers you have built. It is these people you will often focus your marketing efforts on. These will also be the people you are developing products and/or content for, especially if you are operating a membership site or series of eCourses.
Offering free content in connection with a visitor leaving you with their name and email address is possibly the most popular method of list building. If it is not the most popular it is at least one of the most well known. The simplicity but power of this method adds to its popularity.
By offering a sample of the content contained in your membership site, eBooks, eCourses, etc. you are encouraging visitors to make an actual purchase of some (or all) of your content. Just as importantly, you are encouraging your visitors to provide you with accurate information. Your list is only as good as the quality of information it contains, if your visitors are leaving you with dummy email addresses your efforts are being wasted.
As one last note, it is highly recommended you get a reliable auto-responder or membership site management software. It is generally not wise to settle for a free auto-responder or membership site software if you are seriously in this business to make money. If you use a low quality auto-responder you will be likely to run into technical issues and/or turn away visitors, the lifeblood of your business.
You will also likely have a difficult time asking your present list to re-subscribe again if you transfer to a different one later if you use a free service. Some membership software makers allow you to import your list, but others often require your present subscribers to verify their subscription again. With this additional step, you stand to lose many of your present members.
To Your Success!
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