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Thread: New Membership Coming to Website Babble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    15,414

    Smile New Membership Coming to Website Babble

    Hey WB family

    I have been looking for a way to better monetize two things I love:

    1) Making videos
    2) Helping people

    Unfortunately I've been able to do less in the last two years because of other offline priorities. Well I'm putting those aside (finally) so I can get back to doing more of what I love.

    For years people have been asking me why I don't sell video courses or have some sort of membership and I really wasn't sure of the best way to go about it. As you may know, video can be difficult to sell because of bandwidth. So it just makes sense to go the membership route so the customer doesn't have to download them and they are always updated.

    So I am in the process of creating a private membership area here on Website Babble for those who want to upgrade. It just makes sense since vBulletin already has the subscription/private forum settings. I will use Vimeo for the videos because I can keep the videos from being shared (unlike YouTube).

    I have learned a LOT in the last few months and am eager to put this into some sort of video series that I think will help a lot of people. From the emails I receive, I can tell you that 90% of people experience little or no success because of how they start their site. So by the time they come here for a review or help, they are already on the wrong path/course. The purpose of this membership area is to steer people the right way from jump.

    Here's the good part. I will be offering the free membership to a select few to help me determine quality, pricing, etc. The only caveat is...

    You have to be an ACTIVE member (at least post a few times per week).

    I'm a long way away from even launching this but just wanted to let you know. This is going to be chock-full of video and anything better than I have ever uploaded on YouTube. I will be covering every aspect from brainstorming, picking the right niche, WordPress, etc. I will also continually add video as time goes on.

    I considered doing this on WordPress for the flexibility but since I'm here everyday anyway I might as well keep it here. Plus since there are already people posting here..... both the free and paid versions of the forum can cross promote each other. For the record, the rest of the forum will remain free, of course. Nothing is changing there.

    So stay tuned. If anyone has any ideas on how I should pick who gets free access, I'm all ears.... errrr.... I mean eyes.

  2. #2

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    This seems awesome Lisa!

    I think you should try to pick not only people who are active on the forum, but also people who are on different stages of making money online.

    Maybe have several beginners, several individuals who have are established but aren't making a full-time income yet, and several veterans who are making a comfortable income online. That way you can know who your content is helping the most.

    And just wondering: will this membership be a monthly thing or a one-time payment upgrade?

    And will there be an affiliate program associated with this?
    Last edited by Jay; 02-01-2014 at 03:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a great idea Lisa. Your videos are already great, so I can't even imagine what the next level will look like. Very excited! Perhaps it will include a lot of interviews with other successful bloggers and internet gurus.

  4. #4
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    this is great - i would be particularly interested in learning about premium WP plugins that i don't have or have not used yet - for example, I have Premise by CopyBlogger (and I know you do too) and I would glady pay to see a tutorial on that since my time is sooo limited.

    Speaking of premium content, I'm thinking of doing something similar for my design and marketing clients because I have cornered a market who are also short of time but long on ideas. I could charge an annual fee to give them access to a selection of my own Vimeo Plus (is that right) vids you mentioned recently.

    I think everyone should be thinking about video content as a cornerstone of their strategy. When i was at uni studying graphic design, I was always dabbling in video and not so much in design. I'm glad I did that now because I gained an understanding of video sequencing software and it has helped me no end this last year!

  5. #5
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    I think we are going to be seeing more of the green screen.

  6. #6
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    Sounds good Lisa! Only thing I don't like is vimeo... it's always been very slow for me. I know someone who uses wistia for private video, so you might like to look into that if you haven't already.

  7. #7
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    Such great feedback everyone!

    As far as payments, there will be a monthly, 6 month or yearly option. The yearly will be the cheapest (to encourage commitment).

    As far as the affiliate program, yes, It's going to be tricky since the payment system is here through vBulletin but I will find a way to work all that out.

    I have such a long way to go with this so your feedback here is SUPER valuable!!!

    My main focus of these videos will be getting people started OUT THE GATE. I feel like that's where most people mess up -- especially today since so much has changed with Google. So that is where I'm going to be putting a lot of focus. I've watched the kinds of members who join here over the years and it seems a common thread is they've put their site up and are already off to the wrong start so they end up having to tweak or re-focus their sites.

    Darren, Premise was discontinued so you can no longer buy it. They are rolling out another product that will have more features. So I doubt I'll be adding anything about that but there are other premium plugins out there so that would also make a good video. And yes I was planning to use Vimeo.

    Charles, I hadn't heard that about Vimeo. Do you mean the playback is slow? I am going to be using their Plus package which is $60/year. Are you using their free service? Thanks for letting me know.

    OMG, we get to see what STB looks like! Cool! Nice photo.

    Ahhhh so much to plan and do.... but it will be worth it.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2012
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    Well, I guess this means I need to get a little more active.

    Sounds cool, what you got going with the video stuff. Not sure if you know this guy, but this site is a nice model for what you're aiming for (I think). Training Site

    Then again, you're going to be making a section of the forum paid-for, huh ? Ehh- it's still pretty cool how he lays out his products in a menu. You get to compare membership levels.
    Last edited by clay; 02-02-2014 at 11:44 AM.
    I do what I do because I like to do it.

  9. #9
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    OMG, we get to see what STB looks like! Cool! Nice photo.
    LOL, yes. It is the unforgivable sin of revealing my super secret superhero identity.

    No, actually when I put the image banner up in the signature, I thought it might be overdoing it with the STB logo. So I switched the profile picture.

  10. #10
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    Lisa you might be interested in this Smart Passive Income podcast episode about video - they talk about YouTube and video alternatives toward the end. Interesting episode

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    Charles, I hadn't heard that about Vimeo. Do you mean the playback is slow? I am going to be using their Plus package which is $60/year. Are you using their free service? Thanks for letting me know.
    Yeah the playback is slow. It might just be me, but it seems I'm never able to get a smooth stream with Vimeo while other video services are fine. Of course I'm no expert on video (I don't make videos, I only view them ) so I don't know if Wistia is what you're looking for, but I just wanted to point it out in case you hadn't heard of it.

  12. #12
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    Starting a website is the easiest part whereas driving traffic to the website is the most difficult part.

    In fact most of the effort spent in blogging is now in attracting and properly monetizing targeted traffic, something that 99.9% of bloggers have no idea about. I will go to the extent of saying that many tenured bloggers don't have a clue of how to rank websites and how to attract traffic especially for a new blog that they may start today(old blogs have their regular readers from previous years).

    Not their fault at all, because they used to rely on Google's free organic traffic which Google is clearly not comfortable with giving out free any more. Google wants bloggers to pay for their share of traffic because providing free traffic was not helping them reach their ambitious sales targets. Most websites today, especially those belonging to business organizations, pay for their traffic through Adwords ads. If blogging is your hobby and you would like to earn a living off your blog, Google does not count you as a friend any longer no matter how good your content is. Harsh words, but true - and something that Google will never admit to in public, last of all Matt Cutts on his famous blog.

    In my opinion, in this new age you need to plan your traffic first and then plan your blog. I have a post somewhere here where I talked about one source of traffic that is being successfully used to get loads of traffic. This is through a Facebook fanpage where a blogger builds his fanpage first, gets enough likes for the page(using FB ads and other viral means), posts some good content on his fanpage, and only then builds a website and directs the fanpage traffic there. The advantage of this method is that if the fanpage is not a success, don't build a website, because there are chances that it will not do well either.

    There are various other paid as well as free sources of good traffic like Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Bing etc. each of which are being tapped by bloggers and site owners successfully without wasting time building backlinks, something that now belongs to a bygone era. Backlinks experts and SEO companies specializing in "ranking your websites on page one" have either moved on or shut shop.

    So in my opinion if you make a paid membership site it should not only consist of "how to make a website" videos and tutorials(the ones you already have on YT are invaluable!) but also on how to drive traffic through various paid and free sources. Last but not the least, it should also include a section on how to properly monetize traffic. To illustrate my point there is a thread on this forum where I suggested to a blogger who has been blogging consistently for a year about using targeted Clickbank products for monetization which pay several times more than his present mode of monetization which paid pennies to say the least.

    Also, as you wrote in one of your posts recently, promoting products which have recurring commissions is far more rewarding than promoting a product with a one-time commission. I have seen affiliates promoting a product which has an opt-in page, the worst mistake that an affiliate can make because in most cases the product owner is only capturing the visitors email addresses and making him or her a long-term subscriber without paying the affiliate any commission at all!

    If you are choosing to give free memberships I would suggest that known, successful bloggers/ marketers be invited to join as members first. If you would like to choose some WB members for free memberships then it will have to be those who are proven to know how to build a website using the latest techniques(i.e. WP, the best plugins etc), and/or those who are very good at driving traffic other than Google's organic traffic.

    If you start a membership on these lines it is bound to be the most successful paid membership site in the IM space. There are dozens of paid membership sites now on the lines of what you are planning(maybe with less video content than what you might plan), most of them having come up in the last 1-2 years. But I am sure that your membership site will be unique and stand out right from the word go.

  13. #13
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    emvy, I completely agree and that's the part I'm going to hit soooooooo hard in this course. Gosh I have so much to say on this subject I could talk for days... so might as well get paid for it! lol

    I think the biggest difference today than when I started is just that. You have to plan. Before you could just pick a topic, start writing and then wait for some AdSense or affiliate income to come in and that could be enough. Today your end goal should be to have your own product or do something like I'm going to do with this membership site.

    I think too many people rush and get their site online and then realize they aren't even attracting an audience that is ready to buy or their site is too broad, etc. etc. Big mistake! So the planning part is just as important as the traffic piece because if you spend more time in the planning phase then the traffic part may not be as much of a monster. Sure it's harder today but people make it harder for themselves because they don't plan.

    This is NOT going to be some course for people who want to just live off Google traffic. Those days are gone for the most part. While there will be relevant SEO advice, that will be a very small part of the entire membership.

    The other problem is people don't use email marketing AND they don't know how to do it properly. I have really increased my open rates, income and traffic from email drastically in the last year and I will be talking about what you should do from the beginning instead of waiting like I did.

    I won't even begin creating videos until I have actually planned out everything. As I said we're talking about months away from launch. There's no rush.

    I also decided to host the membership on my site and use the Premise plugin. That plugin is SUPER amazing. I can offer limited trials, coupon codes, assign different access levels based on membership and it will give me more freedom. It even integrates with vBulletin. So I could still use this forum for the "private forum" part. When people buy they are assigned to a private group here automatically.

    The tricky part is since you can no longer buy Premise they are getting ready to launch a new product. So I'm wondering if I should hold off and wait to see what StudioPress comes up with. I was told late Spring is the time period for launch. Which is fine because I can just be working on the course up until that time. I'd really like to wait and see. StudioPress puts out such great products. I was told it's going to be a more turnkey solution for membership sites.

    Thanks Darren, will check that out that podcast.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh! So much to do it's a tad bit overwhelming but I'm excited at the same time.

  14. #14

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    Haha I'm excited with you Lisa.

    I especially can't wait for the mailing list tips. I have a mailing of 264 people at the moment and I honestly don't know what to do with them.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Lisa, are you currently doing any public speaking? I know that can bring in some $$$.

    Or coaching even?

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