Subscription sites deliver long-term income by charging fees for monthly premium access. Add to this Adsense or selling leads, and you have the recipe for success in making money online.
However, before you start, you need to decide what you will be selling on your subscription site. Successful subscription site owners sell knowledge from their particular niche.
Remember that, as with any business, a successful subscription site won't happen overnight. You will have to work at it initially, but it will definitely be worth your while.
You need to provide regular, quality content that offer great value to your subscribers. No matter what your niche, quality content sold to a steady stream of traffic will deliver results.
1. Setting Up Your Subscription Site
Once you have created your website, you need to put the framework in place to offer value to your readers.
1.1. Value Proposition
Your site needs to bring value to your readers and you need to keep it current and regularly updated with new information. People don't want to pay for outdated information.
Your site needs to contain information that will be hard for readers in your specific niche to find anywhere else. The public information must be valuable enough to convince people to pay a subscription fee to gain access to members only information.
Tip: You may want to consider offering a brief free trial that gives potential subscribers access to your valuable premium content, so that they can see how beneficial it will be to subscribe.
In addition to your premium information, you need to consider additional benefits, eg. membership cards that offer exclusive benefits to your members nationwide.
You will have to negotiate deals with vendors who will offer these benefits to your members. Of course, the deals you negotiate should be worthwhile in terms of making them see the value in spending money on the subscription fee.
Here's a good example of something you could do:
Imagine you are running a fishing subscription website that shares exclusive articles, secret bait recipes, good fishing locations, as well as fishing related news and events with a photo gallery, classifieds section, and more. The website on its own will offer enough value for members to subscribe and renew their memberships every year.
To offer better value and charge more for your memberships, you can even take it one step further. You could negotiate deals with tackle shops, fishing resorts, camping sites, and caravan parks to offer your members exclusive discounts and /or benefits. A discount of 10% can offer tremendous value on costly fishing tackle, equipment and accommodation and it will motivate even more members to sign up.
Let's say a member pays an annual subscription fee of R450, he/she can easily make this back in discounts every time he buys fishing tackle, or stays at a resort. A member can easily get his R450 back and even more if he buys more than R5000 worth of fishing tackle per year, etc.
The vendors also need to see value from your proposition, and you can ensure they do by advertising them on your website. You will channel business through to them too, which means that it creates a win-win situation for all concerned.
I ran a fishing website like the one described above for more than 10 years until someone contacted me, made me an offer and bought the business. This business model really works!
Let's look at same facts. South Africa has more than 2 million pro and leisure anglers. If you only sign up 1000 anglers out of the 2 million, you will make R450 000 per year... A very simple calculation.
What's especially rewarding about running a subscription site is the fact that you can focus on a niche in which you have a special interest, for example aviation, weddings, pets, skydiving, scrapbooking, etc. You'll have fun doing it. I enjoy fishing a lot and believe me, it never felt like I was 'working' on the website. Fishing is a passion of mine and I was able to make money while doing something I love. You can too!
1.2. Selling Advertising on Your Subscription Site
Once you have many subscribers, advertisers and vendors will gladly offer more benefits to your members. You can charge a fee for advertising, which offers better exposure and this will cause a snowball effect.
More members = more benefits = more members = more advertisers = more benefits = more members = more money for you.
1.3. Google AdSense Profits
With all the above activity on your site, it will make sense to ad Google Adsense to your website. Three income streams (subscriptions, advertising and Google Adsense) in one website is a winning formula for making money online.
- Automate your payment gateway to make it easy for your subscribers to sign up and pay, saving you a lot of money on admin costs.
- Offer a referral fee to entice members to bring new subscribers to your site.
Here are a few quick links to related topics: