subscription websiteSubscription websites are all the rage today with publishers of all sizes tossing their hat into the ring but what’s the use of building it if nobody comes? A subscription website is a simple concept and simply an online version of the real world magazine, newspaper, or newsletter publishing model – subscribers pay a recurring fee, monthly, quarterly, or annually – for the privilege of receiving regular content. There’s little doubt that subscription website done right is a valuable resource for consumers but don’t make the mistake of spending all that time and effort on a project without a clear focus.

Here are a few components your subscription website needs, courtesy of one of our favorite online resources, The Mequoda Daily.

1. Email capture. If you don’t have a way to capture emails from website visitors, you are missing the whole point of the thing. This is all about getting permission from people to market to them. Marketing means you can put your sales message in front of them more often, which means more sales, which is the whole point of doing this in the first place.

2. Strategic placement of message. Regardless of which method you choose to market your products, low or no product placement doesn’t make any sense. These days, no one trusts a website that isn’t trying to sell something. What kind of sicko business person thinks like that? These websites are the real world equivalent of a television program. To get the content you have to watch the commercials. If the content is good enough, you don’t mind.

3. Community building. This is a big one. For the long-term success of your subscription website you need to build a sense of community. The more people participate, the more they feel like they have a vested interest in the thing and the longer they’re likely to hang around and contribute. That’s a good thing.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the subscription website model here but hopefully provided a few kernels of information to gnaw upon. Will this business model work for you? Why not? Almost anything that sells offline will sell online. If your content is good enough, the sky’s the limit.

The Speaking of Wealth Team

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