Membership Websites vs. Selling Online Courses

Part 2 of 2 Blogging, Membership Sites, Courses, and Digital Content (Read Part 1

Once you are consistently blogging it is time to start thinking about how to make your blog a useful tool for either increasing book sales, or digital content. I am a huge fan of digital content. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than to have a great digital product that requires no inventory, no printing costs, and no upkeep. You spend the time to generate and create it once and then you can have it available for purchase forever. There are many ways to do this and today I will cover my two favorite ways to take your blog to the next level.

God in the Marketplace: Navigating Paid Digital Content 

God’s best for us is to live as heaven on the earth. We are called to shift the culture in the marketplace. God wants to use our influence as a tool to help fill people with the knowledge of His Will. We are taking who we are into the world. We all have a gift from God that he wants to put on display. When we bring our gift with faith, God can use it. God wants us to deliver value. The reality is people put more value in things they pay for.

The no show rate for free events is as high as 50%. Should you give away your dream for free? Sometimes people feel that if it is free, then it is worth the price you charged–not much. Have you ever signed up to attend a free conference and not shown up? Have you hosted a free conference with registration and a significant % of the listings no show? This is a common issue in our marketplace. We often feel compelled as Christians to give everything away for free. We want to be a blessing right? Research shows that when people pay for things, it adds value to the product or information to them. There is a time to give things away, but don’t take this to the extreme. Never give anything away without learning to balance this by having a revenue product to offer and then be a blessing to those customers.

We have all seen the long lines at Starbucks when they are giving away free coffee. I find it interesting that people are willing to sit in line that long for a cup of coffee. Do you think all of those people waiting are first-time customers and have never bought from Starbucks before? Probably not! This is the way Starbucks gives back to its paying customers.

I can tell you from our internal data that out of all the people who utilize our free tools and resources the customers who actually purchase something are 5x more likely to open our emails from our blog or newsletters.

So, how do you sell a 100.00 online course or a 10.00 per month/year subscription service? Which one is better? It really just depends on how much time and what kind of community you are wanting to build. People will pay for you to do all the research and teach them something if you bring them consistent value for their hard earned money. They do not mind paying for things they want.

Many companies sell memberships/subscriptions– your local gym, the YMCA, a local newspaper, YouTube, Google, Hulu, Netflix, etc. and they are quite successful. People pay money whether they use the service all the time or not. It brings them value, and they are willing to pay for it.

Darren Hardy offers a free 5-8 minute morning podcast daily. This is his blog post. Does it convert to sells? You bet it does. He makes you want more. Those of you who dabble in video marketing should take note of this strategy to sell your courses and content because it is quite useful. The quick vlog will build relationships and trust without much client maintenance and convert into them purchasing from you.

There is some research that suggests that monthly subscribers are more likely to feel they need to engage to get their value from the purchase. They feel it in their pocketbook so they come back more often.

The important factor to memberships will be whether or not you bring consistent value? If you cannot be consistent, then consider writing ebooks and selling them or offering courses.

Membership Websites vs. Selling Online Courses.

Why Should We Offer Memberships?:
1. If your goal is creating an impact for others, then memberships allow you to dig deeper into your subject with those who really want the more extended in-depth information. If someone is willing to pay for your membership area, then they are not going to be skimming through your content.
2. It creates reoccurring revenue, and most of the material can be automated if you learn to implement a few tools of bulk content creation.
3. If you want to develop close relationships with your audience, this is a great way to establish that sense of family.

Memberships are great if you are 100% committed to the process and the work it will take to maintain the value, create content and develop relationships. You will need to keep it fresh and want constant interaction with your audience.

Why Should We Offer Courses of Digital Products?:
1. Digital content only has to be created one time.
2. There is minimal to no maintenance, and most products can be automated either running through a course program or digital downloads that send when purchased.
3. You can create rich content that will leave a lasting impact and legacy of your work.

What’s the best way to sell a 2,000.00 watch? Put it right next to a 10,000 watch. It works I promise!

You can have a 99.00 course marked down to 49.00 and your customers will get excited but still be actively participating customers. This is how you can give back and still increase your impact.

You really can have a spectacular website and blog, I promise! We all have it in us to share what God places on our hearts each day and gift it to the world around us. Blogging and creating rich content that has an impact should be a goal we all strive for in 2019. I know many are not sure where to start. Or maybe your blog is a mess and technology has run off and left you in the ditch it moves so fast. Carol Ensminger and I would love to help you. This is a ministry for us, and it blesses us to help you bring your website to a higher level. A significant online presence will enhance the message God has put on your heart. Learning techy tools to use, how and when to use them will make the Kingdom shine too. That is our goal to help spread our messages to the masses with beautiful websites that work!

Need help getting started?
Come get techy with us! Join our 3-hour Pre-Conference session at the upcoming Speakup Conference on Thursday afternoon.

We would love to review where you are and help you make a plan for your website and digital content strategy for 2019!

Taught by Carol Ensminger & Shawna Culp

In this Pre-Conference session, we will discuss key components to help you take your story to the world using the latest technology. We will help erase any fears of tackling technology in your ministry by presenting key ideas and then spend some time with hands-on support implementing the We will demonstrate the many ways to save time, direct your focus, and increase your income by turning to the technical programs.

• Hear the benefits of online programs and apps that will make your life easier
• Understand the steps to use one talk and offer it through online courses.
• Learn how to incorporate a membership area to offer monthly membership levels and build community.
• Produce an online book in just a few steps.
• Give you an easy guide to help you launch a book online.
• Receive some marketing tips to help your online presence come alive.

Bring your ideas, questions, and laptops for this hands-on tech training. Join us as we help you use technology to take your book, speech or ministry to the next level.

If you cannot attend the Pre-Conference come visit us during the one-to-one consultations.

15-Minute Appointments:

Website Evaluation

Together, Carol and Shawna will evaluate your existing website to discover what is working right and where we would recommend improvement. We’ll conduct an honest yet professional observation of your site and offer solutions that are most helpful to you and your website. We’ll make sure your site is offering everything you need to help your ministry flourish.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Kent on 2019-04-25 at 12:28 PM

    Thanks, Shawna! This is very valuable content. We love having you and Carol Ensminger on our team!

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