Is Having A Monthly Membership Site The New Way To Go?

Lately I have seen some close friends start to make a lot of money running monthly membership sites. It has really opened my eyes as to whether or not this may be the new way to make consistent income online in 2011.

The obvious advantage to having a monthly membership site is that you know how much you will be making every month. Also, if done right this can be the epitome of an automated business. Not every membership site is automated, in fact my friends site that is doing very well is one where they have to keep adding new content to keep subscribers happy.

So my goal has become to create a more automated monthly membership site. That way I can pursue my film making goals and know exactly how much income I will have each month. It seems to create a much more stress free environment.

My New Monthly Membership Site

I have decided to take the plunge on one of my oldest websites Lawn Care Directory and turn it into a monthly membership site. This is a site that I have run for almost 10 years and have made a lot of money with during that time but I have always felt like the amount I was making had peaked and I wanted a way to make more.

So I have completely transformed the site from selling information on how to start a lawn care business to a more legitimate directory where companies pay a monthly fee to have their company featured in their area.

My goal is to get 500 members paying $19 a month. I know there are thousands of lawn care and landscaping companies out there and 500 is definitely not out of the question. Having just made this transition I have already acquired a good number of subscribers and this is the slow season for that industry.

Will this backfire on me? It is possible that I could end up making less money per month with this site but if I achieve my goal of 500 members then it will be a huge success.

NOTE: Incidentally, if you ever need lawn maintenance or landscaping visit the site. You’ll most likely find a qualified company in your city.

If you think this way you will be successful…

Having the right mindset for making a living online is crucial. I remember many years ago I said to myself, “If I could just make $300 a month online that would be so great because it would pay my car payment…” Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Now I don’t have car payments anymore but knowing what I know now I would instead say if I were just beginning, “If I made $300 a month online that would be perfect because I will have $300 a month to help me get to $2000 a month.” Right now $300 a month probably sounds like a lot of money but once you get there you will be surprised how little it is.

Don’t start using the money for your own  personal use until you are consistently making $1000 a month. And then only take out $500 and use the rest for buying links, getting programming work done, advertising on relevant sites, paying copywriters and making your site better. Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity (although I think mediocrity doesn’t come until you are making $2000-$3000 a month).

Keep setting new goals for yourself and build the business up. If I would have stopped and only worked on the first website that ever made me money, I would make a respectable income every year, but I wouldn’t have been able to quit my job and I wouldn’t have the lifestyle and freedom that I enjoy now.

Yesterday I decided not to come into work so I could work on editing a movie I shot with my two boys (Adding over 70 laser gun effects takes a long time). As I was home working on it I realized again how lucky I am and how grateful I am to have the freedom to do those kinds of things. It never would have happened if I didn’t build my online business to where it is.

Set your sights high. Take time to learn the things you need to be more successful. And NEVER give up!

The Power of Specificity in Business (and Golf)

Yesterday Adam and I decided to enjoy the nice weather (65 degrees!) and golf (well, first we went to put downpayments on some scooters).  On the way to the course, this being the first time playing for the season (second time for me since I played down in Phoenix while at Infusioncon), we made some score predictions for the front nine:

Adam predicted 55.

I predicted a 43.

I was jokingly optimistic, seeing as how a 42 is the best score I’ve ever shot.

At any rate, here are the results:

Golf Score Prediction

If you’re wondering what the other numbers are, bottom left is the tee shot, Y means the fairway was hit, N means it wasn’t.  The bottom right corner is where we record the number of putts.  You’ll also see if there were any OB penalty strokes, or if we had to deal with any bunkers.  (This is content for another post entirely — tracking your progress to stay motivated and promote smarter decision making).

Speaking of bunkers, Adam had to deal with three of the four on the ninth hole.  He had his best tee shot of the day, smashing it probably 290 yards, but the ball ends up in a fairway bunker.  He hits it out of that bunker and back into the next fairway bunker down.  Then he hits it out of that bunker and ends up in the next bunker further down.  Finally he escaped the sand completely only to land in some dirt next to a bulldozer (they’re renovating).  Once on the green, he one-putted for a triple.

Anyway, did you notice the final scores?

Adam: 55

Jesse: 43

Let’s set aside the fact that I beat Adam by 12 strokes in nine holes, and just think about the fact that the score we specifically targeted for ourselves was the one we reached.  Adam padded, knowing it was his first time playing in several months.  Don’t you find it terribly interesting that he dealt with all of those troubles on the final hole?  Maybe it was his subsconscious willing the 55 to happen.


Alright, maybe that’s stretching it a bit.  But it did cause me to raise a curious eyebrow.

Adam and I have very specific goals when it comes to our overall portfolio of sites.  I won’t share our specific goals, but the key is in the specifics.  They are extremely specific.

If you want to start making money online, you’ll need to set some specific goals.

Bad Goal: I want to start making money online.

Good Goal: I want to make an extra $300 per month online within the next three months.

(I want to shoot a 43…today.)

You can’t be driven or motivated by the bad goal from above.  How will you reward yourself with the satisfaction of finally reaching an unreachable goal?  You can’t. You won’t.

Get your priorities straight – Joy then money

Last night as I was waiting for my wife to come home so we could watch “The Office” together I decided to do a little channel surfing. I came accross a show on Discovery channel called “Treasure Quest”. It is about modern day treasure hunters who look for ship wrecks at sea and try to find gold and other valuables. They recently made a discovery of over 17 tons of gold and silver from a ship wreck.

Any way this peaked my interest so I started watching and they interviewed the captain of the ship. He told of how he was a Navy captain who went into work at corporate America where he was financially very successful.

He then went on to say how when he was offered this current job it was a big pay decrease but he then went on to talk about how they gave him a beautiful new ship and said go find stuff with it. I could really hear the joy of his new journey in life. It wasn’t just about money for him but doing something he loved to do…and the money came later.

I have talked alot about how much I value my freedom and working for myself. I value it alot more than I value money. I chose to go out on my own and build my internet business and live my dream of coming and going as I choose and doing the things I wanted to do during the day. I have loved every second of it. Even when in the beginning I was making just enough to take care of my family.

Years later the joy remains and the money has come. I have been truly blessed.

“Well you know. Money isn’t everything, Jim. Not the key to happiness. You know what is? Joy. You should remember that.” – Michael Scott

Becoming an Expert Before Taking Action

Mark over at nailed it.

And that’s probably what spurred my thoughts along these same lines.  Oh, and also perusing for an hour last night.

Mark basically says most people looking to make money online have an information addiction (the ease of publishing on blogs surely hasn’t helped):

The reality is you read blogs because it’s a mental escape. It gets your mind off your job, your bills, your stress – your life. It does all the same things for you that xbox live does for 7th graders. Why is this so dangerous? Because time is not only your most precious resource, it’s the one you can never get back.

I believe I also have an information addiction with a different twist. I want to become an expert before I take any action whatsoever.

I’ve been reading Omnivore’s Dilemma and now would like to raise my own chickens.  If you don’t want to want to start raising your own chickens, then do not read that book.  As always, with any new undertaking (whether it’s making money online, or raising chickens), I begin gathering my information online.

And I gather…

and gather…

and gather…

and gather…

And I guarantee I won’t be gathering eggs at this point.  I’ll still be gathering information.  I want to know how everything works, from A to Z, before I even remotely get started actually doing something.

Did you know you need to rotate an egg an odd number of times each day while you’re incubating it?  Two times — you’ll likely have a deformed chick.  Three times and you’re golden.  Did you know pine shavings are best for the floor of your chicken coop?  I didn’t either.  And there’s a whole lot more information out there that I could ingest before it finally becomes so scrambled in my brain that I forget completely what the heck I’m even doing in the first place.

You don’t need to know everything before you get started.  You can figure things out as you go.  Learning by doing.

What’s the best headline? How do you increase your conversions? How do you grow your list? What type of product should you sell?  How should you do fulfillment?  What’s the optimal price? Where should you truly be spending your time (short answer: where you add value).

Your questions will be endless.  And, as bad luck would have it, with the advent of the internet and one-click publishing…information is endless as well.

The phrase “proceed with caution” still has a very important word in there:  proceed.  Move. Keep going forward.  Don’t just stand around attempting to become an expert without doing anything.

Now…I’m off to find a chicken coop vendor.