How to Start a 6-Figure Membership Site And Work Just 4 Hours Per Week

by Ron Douglas 35 replies
Since membership sites (continuity programs) seem to be a hot topic lately, I'd like to share with you the easiest possible way to have recurring income and a high retention rate with minimal effort.

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 :-).
#main internet marketing discussion forum #hours #membership #site #week #work
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    Nice work Ron

    There are so many ways to setup continuity income streams over and above what you see in the IM niche.

    And that 4 hours work could easily be outsourced for less than $40.

    So then the question becomes, how many of these sites can you setup and how quickly can you do it?
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  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    Great work Ron!

    Not the thing is to get as many websites like this one set up and running and then outsource the entire process to people for less than 100 bucks per week per site. The thing is that you have the rightest mindset, and you can reach the 7or even 8 figure levels with it.

    Onwards and Upwards
    -Lakshay
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    • Profile picture of the author innocent07
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      Ron nice post......

      I see you changed the title of the post to :
      "How to Start a 6-Figure Membership Site And Work Just 4 Hours Per Week"

      This should get more views now
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Michie
    Awesome post Ron - it seems many people are having a lot of success combining offline tactics with online marketing.
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  • Yep, this may not look "sexy", when it comes to making money online but it works. However, who are you trying to please: the crowd, by being a "guru"; or yourself, by being a 4 Hour Work Week winner?!

    So, Ron, are you ready to outsource the 4 chores you listed, so that your only responsibility is to spend the money?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Good post Ron,

    I have several memberships that require me to do nothing but think about more ways to grow and monetise them - other people do ALL the work.

    That's why memberships are so great - if you model it right you can just keep going and scale massively.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author ste25
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by ste25 View Post

      One part of the plan is missing - getting traffic. How do you get traffic?
      There must be at least 25,000 posts on this forum about getting traffic. It's all the same - and it's no secret. The best way for you depends on the product you're selling.

      1) You can create traffic:
      - Send an email to your list
      - SEO your site or blog for the keywords related to your product. Get quality backlinks, add relevant content.
      - Encourage your visitors and customers to refer others

      2) You can borrow traffic:
      - Find high PR sites and write articles, post comments, participate on forums with links back to your site
      - Find popular ezines and submit articles to them directly
      - JV with other site owners
      - Start an affiliate program and actively recruit affiliates

      3) You can buy traffic:
      - Buy ads online
      - Buy ads offline - industry magazines, newspapers, etc
      - PPC

      I'm sure I missed some of the methods - you can see Justin Michie's sig for like 100 more ways.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
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        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        There must be at least 25,000 posts on this forum about getting traffic. It's all the same - and it's no secret. The best way for you depends on the product you're selling.

        1) You can create traffic:
        - Send an email to your list
        - SEO your site or blog for the keywords related to your product. Get quality backlinks, add relevant content.
        - Encourage your visitors and customers to refer others

        2) You can borrow traffic:
        - Find high PR sites and write articles, post comments, participate on forums with links back to your site
        - Find popular ezines and submit articles to them directly
        - JV with other site owners
        - Start an affiliate program and actively recruit affiliates

        3) You can buy traffic:
        - Buy ads online
        - Buy ads offline - industry magazines, newspapers, etc
        - PPC

        I'm sure I missed some of the methods - you can see Justin Michie's sig for like 100 more ways.
        But which are YOU doing for this particular product, especially since you only work 4 hours per week in total on this site?
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    • Profile picture of the author mynameisneo
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  • Profile picture of the author R-Yeah
    Hi Ron,

    That post was very inspiring!
    I found quite good ideas for the local market here.

    Thanks for sharing.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Ron,

      So do I understand correctly that this is a continuity program without any interaction among the members? Or is there also a forum and resources for members behind a password?

      Just trying to have a clear understanding of your business model.

      Thanks,

      Marcia Yudkin
      Marketing Mentor
      www.marketingformore.com (a member site WITH lots of interaction)
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumJoiner
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    2) I negotiated a wholesale price with the manufacturer of that product
    I am very interested about how you did this step. Did you show some stats to him/her? How did you negotiate the discount? (5%, 10%) Did you ask for permission to buy a domain that uses the product's name?

    I heard that you can't legally say "This is the most ..." because it will offend the other vendors, who sell the same product. Is this true?

    Sergiu FUNIERU
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  • Profile picture of the author Bishop81
    What payment processor do you use for this?
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    Wow, that is thinking outside the box Question though...you say they "believe" they are getting the best deal. Are they actually getting the best deal?

    Not getting on you, just curious
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    • Profile picture of the author jimewing2121
      Ron,

      Nice post, but I was wondering if you could post a link to your page. I just wanna see what you have done. I have an idea but I am not completely sure how to do it so I was thinking I could get some ideas from your site.

      Also, I was wondering how long it took you to start make some money.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
        I was working my way down the page waiting for this question (or one very much the same)

        Why on earth would he want to kill his cash cow by sharing his product with everyone. I'm suprised no one has asked who his wholesaler/dropshipper is yet!!

        He gave you a workable model, I suggest if you can't use what he gave you and think up something for yourself, you maybe shouldn' bother

        Kim



        Originally Posted by jimewing2121 View Post

        Ron,

        Nice post, but I was wondering if you could post a link to your page. I just wanna see what you have done. I have an idea but I am not completely sure how to do it so I was thinking I could get some ideas from your site.

        Also, I was wondering how long it took you to start make some money.
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        • Profile picture of the author Nato Guajardo
          Originally Posted by Kim Standerline View Post

          Why on earth would he want to kill his cash cow by sharing his product with everyone. I'm suprised no one has asked who his wholesaler/dropshipper is yet!!
          So, who is your wholesaler? J/K. Nice spin to membership sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash37
    Nice new approach to memberships
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliateppc
    Ron,

    Great post. I know for a fact that this business model is solid because I have been involved in 2 projects in the past based on this model. Both where very succesfull.

    To everyone asking about traffic.

    In addition to what Ron mentioned, what I found best for this type of business model was Direct Mail. Offline Direct Mail that is. With everyone and their brother now pushing ads via PPC, there are less physical letters to compete with.

    AffiliatePPC
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  • Profile picture of the author jam52633
    Wow Ron, good job!

    Sounds like your on the right track
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Montgomery
    [QUOTE=Ron Douglas;207483]
    === 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 ===

    How can you do that if you're sending out a physical product every month?
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    • Profile picture of the author Muhammad Jalloh
      [quote=Mike X.;209318]
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      === 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 ===

      How can you do that if you're sending out a physical product every month?
      Mike,

      I think the statement above was in reference to people selling downloadable information as content for their membership sites, not for people selling physical shippable products like the business model he is suggesting in this thread.

      At least, that is the way I understand it.

      ~Muhammad
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  • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
    Ron, I think you can cut out the middle man (fulfillment). Could you
    order the item via the manufacturer website using your negotiated
    discount but enter a different address?

    Also, if they don't have a website then maybe you're the man to
    build them one?

    I'm sure you've thought of these things. Just trying to push you forward bro
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      Ron, I think you can cut out the middle man (fulfillment). Could you
      order the item via the manufacturer website using your negotiated
      discount but enter a different address?

      Also, if they don't have a website then maybe you're the man to
      build them one?

      I'm sure you've thought of these things. Just trying to push you forward bro
      Louis, I thought of this and asked them but they would actually charge me more per item (handling) than my fulfillment service. I'll let the people who specialize in shipping do the shipping. There are less headaches that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lashley
    Ron - great plan. Thanks for sharing it. Was there any problem or dilemma the company was facing that made them open to working with you? Some companies have problems with retailers if they undercut online. Others have freedom. Some companies face performance issues that make them open to just about anything. Did any of that work in your favor during the sales process?
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  • Profile picture of the author cadillac48
    A lot of people are reluctant to join membership sites. It is a grat thing for the owners, residual income. Too bad most people just wan t to pay once for something, they hate the idea of money going out of their banking account every month. I don't really get it. If you find a site with a monthly cost, you shouldn't care about the cost as long as you are making money from it. Besides, membership clubs have to post new, freash ideas or new additional material every month. That is what I look for.
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  • Profile picture of the author ebook
    any examples of possible products or products used?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
    Ron, a question for you, if you wish to answer.

    I have done something like this on a small scale, and looked into scaling it up.
    I ran into a couple problems.

    To make a good profit, it is suggested that supplements be sold for 3x, up to 10x times what you have to pay for them. I would say at least 2 1/2 times as you must cover the original freight.

    I used to be a part owner and manager in a health food store. Most of the markup for the supplements are 25% to 40%. The store pays the freight to get it.

    Are you saying you paid regular wholesale price and started up your fullfillment, or did you negotiate a better deal than most "resellers" would?

    On one product, I was able to find the manufacturer, but they wanted such a lage initial order, I could not swing it. However, my markup would have doubled what I could make when I purchased at wholesale. However, the freight would have eaten into that. But if sent right to the fullfillment house that would have helped.

    Jeannie
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