What is Making Freelance Writers So Excited About Membership E-Commerce?
How often do you get to do something you like and get paid for it?
Add to that, it is a business that you can manage and operate yourself quite easily, no customer service headaches (or very little if any), no aggressive sales strategies or tactics, no costly overheads ($20 per month only), and you can start it quickly and start to get cash in quite fast. You think, that is impossible. Think again.
Many writers, to complement their earnings, are starting up their own membership e-commerce business to generate a monthly recurring income while they write subject matters that they enjoy and find rewarding.
It can't get better than that. You get paid for something you enjoy doing.
What is 'membership e-commerce'?
The membership e-commerce is a business model where a customer must pay a regular monthly (or weekly, quarterly, or annually - although monthly is most common) fee to have access to your product/service - which is, most often, content. Why has this become so popular in the last couple of years> well, a one-time sale of a high price item now becomes a recurring sale of a much smaller amount, which more people can afford.
The model was originally pioneered by online newspapers, magazines, hosting companies, and internet service providers.
It makes sense to pay a small service fee for the time you intend to use a service rather than pay for a full price and not know whether you will use the service for one time, all the time, or may be never again.
Now there are e-commerce service providers that have develops solutions that have made membership sites very easy to start, build, manage, and market. Additionally, they have made it exceptionally cost-effective (when comparing it to any other form of starting a business). A membership site can cost you as little as $20 per month. What other business can you think of that you can start immediately and manage easily for this little?
Even corporations have decided that this model is so effective in increasing revenue that they are now selling software using this model, which they call Software As A Service (SaaS). For them, the benefits are in Dollars and Cents - they don't need to spend as much on promotions, marketing, or advertsing and they increase their customer base. Saas model (membership e-commerce) has been a booming market for the information technology industry in the last couple of years.
The value proposition is quite simple and ideal to every budget. For instance. instead of buying a software for say $1,000 for a one-time license fee, you pay for instance $100 per month for as long as you use the software. The same applies to content sites, where you can charge your customer a monthly (access) fee for viewing the content of your Web site or membership e-commerce site.
The benefits are enormous, and here are some key benefits:
1. You will sell more, much easier, and quicker with much less effort/cost devoted to marketing or promotions.
Obviously, if a product/service cost $100 instead of $1,000 more people will buy it and you will earn more in sales, you don't have to do discounts, don't have to devote a marketing team to promotions, much less cost of advertising, much better return-on-investment and overall better profitability.
2. Payment plan incorporated.
If you think about it, membership e-commerce model for selling your content products and services is somewhat like a payment plan but with no contract attached so you can cancel anytime you want and not pay any additional fees or penalties. It has all the benefits and none of the drawbacks. And there is no credit check either.
3. Complete business flexibility.
Sports venues, opera companies, symphony orchestras, ticketing outlets, can sell their tickets for the entire season or all the scheduled performances on a recurring basis and build brand loyalty. Trade unions can charge a membership fee automatically each month for all their members. Book clubs, record clubs, content providers, fitness clubs, financial services firms, Internet service providers, software providers (SaaS), long distance companies, telephone companies, cell phone companies, cable TV, and so many other businesses are flocking towards using the memebership model for all its benefits and the conveniences (in terms of initial payment) that it provides for customers.
4. Payment processing convenience.
Even the payment processing is now much more convenient for both the content providers and the customers. Membership fees or renewall fees can be periodic and activated automatically, so that the cost of a new period is automatically paid for by a pre-authorized charge to a credit card account for the duration of the use of the product/service. If a customer wants to keep using the service they do nothing. If they no longer need the service, they cancel online and payment processing stops immediately.
5. Try-before-you-buy option.
Another even more convenient feature is that some sites offer a free 'try-before-you-buy' option. This feature allows a customer signup to a web site and obtain the content for free but restrict access to premium services. When the customer wants the full access, they pay to have access to all the services/information (e.g. archive, full list, all the content, the complete article, all the photos or videos they can download, etc.) as a paid member.
Writers and content developers are finding membership e-commerce an ideal business model for their skills. They can writer and develop content on a particular subject of their interest, allow members search and find the content of their choice, have access to a variety of information, photos, videos, and advice - all for a nominal monthly service fee.
You can also provide access to a member's area on your Web site in order to allow access to a community feature where members can participate in discussion groups, share photos and information, meet other friends, get involved in group projects, network for jobs and startup companies and seed capital, and even allow members to sell user-generated content directly from your membership site.
You are assured a constant revenue stream from members for the duration of the service agreement. Not only does membership e-commerce greatly increase your success in your new business venture, but it generates revenues (as with most content sites you pay in advance) immediately, while allowing customers to become greatly attached to using your service and, therefore, more likely to extend their membership.