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!
Shawna is the president of Little Choices Matter. She is also co-founder of a media solutions company with Carol Ensminger-Cash2 Consulting. Together they design affordable websites and social media campaigns for authors and speakers in ministry. Her focus is to bring the latest technology and equipment solutions to help others optimize their place online using all the latest cool tools. Having a great designed website with friendly applications will help you grow your business and ministry.
God has graced me with the ability to bring working solutions. I am often called the problem solver or fixer. I believe God provides an ‘app’ for everything we need. A natural born teacher, Shawna loves to help others by sharing what has helped her and others she has worked with.
She is currently enrolled in online Bible College seeking her degree in Biblical Studies. In every spare moment, you will find her studying God’s Word, teaching it and applying it in her life. She and her husband of 30 years split their time between their two homes in Georgia and Arizona. They have two grown sons and one grandson in Phoenix, Arizona.
Shawna and Carol work in ministry together where they run Faith and Food which focuses on teaching women to treasure their temple through a healthy lifestyle. They also launched Detox the Crap out of their passion for helping young girls. This past year they supplied Beautiful Bags to young women in group homes and shelters nationwide. These kits include a devotional and items to help every young girl feel beautiful from the inside out.