Making Money from a Subscription Site
by Kevin Bidwell
Originally, the Internet was free. It was intended as a way for
people to exchange information. Web sites were basically just text
documents posted for all to see.
Over time, more and more people began entering the Internet world
and posting and looking for larger and larger amounts of information.
There were enough "eyes" on Internet sites to make them
a good source of income. The sites themseleves were still free,
but often provided space for advertising among the information--much
like a magazine.
In the last few years there has been another change. Ad revenue
has become less available and the demand for good information has
increased dramatically. When there is high demand and low supply,
basic economics teaches us there is a place to make a profit.
As a result, many sites that once were free are now becoming "subscription"
sites. You want to see the info? You have to pay.
If you want to create a subscription site, here are some keys to
1. Choose your Topic Wisely
Choose a topic with high demand and low supply. The more unique
and valuable the information you provide is, the more people will
pay for it.
2. Offer a Free or Reduced Trial
If you have a quality site with expanding content, one of the best
ways to get subscribers is to offer a 3 to 30 day free trial. Let
people "test drive" what you are offering. Free is best,
but even a $1 membership works well.
3. Offer a Free "Reduced" version
If you are offering investment advice, for instance, you might
offer some information for free to everyone who subscribes, but
save the most valuable information for your paying subscribers.
Send out your new information for free but reserve all archives
in your member's section. By going for volume with your "free"
version you can leverage the prospects for your "paid"
4. Automate Payment
As your subscriber list grows, you will not want to spend several
days every month simply typing in credit card info. Make sure to
use a merchant account provider that allows you to automatically
re-bill your subscribers.
5. Provide a "Tour" of your site
When someone is considering joining your site, give them a clear
taste of what is inside. Even if you have a free trial, a few pages
of "tour" can help you make the sale.
6. Set the Right Fee
Maximizing revenue for the subscription sites depends on two factors:
New subscribers and retention.
In a site with very wide appeal should be priced in such a way
that people join easily and stick around for a long time. For example,
if your monthly subscription is just $5 you will have many people
who don't cancel even if they are not using the site often because
of the low price point. The same site charging $50 would have a
much lower retention rate.
Try various price points until you find a good balance.
In a site with very specific appeal, you would want to price it
based on what the market would bear. A subscription site giving
important information to professionals might easily bring in more
than $100 per subscriber per month. In fact, if you have solid,
one-of-a-kind information, you will find your retention rate is
very high as well.
Again, try various price points until you find a good balance.
While there are many factors to starting and running a successful
subscription site, these six can help you get going on the right
foot. Put them to work and pretty soon you may have 1,000 people
paying you $24.95 per month to access your site!
About the Author
Kevin Bidwell is owner of http://www.all-in-one-business.com
Kevin is offering a FREE BUSINESS START-UP KIT to everyone who
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