I actually recently started a continuity program which requires less than 4 hours of work to manage per week and I'm already up to $6,500 per month from just this one site. By the end of next month with a little promotion, I should have it up to $8k to $9k per month easily.
It starts with how you perceive continuity programs. Most people think of them as just delivering information. Being that most information is free online, I can see why people struggle to retain their members longer than 3-4 months.
After launching 3 continuity sites, I've concluded that people HATE being billed monthly UNLESS they are actually USING the service or product to their benefit (or plan to in the future).
=== Sidenote ===
If you have a membership site that people sign up for and don't use, you're better off having a Lifetime membership option with no recurring fee. For example, if the average customer stays on for 3-4 months and pays you $30, you could have a lifetime option for $47, $67 or even $97. You'll be surprised at how many people choose this option because they see it as a bargain and don't want to be charged monthly. Plus, this will help your site be more active because you'll have more members.
=== End Sidenote ===
So Here's What I Did
1) I found a physical product that has a high perceived value and really helps people. I knew about it because I actually use it everyday. Health/Beauty products work great for this.
2) I negotiated a wholesale price with the manufacturer of that product
3) I created a site that claims to have the best price for that product with the product name in the url - BestPriceProduct.com for example. Instant USP.
4) One of the payment options is a discount price if you sign up for the "Monthly Autoship Program." I ship the product to them each month and bill them automatically as a "convenience." I could have done this as a forced continuity with a free trial, but I don't want to force people to do anything. They will stay on longer if they don't feel like they've been tricked.
Now each week all I do to manage this site is:
- check inventory and place new orders for the product
- have the manufacturer ship the product to my fulfillment service
- download the customer orders and send them to the fulfillment service to be shipped out
- answer customer service emails
That's it - less than 4 hours per week. Being that the customers use this product everyday to stay healthy/beautiful and believe that they are getting the best price, they stay on long term. This type of continituity program has a very high retention rate - close to 70%.
I hope this gives you some ideas and opens your eyes to what's possible. If so, please make use of the Thank You button :-).