Killer Membership Site Secrets - Silly Niche $4300 P/Month

76 replies
Dunno why I didnt create my damn membership sites sooner. I realized that I had a knack for them a long time ago. I find them easier to set up, but logging into paypal and seeing money everyday without hardly any work at all rocks!! The funniest thing of all, if I told you what niche one my membership sites are you would laugh. It brings in over $4000 a month and I only update it every week or so to keep members happy.

After many crappy BAD (oh and I mean bad) failures, and small successes that turned into bigger successes, wanted to give back to this fantastic forum.

Here are my steps to running a successful niche membership / forum.

TIP #1 - A GOOD NICHE

You gotta have niche where people craving for information. If you see something or a product selling well, chances are a membership site will also go very well and people will pay good money for this. I have sneaky secret here. I have some successful ebook sites, and you will notice your ebooks sales hit a peak and then slow down. Who cares, i get all my info from my ebooks, spin it and add even better hard core info and that gives me great niche content for my membership sites.

The best place I look for ideas is ebay, and that 43things website, to see what people are craving for. There you will find people asking for things in bold (which means it is the most sorted after) As I write this I see the three most bolded are "be a better friend" "write a novel" "get in shape" Wow, That can really get the juices flowing, and I already have a ton of niche ideas just from these group of words, but I guess you get my drift.

amazon > Top sellers also has a great series of topics that are hot and people are whipping their credit cards out to buy. So that is a good way to research as well.


TIP #2 - HEY! DONT BE GREEDY NOW!

The mistake I made with some of my sites is being to greedy. Dont think you are going to kill it with your $97 sites straight away. Start off small, make mistakes and learn from a smaller project first. Infact if you have cheaper membership, more people are likely to join and your stick rate is better. I found this out pretty fast.

Start off with membership prices of 9.95 - 14.95. In all my testing these worked well. 19.95 also did very well, and the stick rate was good too.

Once you have a handle on this, then you can go onto bigger and better things. Dont start off big. I did this several times and failed miserably. Remember it is about helping people, and over delivery. Once people see that you can carry your own, they will follow you and buy everything you offer. Become your prospect or ask your friend or partner what they would pay per month when you show them your membership site and the contents each person has access too.

Just don't be greedy! That never gets anyone anywhere in IM.

TIP #3 - SEE THE FUTURE FROM DAY 0

Even before you set up your membership site. Ask yourself. Do you want to keep it? Do you want to sell it? Are you just using it to test? Is it just a money spinner or a real business?

Why ask these important questions? well it is simple but has to do with clickbank and paypal. Remember when you use paypal for your membership sites, your users are subscribed to an email address only attached to you. So if you sell the site later on to another person, they will have to get all the users to unsubscribe and resubscribe to their paypal address. You wont be able to sell the site.

However if you are with clickbank, all that will need to happen is a change of vendor nickname and the money and monthly payments are all the same. Nothing else will change, so as long as the buyer has a clickbank name, all is good. But it seems in my testing there is usually a higher refund rate with clickbank and its recurring function. So you can see there are many pros and cons you must weigh up from day one.


TIP #4 - DAY 1 NO GHOST TOWNS ALLOWED!

Make sure from day one, people can see other members, can interact and have lots of stuff to read. This is important as you do not want refunds straight away and you want to get them thinking they have done the right thing to join your awesome site.

I like to have sticky posts, forum threads and other reports say at least 5 x 1000 reports and other info for users to sink their teeth into from day one. If you are charging lets say 14.95 p/m that should be enough. Then you just have to make sure you are updateing about 2-4 times a month.

If you are a good writer and can come up content do this yourself. If not I suggest you look through this forum and hire content or ghost writers. There are many talented ones you can hire for an extremely good price. They can come up with stuff for you to post, update. You can literally have 12 months of content in advance ready by doing this (outsourcing).

TIP #5 - HOW TO GET MEMBERS FLOODING YOUR SITE!?

Without visitors and traffic how are you going to get paid right? good question! You can write articles, or PPC. But I do not really do this. I join in other forums and notify others about my memberships. But only those I am good friend with, and well known characters there too. Until recently I learned the quickest way you can flood your membership sites with members are from doing these 4 things :_

1) Work in an affilate program, with good commissions.

2) Give away say a free 7 day trial. 7 day seems to work the best for me. But you have to test this of course.

3) Price your membership low, to entice people to join. (remember funnels, low price to join and then add a nice price back end product or coaching later! )

4) Pay others to advertise your site, text banner ads on other forums. This works very good, but you have to make sure you keep watch and put your ads in front of very targeted sites. With highly targeted audiences, the most likely to join and pay for your service / membership you have on offer.

Do these 4 things combined and you will have a buzzing membership site with lots of money coming in each month.

Another secret is to get more target traffic is go to other people selling niche ebooks in your field. I actually purchase their product. I email them saying that their product is ok, but give them tips on sales copy and other ideas. I then ask them if they would like to help their members out, to put a link to my free 7 day trial on their thankyou page when people download their free ebook or product. I think about 40% of people I bought products and offered this took me up!!!! So well worth my time and effort and I get lots of new members this way, which = $$$ in the long run.


TIP #6 - REVERSE ENGINEER IT STUUUPID!

Don't go looking for people who want to join your site. Look for people selling sites and services such as yours. Especially those making a living out of it.

I have made alot of money by first finding a clickbank product / ebook similar to mine. Going over to google and typing this product with "" the inverted quotes. You will see a list of review product sites show up for this product. These are merely clickbank affiliates trying to sell these clickbank sites and get affilate sales. All you do is simply contact these site owners, blogs, reviewers and ask if they would like to advertise your membership site as an affiliate. You do not get much more targeted than that, if you are after someone looking to sell your site, but doesn't know it yet!!! LOL.

If they say no, its their loss. There are hundreds of others I have found in google just by doing this simply 1 minute exercise. The whole thing is to work smarter, not harder when getting your traffic.

TIP #7 - NOW FOR THE HOME RUN!

After thousands of dollars, hundreds of subscribers, I have finally worked out that all your users will come under these categories.

1) "Im gunna screw this guy, and keep signing up for the freebie trial Nyuck Nyuck" - 5%

2) "Its sounds ok, I am gunna stay a while and see what this is like" - 30%

3) "This stuff is helping me, I am gunna stay on board, I have more to learn" - 50%

3) "OMG! This stuff is effing awesome I want this guys babies!" - About 15% of people.

There might be a few others but you get my drift. On minute occasions you will probably peeve people, have mediocre people, but then you have the people who are addicts and crave your stuff and even email you asking when the next update is. Make sure you help them. I call them the addicts. They are awesome.

So....

Ok you have people subscribing for your free 7 dayer! Then they think, I am gunna stay, then after a month or so if they are thinking, "This guy is a freaking genious" You have done your job well. But how can we now make more money from them. Most people stop here, but stuff that! Let us now HIT THE BALL OUT OF THE PARK....

You have monthly income coming in....CHECK!

But lets put that on steroids. After a certain time period....I say a few months I email people and ask them if they want to get lifetime access and wont have to worry about the constant recurring income they can get lifetime access of a once only payment of $97. They actually think you are doing them a favour and most of the addicts and other members will take you up on this offer. It can add lots of money to the money already coming in.

The second thing ....and this is a BIGGIE is that you can now add your backend to your sales funnel. Even some really good marketers miss out on this. You can offer A bigger membership, more private one-on-one COACHING, video products etc.

I normally just stick to one on one coaching ($500 - $997) and people lap it up, especially the addicts I talked about before. Infact if you are doing a good job, some people will even start begging you for more of a one on one experience. But Coaching works well, and making sure you email members and let them know about this, and whenever you have an important update that needs to get out.

Conclusion:-

OK so what are you doing still reading this. Go and create that membership site you have always wanted to start. Earn some money so your mrs can go and blow it on those expensive crappy looking shoes she has always wanted.

Good luck with it all

Celente
#$4300 #killer #membership #niche #p or month #secrets #silly #site
  • Profile picture of the author AmandeepS
    Good solid information! Thanks very much. You've got me thinking about how 'silly' your niche could be!
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by PurplePlant View Post

      Good solid information! Thanks very much. You've got me thinking about how 'silly' your niche could be!
      thanks purple,

      there are tons of untapped niches out there. It is just how you go about your research.

      I can say it belongs to the personal care niche. (not gunna say too much else)

      But I think I heard Eban Pagen say if you want to have a good business in the future you need to look at the health, wealth & happiness (self motivation) niches. With aging retiring baby boomers that have money, these will be strong areas to move into now for stable long term businesses.

      No wonder my cat juggling site did not work out that well LOL ....
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    Hey Celente, thanks a lot for that (just pressing the thanks-button wasn't enough).

    all you need to do is take action now ... my action is "find a payment processor that takes recurring payments in Germany (would you believe it, Paypal does NOT have recurring payments in Germany...)".

    Cheers

    Veit
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by VeitSchenk View Post

      Hey Celente, thanks a lot for that (just pressing the thanks-button wasn't enough).

      all you need to do is take action now ... my action is "find a payment processor that takes recurring payments in Germany (would you believe it, Paypal does NOT have recurring payments in Germany...)".

      Cheers

      Veit
      Veit, I have heard of this before. Have you tried clickbank or 2Checkout seems to work well with my aweber mship sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
      Originally Posted by VeitSchenk View Post

      Hey Celente, thanks a lot for that (just pressing the thanks-button wasn't enough).

      all you need to do is take action now ... my action is "find a payment processor that takes recurring payments in Germany (would you believe it, Paypal does NOT have recurring payments in Germany...)".

      Cheers

      Veit
      Dr Veit:

      I had some similar problem and I solve it with this software:

      Best Membership Software | Joomla & Wordpress Membership Plugin - SiteManPro.com

      I bought the license here, I have use it to manage the membership sites
      I am building, it seems to work fine.

      Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    Celente,

    don't want to use clickbank because I'm still at the price-testing stage (and once you submit a clickbank product for review, at least I think, the price is set in stone),
    but I'll check 2checkout

    btw, do you mostly do aweber style membership sites (Jimmy D style) or do you actually drip-feed content with fancy scripts (I've got DAP, but so far only used it for drip-feeding my coaching content, I'm actually going the reverse way of yours: I started with the high-end coaching, now adding the 'entry-level' membership part to it)

    Cheers

    Veit
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by VeitSchenk View Post

      Celente,

      btw, do you mostly do aweber style membership sites (Jimmy D style) or do you actually drip-feed content with fancy scripts (I've got DAP, but so far only used it for drip-feeding my coaching content, I'm actually going the reverse way of yours: I started with the high-end coaching, now adding the 'entry-level' membership part to it)

      Cheers

      Veit
      High end coaching is fine as long as you are able to back it up. I find the drip feeding members with content is better, as then they are find themselves more hungry to take things further and ask for my coaching.

      If a member pays for life access (one time) then they no longer have to get it drip fed...i feed them all the info to them in one go, and they can go through it at their own pace. A win-win situation i guess.

      It took me 6 long hard years of testing, but my sales funnel is solid. Start off small, then work up larger to a bigger more expensive product / coaching. That was just the way I was taught by my mentors. (one who is a millionaire and stalks this forum) But whatever works for you

      I think memberships take a bit of testing but once you sort it out....and get er' done so to speak, you are laughing. I wish I started setting these up years ago. But as the saying goes. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Originally Posted by VeitSchenk View Post

      Celente,

      don't want to use clickbank because I'm still at the price-testing stage (and once you submit a clickbank product for review, at least I think, the price is set in stone)
      We have a membership with clickbank and we have various prices on the same clickbank account - it shouldn't be a problem for you.

      One thing I would recommend wherever possible...

      If you're running a membership site - do it with clickbank. It makes it far easier to sell the site if you decide that is your exit strategy.

      Kindest regards,
      Karl.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Lots of good, solid advice here. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author tragictrip
    Thanks for this post, celente.

    I've been thinking about setting up a membership site, as I like the idea of residual income flowing in monthly. But what if I'm not an EXPERT in any particular niche? How would my membership site be succesful in the case that I only have decent but not extensive knowledge about the niche it's in?

    Thanks for taking your time to answer my question
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    Contact me at: kyleoliveiro@ymail.com[/CENTER]
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by tragictrip View Post

      Thanks for this post, celente.

      I've been thinking about setting up a membership site, as I like the idea of residual income flowing in monthly. But what if I'm not an EXPERT in any particular niche? How would my membership site be succesful in the case that I only have decent but not extensive knowledge about the niche it's in?

      Thanks for taking your time to answer my question
      Tragic, I bring in a lot of money each month, I mean about 20 times more than when i did when I worked a crumby 9-5 job. Yuck. i do not say this to show off, but I was once in your situation.

      I use to sit behind my computer thinking the following :-

      - I am a nobody?
      - I am a crap marketer?
      - Why the hell would people listen to me?
      - Where am I going to get the info I need?

      What I have come to realise is that people get a little overwhelmed by the gurus. I do not class myself as one. People would rather get help from an ordinary successful person. And if that info can help them make money / lose weight etc they are HAPPY! That is my main goal with all my sites. Help people first, then the money will come. It is cliche, but is true.

      These days I outsource alot of stuff. After reading tims book the "4 hour work week" it was just what I needed. I recommend you go and read it if you want a great perspective on a better functioning automated business online. To cut a long story short what I got out of the book was, if you are crap at something and have the money, get an expert to do it for you.

      So I would tell you to go to an expert or pay a good ghostwriter / researcher. I do this for niches I do not know alot about. You will be surprised at the good results you get from this. Just because you know nothing about a niche means nothing. Go and spend a day reading up about your niche and joins some online forums, there is a treasure trove of information in any niche even my silly one if you know where to look. I like forums the most but.

      Sorry if I was a little long winded with this reply, but I hope it can help you and your business. Plus I had a few red wines tonight....LOL
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      • Profile picture of the author tragictrip
        Thanks so much for the reply, celente. The issue of myself not being an expert has been bugging me and hindering me from taking that step forward. I guess I'll just outsource the expertise
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
      Tragic, I think it was Ryan Deiss who talked about this once. He has membership sites in niches he does not know anything about. He just JV with experts in the field. You should take a look at his stuff


      Originally Posted by tragictrip View Post

      Thanks for this post, celente.

      I've been thinking about setting up a membership site, as I like the idea of residual income flowing in monthly. But what if I'm not an EXPERT in any particular niche? How would my membership site be succesful in the case that I only have decent but not extensive knowledge about the niche it's in?

      Thanks for taking your time to answer my question
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
    Originally Posted by celente View Post

    I like to have sticky posts, forum threads and other reports say at least 5 x 1000 reports and other info for users to sink their teeth into...
    Hi Celente

    I just want to clarify. Are you saying you have 5000 reports for your members and if you are what is the typical length of one of your reports?

    Thanks for the info,

    Kevin
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      Hi Celente

      I just want to clarify. Are you saying you have 5000 reports for your members and if you are what is the typical length of one of your reports?

      Thanks for the info,

      Kevin
      Yeah, that "5 x 1000" caught my eye as well...

      Otherwise, this sounds solid.
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    • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
      I'm guessing this "5 x 1000 reports" means that you post a minimum of five 1000-word reports for members to download before you ever open your doors?

      Cheers,
      Charles
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    So can you explain how you setup your membership site exactly celente?

    And what is it like within your membership site, is it a Wordpress type of site where it is updated (where you post your content) and do you also have a link to a forum where people can mingle?
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

      So can you explain how you setup your membership site exactly celente?

      And what is it like within your membership site, is it a Wordpress type of site where it is updated (where you post your content) and do you also have a link to a forum where people can mingle?
      i think membership sites are more of a community, yes.

      I love forums inside membership sites. Adds social proof and gets older experienced and successful members helpiing the newies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    So what do you use to setup your membership sites exactly if you don't mind me asking?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    Isn't this one of the best posts you have read on the WF? Yes, it its! Thanks to OP
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  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    What membership site software do you recommend?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    WishList Member is another good one, just an FYI. But you are probably aware of this.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

      WishList Member is another good one, just and FYI. But you are probably aware of this.
      I have used many dayne. And I know several marketer friends do use WishList with WP blog memberships. It is ok, but I like the professional look, feel and functions of Amem. But to each their own I guess. I worked out people just want to be able to log in and access the information they have paid for. That is most important aspect of this.

      Doesnt matter if you gave budda's secret meaning to life scooped up in a bowl of doggie doo doo. People just want their damn info. I think far too many people focus on the vehicle they using to pass along information.

      Just choose one that is reliable and can get the job done. Don't overanalyse, just get to work and take action. "Take action yesterday......then you will see money today!"
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  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    Do you drip feed the content month by month or have more success just keeping it all available from day 1?

    Also on average how long do members stick around?
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  • Profile picture of the author bertuseng
    Thanks for the great info. I am definately going to keep this in mind when starting my first membership site. I am going to use wishlist. You can make it just as professional. It all depends on your theme. I dig the versatility of theses theme.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Just an FYI here to the people looking for tech solutions:

    If you have Wishlist Member, you can easily integrate a Embeddable Forums by Tal.ki forum into one of your WLM protected pages using their Plugin. It uses the existing WP login credentials to allow members immediate access to the forums. The forum is free...but has a few limitations that can be lifted for a $35/yr payment (this payment option only appears in the WP plugin...not on their website).
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLeonard
    Well that does it- I'm sold. I'll definitely be doing a membership upsell when I release my product. Awesome post. Time to copy and paste that into a note pad doc

    I have question though- your content- you say you're in some silly niches... How the hell do you come up with content good enough to have people begging to have more time with you?

    Do you have a basic structure for your content?

    Peace,
    -Ryan Leonard
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by RyanLeonard View Post

      Well that does it- I'm sold. I'll definitely be doing a membership upsell when I release my product. Awesome post. Time to copy and paste that into a note pad doc

      I have question though- your content- you say you're in some silly niches... How the hell do you come up with content good enough to have people begging to have more time with you?

      Do you have a basic structure for your content?

      Peace,
      -Ryan Leonard
      Wow some great questions there!

      I spend a whole day using a system I called trolling. It sounds complex, but it is just me and some of my outsources trying to find the best info out there. I have a friend who tought me how to use google properly and other sites properly. Once you know this little tips tricks and techniques....man a whole world of opportunity opens up.

      These days I pay a little for researchers to get the info I require. I have bigger niches, and like I said sillier niches that are economy related....choosing niches in recession proof businesses is a good thing to do.....as the economy has not yet recovered! Don't believe me, well just wait a few months or so and you will see what I mean. The bank lies exposed, and more bad news is coming....and a new currency for the US down the track. So hang tight and pick your niches well. IT can be very profitable if you get the right ones.

      Good luck with your business Ryan.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brock Poling
        Ok, ok... pardon me for being the slow kid in the class. I TOTALLY get the power of forums. I have run lots of them (free ones) and know that once you build an audience you can monetize it in lots of ways.

        But it sounds like a membership site is a different beast. You have members from day 1 paying you for access. Are you running a part free / part paid board (like this one), or is your content exclusively membership based?

        How do you get the first folks to join? I realize that there is content for them to read when they get there, but since there aren't any/many members yet isn't that a disappointing experience for them? Don't they complain?

        I would love to hear more about the process you use to get one of these off the ground.

        And if I could ask one other question, when you pay experts to develop content for you is there a benchmark you use to determine what a fair price is?

        I think this is totally the right path for passive income for me. I understand online communities and what makes them tick, but membership sites are like speaking a foreign language.

        I want to learn MORE! :-)
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        • Profile picture of the author celente
          Originally Posted by Brock Poling View Post


          And if I could ask one other question, when you pay experts to develop content for you is there a benchmark you use to determine what a fair price is?

          I want to learn MORE! :-)
          I have been working with a few, and even one member in here, the WF. For obvious reasons I am not going to reveal them to you. But I first created relationship with these content creators and researchers. Then see how good they are and the work /content they can come up with, and if it is up to standard. Honestly I have had one or two bad experiences, but nothing major. Just trial and error and finding who works well with you and who you can just 'click with' if that makes sense.

          Infact so much of my stuff is outsourced now, I could simply go to Hawaii for a 2 month holiday and run everything from my gmail. Yes I would still have to work, but if you have the money outsource, outsource, outsource.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blade Runner 77
    Thank you, great info and post, very helpful, br88
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Blade Runner 88 View Post

      Thank you, great info and post, very helpful, br88
      Cool thanks. Hopefully people can see the real benefits of memberships sites.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Excellent work.

        Different to the way I do it, but none the less, great info.

        It has certainly given me food for thought.

        I ran a traditional style membership site a while back, and it went pretty well. But it was top line $297 per month including coaching.

        I will be looking at a $10 per month model real soon.

        FYI, I believe there is a plugin if you use WP that autoposts content and then resets it after 12 months.

        I must admit that the thought of running another forum is a wee turn off. But that's just me.

        I started my first membership site by recycling my real estate ebooks. Went very well.

        If people are unsure about content, then try finding good plr stuff that you can slice and dice.
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        • Profile picture of the author hometutor
          I know I clicked thanks, but you just gave away a $97.00 book in those few paragraphs and it REALLY HELPS. Not only that, I can use some of the advice you gave for nonmembership products!

          Mahalo

          Rick
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        • Profile picture of the author celente
          Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

          Excellent work.

          Different to the way I do it, but none the less, great info.

          It has certainly given me food for thought.

          I ran a traditional style membership site a while back, and it went pretty well. But it was top line $297 per month including coaching.

          I will be looking at a $10 per month model real soon.

          FYI, I believe there is a plugin if you use WP that autoposts content and then resets it after 12 months.

          I must admit that the thought of running another forum is a wee turn off. But that's just me.

          I started my first membership site by recycling my real estate ebooks. Went very well.

          If people are unsure about content, then try finding good plr stuff that you can slice and dice.
          Becareful with PLR stuff, it can sometimes be old and outdated.

          People dont like that, and will unsubscribe....Be the member, think like the member and act like them....

          Ask them, find out what they are reading more of in the cstat views....give them more of what they want and less of what they dont want. simple!

          what would they want? Only the best advice, that is why they are paying $xx or $xxx dollars per month.
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  • Profile picture of the author RegalWeb
    This is what a thread should be made of. Too bad I can only push the Thanks button once.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    Hey Have to say right here....thanks to all the guys and girls on this forum who have read my post. You guys are the best! I am no one special, but thanks for taking time out in your day to read this!!!

    Man I am overwhelmed with the PM's and some of the comments here, I never really expected this much attention. It was just a spare of the moment post while I was with my laptop watching the 6pm news! Love giving back to this little community! We can all help each other.

    I did have a glass of red chiraz in my hand too! LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Celente, great post on membership sites! I'm sure you have plenty of raving fans, judging from the type of content you have and the interaction you like to foster. I think the sense of community that comes from *active* forums is one vital ingredient that keeps people coming back for more. If all you have are a bunch of downloadable products and videos, people will eventually tire of them, but with a forum people grow attached to other members and they get a unique and oftentimes addictive experience and interaction that simply cannot be replicated by just reading/viewing passive information (like ebooks, audio, videos, etc.)

    By the way, what forum platform/software do you typically use for your membership sites?

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      Celente, great post on membership sites! I'm sure you have plenty of raving fans, judging from the type of content you have and the interaction you like to foster. I think the sense of community that comes from *active* forums is one vital ingredient that keeps people coming back for more. If all you have are a bunch of downloadable products and videos, people will eventually tire of them, but with a forum people grow attached to other members and they get a unique and oftentimes addictive experience and interaction that simply cannot be replicated by just reading/viewing passive information (like ebooks, audio, videos, etc.)

      By the way, what forum platform/software do you typically use for your membership sites?

      Paul
      Firstly yes, and yes. I use amember and integrate other custom scripts, forums, php etc. The secret to mine and some of my very rich friends, is no matter what a website, a membership a forum like this one, is to build a strong emotional sensual communities of like minded people.

      When I made friends with very successful marketers who run 30k - 40k a month website, I was flabbergasted *insert open mouth here* But really they are only doing what allen is doing here. Working hard and creating a community with good info, and personalities that are addictive. I just tried to incorporate that in my niche membership sites. So it is up to you and your content to make them become addicts quickly and to keep them as ongoing members.

      Again I find myself using that word "addict" you have to make people believe their day is not complete until they visit your site, or forum, or membership. Make them become an addict. The community aspect will make them feel important, looked after and to get help with a push of the button. That will make them stay longer, because remember not all people are going to stay on your site forever, as I discussed my first post.

      I am sure you have a list of your daily favorite sites to visit. That means you are the perfect example of this addict. You have that Funny dog photos, news, Hollywood gossip you just cant help yourself to look at each day. The reason is that, you feel part of the site, part of a community a sense of belonging and are craving what is on offer. These website owners not only in the good niches, they are gaining the right sort of fan addicts and keeping the retention there also. It is the same with your paid membership sites. But gaining an addictive community is priceless, and that can make you alot of $$ not only in the short term, but long term also.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by celente View Post

        Firstly yes, and yes. I use amember and integrate other custom scripts, forums, php etc. The secret to mine and some of my very rich friends, is no matter what a website, a membership a forum like this one, is to build a strong emotional sensual communities of like minded people.

        When I made friends with very successful marketers who run 30k - 40k a month website, I was flabbergasted *insert open mouth here* But really they are only doing what allen is doing here. Working hard and creating a community with good info, and personalities that are addictive. I just tried to incorporate that in my niche membership sites. So it is up to you and your content to make them become addicts quickly and to keep them as ongoing members.

        Again I find myself using that word "addict" you have to make people believe their day is not complete until they visit your site, or forum, or membership. Make them become an addict. The community aspect will make them feel important, looked after and to get help with a push of the button. That will make them stay longer, because remember not all people are going to stay on your site forever, as I discussed my first post.

        I am sure you have a list of your daily favorite sites to visit. That means you are the perfect example of this addict. You have that Funny dog photos, news, Hollywood gossip you just cant help yourself to look at each day. The reason is that, you feel part of the site, part of a community a sense of belonging and are craving what is on offer. These website owners not only in the good niches, they are gaining the right sort of fan addicts and keeping the retention there also. It is the same with your paid membership sites. But gaining an addictive community is priceless, and that can make you alot of $$ not only in the short term, but long term also.
        This is so true, Celente - and we have a really excellent example right in front of our eyes (this very forum!) It is this sense of community that has led to a thriving marketplace that is easily monetized, and keeps people coming back for more time and time again. I totally agree with you about the addictive aspect of forums, and many here would concur. I'm sure that Allen would have no problems at all turning this into a forum community that charged on a monthly basis if he wanted to, precisely because of this reason.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author celente
          Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

          This is so true, Celente - and we have a really excellent example right in front of our eyes (this very forum!) It is this sense of community that has led to a thriving marketplace that is easily monetized, and keeps people coming back for more time and time again. I totally agree with you about the addictive aspect of forums, and many here would concur. I'm sure that Allen would have no problems at all turning this into a forum community that charged on a monthly basis if he wanted to, precisely because of this reason.

          Paul
          Yes, this is a fantastic forum. And the admins do a great job. I do not know who, or how much this little money spinner earns (entire warrior forum). Allen is not greedy, but he has already done the hard work over the years. Many folk come and go, but many have been made into 'zombie' like addict state. Myself included, I just cannot get on with my day unless I have visited here once. Ok, I admit it....I am a damn WF addict!!! I am sure you get my drift!!! For allen this is like money hidden in the bank, waiting for him!!!

          He has created the WSO forum to make $40 a post. And then there is the war room which costs $37 buckeroos....many people join up each day, so Allen is doing well and understands what I am talking about and encapsulating this, where others simply wouldn't.

          But how bout this.

          Imagine if the WF spread so much virally bandwith went down, (just saying as an example) and he closed it down for a day. You could then open it back up and charge all members say $2 per year to be a member. Yes you would get less members join, but they are addicts already and as we know, addicts need their fix. Lets say u join back up, if he decided to charge $2 per year. That is nothing because chances are if you have done one WSO and in the war room you have already spent nearly $100 bucks....you little addict you!!!! LOL!!!But for Allan BANG....you got a multi-multi million dollar business out of simple little forum of addicts. My point is once you get them in, the opportunities are endless....

          *taps microphone a few times and speaks* "Allen I hope you are not listening!" ROTFFL
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  • Profile picture of the author donkey097
    great info - why not expand on it and have your own e-book and sell it? Clearly your good at what you do, why not profit from it and help others?
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  • Profile picture of the author ReyRey
    Very informative post. Gonna copy and paste it into notepad!

    I have been thinking about starting membership sites in the $5 per month range for a month. I have been doing the research and found that outsourcing is the way to go. It just gives you so much more time to work on other aspects of your business. But memberships sites are GOLD!!

    Again Celente thanks for this great post. It is greatly appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author sharp
    The thanks button isn't enough. This was fantastic. Some very good stuff in there for non-membership efforts too.

    Regarding non-US processor issues w/ Paypal...
    Several solutions:
    - Use Nanacast. Recurring billing is done differently so it's not an issue.
    - Get a US (or UK, or ...) address... plenty of folks around here have business addresses in one nation that live in other nations. (Call it $100-$200/yr expense.)
    - DAP should have the abilty to play well with other processors... use one. (Authorize.net is a great choice DAP supports and it offers great OTO support.)
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  • Profile picture of the author tsgeric
    I've been thinking about how I could put up some membership sites and this was exactly the shot in the arm I needed. Thanks for putting it together in the "7 things you must know format"!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brock Poling
    Sorry, I mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to hone in on a question to those of you running paid membership sites.

    When you are getting started, I understand about posting good content to read 5 x 1000 articles etc. But don't the early members complain, unsubscribe, give you grief where there are no/few other members in the forum to interact with?

    How do you get around this problem when you are starting up?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Brock Poling View Post

      Sorry, I mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to hone in on a question to those of you running paid membership sites.

      When you are getting started, I understand about posting good content to read 5 x 1000 articles etc. But don't the early members complain, unsubscribe, give you grief where there are no/few other members in the forum to interact with?

      How do you get around this problem when you are starting up?
      Exactly my question as well. Especially if you also have a forum. Nothing worse than going to a forum and see 3 members or, if you are in a "membership" site and know there are only 3 members.

      Oh, and one more thing...anyone ever use NING for a social network/membership platform?
      Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Brock Poling View Post

      Sorry, I mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to hone in on a question to those of you running paid membership sites.

      When you are getting started, I understand about posting good content to read 5 x 1000 articles etc. But don't the early members complain, unsubscribe, give you grief where there are no/few other members in the forum to interact with?

      How do you get around this problem when you are starting up?
      Yes, I get asked this question alot, and it is not really a problem for me. It all comes to formulating a plan. Most people will set up a membership site and start charging people. YIKES! When they get inside they see no post, not user activity and most of all a ghostown as I referred to before.

      Please go back and read what I said!

      For me it is all about having even a small qualified list. Ever have a time where you want to send something to your list that is really cool, but cant find anything. Well BINGO! you let them in for FREE and get people humming and help them, communicate with them and at least get some sort of community feel happening. If you do a proper job, those freebies will stay on and tell others. That is what you want.

      Is there a specific number for this. NO, but you need to make sure your community is buzzing and it looks like there are people there talking and paid memebers already, it adds tot he social proofing that people want and need your service more than a hot cross bun on Easter morning.

      Here are other things I do to help with this movement. No one wants to be first to post right? Well....

      1) Do a quick JV with other marketers on smaller segregated list. Ge them to promote what you have on offer. A freebie with limited slots. People jump at this.

      2) Have your content ready, and a forum attached if you like. Remember its about creating an addictville, so you want to start the pendulum off as best you can. If you have no users, go in there and create 5 or so accounts, maybe more and login and ask questions using one account, and then with another account go in and answer that question. Make it look as though there are already users that are getting help. This is not cheating, or dodgy we just want to start the pendulum swinging right. Heck if you know something about your niche you might even help someone with the first few posts you are giving. GOOD GRIEF! LOL!

      3) Use your own list, and make it a freebie for them being a loyal subscriber. Sometimes if you have a bigger list it can get the ball rolling. When they see this and join, there is more chance they will stay on your list, even if they do not become a paying member. Remember you need their help to get the ball rolling.

      4) I like this one. I will pay someone to join a forum and sneak around and find out who are the well known and respected members. Then try to get them to come over to the forum and help out or even become a moderator. Maybe even pay them if necessary (which I have done on a few occasions, but you dont have too!). You want to have good people, a good community and that comes down to have solid advice and members that attract more members. These people love playing god. Not only do these people post, they love the whole I AM GOD where they can add users, delete users, ban useres etc. So get other well respected members to join, and let them be mods (if you have a forum) But when they go back to their other free communities they will mention they are a mod over at www.xxxxx.com they wont be able to help themselves. That will get the really good users.

      5) As above you can also post, help people, and attract people to your forum at the same time. There are many ways you can do this, sig line, a pm, asking people to join. Again we are just getting the ball rolling. So you want to make it free for a while.

      6) You are on one of the biggest forums in the world. You would be surprised at what people sell in here. All sorts of niches. So use the warrior forum and get other great warriors to help you out to get the ball rolling.

      7) For a time, I will put on my optin thankyou pages, right up AT THE TOP things like

      "Wait!"

      >> Your Special Unannounced Bonus <<

      Join Our FREE XXXX XXXX XXX Private Member Club!
      ==> Click Here For Your Special Sign Up Link <==

      Then when it becomes a paid later, leave it on your thankyou page, but say things like this :-

      >> Your Special Unannounced Bonus <<

      A FREE 7 Day Trial To Our XXXXXX Private Member Club!
      ==> Click Here For Your Special Sign Up Link <==

      Most people cant refuse even having a look at this.....so you can reel them in with this sort of stuff. Just think and let your ingenuity help you get more traffic. Start them off for free, and give those users the privilege. Then you can make it paid.

      The two other tips is make respond to people, and help them out as much as you can. People will then have no trouble paying for your content. But You should have a period where you giveaway your membership for free to start the ball rolling. Remember as time goes on you are adding to your list, your members and your repore with them. So you just have to make a tiny sacrifice for a little bit.

      It does not really take to much time to get your community buzzing. Infact I was able to do it within 5 days once...closed it up and made it paid. About 80% of the freebies stayed and when the paying users came in, it was flourishing. I used most the tips I gave above....but you should be building your list. Anyone that tells you not to build a list with niche marketing should be tied to a post and shot by a firing squad. Without a list I would probably make $100 a month doing this stuff.

      Build your list, help people and then build your communities around this. That will get the word out, the buzzing you need and the money rolling in. Then it is all just about testing.

      This sounds like a lot of work right? Well sort of? but dont you want to make money? not just a money spinner a solid recurring business that partly manages itself while you are off goofing around at the beach. I know I do!

      God greif, i feel like I just wrote and ebook. LOL. Anyway hope this helps you make some of the green stuff.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brock Poling
        I think you did just write an ebook. This is awesome. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Great tips, but ofcourse setting up the membership is the biggest hurdle, before worring about traffic, and getting affiliates to promote your site
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    • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
      Banned
      Originally Posted by dagaul101 View Post

      Great tips, but ofcourse setting up the membership is the biggest hurdle, before worring about traffic, and getting affiliates to promote your site
      Setting it up is not as hard as you think. Wishlist Member, for example, is super easy when combined with something like Wordpress.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    no probs. Let me know if this helps you make some mulah!

    I am still testing lots more stuff. Getting some interesting results.
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  • Profile picture of the author faydra_j
    Wow Celente!

    Thanks for the great info. :-) I'm about to launch a membership site & plan to incorporate a forum as well. Your tips were perfect timing for me. I will definitely put them to use, esp. the ones relating to starting up a new forum.

    I'm curious...

    Have you found niches with active free forums difficult to bring over to your paid ones? I suppose the biggest hurdle here is demonstrating the value when the site is new.

    Are your membership sites designed to last so long - i.e. 3 mo, 6 mo, etc. or are they ongoing?

    Again, thanks for your advice. It is MUCH appreciated. :-)

    Faydra

    p.s. our first membership site launched in March 2010. We chose DAP w/Thesis theme, since we were comfortable with WP & Thesis. So far, so good. Ravi gives great support & customer service.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by faydra_j View Post

      Wow Celente!

      Thanks for the great info. :-) I'm about to launch a membership site & plan to incorporate a forum as well. Your tips were perfect timing for me. I will definitely put them to use, esp. the ones relating to starting up a new forum.

      I'm curious...

      Have you found niches with active free forums difficult to bring over to your paid ones? I suppose the biggest hurdle here is demonstrating the value when the site is new.

      Are your membership sites designed to last so long - i.e. 3 mo, 6 mo, etc. or are they ongoing?

      Again, thanks for your advice. It is MUCH appreciated. :-)

      Faydra

      p.s. our first membership site launched in March 2010. We chose DAP w/Thesis theme, since we were comfortable with WP & Thesis. So far, so good. Ravi gives great support & customer service.
      I have some membership sites that are content dripped, and then others that are just forums...but with better info, and other products my members get for free. Alot of work, but it pays off in the end...as you can imagine.
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  • Profile picture of the author spartan75
    i love your business ideas.i been thinking about membership site lately. will make a folder and save this page. thanks so much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam James
    Great advice I am going to start with membersip sites in 2011 what script do you use for your membersip site.
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  • Profile picture of the author ina696
    Hi, there, Celente. You've just inspired me. I would like to PM you to ask a few questions. Is that okay?

    Ina
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by ina696 View Post

      Hi, there, Celente. You've just inspired me. I would like to PM you to ask a few questions. Is that okay?

      Ina
      I am here working away as usual. But I can answer your questions tonight.

      We have a new WSO that might help answer your questions more in full if that is any help to you - in sig line below.

      Have a great day.

      Celente.
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  • Profile picture of the author ina696
    Thanks for responding, Celente. I didn't even look in your sig line instead. I will take a look at that ... it looks like something I should order.

    Ina
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankieTP2
    Excellent information! Thank you for sharing it with us!
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    I Bet My Wife I Could Make $100 Bucks In Only 3 Days...
    WITH NO PRODUCT - NO LIST - NO JV'S and NO TRAFFIC.

    Here's What Happened... Click HERE To Find Out The Results!

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  • Profile picture of the author vstar00
    This is a great post! I am making a product at the moment on how to generate free traffic. Its a video course that is 10+ hours. I was just going to sell it for ~$200 but have found myself hosting it on a membership site because of all the content I need to develop.

    I was thinking I should turn it into a membership site with recurring revenue?

    maybe I should offer the full site access at $197 or recurring members at $27 with a 7 day free trial? I dunno, cant figure out pricing.

    I was also thinking of turning it into an ebook then having an upsell for the video course... dunno

    Im liking your advice tho. Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by vstar00 View Post

      This is a great post! I am making a product at the moment on how to generate free traffic. Its a video course that is 10+ hours. I was just going to sell it for ~$200 but have found myself hosting it on a membership site because of all the content I need to develop.

      I was thinking I should turn it into a membership site with recurring revenue?

      maybe I should offer the full site access at $197 or recurring members at $27 with a 7 day free trial? I dunno, cant figure out pricing.

      I was also thinking of turning it into an ebook then having an upsell for the video course... dunno

      Im liking your advice tho. Thanks!
      Vstar,

      Thanks.

      I found creating and managing these sites actually more easily than anything in IM. But the hardest bit is what price to offer it at.

      I say test, test and then test some more. Without testing your marketing is going to waste. Some memberships I give free for 7 days, others more. Depends on what you are doing and your goals.

      I do have upsell memberships sites that drip feed videos, with those do not sell youself short. Video are worth a lot more to people....and you can charge alot more. Especially if it is laid out in simple terms and they can follow along.

      Anyone that has an ebook, and not a backend membership site is losing out on big profits. They are just watching their customers ride off into the sunset, never to be seen or heard again.

      I segregate lists. I offer further sales funnels to those that keep buying my stuff. When you start doing that and giving great content, and helping people they will pay you virtually any amount. But it is important that you help your clients first and build trust first. If you have done that you have won half the battle with this whole IM stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Big_Bear
    I think the biggest problem with a membership site is finding the niche. If you dont have the right one, youre either competing agaisnt 10,000 other websites or the traffic is so little youre member base is at 2.

    lol
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
      Originally Posted by Big_Bear View Post

      I think the biggest problem with a membership site is finding the niche. If you dont have the right one, youre either competing agaisnt 10,000 other websites or the traffic is so little youre member base is at 2.

      lol
      I would definitely agree that picking the right niche is very crtical to your sucess . But , you have to be aware that the other elments mentioned by the OP are also important and decisive factors to your success .

      BTW, good tips by the OP.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    One often overlooked aspect about building a membership site is having a thriving and active community participating and interacting frequently with one another, and I think Celente has really given some good tips here on how to accomplish that. This alone can be the difference between a merely mediocre site and an awesome membership community that is almost self-sustaining and continually generates good income every month!

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author tjm2788
      Thanks for the amazing post! One question... when you say you drip feed content to users, how exactly is this done?

      Is there a mechanism within the membership software that gradually releases sections of the site at a defined interval to make it look like new content is added to frequently?

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
    Just when I thought I had turned to giving advice on the WF, this post comes along. It's not often that a thread has made an idea viciously rip into my mind but this one did just that. I'm honestly excited to finish up some current projects and try this one out.

    Thanks again for posting this.
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  • Profile picture of the author chayati
    Hi celente, I have just completed my membership site and trying to figure out how much to charge per month. Thank you very much for the solid advice.
    Best regards,
    Cem Berkoz
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    Hi Cem,

    I would go through a series of testing.

    1) Test lower prices first.

    2) test higher price.

    Sometimes It is strange because the higher prices will convert alot better.

    So that is why as marketers we must test, test and then test some more.

    I have one membership site that has 1098 members each paying $9.95 and i also have membership sites that are $97 per month. I do not mind both, but I am a prolific tester under all circumstances.
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