Do you want to make some extra income, but you can't seem to get it together? Or maybe you already have a successful online business but you'd like to supplement that income with more.
This is a business that doesn't require a tremendous investment of time. Nor do you need a great amount of skill. You will need a little patience initially, since you might not be making mounds of money from day one. And unless you already have a good list or traffic source, it could take some time to get your income into the $500 to $1,000 a month range.
But the good news is, this is a residual income in which you get recurring payments month after month. So while you might only add a certain amount of business each month, when you factor in the business from previous months it can really start to add up.
What I'm trying to say here is, you won't get rich over night, and this does take some effort. It's like most things, - the more effort you put in, the more money you will get out. It's that simple.
Here's the basic premise – offering a low priced monthly newsletter on a hot-button topic. That's it. Pretty simple, right? But there are all kinds of details that – when you know them – will make this far easier and more lucrative.
This is a business model that has been around since before the Internet. In fact, it's been making people money for over 100 years and probably a lot longer, so you know it works and works well. But with the Internet it's now so much easier to do. It costs almost nothing to set up and it can be run from your mobile device anywhere in the world.
So the first question you might have is this: How much can you earn? In this business model we're charging $7 to $12 per monthly subscription, so by estimating how many subscribers you can bring in each month, you can do your own math and project what you might make.
Why $7 to $12? Because those numbers are high enough to make you a good income, and low enough that it's an easy sell. If you're selling a monthly membership or newsletter that costs, say, $100 a month, you've got to do some heavy duty selling to make the sales. On top of that, you've also got to provide a tremendous amount of value to hang on to those subscribers and keep them from canceling.
But when you only charge $7 to $12 a month, it's an easy sale and subscribers will stay with you for a far longer time. Look at your own subscriptions that you might have – which are you more likely to cancel – the one that costs $9 a month, or the one that costs $100 a month?
Of course the argument can be made that it's better to get a one time $100 payment than, say, 12 $7 payments, and that's absolutely true. That's why, once you've mastered this business at the $7 to $12 a month level, you might want to think about starting a membership that costs a good deal more. It will mean you have to provide a lot of value, but it can also mean higher profits.
But like anything, it's best to start small and work your way up. By using the $7 to $12 model, you can run this business in just a few hours a month and scale it up over time, learning and perfecting as you go.
Why a Monthly Newsletter?
1. It gives you a stable income.
If you make a product people buy one time, your income is forever dependent on driving traffic to that offer. But with a subscription you can get paid over and over again for sales you made months ago.
2. A monthly newsletter is easy
Once you've got the right topic and the right angle on that topic, you only need to write or source enough content each month for one 12 page newsletter. And if you're using other people's content, you don't even have to spend time writing it.
3. A monthly newsletter doesn't require you to have a membership site
Instead, you can simply send your newsletter out via email to your subscribers. Later, you can build a membership site if you like. But for now, just keep it simple and focus on the parts of the business that make you money (like getting more subscribers.)
4. Your subscribers to your monthly newsletter are your list of buyers
And what can you do with a list of buyers? Market other products to them. In fact, you can about double your monthly subscription income by sending your subscribers good offers.
5. A sale of $7 a month is easier than a sale of $50 or $100 one time
which means you can get into profit and have success much easier and quicker than if you were to try to make a big product and sell that instead.
6. For now, you only need to make your first month's issue
If you were making a full-blown course, you would need to complete the entire course before you sold it. But by offering a subscription you only need to have the first issue ready when you begin selling.
7. The monthly subscription plan is a proven model that WORKS
Just look a Netflix: $7.99 a month to stream videos and they have millions of subscribers. Software companies use the monthly subscription model all the time with great success, as do many other businesses. Again, just check your own Paypal account and odds are you will see you have at least one if not several recurring monthly subscriptions that you don't even think about.
8. Subscribers don't cancel
Even if they're running short of money this month, they're probably not going to bother canceling a $7 subscription. And if they love your newsletter, they won't even consider canceling it because they're getting real value out of it and it's inexpensive.
What Topic Should You Pick for Your Newsletter?
There is no right or wrong answer, other than to say you want something that sells and sells well. So here are some tips to picking your topic:
To increase your odds of tremendous success, choose something within the finance, hobby, relationship or health niches. These 4 niches are proven to pay, so it's hard to go wrong in any of these.
Niche it down. Obviously you can't target everyone in the health niche, so you might target new mothers who want to get their figures back, have less stress and get more sleep at night. If you're in the relationship niche, you might target single moms or single dads looking for that someone special, or people married longer than 10 years who want to get that spark back. If you're in the golf niche, you might target brand new golfers who want to look like seasoned pros. The point is, know exactly who your target market is and be specific.
Focus on a passion. You want subscribers who are passionate about the topic, whether it's getting back in shape, finding the love of their lives, overcoming a health issue, making more money or whatever. People don't subscribe if they're mildly interested – they subscribe if they're on fire for the topic and the benefits you can give them.
Focus on a problem. Being overweight and feeling bad about it is a real problem. Being lonely or broke or lacking confidence are real problems. If you can find a problem people desperately want solved - and you can help them solve that problem - you've likely got a winner.
Of course this can't be a single problem like a simple skin condition, but rather something ongoing and evergreen that takes time and effort to work on, such as finding their ideal mate or making a lot of money.
Make it action based. Let's say your niche is dog training. It's not enough to simply talk about dog training in general; you've also got to give them real action steps they can take to train their own dog. This is what makes your newsletter valuable and keeps your readers subscribed.
To get you started, here is a small list of possible topics to fire up your brain and get you thinking of your own...
•• Weight Loss
•• Getting In Shape
•• Health Secrets
•• Specialized Cooking
•• Online Dating
•• How To Pick Up Women
•• Passionate Relationships
•• Sex And Romance Tips
•• Great Date Ideas
•• Making Money From Home
•• Online Marketing
•• Small Business Tips
•• Organic Gardening And Farming
•• Vintage Cars
•• Golf, Hunting, Fishing, Sailing
•• Camping, Hiking, Flying, Climbing
•• Hypnosis Techniques
•• Yoga, Meditation, Martial Arts
•• How To Win At A Particular Sport
•• Woodworking, Sewing, Crafts
•• Raising And Training Pets
•• Saving Money, Couponing
•• Raising Happy Children
Where Do You Get Your Content?
You can of course create all of your own content. If you're an expert on your topic and you like to write, then this is something you'll enjoy. Plus, it has the added benefit of demonstrating your expertise to your readers. This can help if you offer higher priced services or when recommending other products to them, because they know that you know what you're talking about.
But what if you don't like to write, or you don't know much about your topic? No worries, you don't have to create any content yourself if you don't want to.
Here are several options for getting content without writing it:
• Do your research online and find great articles that you want to include in your newsletter. Then write to the authors and ask for permission to use them. Very often they will agree to let you use their articles for free as long as you credit those articles to them.
For example, you keep their name as author and provide a very short bio with their URL. Occasionally they may say no, and that's okay because you only need a few great articles to make this work.
• Use PLR. Just make sure it's EXCELLENT PLR – don't try to pawn junk off on your readers.
• Hire someone to write your newsletter for you. You can outsource the writing to someone else if you like. Be very specific on what you want and find a person who writes clearly and in an interesting, entertaining manner that holds people's interest. This doesn't need to be expensive – you might even find someone on Fiverr who fits your criteria.
• Bring in your own expert and share the profits. Let's say you want to do a newsletter on body weight exercises but you haven't left the couch in 6 months. Find a personal trainer who is well versed in body weight exercises and offer to work together on the newsletter.
How Will You Deliver Your Newsletter?
If you're familiar with setting up a membership site through WordPress or by any other method, then by all means deliver it that way. If not, you can use an autoresponder such as Get Response to send your newsletter out in PDF format. Be aware that attachments can sometimes result in deliverablity issues, so perhaps the best alternative of all is this:
Upload your newsletter to Amazon S3 and get the link. Then send that link out automatically to customers when they purchase, and then again each month for each new issue.
It All Starts With Your Freebie
You're not going to start out offering your newsletter. Instead, it's much easier to offer a free gift in exchange for their email address.
The free gift could be a free issue, a related report, a video or anything you choose that will attract your ideal reader.
You can use private label rights to create your report – again, make sure it's high quality. Your free gift will be sending a message to your prospect of whether or not they should trust you to deliver great information to them. If your freebie isn't very good, they'll assume your newsletter isn't very good, either.
Keep your free gift simple – for example, a 12 page report that solves a problem for them. Make sure it contains actionable information they can use immediately.
Two Ways To Offer Your Freebie
There is of course the traditional method – set up a squeeze page and ask for their email address in exchange for your free gift.
The second method tends to get a higher quality of opt-ins and oftentimes MORE opt-ins, and it works like this: Divide your free gift into two parts. The first part might be the title page, the table of contents and the first chapter. Make sure your table of contents is full of enticing benefits and creates lots of curiosity. The second portion is the rest of your report.
Let them download the first part without opting in. This way nearly everyone who hits your landing page will download your report.
Then let them know if they want the rest of the report, they can either pay for it or get it free in exchange for their email address. Put a good price on it, like $17, and you'll get tons of opt-ins because if you've set this up correctly, everyone will want the $17 report for free.
This method is a little more work, but it increases your opt-in rate and gets people fired up to know what else you offer.
Plus it's unexpected and refreshing – offering something of obvious real value in a slightly unique way.
Surprisingly, you may even get a few sales using this method, even though that's not your objective.
How Do You Make Your Offer?
Once they opt in to your list you can send them to your sales page. And of course you can also continue to email your offer to your list members who don't initially join. You'll probably find that about a third of your paid subscribers join immediately when they download the free gift, and the other two thirds join later as they receive emails from you.
On your sales page you can either do a traditional sales letter, a sales video or a combination. Since this is not an expensive offer and they can cancel anytime, you don't need to get overly complicated on this.
Basically, at the top of the page you'll remind them they just signed up to get your $17 report for free to solve “x” problem or accomplish “y” goal. This tells them they're on the right page and it also sets up a reciprocity loop in their subconscious, very subtly telling them they 'owe you one.'
Next, you'll have your sales copy or sales video (or both.) If you've never written a sales letter before, you can either hire someone or do some research online to see how it's done. Basically you're calling out your audience in the headline and offering a big benefit to these folks. Then you can list a few more benefits, talk about the pain of not having these benefits, and then show how your newsletter is the solution they've been seeking.
Talk about your benefits to the subscriber as well as the features and your guarantee. Let them know they can cancel any time, and if they're not 100% thrilled you'll refund the last payment and they get to keep all the issues.
This puts the risk all on you and makes it easy for them to say yes.
Remember to use some type of scarcity to get them to purchase right away. It might be a dime sale in which the price goes up a tiny increment for every “x” number of sales. Or it might be a limited time bonus that's going away. Scarcity can as much as double your sales, so be sure to include that element.
If you need help making your video, go to Fiverr and find someone who does powerpoint videos. It will cost you more than $5, but it's worth it.
Putting Your Newsletter Together
Use 5-10 pieces of content in each monthly newsletter. It should be enough actionable content that readers feel like they're getting tremendous value, but it shouldn't be so much that it overwhelms you in creating it.
Use Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer to create your newsletter and save it in PDF format.
Or, if you need help formatting your newsletter you can find someone on Fiverr to do it for you and make it look very professional and polished – something you'd be proud to show anyone.
How Do You Get People To Your Page?
You can of course use any traffic source that works for you and your niche, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Pay for Traffic.
Yes, it's an investment, but if each dollar you spend makes you two, it's a good investment. Facebook is excellent for this since you can target exactly who you want to see your ad.
Social Media Traffic. This one is huge, it's free but it can take considerable time and effort. Find out where your target audience is on social media and hang out there with them. For example, find Facebook pages devoted to your topic and start participating.
Affiliates. If you're willing to give up 50% of your profits today and every month, you might do really well with affiliates. Affiliates will drive traffic to your site that otherwise you might never come in contact with.
Joint Venture Partners. This could be as simple as they mail for you and then you mail for them. Or you might put together a package deal. Get creative here, the options are limitless.
But what if you don't know anyone in your niche? Start making contacts. One of the easiest ways is to interview experts for your newsletter. Often times they will then email their list to let them know about your newsletter, and sometimes they won't even take a commission.
Guest Blog. Write guest posts on popular blogs and link back to your squeeze page. It's best to target mid-size blogs when you're getting started, since bigger blogs may be inundated with requests. And if you begin your approach by telling them you loved one of their posts so much you want to print it in your magazine, it's much easier to work your way up to guest posting.
Is This Business Worth The Effort?
Yes! People subscribe and stay subscribed. So if Ted joins on the 12th, then the 12th of next month you get paid from Ted again, and the 12th of the following month and so forth.
Imagine if - for the last 6 months - you had been getting new subscribers. You would now be getting recurring payments every day of the month without even getting any more new subscribers.
It's a good feeling knowing that money is coming in every day.
And because you continue to get new subscribers and your old subscribers stick with you, your income rises each month. So while you may only make a relatively small amount of money your first month, each month thereafter you should see your income rise as you get more and more subscribers.
Don't forget, you're building a list of buyers who know and trust you to make great product recommendations to them. This means you can double your income each month by making just a few strategic offers to your subscribers.
Perhaps the biggest benefit – besides the extra income – is that you can choose a topic that you're wildly passionate about and get paid to 'talk' about it. This can be a truly fun business that feels more like a hobby than it does work.
One more thing, and this is kinda cool – when people ask you what you do,
you can tell them you run a newsletter. Or that you're a publisher.
Or that you're a writer. Your choice. And unlike Internet marketing and affiliate marketing, people will actually understand what it is that you're saying.