The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

Are you looking for a way to make money online? Of course you are. If you weren’t interested in this market, you probably wouldn’t be reading John Chow dot Com. Maybe you’ve tried your hand at domain-flipping or professional blogging, but you haven’t been able to achieve any measurable success? Maybe you want to give another technique a try?

Even though there is a lot of information that is freely available in the blogosphere these days, there is still money to be made through a membership-based site. Don’t know where to start? You might be interested in the e-book from Membership Sites Secret, which serves as the subject of this review. The e-book is meant to walk you through everything you need to launch and run a successful membership site.

Getting Started with Membership Sites

Heading over to the main sales page, you’ll find that you have the opportunity to purchase Continuity Sites Secrets, an e-book on “how to setup a professional looking continuity membership site.”

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

This e-book is just 53 pages long, but you won’t find any charts or images taking up any unnecessary space. It’s all text that gets straight to the point. Even so, it’s hard to justify the $49.95 asking price. You’re paying almost a dollar a page.

At the same time, you’ll find a lot of other “make money online” packages going for $400 or more. It’s up to decide whether these prices are inflated or not.

What Will I Learn?

The assumption that many people make about the profitability of membership sites is that you have to charge a monthly fee from these members in order to make any money. That’s not necessarily the case. In this e-book, you are reminded that you can offer “free” memberships, cashing in on product referrals and affiliate commissions instead.

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

The Continuity Sites Secrets e-book also tells you why membership sites are a good way to go, though I have to question some of the stats and techniques described within. The above excerpt is quite vague. What does “paying for content” mean exactly? Is this a dollar figure? Number of people? Percentage of online revenue generated? Average price of paid content?

Further still, this excerpt seems to have its statistics backwards. It’s saying that “paying for content” was a larger market in 2004 than it was in 2005. Doesn’t that mean that the market is shrinking (and not growing)?

Going through the rest of the membership site e-book, we are told about choosing your niche, using an auto responder, deciding on a publishing schedule, and setting up a paid membership site. Other sections discuss how to get content, capitalize on affiliate programs, and market your product.

Given the shorter length of this e-book, it’s not surprising that most of these sections tend to lack depth and the onus will still be on you to create a profitable membership site. Intermediate to advanced Internet marketers may struggle to find any real “secrets” contained within.

A Couple of Bonus Secrets to Boot

When you submit your fifty bucks, you get a little more than the 53-page e-book. You also get two additional e-books: How to Get Instant Traffic to Your Membership Site and Simple Strategies to Sky Rocket Your Traffic. These add a little bit of value to the package, but they really should have been included as part of one larger, more comprehensive e-book instead.

The Limited Time Offer

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

If you’re going to use a limited time offer to sell your product, the offer should really be for a limited time. However, navigating over to the Membership Sites Secret homepage, you’ll find that the sales copy refers to a price that is only available for the next five minutes. Go ahead and revisit in an hour or even a few days; the offer will still be there.

Further still, considering that the product is about running a successful membership-based site, it’s a little ironic that the “members” section of the site is hardly protected at all. There is no password needed to enter the download page, nor is there any protection for the URL where you can download the PDF files. If you know the URL, you can download the package without paying.

I don’t recommend doing that, since it’s fraudulent and akin to stealing, but the more evil John Chow dot Com readers among us will probably figure out how to do it anyway.