|“Members Only” jacket circa the ’80s. Not what we’re talking about.
Let’s say you’ve already mastered the web and people are flockign to your digital outposts in droves. Your content is posted consistently and it’s of the highest caliber you sly dog. Your traffic is increasing and your digital presence is magnificent.
How about monetizing all this attention? If you happen to be running a site where your content is the main product, that is to say, your words and ideas are the main things you’re “selling,” looking into making certain aspects of your website membership based can often be an excellent idea.
Digital products are unique in the sense that they require almost zero overhead costs to get going. The main commodities involved with creating online content or digital products are energy and time. If you’ve been running a successful blog for a while and people are responding well to your content, it might be a good idea to create exclusive content that only registered members can access. However, there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge and deciding charging users it the best way to go.
First, is there demand for your product? Are you sure people are going to pony up what you’re charging for what you’re providing? A good way to gauge this is by putting something up on your site that equates to a “pre-sale.” Have people sign up for an exclusive content package (maybe for the price of an email at first) and see how many actually do it. This is a great way of seeing if the demand is there BEFORE you start spending your time and energy to create the product.
Are people providing the same information as you? Can your visitors potentially go somewhere else to get your “members only” content? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then think long and hard about whether this is the monetization route for you and your business. Asking someone to pay for something they can get for free somewhere else doesn’t always work out so well, just ask the RIAA.
Making part, or all of your site membership based, is just one of the many ways you can try to generate income from a popular place on the web. AdSense, selling ads directly, affiliate marketing and PPC or CPM campaigns are also valid options.
Remember, sometimes it’s OK to provide things for free if you have another more exclusive service that you charge for. For instance, everything on the crvdmedia.com blog is free but I still make money from charging for web services. Be aware of when to ask for money from users and more importantly why.