How I Make $40k/mth From My Membership Site

95 replies
Over the years I've benefitted a lot from the information on this forum, and so I thought it was time to give back a little. Originally I was going to write a book on my selling system, but since I spend less than 30 minutes a day in productive admin work, the thought of writing full-time for a couple months is not attractive right now. I've been a "4 Hour Work Week" sort of guy long before Tim Ferris fell into it.

So this post is just an overview of some of the processes I use.

I've never fully explained how I work my business. Nobody's asked me either, and I'm always surprised why they haven't. Anyone that sells well over seven figures a year has some knowledge that is worthwhile sharing, and usually just for the asking.

The best part of my income is that while most of it is very consistent, a solid percentage of the revenue comes from the membership site.

So here's some details on it. I've left a lot of information out - mainly because a good selling system is actually quite complicated. I have bits connected to other bits which spin off to yet others... even I get confused at times. But it's all necessary to make the whole business work effectively.

I'm not saying this to make it sound complex, but over time I've found there are essentials that are needed to make the sale... and if you leave them out, they won't.

OK, to the technical stuff...

My base model is quite simple. I sell a basic lottery system with a number of profitable 'back ends'... one of which is a membership site that provides a real benefit to the whole system.

Sounds simple, but the secret to the membership site success is actually the Product itself (capitals to emphasize its importance). It is a hugely effective winning system which works. Maybe the only one on the planet And since hundreds of millions round the world play each week, everyone needs it.

So if you wanted to sell dog collars by duplicating my selling system, you wouldn't get the same results. The Product is key. When you discover your own unique Product that appeals to desperate buyers, and give them an effective solution to their problem, then you'll also have the golden goose sitting on your doorstep.

It's so crucial I need to repeat it: *What* you choose as a Product is the essential answer to a multi-million dollar business. And you must sell to desperate buyers. Spend 99% of your time figuring out that, and the recurring income goes on forever. Get the Product right and it can be recession-proof, like mine. Sales have increased 20% over the last year.


Here's how it works:

1. I sell my main Product almost as a loss leader, as I give 50% of it away to affiliates. They are my mainstay. I put a lot of effort into the main Product to keep the true refund rate down to a consistent 1%. With figures like this it's hugely appealing to affiliates, and some of them make $30k/yr.

Once the Product is sold and in use, then I introduce the buyer to several spin-off products to better meet their needs. It's done by autoresponder - more on that later.

2. One of those essential byproducts is a $7.80/mth Membership Site. It took me a while to get a workable solution. Initially I struggled trying to figure out how anyone could make money with a membership site when most of the world's knowledge can be found for free in a few minute's search on the net.

The churn factor in many membership sites is high because there is no real reason to continue once the needed information is received. Ask anyone to make a choice between a site with all the information contained ready to go... or the same information dribbled out over many months, and most choose the instant result. So getting the right information combination for my buyers was the main key in my membership site business.

I spent a year or so developing my membership concept. And the time spent was worth it. Figure it out for yourself... $40,000/mth at $7.80 each, that's over 5,000 members and still growing. And they stay with me for years. One of the advantages of a low monthly membership fee is that it's usually more economical to bill in 3 or 6 month intervals. This locks in income.

I use aMember Pro to run the membership site, and while the member sign-up is a little complex, it generally works well.

3. In addition, I have a lot of sales and email-gathering systems that funnel sales back to the membership site. In one area recently I sold squeeze page mini-sites which link to the main product. That gave me two forms of income... one from selling the sites, and the other getting sales from the products these mini-site affiliates sold. In another area I showed affiliates how to develop and sell the Product using a free blog. I also give away a free book which virally grows more sales. All these approaches piggyback on each other to increase income and push buyers through to the membership site.

4. I ALWAYS collect email addresses at EVERY step of the way. In fact I'm probably one of the most aggressive marketers I know (in a honey/treacle kinda way), in getting names and email addresses from every part of my process.

5. Email is King. I send out email newsletters mostly daily. Some have called this frequency overkill. But I've sent them at this rate for years, and get powerful results by a factor of 10 times. I was able to prove that recently when I messed up for a week and watched 90% of my sales drop away.

I've found that when a prospect is in a buying frame of mind, they need every snippet of information on the Product they can get. There is no such thing as overkill because the prospect craves as much information and confirmation as they can. And after the sale they need more information to prevent buyer's remorse. So nothing is wasted on a buyer - only on the tire-kickers.

Oh, and I send out valuable information in every 4 out of 5 messages, not just constant sales offers. That's important.

Once the subscriber is in the mix, whether it's via a mass broadcast or individual subscriber email, they get a cheerfully relentless stream of interesting newsletters in addition to the ones I put out daily. Many of those promote the membership site.

6. I use GetResponse autoresponders for many reasons. I go way back with Simon, and over the years I found his product is extremely stable and a great business match for my Products. Another reason is his product solutions. GetResponse has all the answers wrapped up in one product.

7. After I write the daily newsletter, it goes straight on my blog. This is another part of the giant spiderweb which catches and draws prospects into my system to eventually lead them into the membership site. I use Google's free Blogger program, and back up constantly to insure the content. One of the advantages of using Blogger is that I can make a post and see it in Google less than 30 minutes later. Wordpress is just as good, but I find Blogger easier to use. Sometimes I optimize the subject heading for SEO, other times I don't. There are some 750 posts on it right now, and I get 50,000 unique visits a month. I use it solely as an ezine record keeper and promotion tool, and don't allow comments so I can reduce my time involvement.

8. I protect the sales process with a number of redundant processes like multiple credit card processors, hosts etc, so if one fails I can quickly change to another. This also keeps most of my business information separate so no-one group knows what the other is doing. Call me mildly paranoid but it's the reason I've never been affected or infected by the bad guys.

9. I never use outside advertising. I'm approached weekly and offered large sums to place ads on my sites, but I turn them all down. I believe it's important to lock prospects into a narrow beam of interest that leads only to MY Product. Once you dilute that interest with outside ads then you've lost them for good.


So there's a small part of my selling system, and I hope you can see how it all fits into the membership site structure.

Admittedly I have certain advantages in my business now which are hard to duplicate for beginners, and the main one is longevity. I've been selling my Products since 1991, and have been selling them on the net since 1995. A background like that is pure silver , but there's only one way to copy it, and that's to start now.

Good luck!
#$40k or mth #make #membership #site
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    What an awesome post Ken!....I remember reading your posts more than a decade ago on Tony Blakes old forum. It seems you've built an impressive business.
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author Ken Preuss
      Holy smokes! That's easily the most specific and valuable post I've read here in a long, long time.

      I always tell my students to "look behind the curtain" and see what successful marketers are doing - specifically the small but important details that make a successful marketing machine run. Well, you've given some real gems in this post.

      Bravo!
      Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by brucerby View Post

      ...I remember reading your posts more than a decade ago on Tony Blakes old forum. It seems you've built an impressive business.
      _____
      Bruce
      Persistence is one of the most important traits everyone needs in business. I've watched many talented marketers drop out over those years for no apparent reason at all. Probably the fire just went out.

      But whatever the reason, if we can battle on through the rough patches, then the rewards are tremendous. I always compare myself to author Robert Ringer (Looking Out For #1), who claimed he had mediocre talent - but his tortise-like persistence beat all the hares in his race.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    Ken
    I second what Bruce said - Very detailed post with some great information. I think it is fascinating how you carved your stake out of what appears to be a very lucrative niche (makes me wonder if bingo players are as profitable of a niche as your lottery niche).

    Thanks for sharing. Glad for your success and your affiliate's success - almost makes me want to sign up as an affiliate but I don't know squat about playing the lottery.

    Tim
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by TimG View Post

      ...Glad for your success and your affiliate's success - almost makes me want to sign up as an affiliate but I don't know squat about playing the lottery.
      Tim
      You don't need to know anything about the lottery - just about getting traffic. Here's what I tell my affiliates in my $39.95 affiliate book, but if you know a little net stuff you can work it out for yourself for free:

      1. Get a ClickBank affiliate name here: Become a High-Paid Lottery Affiliate Partner

      2. Open a free Google Blogger account. Name the blog after a popular lotto like the Mega Millions. Include the word "results" or "numbers" in the title.

      3. After every draw, put all the result information from an authorized source in a post... winning numbers, jackpot amounts, etc. At the bottom of each post, put your ClickBank affiliate name in a link which says something like: "Want to know how you can win 8 out of every 10 games? Click here." Takes just 5 minutes a week.

      4. Promote it.

      That's where a lot of my main website traffic comes from, and why my affiliates do so well. PM me if you want more details on the book which sets it all out in greater detail.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimG
        Originally Posted by KenSilver View Post

        You don't need to know anything about the lottery - just about getting traffic. Here's what I tell my affiliates in my $39.95 affiliate book, but if you know a little net stuff you can work it out for yourself for free:

        1. Get a ClickBank affiliate name here: Become a High-Paid Lottery Affiliate Partner

        2. Open a free Google Blogger account. Name the blog after a popular lotto like the Mega Millions. Include the word "results" or "numbers" in the title.

        3. After every draw, put all the result information from an authorized source in a post... winning numbers, jackpot amounts, etc. At the bottom of each post, put your ClickBank affiliate name in a link which says something like: "Want to know how you can win 8 out of every 10 games? Click here." Takes just 5 minutes a week.

        4. Promote it.

        That's where a lot of my main website traffic comes from, and why my affiliates do so well. PM me if you want more details on the book which sets it all out in greater detail.
        Ken,
        Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to respond back with those helpful hints.

        Respectfully,
        Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Thanks. Great post.
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author dejoliet31
    Ken, thanks for reaching back to help people like me who need direction and many, many suggestions for success.
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  • Profile picture of the author whyap79
    Thanks for you sharing and great information provided.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Chue
    Excellent post, lots of ideas that can be adopted
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  • Profile picture of the author billionareHuman
    Thanks for this. I like the idea of charging a small monthly fee rather than huge amounts like some membership sites too, this doesn't help longevity, and also puts pressure on the owners to really provide highly valuable content all the time to justify the high price. Where as you are charging and small fee and still providing value, thus you are over delivering and your members are happy, it's the way to go
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    • Profile picture of the author reapr
      Truly one of the most informative posts I have read on WF since joining!

      When will you be putting out an ebook or course on membership sites!

      Thanks again ...
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  • Profile picture of the author jimojeda
    Ken, thank you so much for such an amazing post.

    I truly value your contribution and respect your experience.

    Sincerely,

    Jaime
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCren
    Very nice building blocks! Thanks a million!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
    I'm guessing this is the same Ken Silver whose Email marketing ebook Allen bought the rights to and added to the founding Warrior site goodies? Where have you been Ken?!

    Oh, I see it from your post, hiding away making money ... lol... good for you.

    I agree with a lot of what you posted. But I'm not sure I like the sound of having to send out emails everyday, not because I'm afraid of emailing my customers, no, I actually agree with sending as many emails as you want to as long as you're not sending tripe and your subscribers are loving it, whose to say wats 2 many in terms of quantity?

    No, the reason I say I'm not for emailing great content daily is that sounds like a lot of work, and besides, I would get bored with that, I prefer to work like a horse for a few months then leave my sites to automatically make money.

    But then again it's different strokes for different IMers I guess. Great info for someone who wants to use the same model.

    I have definietly picked up some good tips.

    Many cheers,

    Kunle

    PS: Do you still have the email marketing ebook in circulation? I have an email marketing ebook in the works myself and wondering if there's some fresh outlook I can gain from yours. Cheers.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by Kunle Olomofe View Post

      I'm guessing this is the same Ken Silver whose Email marketing ebook Allen bought the rights to and added to the founding Warrior site goodies?
      Ah, the interweb never forgets

      Originally Posted by Kunle Olomofe View Post

      ...the reason I say I'm not for emailing great content daily is that sounds like a lot of work, and besides, I would get bored with that, I prefer to work like a horse for a few months then leave my sites to automatically make money.
      It's fun, not work if you enjoy it. But I often prewrite a month ahead, especially when I'm overseas and want a break. Both GetResponse and Blogger allow you to pre-post chronologically in this way. [/QUOTE]

      Originally Posted by Kunle Olomofe View Post

      PS: Do you still have the email marketing ebook in circulation? I have an email marketing ebook in the works myself and wondering if there's some fresh outlook I can gain from yours. Cheers.
      Google "eBook Secrets" (so my Rights owners get the sales). Good luck with your book!
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    • Profile picture of the author USHwy129
      Originally Posted by Kunle Olomofe View Post

      No, the reason I say I'm not for emailing great content daily is that sounds like a lot of work, and besides, I would get bored with that, I prefer to work like a horse for a few months then leave my sites to automatically make money.
      I agree - I like autopilot! But that was definitely a GREAT post thanks Ken!
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  • Profile picture of the author Shevd
    Great post, membership sites are always great money makers, keep up the good work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Art Turner
    Great post and I appreciate a peek at your membership strategy.

    But why work so hard if you have the only effective lottery system on the planet?

    Art
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by Art Turner View Post

      Great post and I appreciate a peek at your membership strategy. But why work so hard if you have the only effective lottery system on the planet?
      Art
      I don't work that hard. Newsletter only takes a few minutes a day, and everything else is automated.
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  • Profile picture of the author abelacts
    Ken, thanks for the great post. It's great to have a peek behind the curtain :-)

    One question: How do you drive traffic to your email funnel? Just by natural traffic only?
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by abelacts View Post

      ...One question: How do you drive traffic to your email funnel? Just by natural traffic only?
      Lots of articles (blog), links from other related sites, many squeeze pages. I have over 200 domain names, that should tell you something .
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      • Profile picture of the author TimG
        Originally Posted by KenSilver View Post

        Lots of articles (blog), links from other related sites, many squeeze pages. I have over 200 domain names, that should tell you something .
        It certainly does -

        Tim
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        • Profile picture of the author davemiz
          good post ken.... I remember you from waaaay back in the day.... early 1999 on your message board.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Alexander
    yep, great post! What kind of system is it? a 'number wheeling system'?
    There are some fun free ones around, like Win the Lotto Wheel Lottery Numbers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gallery Sites
    Short and sweet and cuts to the chase.
    If we learn it the live by it, we could all be successful!

    Good info, thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamGlobal
    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the detailed information. I've been interested in starting a membership site and you've shared some really good concepts.

    Keep up the great work.

    All The Best,


    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    That was definitely one of the most valuable posts for a long time, and very motivating.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author russelledward
    ken i like your advice on somethings
    can you send an email to me here

    alexwongusatgmaildotcom













    thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    Ken, thank you for the enlightening look "backstage."

    *What* you choose as a Product is the essential answer.... Spend 99% of your time figuring out that
    Could you describe your path to your current Product? Did you start out with something that's not in the gambling field? Did you move up to a lottery system that wasn't very good? What kind of trial and error, more importantly what kind of thought process when into your finding the match of the desperate buyers with the solution to their desires?

    A better understanding of Product and Market selection could save a lot of marketing warriors from losing battles - battles lost because they took all their tools and weapons (autoresponder, blog, etc.) into the wrong war. So I hope you'll talk some more about the selection process you used.

    Regards,
    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author MIB Mastermind
    Awesome post very imformative I would buy your course on membership sites if you ever released one....just a thought, keep up the good work
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  • Profile picture of the author TLCarroll
    Ken,
    Great post, but as usual whenever someone who is quietly making a fortune tries to share thier knowledge there are always those who question why anyone would share that type of information.

    This leads me to wonder if those who question sharing are the type to selfishly keep information like this to themselves forever.

    I'm reminded of something I read once about those who selfishly keep thier fists closed tightly so no one can get anything out of thier hands. No one can place anything into thier tightly closed fists either.

    Genorosity of spirit brings more to you, not less.

    Just a thought.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
      Thanks for the great post!!!!

      Fantastic Info and congrats on your success!!!


      Highest Regards,
      Sean
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Ken,

      I found the paragraph below to be extreme common sense yet often ignored advice.

      I've found that when a prospect is in a buying frame of mind, they need every snippet of information on the Product they can get. There is no such thing as overkill because the prospect craves as much information and confirmation as they can. And after the sale they need more information to prevent buyer's remorse. So nothing is wasted on a buyer - only on the tire-kickers.
      Someone seeking a solution to a specific question or problem will devour the info you provide - but providing page after page of "great copy" won't sell if you haven't put the copy and the target market together!

      It's also the reason you can email frequently without complaints - you are giving your target market what they want rather than trying to convince a more general market to want your promotion of the day.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author GayleT
    Ken,
    Loved your tip on not diluting message to List with others' offers. I've always resisted this, but thought "everybody else was doing it".
    Thanks!
    Gayle
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    I'm actually one of your affiliates Ken, making small occasional sales using that #3 thing While my conversation rate to your site is not so much, I'm still happy to find your product at CB as an additional income stream in my local lotto site
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  • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    ...Can you tell us more about the product? I suppose it's a great product because people love gambling and getting rich quick? But does the product really work?...
    I'm really only giving background information on membership sites here, not explaining or selling my system. But quite simply, many hundreds of testimonials verify it works.

    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    Also, what is it about your m'ship site that means people don't leave after one month? Are you giving them lottery picks? I think this is the strength of forex signals sites, in that you pay for regular picks, if you leave you stop receiving them. Obviously they have to be profitable or nobody will stay.
    Exactly right. And also Club Penguin (Virtual Worlds News: Disney Acquires Club Penguin for $700 Million) is a good example of a perfect membership concept in a different way.
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  • Profile picture of the author jiht76
    Great information indeed.

    You are a clear proof that smart work and high quality always pays off.

    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author DJ DeMarco
    Its amazing step by step post...but, build a membership site need much money..
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    • Profile picture of the author TLCarroll
      Not necessarily.

      Focus on creating the content for your member's area and create a Wordpress frontend with your membership area as a passworded backend. There are a few inexpensive membership software WSOs that have been posted recently. Do a search.

      Your biggest problem is having enough good content to keep updating your member's area.

      Originally Posted by Bmarket View Post

      Its amazing step by step post...but, build a membership site need much money..
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      The Revolution is in progress since Spring of 2007!
      "I only want to do it once, by myself, for free and never touch it again...EVER...then I'll retire."

      Watch this sig for updates!
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  • Profile picture of the author sajae102
    I want to start a writing website like Associated content or ehow...I think the 'get paid to write' membership sites make a killing.
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  • Profile picture of the author BODH
    Thanks for sharing mate.i wish to study more about membership site
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaunAllen
    I find it interesting that Ken sends an e-mail every day. I've always found a lot of success sending frequent e-mails. However you'll hear a lot of different variations of what you need to do. I guess you just have to test it and see what works.

    Dave

    P.S.

    Ken, I remember when I first came online about 6 or 7 years ago. I wanted to buy some of your ebooks and I'd read the salesletters over and over again. I don't know what happened but I never got around to buying them. I know at the time they sure looked great though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
      Superb post. Well thought out and reeking intelligence and battle hardened net business sense/experience.

      It's great to see how simple a system can be, and everything you're doing to make the system work has been resonating throughout this forum in pieces from time to time, so to see it all in one post really does say a lot for your business acumen.

      Cheers,

      Nick
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    • Profile picture of the author Lisa aka LJ
      Thanks for sharing, Ken. Creating a membership site is high on my to-do list.
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  • Profile picture of the author MemberWing
    Ahh, my wife just about started to get successful selling dog collars for poodles!

    Ken - care to share your specifics regarding redundancy with credit card processors / options / shopping carts you are using?
    I sell membership site software and trying to get together best payment support options for business owners.

    Gleb
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by MemberWing View Post

      Ken - care to share your specifics regarding redundancy with credit card processors / options / shopping carts you are using?
      I sell membership site software and trying to get together best payment support options for business owners.
      Gleb
      For the past 10 years I've used both ClickBank - which in my opinion is simply the best around for both processing and affiliate payment - and a local card processing company in my area for my non-affiliate products. For the local cart I use Mal's E-Commerce (Mal's e-commerce - A FREE Shopping Cart Service) low-cost pro system.

      All have stood the test of time, which is important because you don't want anyone messing up or crashing in these risky times. They are all solid as a rock... so far.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayhew
      Originally Posted by MemberWing View Post

      Ahh, my wife just about started to get successful selling dog collars for poodles!

      Ken - care to share your specifics regarding redundancy with credit card processors / options / shopping carts you are using?
      I sell membership site software and trying to get together best payment support options for business owners.

      Gleb
      I second what Ken said. Clickbank is the bomb for memberships. I'll buy your script and recommend it to my list when and if you integrate it into your script.
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  • Profile picture of the author WinsonYeung
    Wow, thanks for sharing your own experience, I enjoy reading your post. Anyone, how do you actually create the content use for the membership site?
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by WinsonYeung View Post

      Wow, thanks for sharing your own experience, I enjoy reading your post. Anyone, how do you actually create the content use for the membership site?
      Customized predictions for many of the world's games. PM me for the site URL.
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    • Profile picture of the author Abraham_L
      To be writing newsletter every day, or every 2 days or whatever, what do you write to your customers? How do you never run out of information?
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      • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
        Originally Posted by Abraham_L View Post

        To be writing newsletter every day, or every 2 days or whatever, what do you write to your customers? How do you never run out of information?
        Good question. I actually don't write much on the numbers side of my business because my system is a complete package - so learning about how to pick the right number combinations etc is redundant. It's really just buy the system and use it.

        Instead I lean more to the motivational. Most people don't win the lottery because they aren't persistent enough... just like marketing or any other kind of useful endeavor. And the relentless pursuit of profit means working at it day after day, for months or years, long after most others have given up.

        So many of my dailies are inspirational rather than technical. They include many testimonials I get each week, ideas for staying persistent and snippets of news that apply to some games. I often get ideas by taking an earlier newsletter and expanding on one point. So one email can provide the base information for several others.
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  • Profile picture of the author esr
    One of the most informative posts I've ever read. Thanks so much Ken!
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  • Profile picture of the author san34
    So am I understanding that you are making 40K a month from people buying from you on how to win the lottery?


    Works for me. I'd do it too if i could.
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  • Profile picture of the author abelacts
    Ken,

    I have a product in a similar market but it doesn't do quite well. Can I ask for your advice via PM? Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author David-JP
      Awesome post- think you'll get some members from here as well- get rich quick mindset.

      You must have some really good sales copy as well to get over the "then why aren't you just using the system quietly make a fortune yourself" questions.

      PM me sometime, would like to discuss some of your amember setups. I've done some cool stuff with it you may be interested in.

      David
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      • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
        Originally Posted by David-JP View Post

        ...You must have some really good sales copy as well to get over the "then why aren't you just using the system quietly make a fortune yourself" questions...
        I do, and I am

        People ask me why I continue when I've got everything I want, but I realized long ago that - like rust - success never sleeps. The same kind of personality that drives the winners in this world also keeps them going long after the spoils have been acquired.

        After a certain point the money becomes redundant, and the 'game of business' is the drawcard.
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  • Profile picture of the author articlemaster
    great business....thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    Wonderful post - pulls together many things over which I've been mulling for quite awhile. Thanks!

    Barbara
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  • Profile picture of the author bingbong
    Very informative and encouraging post. Thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    @ ken - Awesome share man!

    I never had a memebership site, but after reading your post I am thinking on creating one.

    Thanks for the share, it's always nice to learn new stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author ExtremeIM
    That is a fantastic post! Great resource for those looking to start a membership site.
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  • Profile picture of the author lburrell
    This is pure gold:

    "I've found that when a prospect is in a buying frame of mind, they need every snippet of information on the Product they can get. There is no such thing as overkill because the prospect craves as much information and confirmation as they can. And after the sale they need more information to prevent buyer's remorse. So nothing is wasted on a buyer - only on the tire-kickers."

    I just sent out some emails to recent buyers to prevent this
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
    Originally Posted by Paul M View Post

    Strange that a thread that actually adds value should get
    so little attention.
    -Paul
    Actually, I don't find it strange. I've found that people tend to ignore good quality information that's freely given. To test my theory, I'm going to start charging for something valuable that I'm currently giving away with no strings attached.
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  • Profile picture of the author cookies
    Thanks, Ken, for sharing, not only the pieces of your method (and a large part of your strategy), but your success.

    I'm quickly realizing that I want to look into a mentor to help speed up my learning and failing and trying again cycle.

    I'm impressed at the folks responding to Ken's original post. As a newbie, I need to pay attention to this sort of thing.

    Ken's post is encouraging in that "it can be done" - you can make a living, and with time and effort, a seriously good living off of the 'net.

    In another sense it's reaffirming to other posts I'm seeing here, in that it takes time and effort to succeed (just like anything else). Before spending time here I still thought there was some sort of 'easy' way to make some regular income that was meaningful...but there's not.

    Success takes time - to learn your chosen area, effort and action to implement, and failing fast and often to figure out what works and what doesn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteSeller52
    Man what an awesome and informative post, keep up the great work. It's information like that, that keeps this forum seperate from all of the others.

    I will now sit back and read it again, just in case I missed something.

    Thanks Again
    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      I'm humbled by the positive responses to my post. It's great the information has been useful to some here.

      In answer to the many questions and PM's about my products, I'm not here to sell them, so apologies if I don't explain more or give links.

      All I want is that the information on the inner workings of my system can help people get motivated and headed in the right direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Demond Jackson
    Ken, just want to say thanks for the great info. You have given me a ton of ideas I intend to implement as I put together my membership site. Hopefully it wont take a year for it to take off. But I'm not in the lottery niche. Anyway, thanks for the info
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  • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
    Originally Posted by healymedia View Post

    Sorry if I missed it from earlier in the thread, but what is your member retention rate like from month to month?
    I get about 2-5 cancellations a month, and maybe up to 20 more have their credit cards declined because of expiry date issues (that means they have been with me for up to 2 years). Several of those try again with a different card. At a guess, about 50% of my members have been with me 3 years and over, but since I don't do, or need, any detailed analysis on that, it's just an educated guess.

    Some parts of a business - like conversion rates and visitor retention - can be spent in detailed analysis. Other figures add little to the mix. For example, I don't look at where visitors come from when I get a large jump in opt-in rates, because they may not be gold-plated prospects. They may come from home based business lists, or get-rich-quick sources, and these normally don't translate into long term Silverites (buyers and users of my systems).
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Cheesman
    Hi Ken,

    Great post...

    I started membership marketing last year and I LOVE it! It is way better to get paid over and over for your efforts than it is to just get paid once.

    The idea is to find something you have a passion about and build a business around it, giving it is a profitable venture..

    Dennis Cheesman
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  • Profile picture of the author ceryj
    As a newbie, I really appreciate all the information that is given so freely on this forum. I am completely fascinated by all the different opportunities that are available on-line, and still more by the people who have been able to put them all together!
    Thanks,
    Cery
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  • Profile picture of the author faithson
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    • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
      My problem is not creating the product, etc....it is WHAT do I give members to keep them.

      So I guess that is my big question for you Ken and those with membership sites, what kind of content are you giving them or what are you doing to keep them?

      Monthly reports? Daily articles?

      Thanks for your brilliant post.
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      • Profile picture of the author jonb
        Originally Posted by Dayne Dylan View Post

        My problem is not creating the product, etc....it is WHAT do I give members to keep them.

        So I guess that is my big question for you Ken and those with membership sites, what kind of content are you giving them or what are you doing to keep them?

        Monthly reports? Daily articles?

        Thanks for your brilliant post.
        On my site, we post fresh articles, videos and audio every week. The videos are easy -- quick Q&A tips shot via webcam or Camtasia tutorials. For audio, we do skype interviews with experts and record them using Call Graph.

        The key is not just posting stuff -- it's telling your members about it. You need to be sending a weekly "Here's what's happening" e-mail, in which you tell members what's been posted in the past week, what's going to be posted in the week ahead and what's coming farther down the road. If you have a message board, provide links to hot topics on the board to encourage participation.

        All the best,

        Jon Bard

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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    This is a great post, Ken. Thank you.

    I also appreciate a lot of the comments that have been added.

    I've been taking careful note of jonb's site for the last couple of months (killer thread a few months ago, dude!)

    I'm keen, Ken, to know the same thing as Gleb (MemberWing).

    KayKing reitterated a really important point, too. (Go and back and find it, folks, if you missed it)

    And like Dennis, I'm looking to start a membership site around something I'm passionate about so this post was really inspirational for me. Thank you (again!).

    Part of the reason it was inspirational is because I've been spending a lot of time on the model. Yet I'm wondering if I've fallen into the old "analysis paralysis" pit. I'd like to work out the best model for me and for my prospects. That is, the model that funnels people to the content that they need at the time that's "most right" for them. Which then -- almost as a by-product -- benefits me.

    So this post made me feel good about not rushing it.

    Again, to reitterate Gleb's question, I'd be very interested to know about the contingency points because I'm looking to set this one up for the long haul; not some seal in'n'out op, y'know.

    Nice one, Ken. Much appreciated.

    TheNightOwl
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    P.S. @jonb

    What a fantastic tip on CallGraph! Looks very promising. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
    Originally Posted by KenSilver View Post

    Over the years I've benefitted a lot from the information on this forum, and so I thought it was time to give back a little. Originally I was going to write a book on my selling system, but since I spend less than 30 minutes a day in productive admin work, the thought of writing full-time for a couple months is not attractive right now. I've been a "4 Hour Work Week" sort of guy long before Tim Ferris fell into it.

    So this post is just an overview of some of the processes I use.

    I've never fully explained how I work my business. Nobody's asked me either, and I'm always surprised why they haven't. Anyone that sells well over seven figures a year has some knowledge that is worthwhile sharing, and usually just for the asking.

    The best part of my income is that while most of it is very consistent, a solid percentage of the revenue comes from the membership site.

    So here's some details on it. I've left a lot of information out - mainly because a good selling system is actually quite complicated. I have bits connected to other bits which spin off to yet others... even I get confused at times. But it's all necessary to make the whole business work effectively.

    I'm not saying this to make it sound complex, but over time I've found there are essentials that are needed to make the sale... and if you leave them out, they won't.

    OK, to the technical stuff...

    My base model is quite simple. I sell a basic lottery system with a number of profitable 'back ends'... one of which is a membership site that provides a real benefit to the whole system.

    Sounds simple, but the secret to the membership site success is actually the Product itself (capitals to emphasize its importance). It is a hugely effective winning system which works. Maybe the only one on the planet And since hundreds of millions round the world play each week, everyone needs it.

    So if you wanted to sell dog collars by duplicating my selling system, you wouldn't get the same results. The Product is key. When you discover your own unique Product that appeals to desperate buyers, and give them an effective solution to their problem, then you'll also have the golden goose sitting on your doorstep.

    It's so crucial I need to repeat it: *What* you choose as a Product is the essential answer to a multi-million dollar business. And you must sell to desperate buyers. Spend 99% of your time figuring out that, and the recurring income goes on forever. Get the Product right and it can be recession-proof, like mine. Sales have increased 20% over the last year.


    Here's how it works:

    1. I sell my main Product almost as a loss leader, as I give 50% of it away to affiliates. They are my mainstay. I put a lot of effort into the main Product to keep the true refund rate down to a consistent 1%. With figures like this it's hugely appealing to affiliates, and some of them make $30k/yr.

    Once the Product is sold and in use, then I introduce the buyer to several spin-off products to better meet their needs. It's done by autoresponder - more on that later.

    2. One of those essential byproducts is a $7.80/mth Membership Site. It took me a while to get a workable solution. Initially I struggled trying to figure out how anyone could make money with a membership site when most of the world's knowledge can be found for free in a few minute's search on the net.

    The churn factor in many membership sites is high because there is no real reason to continue once the needed information is received. Ask anyone to make a choice between a site with all the information contained ready to go... or the same information dribbled out over many months, and most choose the instant result. So getting the right information combination for my buyers was the main key in my membership site business.

    I spent a year or so developing my membership concept. And the time spent was worth it. Figure it out for yourself... $40,000/mth at $7.80 each, that's over 5,000 members and still growing. And they stay with me for years. One of the advantages of a low monthly membership fee is that it's usually more economical to bill in 3 or 6 month intervals. This locks in income.

    I use aMember Pro to run the membership site, and while the member sign-up is a little complex, it generally works well.

    3. In addition, I have a lot of sales and email-gathering systems that funnel sales back to the membership site. In one area recently I sold squeeze page mini-sites which link to the main product. That gave me two forms of income... one from selling the sites, and the other getting sales from the products these mini-site affiliates sold. In another area I showed affiliates how to develop and sell the Product using a free blog. I also give away a free book which virally grows more sales. All these approaches piggyback on each other to increase income and push buyers through to the membership site.

    4. I ALWAYS collect email addresses at EVERY step of the way. In fact I'm probably one of the most aggressive marketers I know (in a honey/treacle kinda way), in getting names and email addresses from every part of my process.

    5. Email is King. I send out email newsletters mostly daily. Some have called this frequency overkill. But I've sent them at this rate for years, and get powerful results by a factor of 10 times. I was able to prove that recently when I messed up for a week and watched 90% of my sales drop away.

    I've found that when a prospect is in a buying frame of mind, they need every snippet of information on the Product they can get. There is no such thing as overkill because the prospect craves as much information and confirmation as they can. And after the sale they need more information to prevent buyer's remorse. So nothing is wasted on a buyer - only on the tire-kickers.

    Oh, and I send out valuable information in every 4 out of 5 messages, not just constant sales offers. That's important.

    Once the subscriber is in the mix, whether it's via a mass broadcast or individual subscriber email, they get a cheerfully relentless stream of interesting newsletters in addition to the ones I put out daily. Many of those promote the membership site.

    6. I use GetResponse autoresponders for many reasons. I go way back with Simon, and over the years I found his product is extremely stable and a great business match for my Products. Another reason is his product solutions. GetResponse has all the answers wrapped up in one product.

    7. After I write the daily newsletter, it goes straight on my blog. This is another part of the giant spiderweb which catches and draws prospects into my system to eventually lead them into the membership site. I use Google's free Blogger program, and back up constantly to insure the content. One of the advantages of using Blogger is that I can make a post and see it in Google less than 30 minutes later. Wordpress is just as good, but I find Blogger easier to use. Sometimes I optimize the subject heading for SEO, other times I don't. There are some 750 posts on it right now, and I get 50,000 unique visits a month. I use it solely as an ezine record keeper and promotion tool, and don't allow comments so I can reduce my time involvement.

    8. I protect the sales process with a number of redundant processes like multiple credit card processors, hosts etc, so if one fails I can quickly change to another. This also keeps most of my business information separate so no-one group knows what the other is doing. Call me mildly paranoid but it's the reason I've never been affected or infected by the bad guys.

    9. I never use outside advertising. I'm approached weekly and offered large sums to place ads on my sites, but I turn them all down. I believe it's important to lock prospects into a narrow beam of interest that leads only to MY Product. Once you dilute that interest with outside ads then you've lost them for good.


    So there's a small part of my selling system, and I hope you can see how it all fits into the membership site structure.

    Admittedly I have certain advantages in my business now which are hard to duplicate for beginners, and the main one is longevity. I've been selling my Products since 1991, and have been selling them on the net since 1995. A background like that is pure silver , but there's only one way to copy it, and that's to start now.

    Good luck!

    WOW..that was a killer post my friend. So I'm assuming that to get to where you are now in your business...took some time. This was no overnight success and all your hard work up front has paid off big time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Long
      Originally Posted by tylerjaysen View Post

      WOW..that was a killer post my friend. So I'm assuming that to get to where you are now in your business...took some time. This was no overnight success and all your hard work up front has paid off big time.
      Yep.

      Ken Silver was the guy who changed my life - and he never knew it.

      He was the first internet marketer I stumbled upon that sold a useful digital product instead of the "Get Paid to Surf" scams that were all the rage back then.

      That was in 1999.

      And he'd been doing this for several years before that.

      What an honor to read such a useful post by one of the pioneers - someone who has quietly achieved great success in IM for a longer period of time then anyone else I know of.

      Thank you for that incredibly useful post Ken (you've given me some new ideas to test) and for providing me with the original inspiration to follow this path a decade ago - it changed everything for the better.

      ~Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryTelford
    Hi Ken

    It's people like you and posts like this that make this forum a wonderful place to hang out. Thanks very much for sharing.

    Enjoy your day!
    Terry
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  • Profile picture of the author harrysidhu
    how do you go about making a membership website i saw something called membernaire and it looked intriguing im wondering if i should shell out the 27 a month or not anyones opinion appreciated thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author nanexist
    I LOVE this post. Thanks so much, inspiring!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    Great post Ken - and I love what you said about your messages: 4 out of 5 are INFORMATIVE!!!

    That's the missing piece of the average membership site owner's marketing plan. You can make a small fortune on FREE membership sites - just by building your list and adding good solid information on a regular basis. One new product a month is not going to keep your members coming back or paying every month.

    Wonderful post - and from personal experience - I can tell you that it works.

    Kudos for sharing!!

    Melody
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    • Profile picture of the author SageSound
      Originally Posted by Melody View Post

      Great post Ken - and I love what you said about your messages: 4 out of 5 are INFORMATIVE!!!

      That's the missing piece of the average membership site owner's marketing plan. You can make a small fortune on FREE membership sites - just by building your list and adding good solid information on a regular basis. One new product a month is not going to keep your members coming back or paying every month.

      Wonderful post - and from personal experience - I can tell you that it works.

      Kudos for sharing!!

      Melody
      I'm SOOoooo tired of buying a cheap product intended to get me onto sombody's mailing list and I immediately start getting daily emails promoting this, that, and something else.

      Worse, I'm finding some that are virtually anonymous, sending FROM: "Joe B" for example, and writing in a style that ASSUMES I know who they are and what they're talking about.

      I've gotten a very short fuse -- If I buy a product from you and you start sending a bunch of mails that talk about everything EXCEPT what I bought from you, I'm opting-out within a few days!

      Man, it would be WONDERFUL to get "4 of 5 emails" that are INFORMATIVE -- ie., relevant to what I just bought from someone!

      -David
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  • Profile picture of the author DonDavis
    I opted into your list to see what you were doing there and I will say this... you are relentless with your autoresponder. Holy cow, two emails a day seems to be the norm?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ivancho
    I opt-in into your list as well. Hm... anyway congratz buddy...
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  • Profile picture of the author DBracey
    I actually found this thread after looking for information on lottery systems. Thanks Ken for posting the thread for you have given me a lot to think about.

    Working four hours a day and making seven figures a year kind of sounds like the life to me. It's a little better than mind, which is making five figure income from about 90 hours a week...

    Nonetheless, winning lotto instead of managing a membership site is also more appealing to me than anything I can think of right now, so I'm going to look further into that side of your business. I'll start by following the link in your signature and see where that leads me...

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Parker
    WOW, very nice post! Thank you very much for sharing this information. It will come in hand in the near future. Again, thanks...
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  • Profile picture of the author CherylMagliocca
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  • Profile picture of the author BJ Min
    ken,

    what's your lessons you have learned from pricing your membership site?
    i have noticed it is not month by month but 6 month or 1 year...is that better you find?

    and how do you know at what price to price your membership sites?

    BJ
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    • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
      Originally Posted by BJ Min View Post

      ken,

      what's your lessons you have learned from pricing your membership site?
      i have noticed it is not month by month but 6 month or 1 year...is that better you find?

      and how do you know at what price to price your membership sites?

      BJ
      Hi BJ,
      Longterm membership makes it easy... it means there's one less task for members to remember when their renewal comes up.

      And since I put my affiliate commission up to 60% recently, affiliates get more cash in their pocket straight away. That's a great incentive for them to sell more
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  • Profile picture of the author warmlikecoffee
    good job to you, hard work always pays off
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