Using VisionGate, Memberstar and other software to sell "elite" information/content on an admission/membership basis. Ditto for special WordPress membership plugins.
#1364968 by Carl from Newton
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:07 pm
OK, I'm back. I just spent a week "working" on a Disney Cruise. Lol.

Let's get some answers.


Our average issue is around 150 pages (that includes that first issue). We increased pretty quickly. We've had a couple in the 180 page range.

The reason for the monthly product is it feels more like a magazine. If it was just a membership site with evergreen information it would be more like a blog. People in my niche won't pay for blogs, but they will pay (for basically the same information) in a magazine. It's about formatting products into a form people are comfortable and familiar with.

There is no difference between a monthly and yearly subscription access. They both get access to all issues and can login from the login page.

We actually have 4 active sites. One is a sales site for our printed materials. We are building a new site that will roll out this summer. Its for the book I'm writing. It's another big project.

I do have a large team. We have about 30 contributors to the magazine. I have a full time VA who handles just about everything including design. I have 6 part time VA's that work on everything from Social Media to proofreading.

By the end of the year I hope to have a full time marketing assistant.


Thanks for the kind words. It really was a good launch. (They haven't all gone that well.) I would definitely use every means available to start the launch countdown. Facebook is harder these days, but I'd still do it. It's the go to place for my niche.

Where you promote totally depends on where your target audience is. If you are marketing to professionals, you'll probably want to be on Linkedin. It's all about where the people are. For me, that's Facebook.

When it comes to pricing, look at the competition. That's where to start. It was hard for me, because I have no completion so I winged it.

I hope that helps,
Carl Trent
#1364988 by Judith from Quarryville
Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:56 pm
Thanks Carl!
$4.99 a month just doesn't seem like a lot to me for 150 pages and all the other issues available as well. I am assuming there must be other ways you are making money inside the magazines, bookings and such. Awesome job!

Makes me think how this idea can be converted to other niches. Thank you!

Hope the Disney Cruise wasn't too much work!!! :lol::lol::lol:
#1364998 by colin from East Freetown
Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:34 am
OK...I've had a quick scan through the posts and will read in more depth later.

I think I have a lot of ideas to add here, but initially I would suggest that using some form of membership software is essential.

I will try to find time over the next few days on my thoughts and ideas as well as my plans for a members site.

As a heads up I intend to call this the AFR Supporters Club. I feel this will also give them a sense of OWNERSHIP.

Also I plan to sell 'I Am an AFR Supporter' T-Shirts, Mugs etc through esty or similar in time. I got the idea from the Guardian newspaper, go check out there site.

OK...I've already said more than I had intended for now, I will put everything down in a comprehensive post as soon as I can, in the meantime keep up the great work and excellent posts.
#1365047 by Judith from Quarryville
Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:17 pm
Thanks so much Colin, so glad you found us and will be thrilled to have your input!

Well, I have spent days researching membership sites and such. And building my survey page for my visitors and newsletter subscribers to provide feedback. I feel so consumed with this and how daunting it is. But I have given myself a deadline to make or break this project by the end of 2017!

The site I offered to purchase has not responded yet. Hopefully they are thinking about it or perhaps are just not home. mmm....

Jacki is your subscription mailing live? What is your response so far?
#1365051 by Harvey from Woodbridge
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:10 pm

Hi Carl,

Just wanted to thank you for your post. And I believe that this simple comment is profound...

Carl from Newton wrote:People in my niche won't pay for blogs, but they will pay (for basically the same information) in a magazine. It's about formatting products into a form people are comfortable and familiar with.

All too often it's about creating a product format that you, the site owner, is comfortable with. Or perhaps going with the format with the highest price potential.

If you can figure out your audience's preferred medium of delivery, that's 90% of the battle.

A magazine makes perfect sense for your audience. I still have my doubts that I've found THE best format for my audience (my product is converting, but on the low end of expectations).

Like you say, though, the content can be reformatted to fit any medium. So it's simple enough to pivot.

Thanks again, Carl. Your post has given me much to chew over!

All the best,
#1365052 by Jacki from Macleod
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:25 pm
Judith from Quarryville wrote:Jacki is your subscription mailing live? What is your response so far?
No, not yet. I have a survey on that page instead of the paypal button. So far, I have one person who filled out the survey, and they said it was too expensive, and wanted to know what they could get for free. Like, the whole rest of the site, and the e-zine. Isn't that enough?? People really are so cheap. :?
#1365054 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:38 pm
Jacki from Macleod wrote:Like, the whole rest of the site, and the e-zine. Isn't that enough?? People really are so cheap. :?

Amazing how spoiled people have gotten. Before the internet the only thing you could get for free was access to the public library.

But I guess in their defense, most people are spending a fortune on the devices and data plans needed to consume the free content. Too bad we free content publishers can't get a cut of that action. :roll:
#1365055 by Judith from Quarryville
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:48 pm
Thanks Jacki. I agree people can be cheap, especially as we are so used to getting so much free info from the net. And you are giving people a great deal!

Harvey your comment about Carl's post made me think too about finding the right format for people. With Carl's site people who are thinking about going to Disney are looking at an investment in a holiday really, so 4.99 for a beautiful magazine seems cheap. But he has appealed to those who like the idea of receiving something on a regular basis and providing evergreen material as well. It's brilliant! Truly!

So packaging up a monthly mailing that goes into a site behind a login gets it both ways. Just had to say it again!

thinking, thinking...

Jacki, maybe you should mull over this idea with all your ebooks in mind. Stop selling them individually. Put a few up behind a login then mail the rest out maybe alternately with your idea you have now. Just thinking. So much easier to think for someone else sometimes. :lol:

wildapricot is free for 30 days and continues to be free until your 51st signup!

Just thinking outloud. :|
#1365059 by Jacki from Macleod
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:30 pm
Judith from Quarryville wrote:Jacki, maybe you should mull over this idea with all your ebooks in mind. Stop selling them individually. Put a few up behind a login then mail the rest out maybe alternately with your idea you have now. Just thinking. So much easier to think for someone else sometimes. :lol:
I'm glad we're sort of on the same page. I am adding sections of the e-books, mixed in to the other content, and that could be a sales feature. Of course, there's a link to the whole thing if someone wants to buy it. :wink:
#1365084 by colin from East Freetown
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:22 pm promised here are my thoughts and plans as far as this goes.

I currently have 6,000+ subscrbers on my youtube channel,1,000+ FB Likes and approx 80-130 site visitors per day.

Like Carl I also have a magazine which I have been producing and publishing for about 2 yrs now. However, unlike Carl I have to date been unsuccessful in marketing this and achieving the earning potential I am confident it has. As a result I have been giving it away hoping to increase the readership base in order to monetize by selling ads.

I have two aims or goals in achieving a members site and using my website, FB and Youtube to funnel people to these. Both will be hosted outside of SBI. The first will probably use WordPress and membershipmouse, who were recommended to me by Carl.

In the members area I will have premium videos, guides, checklists, pdfs and of course the magazine available for free download. All of which I will still sell separately on my site. The biggest part of the members site will be my Database which consist of thousands of action figures manufactured from 1963 to 2010. These are cataloged by year, line and title with ifo on accessories and rarity etc also.

The second method that many of you may find better and more useful is Patreon. Now I don't know much about this site but this is how my video editor explained it to me:

For the past few years I've been able to make a modest monthly wage from Patreon. I don't know how much you know about the actual setup but it's a different spin on subscription websites. It would be simple enough to grade the various videos into different tiers with the deluxe ones at the top and the quick fun ones at the bottom. Then people basically pledge you a certain amount every month to *Keep producing content* and the archive acts as reward content.

So if we keep it focused…

$1 Gets you in on the ground floor, with access to the feed, where they can leave messages and perhaps vote in polls, which is fun. It’s important to have a base level they can come up from when they start wanting access to more stuff.

$5 package gets you access to longer videos and the magazine
$10 for the deluxe ones
$15 to get your name credited as producer at the end of new videos

This tier is my bread and butter, as it gives them a good feeling, because they’re helping make something important, and it makes up one third of my monthly earnings.

Considering how much these guys drop on action figures every month, that’s VERY reasonable request. We could add higher tiers than that, but we would be best off finding out from them what they want and then provide for that. I started doing commissioned podcasts this way and they’ve been surprisingly popular.

Almost certainly it will be a slow start. My first month got me up to $50 and it rose and fell over the 26 months since then. It could start lower than that, but it actually doesn't cost anything to run. The Patreon site take a cut of the monthly earnings, as do the banks and Paypal, but you keep the rest.

Then all the future fun, short videos at the bottom tier can be used as free YouTube content to urge people over to the patreon to get access to the more in-depth stuff (which can come off YouTube to keep it exclusive).

I’m supported by a small percentage of my listeners, somewhere around 10%, with the other 90% listening for free every month and not getting access to the bonus stuff. I don’t know if we’ll get any takers from YouTube, but I think it’s worth putting time into seeing if this will work.

He is now in the process of organizing this for me and setting it all up.
#1365308 by Judith from Quarryville
Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:59 pm
That is interesting Colin, I hope that goes well for you!

Are you some how able to get some of your fantastic YT and FB traffic to your site? I sometimes wonder if FB helps my site at all! I know I need to improve how I post there. It's just so easy to find a video or really great pic from somewhere and post it to my FB page. I really have not because of the time it takes posted great FB creations.

I came across Patreon sometime ago. Do you think somehow with all the people coming in to look at other peoples businesses on Patreon that traffic would help you? Or maybe I just don't quite understand how that works. :?

Thank you for sharing this and please keep us posted! Your mag by the way looks awesome! :D
#1368127 by Jacki from Macleod
Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:04 pm
I've decided that having a membership is not in the cards for me. I put up a survey, and got a whole four responses, and one question was about price, and no-one was willing to pay anything for all my effort. So, now this is on hold for now. Maybe I'll think about another way of monetizing using something similar. :(
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