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SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content Podcast by Ravi Jayagopal

SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content Podcast

by Ravi Jayagopal

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SubscribeMe.fm is THE podcast that teaches you all about about creating a highly profitable, long-term business with online courses & membership sites with recurring subscriptions. In this podcast, and I don't mean just this episode, but the entire series, I'm going to be talking about how you can build a successful business by creating subscription-based products and services that bring in recurring income month after month... where you don't have to go hunting for new customers all the time, where you can focus on creating a remarkable product - like Seth Godin would say - A product that your customers love, where they keep paying you to keep delivering your product or service, and where you get to actually focus on your remarkable product - and improving it and adding to it over time, and you get to focus on, quote unquote "Enchanting" your customers, like Guy Kawasaki would say. The main focus of this podcast will be how to make, market and monetize your online digital content.


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  • Product First? Or Audience First? - Ep #70
    Sun, May 06, 2018


    Product First or Audience First? A burning question for anyone starting an online business. And as much it might seem similar to the complicated "Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg" discussion, it's actually not all that complicated when it comes down to the core nature of these two strategies.

    There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer here, so I'll try to break it down as best as I can, given my own experience selling a number of products online since 1998, and then add to that my experience coaching and consulting with clients since 2003.

    There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to creating an online business. Each one involves a completely different strategy.

    Strategy #1) You create a product first, and THEN find an audience for that product

    Strategy #2) You build an audience first, and THEN create a product

    Strategy #1 is basically to start with what skills and resources you have and create your product or service first based on your own knowledge and experience. And then you find an audience for what you've already created. And then you keep improving the product and extending it and then creating other products and services around your core product or core niche, as you get more feedback from current, past and future customers.

    Strategy #2 is basically to first build an audience, that is hopefully big enough, hungry for a solution to a pain, can actually afford to pay for it, is easily reachable, and easy to work with. And then create something FOR that audience.

    There are a lot of tangents I can go in when talking about some of these things - like how big of an audience do you really need? That really depends on what kind of a product or service you're selling.

    If you're selling something for 1000 dollars, and your goal is 100,000 dollars, then you only need 100 clients. If you're selling something for 20 dollars, and your goal is the same 100,000 dollars, then you need 5000 clients. So I won't get into that discussion today, as I have that planned for a later episode.

    For the purposes of today's discussion, I'm just going to stick to the two strategies: Build Product Then Audience, or Build Audience Then Product.

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Facebook Group or Forum? How to Create an Online Community That Will Be Around For The Next 5-, 15- or maybe even 50 years - Ep #69
    Thu, Mar 15, 2018


    Should you create a Facebook Group? Or an Online Forum on your own site, your own domain, on your own hosting account?

    This episode is for you if you have a Facebook group that doesn't have too many members, or has many members, but not enough engagement, or maybe you're planning to start a community, but you're torn between a Facebook group and creating your own Forum.

    And even if you have a successful Facebook group right now, and have absolutely no plans of starting your own forum, I would still urge you to listen to the entire episode, because I hope - actually, I know - that there is going to be something in here that you may not have thought of before.

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is And Pay to Play - Ep #68
    Sat, Feb 10, 2018


    What Shark Tank has taught us about getting some skin in the game, why you must pay to play in order to get the best, and fastest results, and how you can come up with the money to pay for promoting just about anything!

    You've probably heard the saying "Put your money where your mouth is". Which basically means: Stop TALKING about things, and start putting in some money into whatever you're trying to accomplish. If you just TALK about how passionate you are about something, and TALK some more about how much you care about something, then if you have NOTHING invested in it financially, then it makes it that much easier to just walk away from it. Which shows a lack of commitment.

    So, don't TELL me, SHOW me that you care - about your online business, or your online course, or your audio course, or your Kindle book, or your podcast.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • 13 Critical Things You MUST Do in 2018 To Improve Your Online Business - Ep #67
    Sun, Jan 07, 2018


    Do you want to take your online business to the next level in 2018?

    Here are 13 things that will help you reset, refocus and reprioritize by revisiting everything - starting with your goals, your priorities, your web site, sales offer, content marketing, lead magnet, website performance and more.

    Likes and Comments won't pay the bills. You have to build a business, you have to market and monetize your content, create offers, make sales, and work on attracting your 1000 true fans.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Why (Most) Webinars and Live Videos Suck (and What You Can Do About It) - Ep #66
    Wed, Dec 13, 2017


    Do you remember the last time you signed up for a webinar, showed up at the pre-scheduled time, then watched it start to finish? If you have, then congratulations - you're among the minority of folks theses days.

    And that's because most people are getting jaded by so-called "webinars", which are nothing but a pre-recorded video, with a long, drawn-out intro, where the presenter usually starts off really slow, welcomes users as if there are real users listening live, and sometimes it may actually be true - that it was probably a recording of an actual live webinar when there WERE real people listening. Either way, it usually takes about 10 minutes or so to get into the meat of the content. There's the obligatory self-praise in the beginning, showing some warm-and-cuddly family pictures with kids and pets, and vacation shots, and a bunch of "see, this is why I'm cool" type of accomplishments.

    Honestly, most webinars are a waste of time because there's way too much fluff.

    Have you ever been at a Karaoke party? I've been at many, especially holiday and New Year's parties. EVERYBODY thinks that they're rockstars, EVERYBODY thinks they've got an amazing voice. And the HUGE gap between their imagination and reality, is just mind-numbing.

    And the problem with Facebook live videos is that most people think that they can just hit "go live" and start winging it. For the average person, doing a great live video that is interesting, fast-paced, offers value to their target audience, is still super hard. And what's worse, like the karaoke night, they don't know that their live performance sucks, that they may not have the talent, training or technique to pull of a live video, maybe they don't have the right equipment, and sometimes, let's admit it - some people are just not that interesting.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Podcast Discoverability Issue and Apple's Apathy Towards Podcasting - Ep #65
    Wed, Nov 29, 2017


    Is there a "Discoverability Problem" in Podcasting? Yes, absolutely! Unless you're Tom Hanks' character in the movie Castaway, and your show is titled "PodCast Away" :-), and you're the only podcaster on the island and you have a completely attentive audience with no other options for entertainment, like you know, Wilson, the volleyball, then there is going to be a discoverability issue.

    And this discoverability issue doesn't affect just podcasting, but it applies to pretty much everything else in life, whether that's people discovering your website, blog, your product, or service. Heck, there is a discovery issue even when it comes to meeting the woman or man of your dreams!

    The goal of this episode, is to acknowledge the issue, find out the root cause, and then also talk about what we can do about it as Podcasters.

    The issue of discoverability in podcasting is exponentially magnified, for a few different reasons.

    Check it out the show-notes at http://SubscribeMe.fm/65/

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • My "Brilliant-5, Blah-95" Rule For Making or Marketing Anything - Ep #64
    Thu, Nov 09, 2017


    My "Brilliant-5, Blah-95" Rule For Making or Marketing Anything, Hobbyist vs Entrepreneur, Death (of your business) by a 1000 cuts, my Guinness World Record, the Worst Title Ever for a free report or Facebook post or just about any type of list post, and finding out: Are you a Performer, or a Pretender?

    When I published my first, real, paperback book back in 2007, called "No Business Like E-Business", I wanted to quickly figure out how to promote my book. So back then, if I wanted to learn something quick, I just went to Amazon and bought the best couple of books on the subject. So for promoting my book, I bought a book called "1001 Ways to Market Your Books". Back then, it had like a massive number of reviews, highly rated, lots of folks all over the web singing its praise. So naturally, I bought the book.

    Long story short, there's a reason why it has 1001 ways to promote a book, because it lists every dang method there is, however basic, like Print a business card, Attend meetings and hand out your cards, Accept credit cards on your site, and so on.

    Like me telling you, hey, if you want to promote your web site, I have 3 amazing tips for you. Ready? 1) Register for a free account on Facebook.com 2) Friend as many people as you can. 3) Post the link to your Amazon product page. BOOM. AWESOME SAUCE, right???

    Nope, not very awesome. That's downright stupid. It's the most basic of basic things.

    So if a list is showing you 1001 of ways of doing something, then that list is usually full of obvious things, and so watered down, that only 5% of it is actually going to be useful and impactful. I call it the 5/95 rule. 5% of it is brilliant, 95% is blah.

    That's how my new rule was born: My "Brilliant-5, Blah-95" Rule.

    Other links:

    Free Facebook Group that you can join to see behind the scenes of my membership site: http://SubscribeMe.fm/group/

    For the show notes or to listen to this episode online, go to http://SubscribeMe.fm/64/

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Behind The Scenes of My Online Course - Ep #63
    Tue, Oct 10, 2017


    I'm currently working on "SubscribeMe Academy" - my Online Hub of Courses, Coaching & Community - that I'll be launching shortly.

    I have so far completed just over 160 hours of work on it so far - mostly with the video creation for my first major course, called Premium Podcasting.

    On this episode, I'm going to take you behind the scenes of this new membership web site that I'm creating, as much as I can do on a podcast, of course, and talk about the tools and strategies I've been using, so that you can get an idea as to not just how much work this thing is, but also that it is very much doable if you have the know-how, and the right tools.

    Other links mentioned on this episode:

    TOC Technique: http://SubscribeMe.fm/24/

    Start with the Pricing Table: http://SubscribeMe.fm/62/

    Free Facebook Group that you can join to see behind the scenes of my upcoming membership site: http://SubscribeMe.fm/group/

    To see the rest of the show notes, go to http://SubscribeMe.fm/63/

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Start with the Pricing Table - Ep #62
    Sat, Sep 16, 2017


    Start with the last thing first.

    You may have have heard of variations of that. Like start with the end in mind.

    So when I say start with the last thing first, I'm talking about starting with the pricing table, which is the LAST thing most people would think about when it comes to creating their membership site.

    People worry about themes, and plugins, the design of the web site, what colors to use, what logo to use, creating all social media properties for their membership site - like creating a Twitter account, a Facebook page, an Instagram account and on and on. And then they completely lose track of one critical piece to all of this.

    When I say pricing table, I'm talking about your OFFER as a whole

    So start with the pricing table FIRST. BEFORE you create any content, BEFORE you create any products, BEFORE you even design a landing page on your web site... the very first thing you should brainstorm and strategize, is your pricing table because everything starts and ends with your offer.

    And you don't need a fancy theme or WordPress plugin to create a pricing table. You can do it real easy with a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet - or a Google Sheet.

    I have a picture of my new pricing table that I created, for my upcoming membership site, and you can see it at http://SubscribeMe.fm/62/

    Other links mentioned on this episode:

    Episode 24: TOC Technique - http://SubscribeMe.fm/24/

    Show notes: http://SubscribeMe.fm/62/

    Free Facebook Group that you can join to see behind the scenes of my upcoming membership site: http://SubscribeMe.fm/group/

    (listen to the show for the rest)

  • $99 One-time Better Than $9/mo Recurring? - Ep #61
    Sat, Sep 02, 2017


    I'm going to share a very stark and dark truth: That when you're first getting started, selling a one-time product for 99 dollars is Better Than selling a Recurring Subscription for 9 dollars a month.

    You're probably like "Wait... whaaaat? But Ravi... You're the guy who has a podcast about membership sites and recurring subscriptions, who talks about DOGPOO vs DOSAA" (which stands for Do Once, get Paid Only Once, which is DOGPOO, and stinks.. versus DOSAA - Do Once, Sell Again and Again - so DOGPOO stinks and DOSAA rocks). Now back to your voice...

    "But Ravi, you're the guy who is always saying that you have to add a recurring subscription model if you want your business to flourish in the long-term - so you're now telling me I'm better off with a one-time product rather than a recurring subscription?"

    Yes and No. There are some disclaimers. So don't freak out just yet. You should plan big, but start small. You should plan and prepare to add a subscription model, but you should start with a one-time product.

    Be sure to listen to the full episode to understand my perspective. where I also talk about 2 of the biggest Membership Site Pricing Mistakes that people make when it comes to charging Subscription Fees.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Podcasting is So Dang Hard, So Start One Today - Ep #60
    Wed, Aug 09, 2017


    Welcome to Episode #60 of the SubscribeMe show from SubscribeMe.fm, where I talk about creating membership sites & online courses, how to make, market and monetize digital content, the world of WordPress, and tools, techniques and tips that you can use to create a long term, profitable online business. I'm Ravi Jayagopal. I'm the creator of CoolCastPlayer.com, a pretty yet powerful audio player and podcast player plugin for your WordPress site.

    In today's episode, I'm going to give you a few reasons for both why you SHOULD and why you should NOT start a podcast.

    You know how in shows and movies, someone walks up to a main character and says "I have both Good news and bad news", and the main character always says, "give me the bad news first". So that's what I'm going to do here as well, because, you know, you are the main character in this show.

    So, first... Reasons why you should NOT start a podcast.

    Audio is actually easier than video - at least, most forms of face-on-camera videos, because if you're going to be in the video, then you have to think about your clothes, hair, shaving, or makeup, lighting, are you going to do it indoors or outdoors. If you're doing it outdoors, are you going to use just natural sun light, if yes, then if you shoot for an hour or two, then you'll see the lighting differ in the final output because of clouds and the position of the sun itself changing, all of the outdoor noises that you have to consider because I don't know about you, but the second I walk into my backyard to shoot a quick 3 minute video, it feels like the entire universe conspires against me.

    And my neighbor, who probably hasn't mowed his lawn in weeks, comes out of the blue and starts his lawn mower or leaf blower. Another neighbor down the street starts doing some construction work, all of the kids come out to play, especially the cute little ones with such high-pitched screams that only your dog can hear it. Of course, your mic picks up EVERY thing, including the A/C unit in your own backyard going off all of a sudden. But think about how many talking-head or face-on-camera videos a typical person creates over their lifetime. Probably not too many, unless they're doing the occasional sales video for their web site.

    That number is however tripling by the day thanks to Facebook Live and Instagram and Snapchat and what not. But still, that's still a very small percentage. Of course, there are those casual screencast and how-to videos which are actually easier to produce than a typical podcast, because of the long-term commitment that a podcast brings. So don't compare audio to the much harder selfie videos.

    We're going to compare creating audio - or a series of audio files - as in, a podcast - we're going to compare creating a podcast all the mostly written-word blog posts and Facebook posts and Instagram posts and Medium posts that you would create.

    So podcasting, in spite of what some people would have you believe, is actually way harder compared to most other form of content generation.

    And then I also talk about all the reasons why you SHOULD start a podcast... like today!

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • How Long Should Videos In Your Online Course Be? - Ep #59
    Mon, Jul 17, 2017


    Welcome to Episode #59 of the SubscribeMe show from http://SubscribeMe.fm, where I talk about creating membership sites & online courses, how to make, market and monetize digital content, the world of WordPress, and tools, techniques and tips that you can use to create a long term, profitable online business.

    I'm Ravi Jayagopal. I'm the creator of http://CoolCastPlayer.com, a pretty yet powerful audio player and podcast player plugin for your WordPress site.

    Asking how long your videos in your online course should be, is very similar to asking...

    How long should your sales page be?

    How long should your podcast be?

    How long should your blog post be?

    How long should a movie be?

    I just have one simple answer to this:

    There is no such thing as "too long" - only "too boring".

    And as much as I would like to take credit for that line, it's not from me, and unfortunately I don't remember who originally said it. But it is such a great truth, that it applies to pretty much every type of content produced in every single format - whether it is Video, Audio, Blog Post, or Sales Page.

    And that's what I talk about on today's episode.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • The Art of Viral Marketing - Ep #58
    Wed, Jun 21, 2017


    On today's episode, I interview Brian Swichkow from GhostInfluence.com, a brilliant marketer who has some refreshing ideas about creating content that goes viral. Brian has done some really cool stuff in the past.. like, he once pulled of a massive prank on his roommate using Facebook ads, which made his room mate completely paranoid, like... Will Smith in the movie Enemy of the state.

    Reddit.com is one of the biggest social sharing site and online communities in the world, and is the 4th most visited site in the US and the 9th in the world. Reddit.com users are just brutally honest and educated and geeked out. They're super hard to impress, as much as a popup form on a web site is likely to impress someone in 2017.

    But if you can post great content that is genuinely great, and there's no element of trickery or sales-pagery - if that's even a word - and they don't sense that you're trying to sell people something or trying to get them to sign up for something and there's no ulterior motives that they can sense in your content, then your content can go explosively viral.

    But... if you can't link back to your site, if you can't get them to follow you back to your site so you can put them on your list or sell them something, what's even the point of posting on Reddit?

    I asked Brian the exact same question, knowing that you would be thinking about exactly that too about Reddit. And the answers he gives on this interview, are absolutely worth 10x the price of your attention. And I am not exaggerating in the least bit, when I say, he's the most interesting man I've met in a very long time...

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Content Marketing is Dead. Long Live Native Marketing - Ep #57
    Tue, Jun 06, 2017


    Have you ever visited JKRowling.com? JK Rowling, as you probably know, is the author of probably one of the greatest ever series of fantasy books, Harry Potter. And I'm guessing you have never visited her blog, or her web site, to buy her books.

    Have you ever visited GaryVee.com? Did you know his now famous WineLibrary.TV - which most people have probably never even heard of, but still probably know who GaryVee is - wouldn't have become popular if not for YouTube. And there would be no Gary Vaynerchuk if all he did was create his own self-hosted Wistia videos on his own site, and blog on his own site.

    That is the crazy new world of content marketing in 2017. Your web site, can no longer be the focus of your marketing efforts. Your web site is no longer the spearhead of your content marketing. Let me explain.

    The old model of content marketing was, to publish something on your own web site - whether it is a blog post, or a video, or a podcast - and then post a link to that piece of content on various platforms and web sites and try to get EVERYONE back to YOUR website in order to consume the full content, so that you can cookie them for retargeting, or make them join your list. So basically post a teaser everywhere, and they have to come back to your site to get the full scoop.

    That content marketing model is outdated for many reasons. People today spend a lot of time - and I mean, a LOT of time - on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and YouTube. And they actually prefer to stay on those platforms to get their daily fix of news, entertainment, politics, sports, and cat-videos. The social platforms themselves are encouraging content that keeps their viewers within the platform, and they don't take kindly to outgoing links, doesn't matter if it is to your own web site.

    Have a video? Facebook wants you to upload it directly to Facebook, and not just post a link to the video on your site. In fact, I know this for a fact, that a video that is uploaded natively to Facebook, gets a ton more views, likes and comments, than a link that simply takes someone outside of Facebook back to, say, YouTube.com, or to a page on your site where you have a youtube or self-hosted video. Instagram doesn't even allow links within the body of a post. Instagram wants you to upload pictures and videos directly to Instagram, not just use Instagram as a way to get people to click to your web site.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Cross-Posting vs. Repurposing - Part 3 - Ep #56
    Tue, May 23, 2017


    Cross-Posting is NOT the same as Repurposing. Repurposing has completely different goals. It lets you take content you create in one medium, say you start with a written blog post, and then later on, over time, whether that is a few days or few weeks or even over a few months, reformat and restructure that content, maybe even recreate it from scratch for a different format, and then publish it on to various platforms or mediums. Repurposing is about leveraging your message. But cross-posting is leveraging your actual content, the actual format itself, and it is done in real-time, and is more useful for solopreneurs, or small businesses that don't have a dedicated social media manager or content marketer.

    The problem with repurposing is that it takes time and effort. So if I write a blog post, repurposing it into a video, or a podcast, is a completely separate project. So repurposing is basically transforming your content and adapting it for completely different media. But cross-posting is taking the exact same content - which is, Message, Photo, Call-to-Action, which was the title of episode at http://SubscribeMe.fm/54/ - and taking those 3 universal content marketing elements, and leveraging that across as many suitable platforms as possible.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • The Gift of IFTTT and Cross-Posting from Instagram - Part 2 - Ep #55
    Fri, May 12, 2017


    "Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly", said Robert H. Schuller.

    I actually recommend cross-posting content, because this is not about "perfection". It's NOT about meticulously formatting content and making it perfectly native to each platform. Most people don't have the time for that. They just don't. Every platform has an "Edit" button - you can ALWAYS go in later and tweak the post to your heart's content. There's nothing wrong with editing your posts. I do this myself. Like adding shortlinks to my FB posts, removing some of those hashtags that came over from Instagram, because hashtags don't matter as much in Facebook. My cross-posting automation is about "productivity, not perfection". And I tell you how to set up IFTTT - If This Then That - to create this cross-posting.

    And ever since I started doing this cross-posting, I was able to create 20+ posts blog in April alone. And I'm not talking junk posts - I'm talking really useful content, VERY relevant to my target audience, and if someone went to my blog first, they'll no longer think wow, this guy last posted on his blog in August 2016, and before that in Jan 2016. So they won't think my blog is gotten outdated. There's useful content to consume. And it keeps my blog fresh in Google's perspective, creates lots of long-tail traffic because it has lots of keywords and real, non-spammy content, so it's all win-win.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Message, Photo, CTA: My Content Cross-Posting Funnel - Ep #54
    Tue, Apr 25, 2017


    What I talk about here is not about spamming the social networks. It's not about "auto-posting" or blasting your content and re-posting it multiple times throughout the day or throughout the week and flooding the feeds of your followers. This is not about twitter-bombing where you use a content scheduling tool like Edgar or Social Juke Box and just recycle content endlessly. All of that has its place too, when done the right way, in the right amount. I'll talk about social content recycling and scheduling and stuff in a different episode.

    But today's episode is about productivity. About leveraging your time. Your team's time. It's like setting off a mini social media snowball, where what you're doing picks up steam - picks up momentum, as it goes along. When I first posted this content on my own social networks, someone on Facebook said something about how this is not a good idea. I'll address that comment as well, and talk about the real purpose behind this funnel.

    This entire funnel starts with Instagram, but you could set yours up differently while still following the same concept. And here's how it works...

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • How Your Online Course Can Be Better Than Disneyland - Ep #53
    Tue, Apr 11, 2017


    Here's How Your Online Course Can Be Better Than Disneyland (hint: Be like Universal Studios). There will always be people who wouldn't mind paying more in order to get faster service, more access to you, premium access, front-of-line access to your products and services, so to speak. People are willing to pay more as long as they get a lot more value from the deal.

    So it's all in the offer. And how you package it. And how you position it. And how you present it. And of course, it's also in how you deliver it, and deliver on the promises, and keep delivering month after month, if you want them to keep paying you month after month.

    And don't be afraid to create bigger, more expensive packages, that gives people faster service, better access, direct access to you, or your team, better training, one-on-one calls, faster set up, more hand-holding, that will help them implement your products and services faster, with less headache, with a shorter learning curve, with better support, and faster support. So don't forget to create more "Front of Line" access offers. Don't be like Disney. Treating everyone the same and not allowing anyone to pay extra to get extra, is all find and dandy. But when it comes to business, your customers will pay to be pampered. That's what leads to a bigger bottomline and more profits for you, and also the happiest, easy-to-please and lowest-overhead customers, who will happily pay extra, to get extra, and they will also be the ones to praise you and recommend you the most.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • 7 Member Retention Strategies - Chris Farrell - Ep #52
    Wed, Mar 29, 2017


    On today's show, I interview Chris Farrell from SetbacksAndSuccess.com.

    Chris gives you 7 powerful, yet easy to implement, tips for keeping your members.

    Especially because it is so much harder to get a new member, compared to keeping an existing member. So don't underestimate the power of Member Retention.

    So listen to the full show to hear Chris' 7 Successful Strategies you can use in your membership site to retain your paying Members.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Instant Affiliate Commissions: A Terrible Idea - Part 5 - Ep #51
    Fri, Mar 10, 2017


    There are three ways to pay commissions to your affiliates: Which I jokingly refer to as one right way, and 2 wrong ways.

    And those 3 ways are:

    1. Instant commissions

    2. Delayed commissions and

    3. Fake Commissions.

    And I talk about all 3 ways on this episode of the SubscribeMe.fm show.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • State of the Internet Address - with Zombies and Heroes - Ep #50
    Sat, Feb 18, 2017


    I deliver a fun and inspiring State of the Internet Address that throws light on the world wide web in 2017, and how far we've come since I got started online (1998).

    I also wanted to celebrate the occasion by inviting a very special guest on the show. And that guest is Rohan Prashanth, my 13 year old son, who has started his own podcast called "Zombies and Heroes". It's a movie and TV show review podcast, and his most recent episode, in which he reviews the movie "Split" starring James McAvoy and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the same guy who directed the 6th Sense, and this episode is easily his best one yet. So I asked him if he can create a solo segment for this show, and for you and all other future podcasters, and I wanted him to tell you first hand, about his experiences with being a first-time podcaster, and also talk about his full workflow, and take us from the time he comes up with an idea, to the time he publishes it and it goes live on iTunes. Just so you know, he does all of this, end to end, all by himself, with absolutely no help from anyone.

    And I also talk about my favorite tools and services that I use in my business.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Why Webinars Work and Webinars vs. Video Squeeze Pages - Jon Schumacher - Ep #49
    Thu, Feb 02, 2017


    Why bother setting up a webinar when you can be putting a pre-recorded video on a page that they can consume right then and there, and not have to schedule a time and come back to it at another time?

    What really is the difference between a webinar and a video on a squeeze page?

    What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when designing or executing a webinar?

    Am I an exception in not having time to attend a webinar at the scheduled time?

    There's the live webinar, pre-recorded webinar that only plays at certain times and the hybrid. What are some of the pros and cons of those types?

    How to find out which one is best for your audience?

    Most of them say that they're not going to record it, because they want you to attend it live, that is IF they're doing it live. So should you make a recording available?

    When I go to Facebook, I see literally half the people promoting some kind of a webinar or other. There's so much noise. How do you distinguish your webinar from the rest, and other than promoting it using Facebook ads, are there any other creative ways to promote a webinar?

    These are some of the questions Jon Schumacher from WebinarMasterySummit.com answers on today's show.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • MMA: Money Making Activities: Creation vs. Promotion - Ep #48
    Tue, Jan 17, 2017


    MMA is my acronym for Money Making Activities. If you listened to episode #4 of this podcast, titled "Too much content, too little revenue" , which you do at SubscribeMe.fm, I talked about a listener, Michael, who at the time, had been super-successful at creating lots of content, had millions of downloads of his podcast and his YouTube videos, but had not had much success at monetizing 9 years of hard work.

    Imagine that: 9 years of putting out great content, more than a thousand episodes published of his podcast and YouTube videos, millions of downloads and views, yet he was making ALMOST NOTHING from all that work. Practically ZERO. And I'm not saying that you need to make money from your passion projects.

    But that's exactly what it comes down to: Is your podcast, your web site, your product or service - is it just a passion project for you? Is it just a hobby? Is it a past-time? Then I'll tell you right now, that this podcast is probably not a good fit for you, because the title of this podcast, is Making, Marketing & Monetizing Online Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses and Subscriptions and about building a long-term profitable online business. It's not about how to create a successful hobby.

    The biggest mistake a lot of people make, is that they spin their wheels on activities that they THINK is helping them move their business forward. And I tell you how to avoid those same mistakes.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • SEO Benefits from Affiliate Links, Refunds & Clawbacks - Part 4 - Ep #47
    Thu, Dec 29, 2016


    Let's start with how affiliate links can help your SEO efforts - especially when the affiliate links have your domain in them.

    As you know, the number of incoming links to your web site is an essential part of SEO. The more incoming links you have, the more "popular" Google believes your web site to be, and the higher your site shows in search results. Sure, “do-follow” is better than “no-follow”. But no-follow links are still way better than no links at all! And that's where having an in-house affiliate program - like the built-in affiliate module that DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP) comes with - can be such a HUGE advantage over, say, a third-party affiliate program like with ClickBank.

    Now, there definitely are some advantages to using a third-party affiliate program like ClickBank - like getting access to their built-in network of affiliates. But remember that just because you sell through ClickBank does not mean you're going to get all of them - or even most of them - to promote your product. You will still need to promote your program to recruit any of them. So I don't recommend using ClickBank just because you think all those affiliates will promote you. There are other real benefits to using ClickBank, which I will be addressing in an upcoming part of this affiliate series.

    So, unless you're already making 5 or 6 figures a month, having an in-house affiliate program can give you a huge advantage.

    Then I talk about Refunds and Clawbacks.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • How Much & How Often To Pay Your Affiliates - Part 3 - Ep #46
    Wed, Dec 07, 2016


    So How Much Should you Pay Your Affiliates? The answer to that depends on a bunch of different things. Let's start with your product funnel - like... is this a lead-generator or a loss-leader followed by one or more back-end products?

    Is there an instant 1-Click Upsell after the purchase?

    Do you have a mature product line where you can upsell them in the future?

    And it also depends on your sales goals: How much do your products and services cost, how much do you wish to make per sale - is it just for this specific launch, or is this a lifetime funnel? What's your cost of after-sales support? What is your profit margin?

    Is it digital product or a physical product? With physical products, you have overhead - like shipping and handling and return shipping and damage and delays - you won't have any of that with a digital product.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Create "Instant Affiliates", Protect Your Affiliates - Part 2 - Ep #45
    Thu, Nov 10, 2016


    An affiliate program is the lowest hanging fruit that you can grab without even stretching your arms. Like, you can grab this even if you were 4 feet tall. And it always amazes me why EVERY SINGLE business does not have one.

    Another thing that amazes me, is that people will spend months and months on the technology and all the tricks and tactics in the book, but they won't spend a darn minute on thinking - how the heck am I going to market this thing and get people to come to my site, read my sales page, click on a buy button and actually agree to give me real money! And in the case of a membership site, you want them to voluntarily sign up to automatically give you money again and again, month after month.

    The hardest thing in the world is marketing and converting visitors into buyers, and buyers into members. Yet people will spend literally 90% of their time tweaking buttons and colors and how many upsells they need to have, and trying to get the fanciest of fancy CRM and funnel building and email marketing tactics.

    The EASIEST thing in the world is to add an affiliate program to your business. It's so easy to do, that it actually kills me to see most people not even giving it a few seconds of thought. And I don't want you to make the same mistake. So be sure to listen to this entire series about having your own affiliate program.

    Now, one of the biggest features you need from your affiliate software, is that it has to make it super simple for new buyers to become an affiliate.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Why You Should Start an Affiliate Program and Recruit Your Own Affiliates to Promote Your Products and Services - Ep #44
    Fri, Oct 21, 2016


    Just in case you are not familiar with this term, this is where, a seller - take my own business for example, at DigitalAccessPass.com. You can sign up to become an affiliate. Then you get a special link that you can promote on social media, to your email list, on your blog, even on your podcast.

    And if someone visits your special affiliate link, they are redirected to our web site, and a special browser cookie - a small piece of code that all web sites use - is set on that person's browser, tagging them as having been referred by you. And then, if they later go on to purchase any products from DigitalAccessPass.com, then you become that buyer's affiliate, and you can earn up to 33% in affiliate commissions. So if they went on to buy something for a 100 dollars, then if the commission for that product is 33%, then you get 33 dollars credited to your account.

    And then, once a month, we pay out commissions for all past purchases that happened before the last 60 days. Now, we pay only after 60 days, because payment processors like Paypal give a buyer up to 60 days to ask for a refund. So once the buyer is past the refund period, we pay out any commissions due to you.

    Don't worry if this affiliate program sounds a bit complicated, especially if you've never had your own affiliates before, but just know that DAP - or DigitalAccessPass.com - automates the whole process for your affiliates, for the buyer and for you, as the site owner.

    Affiliate marketing is nothing new. Amazon.com built their entire business in the early years from allowing affiliates to promote their products on their web sites, and giving them the ability to earn commissions on any sales that are generated through their referral.

    At DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), we have built our entire business without any kind of Google-gaming.

    Not that we don't care about Google. Of course, we do. We even used to have a few ads running on AdWords - we no longer do - we stopped running them about a year ago. No paid ads, no SEO gaming, no fake blogs or link farms. On rare occasions, we do some link building, but it's all totally white-hat and Google-approved stuff.

    Most of our customers find out about DAP through a review article online, someone recommending it via email , or a post in an online online. So we have never had to worry about Penguin, Panda or any other cute animals :-).

    So how did we do it?

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Part 2: Seth Godin Ruined The Internet - Ep #43
    Fri, Oct 07, 2016


    This is Part 2: Seth Godin Ruined The Internet.

    Becoming a Celebrity, building Authority, being perceived as an Expert? Of course, it's easier said than done. Because there were a lot of things that went into the huge success that this "guru" had. There's a whole lot of hard work, commitment, passion, timing and personality and likeability and trustworthiness and so many factors that go into someone ascending to that all-star level.

    But most people don't necessarily care about becoming the GOAT - as in Greatest of all time - in a given niche. You probably don't care about being a GOAT. I know I don't care about being the GOAT.

    Some people will tell you that you don't really need to worry too much about learning a lot - just know a little bit more than the ones you are teaching.

    BAD ADVICE!

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • 5 Lessons Learned From 1 Year of Podcasting - Ep #42
    Tue, Sep 27, 2016


    It has been an incredible journey for the last 365 days.

    Today - September 26, 2016 - is the 1st anniversary of this podcast, at SubscribeMe.fm. Full of excitement, nervousness, apprehension, exhilaration, self-doubt, self-confidence boosting... you get the picture. As many highs, as there have been lows. And that's not only the nature of starting a new marketing channel, but also the boon and bane of Podcasting.

    I've been chronicling everything I've learned into a book, that I'm shortly going to be releasing on Amazon Kindle. And I decided to take a few of the biggest lessons I learned, both on my own, myself, as well as watching others in forums and on social media, and listening to other podcasts, and I'm going to share them here.

    And before you wonder, what does Podcasting have anything to do with membership sites, remember... this show is not just about membership sites. The first half of the title of the show, is "Making, Marketing & Monetizing Online Digital Content". And if you've listened to my past episodes, you'll see that this show encompasses all phases of digital content, and that includes content marketing. And that brings us to my first lesson...

    #1) Podcasting Is Not A Business Mode.

    Yes, I said it. The emperor has no clothes.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm

  • Seth Godin Ruined the Internet & How To Become an Expert and Build Authority & Influence - Ep #41
    Wed, Sep 14, 2016


    No, everyone is NOT an expert at something (that's good news for you and me!).

    Seth Godin ruined the Internet. Of course, I say that in the most sarcastic way, because I'm one of Seth's biggest fans. I've bought and read every single one of his books - and most of the ones I bought were real paperback books, not just some Kindle download. And he wrote a book called "Everyone's An Expert" - and he released it as a PDF. If you go to the show notes for this episode - at subscribeme.fm/41/ , you'll be able to download the PDF there.

    I always say this in a sarcastic way - "Yeah, right, everyone's an expert". We know that most people trying to make a buck online certainly seem to think that they're an expert. That's exactly why every other person on Facebook claims to be an expert about membership sites, or a lifecoach, a business coach, or a funnel expert. Anyway, that was my "glass half full" sarcastic twin. You know, I'm a Gemini.

    Now let me bring out the "Glass is half full", optimistic, inspiring twin. So here's how to be an expert --- and more importantly, Position Yourself as an Expert in other people's eyes, in my eyes: It's very simple... Ready for the million-dollar one-liner? Here it is...

  • HBO, Netflix, Stranger Things in Content Licensing Ep #40
    Thu, Sep 01, 2016


    HBO, Netflix, licensing more than just content, and the Publisher or Marketplace Model.

    One of the most famous content licensing example is HBO, or Home Box Office, and over time, others like Showtime and Netflix have also joined this category.

    For a long time, these companies were just paying a licensing fees for movies and tv shows and documentaries produced by other people. For eg., HBO pays the producers of a movie a bunch of money which gives them the rights to play that movie on their platform for a certain duration of time. So, previously, they would just pay some cash upfront, and then HBO got it back from their millions of paying members who subscribe to their channel via their cable network. And then, at one point, HBO figured out that it has the cash to create it's own content. So it started producing its own TV shows.

    And last year, HBO launched HBOnow and HBOgo, which offer the content direct to consumers via their own web site. And that's how I myself watch HBO - watch it entirely through their web site hbonow.com. And my Apple TV also has an app for that.

    How did they get me to subscribe? Because I wanted to watch Game of Thrones. What does all of this have to do with your online business, your membership site or online course?

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Licensing Content For Your Membership Site or Online Course - Part 6, Ep #39
    Wed, Aug 24, 2016


    Basically, with content licensing, you pay your content partners a fee for the right to use their content on your web site, and have your members benefit from it. The payment itself can be structured in many ways, and it doesn't always have to be a cash payment: 1) You pay for the content upfront and purchase it outright, 2) You pay a small royalty on every sale, on every new membership sign up. 3) Which is basically a combination of the two, which is cash PLUS royalty... you pay a little bit upfront, and then continue to pay a small royalty per sale. If you see some of the most aggressive offers on the TV show Shark Tank, you'll see that the sharks want their money back and also a royalty. You can see this with some of the bigger movie stars, where they get a paycheck for the movie, as well as royalties. Like the recently released Deadpool movie, starring Ryan Reynolds. So that's cash PLUS royalties. And finally, the last type... #4) You pay in kind - like a barter.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • Psychology of a Rabid Fan - Ep #38
    Mon, Aug 15, 2016


    I want to tell you a true story, that delves into the psychology of a rabid fan, and how you can use those insights to create better content and better offers for your membership site or online course.

    In case you don't know, Ventriloquism is where someone has a puppet - or a dummy - on their lap or on a stand next to them, they talk without moving their lips, they make the dummy's mouth move, and through a combination of a funny script, good comedic timing, and decent lips-not-moving skills, it makes it look like it's actually the dummy that's speaking. Obviously, everyone knows it's not the dummy that is speaking, so it's critical that you have a funny script and a good sense of timing, and you can make people easily suspend reality, and actually start to look at the dummy entirely when you are speaking.

    Back in 2006-2007, when I was still renting DVD's from a video store called "Blockbuster" - remember those days? Yeah, barely a few years before that I used to rent cassette tapes! Oh my god. VCR. There's something I never thought I would hear again, and worse yet, hear myself uttering those 3 letters! If you're too young to know what a VCR is, I'm hoping you're old enough to know how to Google stuff! So Google it!

    Anyway, back then, I watched a movie called Dummy, starring Adrian Brody. It's about this really introverted, unemployed, depressed guy, who has major social issues. And one day he discovers that he has a knack for ventriloquism. It's a really cute, feel-good movie. And at the end of the movie, as part of the DVD extras, they show the ventriloquist who helped Adrian Brody with the vent skills and the dummy scenes and the dummy humor and stuff. Turns out, the guy is the world famous ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham. And he goes on to show behind the scenes with the dummy, and even gives a quick ventriloquism tutorial on how to pronounce words without moving your lips, timing, the script etc. That's it - I... was... hooked.

    Listen to the episode for the rest of the story.

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • The Power of User-Generated Content - Part 5, Ep #37
    Sat, Aug 06, 2016


    When I say "User" in this context, it means users of your product or service. Your members, your community, your subscribers. Forums and Discussion groups are a great way to get your members communicating with each other, creating great discussion threads and contributing great online content that search engines love, and can bring you a lot of organic traffic, even if they are sometimes of the long-tail variety. Facebook groups are easily one of the most popular forms of online forums today, for connecting and networking with others in your niche. But online forums have been around forever, starting with the now-extinct eGroups which became so big and so popular, that it was bought by Yahoo and renamed to Yahoo Groups - this was in the late 90's. In the online marketing space, there are popular forums like WarriorForum.com, DigitalPoint Forums and Sitepoint Forums. And there are several “answers” forums like Quora.com and Yahoo Answers. And I am willing to bet, that you have probably run into a forum answer at some point when searching for information on Google. It happens to me all the time, where a top 2 or 3 search result is from an online forum of some sort. That's how powerful the SEO potential is with forums. But there's more to User-generated content than just Forums and Discussion groups. UGC can be applied in many facets of your online business.

    (listen to the show for the rest) Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • The Oprah Model of Generating Content - Part 4, Ep #36
    Wed, Jul 13, 2016


    This is part 4 of the series, 6 Ways To Create Content for Your Membership Site - where I talk about The Oprah method of creating content for your blog, your online course or your podcast and even your webinars and seminars.

    #4) The Winfrey Way - a.k.a the Oprah Model of generating content for your web site. This is one of the oldest, time-tested ways of generating content: Which is to invite Guests who create the content FOR you. I call this the "Oprah Model". Oprah Winfrey became one of the world’s richest self-made women, a billionaire, the most influential talk show host, an author, philanthropist, actress and media personality – all by doing what? By interviewing other people!

    Think about that for a second: Of all the athletes, actors, authors, scientists, medical professionals, entertainers, business icons and celebrities who she interviewed on her show – would you EVER consider Oprah an expert in any of those subjects at all? Was she as good at any sport as all those athletes who came on her show? Was she as good a writer as those authors who she interviewed? In fact, she created more best-selling authors than anyone else in this world! But would you consider her any expert in any of the topics on which her guests spoke? Of course not - SHE was interviewing THEM. So hang with me for a minute here...

    I'm going to make 2 points here, as to why this Interview model is both good and bad. The good first.

    (listen to the show for the rest)

    Listen online at http://SubscribeMe.fm/

  • How To Screw Your Customers - And How Not To - Part 3, Ep #35
    Fri, Jul 01, 2016


    In last week's episode, I said that some of the best membership sites I’ve been a member of, offer content in multiple formats. And one of my pet peeves, is when I see someone wanting to prevent their members from downloading their content. They don't want their members to download videos, don't want to download audio, not even PDF reports, because they don't want anyone to quote unquote "steal" their content. You're probably not one of them, because you're smart enough to be listening to this show. But if you know of someone who comes from such a dark place of mental scarcity and deprivation, and are the complete opposite of being generous, and they are actually afraid of being generous, then I have some words of advice for them. (listen to the episode for the full scoop)

  • Repurposing Content - Part 2 - Ep #34
    Sat, Jun 25, 2016


    Some of the best membership sites I’ve been a member of, offer content in multiple formats. The first thing you have to accept - is that recycled or re-purposed content is NOT low quality content. It's mostly a psychological barrier that you have to overcome. And remember, your followers are not following you on every channel. So re-purposing can be HUGE when it comes to content marketing as well, and not just for membership content. Let me give you my own example of content re-purposing... (listen to the episode for the full story) But that also brings us to what I call the Gary Vee Conundrum. So let's take a single module from an online video course that has the video itself on a page, along with links to the audio version as well as a transcription in PDF format, on the same page. Some members like watching videos, others prefer skimming through a written article or PDF and highlighting or making notes of parts that they find important. And there will be others (like me) who prefer to listen to audio while out on a run, or while doing household chores (suddenly, doing the dishes ain’t so bad no more!). Re-purposing content can add great value to your existing members, because they can choose what format to consume the content in. So let's say you're good at writing. let’s start with a blog post. (listen to the episode for the full story)

  • 6 Ways To Create Content for Your Membership Site - Part 1 - Ep #33
    Thu, Jun 16, 2016


    In today's episode, I talk about 6 different ways to create content for your membership site

    This is THE podcast to listen to, to learn about creating membership sites & online courses, making, marketing and monetizing digital content, WordPress, eCommerce, digital marketing, and tools, techniques and tips that you can use to create a long term, profitable online business.

    I'm your host Ravi Jayagopal. I am the co-founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, a leading membership plugin in the industry, fondly known as DAP. And you can fondly call me RSSKisser. No, wait, I don't think you heard that right - let me slow that down for you... I said you can call me RSS Kisser. Know why? Because I just launched a new web site called http://KissMyRSS.com, which is a free online service that helps podcasters get new listeners. I will talk about this more later in the show, including what RSS means, but for now, check out the site at KissMyRSS.com and during this launch, you can get 500 FREE new listeners for your Podcast - actually, scratch that - it's not just for podcasts - it can be for any Audio that you own. So whether it is for an episode of your podcast, or any audio you have created, say, maybe a single module from one of your audio courses - and you can put it in front of a new audience, people that may have never found you otherwise. So check it out at http://KissMyRSS.com.

    Listen to the full episode #33 at http://SubscribeMe.fm for the rest.

  • 8 Life-Changing Gifts To Buy Yourself - For My Birthday - Ep #32
    Thu, May 26, 2016


    We gonna party like, it's my birthday, sippin' on Baccardi like it's my birthday....

    Well, I don't drink rum any more - I'm a bourbon guy. So I will be sippin' on bourbon, because it IS my birthday on May 26th!

    And for MY birthday, I want YOU to buy one of these really cool gifts for yourself - because I have bought all of them for myself... cuz I'm worth it!

    Ready? Let's go... And please note - these are in no particular order...

    8 Life-Changing Gift Ideas For You - For My Birthday...

    ( Listen to the show at http://SubscribeMe.fm )

  • How To Get Audio & Video Feedback and Testimonials from your Audience - Ep #31
    Tue, May 17, 2016


    How To Get Audio & Video Feedback and Testimonials from your Audience

    If you want your web site visitors or your members to leave you audio or video feedback, whether it is to give you a testimonial, or ask a question, or offer a review, or just about any kind of feedback, then for a very long time, there have been only a few good options.

    Option #1) A very popular service that a lot of podcasters use, is called Speakpipe. I've heard the audio feedback left by listeners of a few podcasts I listen to, so I know the service itself works great, otherwise so many people wouldn't be using it. But I've personally never left feedback for anyone using this service, even though I wanted to at times even to just connect with the podcaster and thank them for the value I just got from their show, but I couldn't do it because the big issue with speakpipe, especially if you're on a mobile device, is that when you visit a podcaster's web site, and you click on the speakpipe image to leave audio feedback, then you're first asked to download their mobile app first. And without downloading and installing their app, you cannot leave audio feedback for the site owner.

    Now, I don't know about you, but in this day and age of awesome UI and UX - ux stands for user experience, and UI stands for user interface - asking someone to download an app just so that you can do one little thing on a web site, that too an app that I may never need again, something I have no use for, doesn't add any value to my life, and all this so that I can do something that is actually more useful to the site owner? That's just plain archaic thinking - and just outright annoying. That would be like you coming to my web site, and you want to contact me, and when you click on the contact-us link, you are asked to download a piece of software first befor you can use the contact us form, and you were trying to ask me a pre-sales question about my product or service. Would you bother downloading a special app for that? You probably wouldn't. And even if you were a glutton for punishment, I can't imagine too many people doing that for MY benefit as the site owner. So I wouldn't use speakpipe unless they fixed this issue.

    Plus, as far as I know, speakpipe just offers audio feedback.

    What if someone also wanted to leave you video feedback? Or, maybe you want both audio and video, so you could take the video part of their feedback and use it in your content marketing, like in your youtube channel? And you can use the audio, on your podcast?

    I guess you could use an app like SnapChat, and tell your users to snap you. Now, full disclosure: I have never used SnapChat even though I did sign up for an account after listening to Gary Vee hyperventilate over it over and over again. But I've never really actually used it, but I've heard that you can send someone a private video snap. But I mean, are you really going to ask people who are right there on your web site, to go and download snapchat, sign up for an account, teach them how to use the app, offer a tutorial on how to send you a video snap? I'm sure one day in the future - maybe a couple of years from now, everyone is on snapchat and this won't be an issue. But that day is not today. So apps like snapchat are not an option when it comes to your web site visitors leaving you audio or video feedback.

    Option #2) I guess your youtube channel could be a great place for people to leave you video feedback, but you would first need to send them offsite, away from your web site, to your youtube channel, they would have to log in to youtube first, and they can't upload a video to your channel - they would have to respond to one of your existing videos. And all of that doesn't work if you just want a easy and convenient way for your audience and your customers to simply go to your web site, click a button and leave you video or audio feedback right from that page. I can't believe youtube doesn't provide an easy widget that you can embed into your web site to collect video feedback that is just uploaded automatically to your channel. And I also can't believe that Facebook doesn't offer a way to upload a video as a response to someone else's comments. If you see someone's post on Facebook, you can respond with text, links and even images, but not video. And I actually find that shocking.

    Anyway, that brings us to Option #3. When I was getting ready to launch this podcast back in September 2015, I found this amazing free WordPress plugin that does this really well. And this is the best option available on the market. And it's crazy to think that it's actually free! Listen to the episode for more details.

  • 3 Must-Have Tools for WordPress & Online Security - Ep #30
    Mon, May 09, 2016


    3 must-have tools that you absolutely need, to help secure yourself, as well your web site.

    TIP #1) What is the first WordPress plugin I install on every new WordPress site I create? Nope, it's not DAP. It's Wordfence. It's the #1 security plugin for WordPress, and I will not do anything with a new WordPress installation, until I've installed this plugin. And the makers of the WordFence plugin have discovered a vulnerability in the Ninja Forms WordPress plugin. So if you're using Ninja Forms, make sure you upgrade to the latest version. Takes just 1 click to do from the WordPress plugins section of your site.

    And if you are not using Ninja Forms, then you should consider switching to it, as it's a fantastic contact-us form plugin, with a lots of features like support for the new captcha from Google, auto responses, storing the emails online in the plugin's settings, just in case you don't get the actual email delivered, and so on. I have the link to the WordFence security article in the shownotes at subscribeme.fm/30/

    And then they also found a vulnerability in Yoast SEO. That needs to be updated as well.

    I'll have links to all the relevant articles in the shownotes at http://SubscribeMe.fm/30/

    TIP #2) And do you know what is the 2nd plugin I install on every new WordPress site I create? Nope, it's still not DAP. It is iThemes Security. Formerly known as WP Security.

    And there are a few features that both of them have, so you have to be careful not to turn those features on in both plugins at the same time.

    So here are some of the easiest ways to protect your WordPress installation:

    * Be alerted when an unauthorized user tries to log in to your web site: Like someone trying to log in as admin, or trying to use a username that doesn't exist, from an IP address that's not authorized, etc.
    * You can lock down the admin part of WordPress so that only certain authorized IP addresses can log in as admin
    * You can change the location of the WordPress admin login page to a secret page
    * Scan WordPress files - like plugin files and theme files - against the WordPress repository to see if anyone of them have been modified, because that's one of the easiest ways your site can become the target of a phishing scheme
    * Scan file contents for backdoors, trojans and suspicious code
    * Scan posts and comments for known dangerous URLs and suspicious content
    * Scan files outside your WordPress installatio
    * Lock out after how X number of login failures or remind-password attempts
    * Block IP's that access URLs that no one is supposed to access - like certain internal URL's
    * Hide the WordPress version
    * Change location of the WordPress admin login page
    * If you have the default username of "admin", then you can change it to something else with a couple of clicks
    * Change your WordPress database prefix - which is good to prevent an automated database hack-attack, especially if you have used an automated installer to install WordPress - these installers are usually provided by most hosting companies, and the default settings they use are not very secure.

    So there's a whole bunch of settings that these two plugins provide - WordFence and iThemes Security. And I'm in the process of creating a video that shows the entire set up.

    And then, there's one CRITICAL CRITICAL line of code that you need to add to your .htaccess file on your web site - this one is so critical, that without having this line, our web site DigitalAccessPass.com got hacked a couple of times a few years ago. BUT... if you want to know what that one line of code is, all I ask from you, is that you join my list, by going to subscribeme.fm, and wait a few seconds, you'll get a popup, enter your email there, and you'll be on my list. And I'll be emailing this one SUPER CRITICAL line, to you. And you must then add it to your web site right away. No charge. Totally free. Just join my list by going to subscribeme.fm. That's it!

    TIP #3) You should IMMEDIATELY change your password to all your webmail accounts - like Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail and your bank's web site.

    For 2 reasons.

    First one is that a guy named Alex Holden, who is the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, discovered that hundreds of millions of web mail accounts were recently hacked, and the hacker is selling these off online. Link in the shownotes at http://SubscribeMe.fm/30/

    TIP #4) Use a browser tool called LastPass. There are a few similar ones - like 1Password and Roboform. If you already use one, then that's awesome. But if you don't, then it's really important that you use one - and I personally use LastPass. It's a free online service that stores your passwords in the cloud. Now, before you freak out, remember that all of your passwords are one-way encrypted with super-strong encryption, and the key to opening this encryption, is stored on your computer. So every time you ask their system for a password, this secret key stored on your computer is required before your information can be unencrypted. So even if their service gets hacked, the passwords they get will all be worthless without your secret key. There's a lot more to this, but explaining the technology is beyond the scope of this podcast. So just go with my recommendation - use LastPass. Do not store passwords in your browser. LastPass is available as a plugin for Chrome and Firefox and Safari. So even if you're switching browsers or using multiple browsers on your computer, like I do, then LastPass will help you secure and remember all of your logins and passwords for all of your web sites. One of the biggest issues I see when I do 1-on-1 coaching and membership site set up calls with DAP customers, is a lot of them will spend a whole bunch of time looking for logins and passwords. It is amazing how much time people waste trying to find their log in information for various web sites - like Paypal, Stripe, ClickBank, Aweber, multiple WordPress sites, Godaddy, web hosting control panel, and on and on and on. And using LastPass, you can share passwords securely with other people on your team, like your business partners, virtual assistants, developers and designers. And you never have to send such information by skype or email or any other insecure method. You just share a password from your vault with another LastPass user, and that's it. They get it through the cloud. Super simple, and secure. And the cool thing is, LastPass also has a location to store secure text information. So if you have other secure information that you would normally write on a piece of paper and keep in your bedroom locker, now you can securely keep it in your LastPass account, and now all your kids and spouse and lawyer needs, is the secret key to your LastPass account. That's it! Just one password to remember for all the important people in your life, just in case, you know.

    So get LastPass, and you will save a CRAZY amount of time, effort and frustration by using LastPass. And no, I'm not affiliated with LastPass and I don't get a single penny from recommending them. Same thing goes for WordFence and iThemes security.

    So those are the 3 major security tools that I highly recommend you install and use right away: WordFence and iThemes Security for your WordPress sites, and LastPass. And don't forget to change the passwords to every single online service - especially because May 5th was world password day, and it was created to remind us that passwords to mission critical services must be changed every now and then.

    And don't forget that one last piece of security super tip that I haven't given to you yet - you can get it simply by signing up for my list, at subscribeme.fm.

    Until the next time, here's a quick tip of the day: If you're using Chrome, search for Lastpass, and download the Chrome plugin. And set it up today, and every time going forward, every web site you visit and log in to, LassPass will ask you if you want to store the login information. Just keep saying yes, and you'll never ever use paper, or fumble and stumble for passwords ever again.

    Friends don't let friends go without telling them about SubscribeMe.fm. So please let a friend know about this security episode - the link you can share, is http://SubscribeMe.fm/30/ .

  • Coaching Portal, Credit Store, Offline product - Membership Models Part 4 - Ep #29
    Mon, May 02, 2016


    Membership Model #6: Coaching Portal:
    In this model, you sell coaching and consulting: When it comes to a membership plugin like DAP, even a service is basically created as a “Product”. So just like you would sell a digital report, or a software program, a service is sold the same way: Create a Product, give it a price, and use the membership plugin to configure what content they get if they buy your “Service”, and that’s it.

    Now, with a service, you don’t always HAVE to provide an online member’s area, because you may be delivering the actual service offline – like SEO or Web Design services, Accounting services, Lawn Maintenance services, etc.

    However, it can be very useful to create at least a couple of member pages where they can log in and see a summary of what they purchased, change their Profile information (like name, and email and password). And any supporting worksheets and documents that you create during consultation, can be added to this member's area, so that the member can log in later and download meeting notes, or special documents you created for them. It doesn't even have to be custom stuff - even the standard documents and videos and follow-up lessons and refresher videos can all be added to the member's area.

    If you have a service that requires them to schedule a 1-on-1 call with you, then you can embed an online calendar from a service like Calendly.com - which is what I use myself to schedule interviews for my podcast, even though I've brought on only one guest so far), and then there are other services like ScheduleOnce.com , doodle.com/meetme or SimplyBook.me

    And after you embed it on a page, you can then protect that page with DAP, and now only members can book an appointment with you for a private coaching call.

    Or if you are doing group coaching, you can embed a Google Hangouts video or a Webinar Registration form on a DAP-protected page and allow only certain types of members to sign up for the webinar.

    Membership Model #7. Credit Store: Credits & Rewards
    Imagine you’re at a restaurant, ready to order food. And you tell the waiter, “I would like to start with some ice-cream“. The waiter looks at you squarely, and says “I’m sorry, but you must first order something to drink, then eat the salad, then the entree, and only then can you order dessert“! Not cool, right?

    So, back in 2008, when I had just launched DAP, I had a customer give me this idea. She wanted to be able to offer points to her members, which they could redeem for stuff she was selling. And that gave birth to what I called the Self-Service Store or SSS. And then we totally abandoned it for a while. Then fast-forward a few years later, Veena took it up again, completely re-imagined and re-developed it from scratch, and create what has been a game-changing plugin, and she gave it the name Credit Store.

    I talked in detail about this in 2 of my past episodes: Episode 12, which was titled "E12: To Drip or Not To Drip Content: That Is The Question". And episode 13, which was titled " Why You Should NOT Drip Content In Your Membership Site Or Online Course". Check out both of those episodes at http://subscribeme.fm/12/ and http://subscribeme.fm/13/ .

    Finally...

    Membership model #8: Online Billing for an Offline Service
    You may have an entirely offline service – like web design, accounting, or even lawn maintenance! You can accept payments one-time or on a monthly basis for your service. You can optionally add an online member’s area and give them some online tips, send service and billing reminders, etc. It can be online billing for a purely offline service. You can use DAP for such offline services as well. You would basically set up the buy button in such a way that it simply logs them into a one- or two-page member’s area, where you can address them by name, thank them for their purchase, and show them next-steps and explain how the service will be delivered.

    You can also add an “Online Report” for an “Offline Product” – for example, if you are selling a Blender, then you can deliver a “How to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Months By Juicing” report, and deliver it to them securely online via the member’s area. You can add videos and audio to the member’s area showing how to use the blender, give them recipes, have videos that show how to create different types of juices with the blender, etc.

    Ok, that brings us to the last segment of this show:

    Tool of the day:
    One of my favorite tools is Wunderlist. It is absolutely the best to-do list-creation tool there is. It works on your phone, on your desktop, and tablet. So I'll be going for a run with my dog Vanilla, and I'll suddenly get this content idea. And I'll just quickly pull out my phone, fire up Wunderlist, and there, I have many lists created - podcast episode, facebook post, blog post, grocery list, marketing ideas, etc. If it's a podcast episode idea, then I'll click on the podcast list, and start typing the idea. I can even click on a microphone icon, and start dictating, and Wunderlist is smart enough to transcribe it as I'm dictating. Super, super awesome app. One of my favorite tools that I couldn't live without.

    If I have added any kind of value to your life, have helped you in any way shape or form, and if you appreciate the content in this podcast, then I would really appreciate it if you would head over to my site http://SubscribeMe.fm, and sign up for my list, for free! because that helps me know who you are, and it helps me put a name to the anonymous listener that you are right now. And when you sign up, you can also find out how you can get a free copy of my book, Subscribe Me: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Online Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses and Subscriptions.

    And there's a lot more cool stuff coming in future episodes, so please subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher. Go to http://SubscribeMe.fm and you'll see all of the links there.

    Thanks again for listening to my show. I really, really appreciate your time. Until the next time, here's a quick tip of the day: Download Wunderlist right now - right after you finish listening to this episode, and create 5 top-level lists - like Member content, Podcast, Blog, Facebook, Groceries. And you'll figure out the rest from there.

    Until the next time, cheers!

  • Magazine Subscription Model - Membership Models Part 3 - SubscribeMe.fm - Ep #28
    Mon, Apr 25, 2016


    In the last 2 episodes, I talked about Membership models 1 through 4. So if you didn't hear part 1 or part 2, I recommend that you start with those first. You can go to subscribeme.fm/26/ the number 26, and subscribeme.fm/27/ to hear Part 1 & 2. In fact, just go to the main site - subscribeme.fm and you'll see a big beautiful podcast player with the full playlist of all past episodes. And this beautiful podcast player is powered by CoolCastPlayer.com, officially the prettiest podcast player on the planet.

    Membership Model #54. Magazine Model

    This is one of the most interesting membership models, and back in 2009, I gave it this name because back in the day, like Dave Jackson from schoolofpodcasting would say, we used to get people asking how they can set up content access similar to a real-world magazine subscription. So if you are old enough to have ever subscribed to physical magazines - I say that because the funny thing is, I don't know if my kids have ever seen a magazine in my house - well, we did buy a sports illustrated a few years ago when Lebron James won his first championship. And then the People issue with Steve Jobs on the cover when he passed away - Rest in peace, Steve!

    I remember, as a kid, I used to wait every week for this magazine delivery guy, who charged a fixed fee every month - I think it was like 20 rupees or something - which in today's exchange rate would be 30 cents. He brought this massive travel bag full of magazines, and you could pick out any 5 you wanted. And you could keep any of them for as long as you wanted, but you could only ever check out 5 magazines. So if you returned 5 magazines, you could pick out 5 more. If you kept 2 and returned 3, then you could pick out 3 new ones for the week. Ring a bell? That's actually how the DVD portion of Netflix works. The crazy thing is, while I'm talking about outdated paper magazines, even DVD subscriptions are well on their way to becoming extinct! So, with Netflix, you can check out a maximum of 3 or 4 DVD's, depending on which plan you are on. And then when you return one, you get the next one in your queue automatically mailed to you.

    So I was thinking about this guy in India, this was back in the early 80's. He had a couple of these gym duffel bags, and he hung them from the handlebars of his bicycle, he wore slippers, his bicycle was all beat up and his clothes had seen better days. And YET, he had the entrepreneurial mindset and the passion and the determination to sign up for a bunch of magazine subscriptions himself, and then he basically lent them out to others. Sure, it would be a gross copyright violation today - you can't buy a DVD for personal use and then turn around and lend it to someone else for money. So just put that aside for a second, and you'll realize what an impressive thing this guy did. So I guess that was probably my earliest recollection of a membership model. I was really inspired by this man when I remembered him when writing notes for today's episode, and I hope it inspires you too.

    Think about how a real world magazine subscription works: You subscribe to a magazine - let's use the example of the famous "Star" magazine, which, by the way, my wife Veena used to love to read many years ago. So once you subscribe to a physical magazine, you get a new edition mailed to you every week. And if you cancel your subscription, you will not get any newer editions, but you can keep the ones you already got in the mail, because obviously, you've already paid for those. And most importantly, you only get access to the magazine editions from the time you subscribe, and if you wanted older editions from the archives from before you subscribed, then you have to buy them separately. So in the early years of DAP, one of the requests we got was to be able to duplicate this content model, where you deliver digital content as if it were a monthly magazine. Only those who are currently subscribed during a month, get access to that month?s content, and keep access to that content going forward. So, for example... (listen to the show for the rest)

    Shownotes at http://SubscribeMe.fm/28/

  • Automated Lifetime Recurring Subscriptions - Membership Models Part 2 - Ep #27
    Mon, Apr 18, 2016


    Membership Model #4. Recurring Subscriptions with Lifetime Recurring.

    Basically, they pay until they cancel. It's obviously easy to do this if it's a SaaS product - SaaS is the acronym SAAS - which stands for Software As A Service. Like Leadpages, or Dropbox. Even at DigitalAccessPass.com, we offer a pseudo-SAAS model. DAP is basically a WordPress plugin that you install on your own site, but we packaged a lot of things into a saas like offering, where you get DAP, you get set up help, ongoing monthly support, a whole bunch of plugins from WickedCoolPlugins.com, and we made it a monthly subscription. So in this model, you get the benefits for as long as you pay. And when you stop paying, you lose all of the benefits. Like your gym membership. Or phone service.

    Now, you might wonder, what if you have a regular online course? How to make it a perpetual subscription? That's where positioning and packaging comes into the picture. Of course, not all membership sites are created equally, and not all digital content can be charged for every month. If you're selling an ebook, for example, then.... obviously you are not going to be able to charge $10 a month - or even 1 dollar a month, that too as an ongoing subscription for life. So with a life-time recurring subscription, your mindset as a site owner, has to shift a little bit.

    So instead of thinking, how can I charge every month for my ebook and a couple of videos, you have to think from another perspective: The question you should be asking, is what all can I package together, and how can I position the offer in order to make this membership site worth $10 a month? Now, I don't want to get into pricing yet, because that's a huge topic and I will certainly talk about it in a different episode. But for the purposes of today's discussion, let's say you already know whether you want to do a $10 a month subscription, or $50 a month, or $100 a month. Let's stick with $10 a month. So you should take careful inventory of everything you have ever created - whether it is an article you wrote, an email autoresponder series, any tweets you sent out, any content marketing you did, and make a list of every little thing you have in your content library right now, then to that list, add a comprehensive list of things you have the capability of creating in the future. In a future episode, I'll also get into how you can get your content from third-party sources, other than yourself. And you need to think about everything you can package in order to make your membership a complete no-brainer for the $10 a month that you're planning on charging.

    In the beginning, you may look at your ebook, or the few videos of your course, and wonder how the heck you're going to be able to charge $10 a month for something so little. Don't necessarily go by the volume of the content. It's always the quality of the content, and the value it provides to your members. Remember, the bigger the benefit to your audience, the larger the value, the bigger the subscription fee you can charge. So even if you start with a basic 7 video course about, say, piano for beginners, you can identify the life-cycle of a piano student, all of their wants and needs as a beginner and as they start getting better, getting more advanced, and you can create courses appropriate for their advancing skills over time. Don't forget to check out episodes 24 and 25 where I talk about how to brainstorm content-creation ideas, whether it is for content for your membership site, or content that you can use for marketing. You can find those episodes at SubscribeMe.fm/24 and SubscribeMe.fm/25.

    So that's membership model #4: Recurring Subscriptions with Automated Lifetime Recurring

  • Membership Models - Part 1 - Ep #26
    Mon, Apr 04, 2016


    Welcome to episode #25 of the SubscribeMe show from SubscribeMe.fm.

    I'm your host Ravi Jayagopal. This is THE podcast to listen to, if you want to learn about creating digital content, marketing it, selling it, and then delivering it.

    I am the co-founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, easily the best membership plugin in the industry, fondly known as DAP.

    Membership sites aren't just for subscriptions that charge you month after month for life, until you cancel. That's just ONE way to create a membership. And membership sites aren't just for protecting content for ongoing members. There are essentially 9 different ways to add a membership component to your web site, and I'm going to discuss all 9 of them in this multi-part series. And today's episode is part 1 of this series. So be sure to check out the next couple of episodes as well, for the full story.

    Here are 3 (of 9) ways in which you can monetize your content:
    Membership model #1.    One-time Products with Lifetime Access
    Membership model #2.    One-time Products with Fixed-term Access, like say 1 month, or 1 year of access, with Renewal
    Membership model #3.    Recurring Subscriptions with a Fixed-term

    So let's dive right in to Membership Models...

    Membership Model #1: One-time Products with Lifetime Access
    In this, you create a one-time product where your buyer or member pays you just ONE TIME and gets life-time access to the content. They are never charged again for updates, so make sure you’re not giving away lifetime access to something that needs a lot of updates and support. For e.g., a lot of plugin developers get overambitious or desperate, depending on how you look it, and in order to start getting an immediate flow of sales, they over-commit on things like “Lifetime Updates” or “Lifetime Support” – sometimes, both!

    It is incredibly hard to continuously develop software for many months, leave alone many years. And then, if everyone is paying you just once, and you still have to continue updating the software, introducing new features, making bug-fixes and then also support them via email or support tickets for as long as they continue to use your software, and you're never ever going to get paid EVER again, that's a really tough proposition. And that's why you'll see a lot of software products that haven't priced themselves correctly, go out of business every single year. WordPress plugin developers for the internet marketing community, are notorious for over-promising, under-delivering, and then just disappearing from the face of the internet.

    But if your product is not a software product, and instead, is a digital information product, then it is easy to update your posts or pages or PDF reports over time without much effort. And information products don’t require much support in general - compared to software or services of course.

    So this model lends itself very well to “How-to” courses and training programs and reports and tutorials.

    It gives your buyers a sense of satisfaction that they don’t have to keep paying for updates, and it also doesn’t create too much overhead for you in terms of updates or support.

    But still, buy once and get lifetime access is still a bit scary for a lot of people. Which is where, this second model comes in.

    #2. One-time Products.. BUT with Fixed-term Access and Renewal

    In this, you create your one-time product with a fixed-term access - like access for 30 days, or 365 days, anything but NOT lifetime. And then, at the end of this fixed term, access to the content will...

    (a) Automatically expire and they have to manually pay a renewal fee to get further access to another extended period of time, or

    (b) Access to the content they already purchased never expires, but they don’t get access to future updates unless they renew.

    We've used this model with selling DAP itself. So you can purchase a 1site or a multi-site license of DAP, and you get 1 year of upgrades and support - the 1 year is the fixed term here. And then at the end of the 1 year, you can still continue using the version of DAP you already downloaded and installed, but you cannot get future upgrades and support, unless you renew for a fee. Now, in the case of DAP, renewal is much less than buying a new copy of DAP. So there's a built-in discount for renewals. You could do the same thing. Renewal is a fraction of the new product. So depending on how much work it is for you to create new versions of the product, or keep updating this existing product, you could charge anywhere from 33% to 75% of the cost as renewal. That way, they get a discount for renewal, and don't have to purchase it all over again, and you get a returning customer who is a lot easier to sell to, than finding a brand new customer.

    Membership model #3. Recurring Subscriptions with a Fixed-term
    With this, you are actually creating a recurring subscription product – but one that has a fixed-term of recurring payments – like it ends after 3 payments, or ends after 6 payments, or 12 payments. Basically, the payments stop after a set number of payments.

    You could also call this a Payment Plan or an Installment Plan.

    You could give two pricing options for the same product – the first one is a 1-time payment for lifetime or fixed-term access – for say 97 dollars. And the second option is, you offer a payment-plan for the exact same product in the form of “3 Payments of $37 each”. And because it is a payment plan, you can charge a little bit more in total.

    So if they took the one-time option, they would pay 97 dollars. Or if they took the payment plan, they pay $37 x 3 = $111 - which is basically 14 dollars more in total - compared to the one-time price of 97 dollars.

    In fact, you should intentionally make the sum-total of your monthly payments a bit more than the single-payment option, and this can help push your potential buyer towards the single-pay option when you explicitly tell them that “Save $14 when you take our Single-pay option”. Obviously, the more the savings on the single-pay option, the more easily you can make your single-pay option look better.

    But sometimes, for big-ticket items – like say a $2000 product, it may actually be beneficial to keep the sum-total of the payment plan close enough to the one-time option. Like in this case, it could be “One payment of $2000, or 3 payments of $697.” The difference between multi-pay and single-pay is $91. The difference is not too little, and they can still consider the one-time option. And it’s not too big, so they don’t pay too big of a penalty for taking the payment plan.

    Check out Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, a book about how we all make irrational decisions in a very predictable manner. In the book, he talks about many pricing-related experiments he conducted, with some very interesting conclusions about how people think.

    A couple of things to note about this fixed-term continuity program:
    a) You can charge the exact same amount each month - on Auto-Charge, or
    b) You can charge a different amount the first month - and label it a trial, which is then followed by same amount being charged on the subsequent months - again, all on Auto-charge

    So those were 3 of the 9 types of membership models. So what are membership models 4 through 9? You're going to have to come back for the next episode for that one.

    The show notes for this episode is available at subscribeme.fm/26/ . And when you get there, you'll see a beautiful online player with a large play button ON THE LEFT, which is key, because otherwise it will look like a banner ad or a header graphic. That's where, you will be able to play the episode directly from the web site, thanks to my podcast player plugin, called CoolCastPlayer. It is without a doubt the Prettiest Podcast Player on the Planet. It plays podcasts as well as regular MP3 files. And a super cool feature it has, is the ability to embed that player on a different web site. So this is going to be awesome if you have guests on your podcast, and you can simply send them a piece of code so that they can embed your interview on their web site. So check it out at CoolCastPlayer.com.

    Don't forget to join other SubscribeMe listeners and a network of folks all interested in the same thing: Membership sites and online courses. Join the group by going to subscribeme.fm/group/ and that will take you to my Facebook group.

    Thanks again for listening. I'll talk to you soon. Cheers!

  • "Dream Book" TOC Content Marketing - Ep #25
    Fri, Mar 25, 2016


    In today's episode, I give you a detailed example of how I have used my TOC Technique myself to create a book, a podcast, and how you too can churn out blog posts and social posts at will and enter any group or community and add value right away, without being spammy.

    So in the last episode, I introduced you to my "TOC Technique", where TOC stands for TOC, as in, Table of Contents. If you haven't listened to that one, then you should listen to episode #24 first, if not, this episode may not make much sense. So go to subscribeme.fm/24 to listen to the last one first, then continue with this one.

    In today's episode, I'm going to give you some real-world examples so that you can get an idea of how powerful this technique is for churning out content at will, never getting writer's block ever again, never having to wonder what to blog about or how to do come up with content for your content marketing.

    All of this starts by creating what I call your "Dream Book TOC". So you need to create the table of contents of what you would consider your "dream" book. And this dream book toc, will not only help with content creation and content marketing, but it will actually help you research your niche even BEFORE you ever get started.

    And we're not talking about the monetizability - I'm not referring to the ability to monetize a market, but your ability to figure out the depth of YOUR OWN expertise in a market. If you can come up with the table of contents for a dream book in a niche, and you look at that entire TOC, and you look at each chapter and sub-chapter, and you go "Oh my god, I have no idea what any of that stuff is, and I don't have any clue how I'm going to even BEGIN to attempt writing this book", then you know right away that this is not the right market for you. Now, we're not talking about you partnering or hiring an expert in that niche and having them create the content. We're not going that far yet. I'm assuming you're a small business owner, an independent freelancer, and you're trying to carve out a name for yourself in your niche. So I'm going to assume that you're going to want to do this stuff yourself.

    So if your dream book TOC scares you, then that's a HUGE warning sign that you're headed in the wrong direction, and this niche is not for you.

    HOWEVER... if you look at your dream book, and it makes you go "Hell yeah, I can churn out content for this stuff day and night. I can write about these chapters, I can blog about these, I can do a podcast about this, all day every day. And when I do a podcast about this, I know so much about this stuff that I don't need to bring on experts and do interview guests to create the content. I can just pick any topic, fire up my mike and recording software, and I can start dishing and deep diving into these topics all day, ever day!'

    See where I'm going with this? Yes, that's how I feel about my own expertise - which is all things membership sites, online courses, digital content delivery, and so on.

    So let's say you were in my same niche, here's how you can go about creating your dream book toc.

  • Content Creation & Repurposing - TOC Technique - Ep #24
    Fri, Mar 18, 2016


    The "TOC Technique" will help you become a master at creating content for your membership site, for your online course, youtube marketing videos, writing sales copy, writing books, creating a product, writing Facebook posts and Tweets.

    And when I say "TOC", I mean T.O.C, as in Table of Contents.

    The show notes for this episode is available at http://subscribeme.fm/24/ . And that's where, you will be able to play the episode directly from the web site, thanks to my podcast player plugin, called CoolCastPlayer. It is without a doubt the Prettiest Podcast Player on the Planet. It plays podcasts as well as regular MP3 files. So check it out at CoolCastPlayer.com.

    Alright, let's jump right in...

    So what is this TOC technique and why is it such a big deal?

    I came up with this idea a few years ago, but had never given it a proper name that is easy to understand and implement, until recently.

    Back in 2007, I published my first book, called "No Business Like E-Business", which at the time, went on to become a category best seller, which was a pretty big deal for me, because it was a physical book, and I had no list back then. Well, I did have a small list, but I never promoted this book to that list. Never even told anyone other than a few of my close friends and relatives. So the fact that it become a category best seller, was incredibly gratifying.

    It initially took me an year to write most of it, then life happened, I took a couple of years break, then when I got back to it, from that point, it then took me another couple of years to rewrite it pretty much entirely. So roughly, it took me about 3 years to complete the book, writing at most a couple of pages a day, sometimes nothing at all for days and weeks together.

    At the time, I had a lot of things going on. I had a full-time job, I had my PHP scripts web site, mywebmasterinabox.com, which is now defunct by the way, but you can still see what it looked like back then, as it's still online. My son had just been born, my wife had taken an extended leave of absence from her job, I was the sole earner, I was in a really, REALLY bad situation at my job, with an insanely angry and verbally and mentally abusive boss, I could not leave my job because I had to keep a job to keep my green card application going, it was a complete mess. Those few years were probably the darkest years of my life, and if not for my sweetheart, my wife Veena and my precious kids, I don't know if I would be here today. It was that bad.

    And during this whole time, I was working in New York city. I would commute to the city by train every day. And at the time, I had a company provided laptop, which has some amazing stories attached to it, that I'll talk about in a future episode. So I had this laptop, but I didn't have a wifi card - don't know why. Never even thought about it. But that was the best thing that happened to me - that I didn't have wi-fi on the train. So I used to open up Microsoft word, and write my book.

    Initially, I started writing the book sequentially. Acknowledgement, Introduction, Chapter 1, then Chapter 2, etc. But this sequential process started burning me out pretty quickly. There were some things I just had no mood to write about. You know, stuff you know in your head, but you know it's going to take you hours and hours to put it into words, and some of these were boring topics to me. It's like trying to teach a rank newbie some new skill. You just wish they would get it already, right?

    So that's when, I said to myself, I'm going to start writing the entire table of contents first. Start to finish. I'm going to think of all the questions that someone new to an online business would ask, and then create the most exciting titles for the chapters and sub-chapters, and someone should simply look at the titles and get excited about buying this book.

    So I sat down and created what I felt at the time, would be an amazing set of chapters and sub-chapters, which would cover everything someone needed to know about creating an ebusiness.

    And once I had completed the TOC - as in TOC , as in table-of-contents, then every time I opened my laptop, I would just scan the titles and sub-titles, and I would just pick one that interested me at that moment, and I would dive right into that section, ignoring all other parts of the book.

    This is how film-making is done as well. They don't shoot the first scene of the movie first, and second scene of the movie next. The scenes are shot in a completely random order, depending on availability of the actors, location, etc.

    So I started writing my book in this controlled-chaos. And that's when I made the most progress.

    So I would choose any topic that I felt like writing about that day, and then if I wasn't able to complete that chapter, or felt that I needed to revisit and change or add more, then I would simply type in the letters "XXXX". So that way, I could come back at a different time, and just search for the word XXXX, and I could keep jumping to every section that I had left unfinished, and could either go on to finish one of them, or get started on a new one. I gave myself the permission to be free and chaotic and random and write in any way I felt inspired to. And I did the exact same thing when I recently published my latest book, "Subscribe Me". I started with the TOC - the table of contents.

    And this technique is so powerful, that it can be used for brainstorming and creating so many other things.

    In fact, this is a more powerful version of a mindmap in many ways.

    I've used this technique to write documentation for DigitalAccessPass.com, map out an email series, series of blog posts, series of FB posts, etc.

    So let me quickly give you a couple of examples:

    I've already told you how you can use it to write your book, really fast.

    For the rest, listen to the episode at http://SubscribeMe.fm/24/

  • Video Hosting For Your Membership Site - Ep #23
    Fri, Mar 11, 2016


    Let's talk about the types of videos there are:

    #1: Sales page videos
    #2: Content Marketing videos
    #3: Native videos on Facebook & Twitter
    #4: Documentation and Tutorial videos
    #5: Members-only, private videos that are reserved just for members who have registered for free, or have paid for your online course

    For Sales page videos, content-marketing videos & tutorial videos that you post on your own blog, or for posting on online forums, and any public-facing videos that you are ok with people sharing with one another, or you actually WANT people to share it, use YouTube for all of those videos. Many years ago, in the early years of Youtube, for a while, it wasn't considered cool or professional to put a youtube video on your home page. And all that was before youtube became the 2nd largest search engine, after.... you guessed it, Google.com. Millions of people start their search on youtube, especially for do-it-yourself stuff, tutorials, product reviews. And for your video to rank high on youtube, say, when someone searches for "how to potty train a puppy", and you have an online course about puppy potty training, then you want your videos to come up high in the search results. And one of the factors that can help your video rankings, is the number of video views, among many other things. And the fastest way to rack up video views for your main sales videos and other documentation and tutorial videos, is to upload them all to youtube, then take the embed code for those videos and put them on your web site on your home page, in your documentation section, when you do content marketing on your own blog, and so on. So for all public-facing videos that do not need to be protected, use youtube. That will help your videos rank better not only on youtube, but also on Google.com searches, when google will sometimes show videos from youtube among the search results. So it helps your overall SEO efforst, where SEO stands for search engine optimization.

    Next, if you have private members-only videos, then do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT host them on Youtube.

    Now there's a common misconception that your videos are secure if you make them "Private" youtube - what that means is, there's a setting in youtube that will allow you to make the video private. And private videos will not show up in searches, in side-bars or in recommended videos that show up right after a video has finished playing on youtube. So just because it doesn't show up anywhere, doesn't mean it is fully protected from prying eyes. If you make your youtube video private, and then embed that video in your member's area, then once someone gets to that page, and sees that it's a youtube video, they will be able to click on the Youtube logo, and get directly to that video on youtube.com.

    And they can now share your quote unquote private video link with just about anyone on the web, or send the link by email, or post it on Facebook, and suddenly, your private members-only video is now public and out in the open.

    Next you might think... what if I used a video plugin that will hide the youtube logo from the video? You could, I guess. But that would be a violation of youtube's terms of service, and could get your account banned. So don't do that.

    So for private videos that you want to publish in the member's area, and make it available to only your members, make sure they cannot pass around your link, you have 2 options:

    Option 1: Amazon S3. S3 is fantastic for hosting private videos, and I have also developed a plugin called S3MediaVault.com, which will help you secure your S3 videos, and embed them in your member's area in such a way that it is secure, and cannot be viewed or shared outside of your web site. You should check out my last episode - at subscribeme.fm/22/ , where I talk a lot about Amazon S3, which is a super-cheap and fast option for hosting your media files.

    Option #2: Vimeo.com. Now, Vimeo is just like youtube in that, people can upload their videos, there's a common directory to search for and watch videos, it's social in nature, and so on. And vimeo also has a way to make your video private, which means your video will not show anywhere on vimeo.com or in recommended videos at the end of other people's videos. However, the one big difference between vimeo and youtube's private feature, is that vimeo has a setting where you can tell vimeo, allow this video to ONLY be embedded and played on www.mywebsite.com. It's called "whitelisting" - so this is the same thing that my plugin S3MediaVault does for S3. It whitelists your domain, so that your video can only play from your web site. One drawback of Vimeo.com is that even if you store your private videos on Vimeo and embed the private video code securely on your site, there’s still the question of other file formats – like audio, PDF, zip, doc, images, etc, none of which vimeo supports. So even if you use Vimeo for videos, you still need a solution for the other file formats, and I recommend Amazon S3 + S3MediaVault.com for that.

    Now, once you've ensured that your video can ONLY be played on your web site, then you now have to make sure that ONLY a certain group of people - like your registered free members, or your paid buyers, or your monthly subscribers - can even get to that page that has this private video. And that's where you need a membership plugin, like DigitalAccessPass.com.

    So 2 levels of protection: 1) Make sure your video only plays from www.yoursite.com, and 2) make sure only authorized members or buyers can get to that page.

    If you use Vimeo for this, then you need to sign up for their "Pro" package, because that's the one that has the whitelisting feature. And pro costs 199 dollars per year. So it's not really cheap. But  the advantage of Vimeo is that you can customize your player colors to match your web site look & feel, and you can get some video analytics. And you won't pay more than 199 a year, whether you have 10 view or 1 million views on your videos.

    So, to summarize: For public videos and videos that you would like to encourage sharing and liking and commenting, use Youtube videos. And for private members-only videos, you can use Amazon S3 and a plugin like S3MediaVault, or you can use Vimeo.com. And for protecting all NON-video files, you should absolutely use Amazon S3.

    Before you go... let me give you a REALLY sweet deal here, for my podcast player plugin, CoolCastPlayer.com. If you purchase a copy of CoolCastPlayer, then respond to the welcome email you get right after the purchase, and let me know that you are a listener of this show. And I'll give you free unlimited-site license of the S3MediaVault.com plugin for free. That's a 97 dollar value, and you can get it for free. S3MediaVault is a plugin that can protect your PDF, Audio, Video and other files stored in your Amazon S3 account. And S3MediaVault also comes with a built-in audio player and a video player, so you can embed secure audio and secure video on your web site, and make it available for members only or buyers only. So get a free copy of S3MediaVault with your purchase of CoolCastPlayer, but you must take action before Monday, March 14th. You can also contact me via the contact-us link at subscribeme.fm.

    So thank you for listening to my show. I know you have a lot of choices in podcasts these days, and I'm super thrilled and appreciative, that you chose to listen to my show. That means a lot to me. Stay subscribed to this show, and I'll do my darnedest best to bring you great content every week.

    Cheers and talk to you soon.

  • Audio, PDF & Media Hosting For Your Membership Site - Ep #22
    Fri, Mar 04, 2016


    Most membership sites, will have a need to protect the following types of media: Video, Audio, PDF, Zip, Word Docs - well, don't use word unless you have to, because not everyone would have word installed, but you get the idea. Different types of files need to be protected. But for the most part, we're talking about video, audio and PDF reports.

    If these files are stored right on your web site, AND if you have a bunch of these files that are also big in size - like over 10 MB, for eg., then a lot of your members viewing and downloading them from your site simultaneously will use up a lot of resources on your server – when I say resources, I mean server memory, server speed, server bandwidth, etc – basically your site can get overloaded. Which means your site could slow down considerably.

    Have you heard of the "Digg Effect" or "Slashdot Effect"? Many years ago, there used to be a social bookmark sharing site called Digg.com. If you have heard of Reddit.com, then Digg and Reddit were competitors. Big time traffic on both sites. Digg just slowly went away. But getting your site's URL on the front page of Digg, meant that you could end up getting tens of thousands of visitors in a very short time period. And that usually crashed most WordPress sites that were on shared hosting. Which is why WordPress unfortunately got a bad rap years ago. And things have changed a lot since then, and there are tools you can use today to make sure your site can withstand a sudden influx of traffic.

    But I'm not talking about just site visitors. I'm talking about a large number of your visitors and paying members, downloading PDF's, watching video, listening to audio, and if all of those files are stored on your site, then your site could end up becoming super slow, and then might eventually even crash. And your host will have to restart your server, and then the whole thing could happen all over again.

    On top of that, there are also bandwidth charges that your host will charge you with for all of those downloads, which are usually not very cheap.

    Don’t put too much faith in your web host’s “Unlimited Bandwidth” clause, because if you read the fine-print carefully, you’ll see that as per their TOS, if you consume large amounts of bandwidth and use too much of the server resources, this could cause other web sites (belonging to others) on the same server to slow down and have a degrade in performance, especially if you are on a shared hosting account.

    And your host could consider this as abuse of their terms of service, and they could either slap you with huge bandwidth or server utilization fees, or ask you to upgrade to a more expensive hosting package, or may even ask you to take your web site elsewhere because you’re causing issues for other site owners on the same server.

    Instead, if your media files are stored on Amazon S3.... (listen to the episode for the rest)

  • 3 Biggest Podcasting Myths Busted - Ep #21
    Fri, Feb 26, 2016


    I am so pumped up today, because I just soft-launched my new plugin. It is the prettiest podcast player on the planet, and along with celebrating its beta launch, I'm going to tell you about the biggest lessons I have learned from publishing 21 episodes of this podcast.

    Let me tell you about my new podcast player plugin, and why it's different from anything else you've ever seen before.

    It's called CoolCastPlayer, and you can see it in action at CoolCastPlayer.com

    When I first launched my podcast back in September 2015, and wanted to publish my podcast feed and the episodes on my web site at SubscribeMe.fm, I quickly found out there's a huge need for a really good podcast player. Most of the players I came across were downright UGLY - and that's capital U, capital G, capital L and capital Y. UGLY as hell.

    And there was just one decent looking podcast player out there, but it did not have some key features that I wanted. But the design of the player was not very good, in that, it wasn't obvious that it was even a player. I went to the web sites of several big-name podcasters who were using that plugin, and I was actively looking to see how they were using it, and I skipped over the player many many times, because it looked like a banner ad. It did not even look like a player - just a colorful banner.

    And my biggest mindset that has helped me, and also hurt me, over the years, is that when I find a plugin or tool that I want to use in my business, and I find that the best of them have glaring holes in how they're designed or developed, then my mind starts spinning, and I start to wonder how I can create something better, and something that fits the needs of the market a lot better.

    And that's what led to me developing CoolCastPlayer. I will go into the full list of features later in this show, but for now, let me tell you that other than being optimally designed to get your web site visitor to both notice your player and click play on your podast episode, the biggest feature by far, is the "Embed" feature. I call it, "Install Once, Embed Anywhere". And I'll explain this in a second, as I get into my podcast myths-busted list.

    So let's go: 3 Biggest Podcasting Myths Busted:

    #1. The hardest thing for a podcaster, is the marketing of your podcast and getting new people to listen to your show. If someone tells you all you need to do get some traction is to get into iTunes' New and Noteworthy, then just laugh out loud and run away. My show stayed at the top of New & Noteworthy for my category, for an entire month. It was in the top 3 for most of the time, and moved between #5 and #10 for the remaining 8 weeks that your show gets on New & Noteworthy. It did diddly squat for me. And if you listen to the biggest podcasting veterans out there, you will hear them all say the same thing. New & Noteworthy does very, VERY little for your show. And focusing your efforts on that, is, like Dave Jackson of SchoolOfPodcasting says, trading a dollar for a dime. Complete waste of your time.

    #2. Do not launch with 3 episodes. Or with 5. Or with 8. When someone subscribes to your show on their iPhone or on their desktop using iTunes, then iTunes will ONLY download the latest episode. So DO NOT be fooled into thinking that if you launch with 8 episodes, then a new subscriber will result in 8 episodes. It won't. A new subscriber will only result in 1 download. And that is your latest episode. To hear the remaining 7 episodes, they would have to manually click on the little "Cloud" icon, and click "Download" in order to listen to your past episodes. So, when you launch with 8, you would have to make sure your 8th episode is pretty dang great, because that's the first one they're going to listen to. And as a new podcaster, if you launch with 8 episodes, your 8th episode is guaranteed to NOT be your best one, because guess what? You followed bad advice, and you created all episodes together, in the span of a few days, before you ever launched your show. Which means, you haven't heard your own episodes enough, you haven't gotten any feedback from your listeners, you haven't gotten the momentum of having been in the game for enough time, you haven't been able to learn from your mistakes, and you haven't been able to tone down your mistakes and amplify the best parts. Launching with 8 episodes is like, let's say you want to learn tennis. You can't schedule 8 tennis lessons on the same day. Just because you play 8 times in one day doesn't mean you're going to get better. You need practice. You need to go out and practice serving, and volleying. You need to watch film. You need to get in a few games with other people. You can NOT speed up the process. Whether it is having an entire day's meal all together in one sitting and starving the rest of the day, or trying to go out on 8 dates with the same girl on the same day, there are no shortcuts. When it comes to learning and honing your craft, or building relationships - which is what podcasting really is - building a relationship with your audience - you simply cannot fast forward through it like you would fast forward through a commercial.

    I will be getting into all of this in a new online course that I'm putting together, and that course is actually going to be free as a launch-special bonus when you purchase CoolCastPlayer during the beta launch.

    So if you shouldn't launch with 8 episodes, then what do you do? Simple. Launch with just 1 episode. What this allows you to do, is it lets you put your best foot forward, and focus ALL of your energy, ALL of your time and effort... and marketing on getting that ONE single episode out there, and getting the maximum number of people to listen to this one episode.

    Then let it sit for at a week. At least. THEN, go ahead and launch the 2nd one after a week. By this time, you would have gotten feedback about the 1st one, from your peers, from your friends... and your social network and your email list. And you get to hear your own voice and your own show multiple times. And the more you listen to it, even though you may initially hate your voice, you will get over it quickly, and you'll get some ideas as to what's going to work and what needs to be cut out of the show. That will help you improve your 2nd episode. Then a few days later, take the experience of producing your 1st and 2nd shows, and use THAT to produce your 3rd episode. And the biggest advantage of this staggered release of episodes, means that your show is getting better with each episode. And now, because you're picking up new subscribers with each episode, what that means is that each time you release a new episode, iTunes will automatically download your latest episode on the phones and devices of ALL of your current subscribers. So you hit publish on your latest episode, and a couple of hours later, you can see that you've gotten 300 new downloads. Now THAT is super exciting and can be really invigorating and inspiring for any podcaster. So launching with more episodes does not mean more downloads at launch. Your latest episode will get the most downloads, and then from there, the drop off is really huge. Even now, when I launch a new episode, let's say in the first few hours, my latest episodes gets 100 downloads. Then one of my older episodes - usually the previous one, will get about 20 downloads. That's like a 80% drop. And then the next highest one will be like 7 downloads. And it usually trickles all the way to my old downloads to just 1 or 2 new downloads. That's how big the drop-off is between the latest episode and the next highest one.

    But here's a really cool idea for you. Wait till you get to about 4 episodes in about 4 weeks. And now, you have a full month of podcasting experience behind you. You have asked for - and gotten a lot of feedback. You have learned about your own voice, the way you speak, what works, what gets your audience involved and excited, and so on.

    NOW is the time to drop the hammer. Over the next 15 days, launch 5 new episodes. Never launch them all together. Launch 1 new episode every few days. And for month 2, that will help you tremendously in exponentially increasing your downloads, because remember, when you stagger the episodes, then you will get WAYY more downloads, than if you launched them all together. So the increased downloads will help your show rise in iTunes' overall rankings, and the momentum will help you take it to the next level.

    What is that next level, is entirely up to you. But this little strategy will help you 10 times more than the bad advice out there.

    Finally, #3: It is a complete waste of time, money and effort if you are promoting the direct link to your show on iTunes or Stitcher. It is the biggest wasted call to action. iTunes is the hardest thing to navigate for those who are new to podcasts. The goal of promoting your podcast should be to get them to your web site and listen to your podcast episode, in the fastest way possible. I call this "2-Click Play". The first click brings them to your web site. The 2nd click should be on your Play button. There is simply no faster or more efficient way to get someone to listen to your podcast episode, than putting a online audio player on your web site. So the first click is your audience or your friends or your social network, clicking on a link in your email, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Give a sneak-peek about the content of your episode, and they click on a link that brings them to your web site. When they arrive there, they should be greeted by a podcast player that looks really good, looks like an audio player, with a nice, large play button that is just begging to be clicked on. And the 2nd click is on that play button, and a few seconds later, they're off and away, listening to your show. And if they like it, you tell them on the show where to go to subscribe. And of course, you have a couple of beautiful buttons right below the player that tells them where to go to subscribe to your show. THAT is how you get the fullest bang for your podcast marketing bucks, and that's how you get more people in the door to listen to your show, so that they can decide whether or not it is for them. And that is how you grow your audience, and not by sending them directly itunes where most normal people who are not already podcast listeners, will completely get lost. 2-Click play.

    I will get into more myth-busting tips about podcasting, in future episodes.

    Now, let me quickly tell you a few of the awesome features included in CoolCastPlayer.com, which I'm now officially calling the Prettiest Podcast Player on the planet. To see it in action, go to CoolCastPlayer.com, and you'll see both the episode player and the feed player demos.

    Here are some of its features...

    #1: It can play MP3 files hosted anywhere... like Libsyn, SoundCloud, Podbean, your own WordPress site, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, PowerPress, BluBrry, etc.

    #2 It has an "Embed" feature. This allows your guests who you interviewed, and your web site visitors, simply grab a small piece of code from your web site, and then insert the episode - or even the entire feed - on their web site. This is similar to how you can grab the embed code of a youtube video and put it on a different web site. And if you remember, youtube grew big-time because of this viral feature. So allowing others to embed your show on their web site, will give your show a viral marketing aspect.

    Plus there's a whole bunch of other features: Like it's a WordPress plugin that is super easy to install, AND very intuitive to set up. Mobile Responsive: So it will look equally stunning on all screens.

    It works with PowerPress. It has social buttons and custom buttons to put below the player, it has a download icon and speed-it-up icon right on the player. You can fully customize the player colors to match your show's artwork or your web site colors.

    Plenty more features. Check it all out at CoolCastPlayer.com .

    Until the next time... if you have a podcast, don't promote your iTunes or Stitcher links. Bring them back to your web site, because there are plenty of reasons why you should do that, and I will talk about all of them in a later episode.

    Cheers!

  • Binge-Marketing & D-List Superstars: How to find marketing partners & affiliates - Ep #20
    Fri, Feb 19, 2016


    This episode is going to focus on how you you should focus on finding the D-list Super stars in your niche.

    These are the people who will have the inclination to help you. They too have something to prove, they're equally hungry and excited to work with other d-listers, they'll be more open to doing a mutually beneficial joint venture with you. They will be more willing to promote your product as an affiliate, write an article recommending you, interview you on their podcast. So many ways in which these kind folks can help you.

    And no, I'm not talking about doing a stupid email swap or an ad swap or a link swap. I'm talking about finding influencers who are ready and willing to help you, AND can make an impact on your business. But for this whole thing to work, here are the main ingredients you absolutely must have in place first.

    Let's say you are getting ready to launch a new online course about horse riding. Here's the new media way of finding your super star partners.

    #1) Let's start with the obvious: You must have a great product. Now I'm using the name "Product" to loosely refer to anything physical, or digital, or a service. So starting with a great product goes without saying. Whether you are launching a membership site, a Kindle book, a WordPress plugin, or a SaaS app - by the way, Saas - S A A S stands for software as a service. A lot of people put the cart before the horse, and forget that they need to first create something remarkable.

    I'm not saying you have to have this massive product all polished and completed. There's something to be said for launching a minimum viable product - or MVP. And the cool thing is, that with digital products, you can easily update it and add more to it over time, whether it is a kindle book - which you can easily update, and simply upload a new version with new chapters or edits of typos, you can keep adding content to your Kindle book with absolutely no hassle. With software, like a plugin, or a mobile App, or a Saas app, you can easily publish an update, a new "release", with new features and bug fixes. Even a product like the iPhone, can release updates to its operating system without having to touch the hardware. If you remember, people made a big deal about the original iphone saying it didn't have copy/paste functionality. One software update later, that feature was included. And Apple did not have to recall a single iphone in order to add that feature. So yes, the #1 thing is to start with a great product, even if it is a minium viable version.

    2) Go to Facebook.com. Search for "horse riding group". Quickly join the top 5, do a quick scan, eliminate the ones that don't have much engagement, and ones that have too much spam and blatant promotion. Check if they allow new-member introductions. If they do, then make a post introducing yourself, give a quick elevator pitch about what you do, include a link back to your web site, and most importantly, say something like, "I'm excited to join this amazing group. I'm ready to contribute here and help others. I want to give more than I ask. So if you have any questions at all about horses and horse riding, then feel free to ask me below, or message me directly." See how that didn't sound like I'm quoting from my sales page or my resume? So just keep it classy, really low-key. I can't stress that enough. If at any time you feel that you might be doing something pushy or pitchy, then hold back. Don't worry about giving out too much content and wasting time. Trust me, you're better off wasting time by offering free content and helping others, than watching viral videos and looking at everybody else's life in pictures. It's about dang time you spent every spare minute you have building your own business.

    Once this is done, now start listening, reading, observering. Start answering questions from others who you think you can help. Contribute to discussions and arguments. Feel free to take sides, but don't belittle anyone or trash someone's view point. Just state in a very clear way why you're taking one side of the argument, without involving emotion or making it personal. You can still have strong opinions and express them without trashing someone else's opinions.

    Now comes absolutely, THE most important part: Every time someone engages with you, likes your content, responds to your posts, participates in a discussion thread along with you, add them as a friend. Don't go and start adding everyone in the group as a friend. That's key. Do it ONLY with someone who has engaged with you, or who you have engaged with, by commenting on their thread or answering their question or offering feedback.

    If you do this for even just a week in 2-3 different groups, you can easily make 30 to 50 new really good contacts.

    3) Next, contact the group owners themselves, build a relationship with them. Offer them feedback about the group, not in patronizing way, but in a complimentary way. Offer them a free membership to your horse riding course. Tell them there's absolutely no obligation. They never have to pay for it. If they love it, and if they have the time, you would really appreciate it if they can give you a testimonial that you can proudly display on your web site, with their signature, mentioning their web site, or the Facebook Group URL, or whatever they want. So the positioning of this offer is important. You're not being pushy. You're saying, IF they love it, IF they have the time, IF they would be kind enough to give you a review, you will proudly display it on your page.

    #4) Go to the big content directories: iTunes, Youtube, LinkedIn. Find the top 10 people in each category who are providing a lot of value, creating great content, and are really cool to their audience. Contact them directly. You might not get much traction with the top few people, but that's ok. The goal here is to focus on the long-tail, the C and D-listers. Spend some time consuming their content. This is absolutely critical. If you shoot them an email right off the bat saying you want them to promote your product, you are almost never going to hear back from them. Instead, subscribe to those podcasts and youtube channels. Consume their content. Become a fan. Of course, if their content sucks, move on to the next person in the list. You don't have to listen to crappy shows. But the good ones? Listen, and become a fan. And find an interesting thing that you can say to them, that only a fan would say. For instance, I was a fan of Jon Nastor from Hack The Entrepreneur. And in one of his other shows, the Show Runner show, his co-host calls Jon Nastor the defender of humanity. So many months later, completely unrelated, when I was launching my own podcast, I wrote to Jon with the subject "O Defender of Humanity" and I wrote a really cool email to him, because I was a fan, and what I wrote was super genuine, and absolutely nothing pitchy or promotional. I built a relationship with him by exchanging a couple of emails, offering him some feedback, and finally, one day, I told him, oh, by the way, if you ever want to interview the coolest geek on the planet, then I would be super thrilled and honored to come on his show. I even referenced what I meant by me being the coolest geek on the planet. If you go to Google right now, and search for the keywords "coolest geek on the planet", you'll see that my web site shows up at the top. So I was a fan, I gave him feedback, I genuinely appreciated him, and actually communicated with him like a cool human being. He loved the idea, and I ended up as a guest on one of the hottest entrepreneur interview shows on iTunes.

    So yes, you have GOT to put some time into becoming a fan, and building a relationship with your potential partners. You've got to woo them. It goes back to the often used example in dating. You can't ask a girl to marry you on the first date. And in this day of social media, where it's super easy to reach out to someone, and equally easy to be a douchebag and piss someone off by being pitchy and pushy, it is very important that you understand how to approach super starts and future partners. Remember, nothing, and I mean NOTHING gets a person more excited than hearing from a genuine fan tell them how much they love their stuff. And if it is genuine, and true, they'll feel it, and you'll hit it off instantly.

    Think all of this is a bit too time consuming? Heck yeah, it is. In the beginning, you probably have more time than money. So go ahead and spend all of your time and effort on this. Stop watching Netflix for a month. No big deal. I know Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for his line "Stop watching effin "Lost". Sorry, Gary, I said that way before you did. I was telling this to my friends in 2000, back then, of course, I was telling them, Stop watching effin Friends! Because friends was the big & famous show back then. So yeah. People binge-eat, bing-watch Netflix, binge-play video games, we binge on every darn useless thing in this world.

    So the next time you're on Facebook, and you see an exciting article or a video, click on that little downward "V" icon next to that post, and save it for later. Trust me, this one tip alone will make you 5 times more productive on Facebook.

    So how about you spend the next 1 week binge-buildig relationships? How about you do binge-marketing?

    This topic will be continued in the next episode.

    Yaro Starak, one of the leading lifestyle entrepreneurs in the world, from Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, said this about my book at SubscribeMeBook.com:

    Ravi's book rams home a very important message: It's much smarter to get paid more than once for making one sale, and one of the best ways to do this online is to sell membership products. Read this book and your eyes will open to some incredible opportunities to make money online.

    So check out my book at SubscribeMeBook.com. It is a culmination of 18 years of my life making and marketing digital products, starting with selling a physical book back in 1998.

    Until the next time, don't forget to do some bingeing that will actually help you take your business to the next level.

    Cheers!

  • Why Most Entrepreneurs Will Fail - And How To Get The Most Out Of A Conference - Ep #19
    Fri, Feb 12, 2016


    My wife Veena and I spent the last 3 days at one of the biggest internet marketing conferences in North America, called Traffic & Conversion, put on by Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher and the awesome team at Digital Marketer.

    It was really good. 3 days of non-stop sessions and talks. Of course, Veena and I, because we live in San Diego, just had to drive like 1/2 hour to get to the hotel where the seminar was being held. And on the 2nd day, we even took off early, came back home, watched most of a basketball game between Lebron James's Cleveland Cavaliers, and Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers. And then we went back to an awesome party later in the evening, which I'll tell you all about in a minute here.

    So here are some of my thoughts and ideas about the event itself, as well as my spiel on how to do an internet marketing conference well.

    #1) It was very telling that a room with seating for 500 was jam packed for a session about how someone is killing it with Periscope. And in the very next rook, it was mostly crickets where someone was talking about Podcast monetization. Now, I know for a fact that most people with podcasts aren't making money. In fact, out of the few thousand shows that are launched each month, most of them will not get past episode 10, most won't ever grow their audience, they won't get traction, the host will eventually lose interest or get discouraged that no one's listening or just find the next shiny new thing, and they will all eventually "podfade" - that's the term used to describe podcasts that just fade slowly over time. So why were there more people in the Periscope session than a Podcast session? Isn't that amazing? That just tells me that most people still don't get it, that Podcasts are the single greatest medium for establishing authority, proving your expertise, building really deep connections with your audience, because you are literally inside their head while they're listening to you, they cannot fast forward, they are the most attentive because they're probably multi-tasking as they walking the dog or do the dishes or laundry or clean the house or going out on a run - by the way, those are the times I listen to podcasts as well. Recently I was at the dentist, for a cleaning session that lasted more than an hour. And I had to do that twice in a week. And my dentist has a very posh set up - they have a TV screen on the ceiling, so you can be lying down, getting your teeth drilled into, and watch Ellen Degenres at the same time. But guess what I did instead? I asked them to turn off the TV, I put on my behind-the-ear bluetooth headphones and listened to podcasts the entire time. Alex Blumberg from Startup and Sarah Keonig from Serial were inside my head the whole time. Some of the people whose fan I've become lately, are all podcasters whose shows I regularly listen to - like James Schramko from superfastbusiness, or Dave Jackson from school of podcasting, or Daniel J Lewis from theaudacitytopodcast.

    Podcasting is such an intimate, personal platform, that it just blew my mind to see just a fraction of the audience for a podcasting session compared to a session about Periscope. You know why? Periscope is the shiny new thing that everyone's and their dog is creating content with. And at the end of the day, do you know what is the same ol same ol problem that everyone's going to have on Periscope? It's building an audience. Doesn't matter what platform you are on. The platform can only go so far in helping you get some free traffic. Whether it is blogging on Medium, or getting your show on New & Noteworthy on iTunes (Dave Jackson, if you're listening, I just threw up in my mouth just a little bit). Whether is is creating videos on youtube or scoping on Periscope or Blabbing on blab, the age-old problem that will haunt 99% of the content creators, is that they will not find an audience, they won't be able to grow an audience, they won't be able to get traction, they won't be able to monetize it. And then they'll simply move on to the next new shiny thing.

    And those who stay, pick maybe just a couple of platforms, and go really really deep into it, and figure out how to reach more people, keep more people, provide tons of value and also figure out how to influence that audience to go do whatever it is that you want them to do - whether it is to inspire people or educate or entertain or sell books or sell ads, those are the people who will go on to win, regardless of the platform. And whichever platform you go to, it's the same case - it's the 1%ers versus the 99%ers.

    #2) So I did start by going to the Podcast session first. But the speaker was such a deadbeat, he was from a podcast monetization company - I won't name any names here. But he just absolutely killed it - as in, not in a good way. He was actually killing the audience with boredome. He was speaking on a low, monotonous tone, had the abolutely worst slides I have ever seen, with horribly lazy images that looked like he probably spent no more than 1 minute finding the right image for each slide. No energy, no excitement, and the worst thing? He worked for the company that was doing the presentation that taught you how to monetize your content. See the blatant conflict of interest there? Yeah, it sucked. So Veena and I skipped out after 15 minutes, and that's how we ended up at the neighboring Periscope session. So, it's not just about getting the audience, but you have to be good enough to keep them. And this guy couldn't hold our attention because he sucked big time, and lost us very early. And it's going to happen to you too with your audience, whether you're doing a podcast, or a blab or a periscope. So focus on the hook, on the message, and delivering great content and delivering it in a really good way. The platform is secondary. And you'll be a fool if you ignored podcasting just because it's not as sexy and exciting as Periscope.

    #3) If you are going to spend time, money and effort on going to a seminar, then don't waste it all on just going to the sessions. I mean, sure, pick and choose a few, like I did with the Gary Vaynerchuk session at the end of day 1. Gary Vee absolutely rocked the place. Check out his podcast ask gary vee, and he might be an acquired taste for some, but just stick with it for a few episodes, and there's a good chance you'll become a huge fan, like me. So feel free to handpick a couple of sessions, but don't waste all of your time just shuttling from session to session. The biggest gold is out there in the hallways, running into folks, crash conversations if you have to, just don't be a jerk and start handing out your cards. Join the conversation quietly, as long as it's a large enough group, wait for someone to talk to you, just invite yourself. Don't say "Hi, I'm Ravi Jayagopal, Co-Founder & Co-Developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, one of the leading membership plugins for WordPress". Don't do that. Say something like "Hi, my name is Ravi Jayagopal". And wait for someone to ask you what you do. Then say something low-key like "I own a software business. It's called digitalaccesspass". In my case, most people would say, "Oh, DAP, I know you guys" I use DAP or I used to use DAP. And some would say Oh, so what does digitalaccesspass do? And then you give them just a little bit more. You say "it's a membership plugin for WordPress". See how I'm giving it piece by piece, and only when asked. That's the way to enter a conversation with a group of strangers and not be shunned as a jerk. So hang out outside in the halls more than the sessions. You can always pay for the recording of all the sessions. You'll anyway not be able to go to all of the breakout sessions. So if you think you want the content, then order the recordings. And focus as much as you can on networking and making connections. So in our case, Veena and I were invited to a very exclusive party of who's who, so we went home early, got refreshed and drove back for the party. And I'm telling you, it was an incredible group of people that we rubbed shoulders with. Yes, I'm going to drop some names. So sue me. Chris Farrel, Andrew Lock, E Brian Rose from JVZoo, James Dyson and team from Optimize Press, John Lee Dumas from Entreprenuronfire, Jaime Tardy from eventual millionaire, Luria Petrucci, formerly known as Cali Lewis from Geek beat TV and the Leo Laporte show, wow, it was absolutely amazing. In facdt, if you go to the show notes for this show at subscribeme.fm/19, you'll see a cool selfie of me and John Lee Dumas outside the women's restroom. No, we weren't doing anything crazy. Just figured out outside the men's room as we were leaving, that I didn't have a selfie with John. He's such an incredibly down-to-earth guy for someone who's such a big name. In fact, every single one of them there were such movers and shakers, and they were all so incredibly human and humble, that it was just mind blowing. And by the way, John Lee Dumas has also given me an amazing testimonial for my book at SubscribeMeBook.com. Here's what he said about my book:

    Ravi is one of the foremost authorities on membership sites & online courses. Every bit of his writing comes from years of selling online and helping others set up membership sites. If you want to learn from the best about recurring income and IGNITE your brand, this is THE book to read. - John Lee Dumas, EOFire.com

    Check out my book at subscribemebook.com, also on amazon - just search for subscribe me - one words or two words, and both will bring up my book towards the top.

    So that was my mini-soapbox rant about conferences and audience building and platforms.

    If you take away just one thing from this episode, then make sure to go deep, then wide. As in, go really deep into your niche, or your marketing platform, before you go wide and move to the next big shiny thing. If you get into podcasting, stick with it. If you write a Kindle book, go deep and don't just launch your book and forget about it. Promote it, get the message out. Go as a guest on other people's shows. Do your "book tour" before you fall for the shiny object syndrome. There's going to be something new everyday. Videos, youtube, kindle, podasting, blab, periscope, and snapchat - man, Gary Vee is so into snapchat, it's just crazy. There's facebook, pinterest, instagram, on and on and on. Don't get caught up with trying to be everywhere all at the same time. You can't. Nobody can. So pick one or two platforms where most of your target audience hangs out, and just go deep into it, and crush it till the cows come home.

    Thank you so much for listening to the SubscribeMe show at SubscribeMe.fm.

    And if you want to offer me any kind of feedback, or check out the John Lee Dumas selfie with me in front of the ladies room, or for to contact me, go to http://subscribeme.fm/19/

    Cheers and talk to you on the next episode.

  • Don't Go For The Blonde & The Art of Finding a JV Partner - Ep #18
    Fri, Feb 05, 2016


    In this episode, I'm going to talk about why, when it comes to finding a joint venture partner or an influencer or an affiliate to help you promote your product, you would be making a big mistake if all you did was try to go after just the biggest names in your market.


    And I'm calling this the "Don't go for the blonde" technique. Now, I mean no disrespect to brunettes, or blondes, or whatever color your hair may be. This is an equal-hair-color opportunity show. But what I'm referring to here, is a scene from the movie "A Beautiful Mind" where Russel Crowe plays famous mathematician John Nash, widely regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century, who won a shared Nobel Prize in 1994. So let me set up this clip for you...


    In this scene, Russell Crowe is setting in a coffee shop with his friends. And in walks a stunning blonde, with 4 brunette friends. And that's where Russel's character John Nash, comes up with his Nobel Prize winning theory...


    Now listen to this clip (listen to the episode)

    The idea is that if everyone went for the blonde, she would ignore all of them, because she's feeling way too important. And AFTER the rejection, if they now approached her friends, they would now be insulted that they weren't approached first, and would shun the guys as well. So he says, ignore the blonde, and go straight for the brunettes, and that way everyone goes home with a date.


    Basically, this is what tends to happen in the real world as well. I've seen a lot of newbies and inexperienced marketers, looking at the big-name marketers in their industry, and lusting after their big lists, and thinking "All I have to do is do a JV with Mr Big-name-marketer" and I'll have them blast my product to hundreds of thousands of people on their list, and I'll hit big time soon thereafter.


    Well, that's a very flawed way to look at it. And there are a number of issues with that approach...


    1) The biggest names, they might have tens or even hundreds of thousands of emails on their lists. Now, remember, in most cases, they have worked very hard to build this list, probably over many years. And most of them don't endlessly spam their lists - well, some of them certainly do, but they usually lose subscribers pretty fast. So spam karma is usually quick to take effect.


    So they have to be judicious in emailing their list with offers, as these marketers usually have their own products to promote. And then there are usually favors that they have to return - maybe a friend of theirs might have mailed their list for this person's launch, and now they have to email their list for that friend's next promotion. And then every so often, comes an insanely great product - like dropbox when it first came out, or some new shopping cart or ecommerce system or plugin - like DigitalAccessPass.com - and they are compelled to participate in it because the product itself is so new and noteworthy.


    So by the time they're done with their own products, and their returning-the-favor mailings and the occasional new kid-on-the-block mailings, they're already at risk of burning out their email lists. And they're not going to mail out for your product launch. Not unless you're launching something spectacular. It's got to be spectacular in other people's minds, not yours, because I'm sure you will always think your new book or plugin or product is always going to be spectacular.


    So if you're thinking people will email their lists on your behalf just because you came out with a new product, or just because you joined their mastermind group, or because you bought this marketer's products, or because you joined their facebook group, or because they appeared as a guest on your show, then stop. Stop right now, and don't even go there, because it's not happening.


    I'll give you a small example of my own. At DAP, we have almost 28,000 DAP users. And we have so many other lists outside of DAP. If you came to us and said that, you have, say, a new WordPress plugin launching, and you want us to promote it to our lists of tens of thousands of users, mostly buyers, which we have built with lots of hard work over the years, then guess what? It's not going to happen.


    So don't waste your time following a marketer, buying their products, their books, joining their expensive mastermind or coaching program, just BECAUSE you think they will one-day turn around and promote your product to their lists. You are in for a big disappointment if you do that. Because it just doesn't work that way, and you may not even understand the full extent of it, until you've built your own list, and only then will you realize the true value of having that list, using it more to deliver value than to sell products. And on the occasions that you do wish to promote something, you want to save that for your own products, or to return the favor of someone who has helped you, or to gain the favor of someone who might soon help you. Well, you will know that value even if you have just 100 people, know what I mean?


    And the crazy thing, do you want to know of a guaranteed way to get the attention of a big-name marketer? It is to promote THEIR product as an affiliate, sell lots of product for them, and get a big commission check. And if you sell tons and tons for them, then that's when you can expect them to reciprocate. Well, if you had that big of a list already, and had the brand and respect to get people on your list to buy stuff, why sell them other people's products? Why not save that to promote your own book, or podcast, or do a JV with someone who has an up-and-coming product and split the profits as an owner?


    Always buy, don't rent. Build YOUR business. Not someone else's.

  • Why you should NOT use a 3rd-party marketplace to host your online course - Part 2 - Ep #17
    Fri, Jan 29, 2016


    In the last episode, towards the end, I was talking about the reasons why you should NOT make a 3rd party platform like Udemy your main course delivery platform. I talked about the first 3 reasons. Now here's reason #4 why you should NOT make a 3rd party marketplace your main course delivery platform.


    They have restrictions on what kind of emails you can send to your buyers. From what I've read, most of these marketplace platforms will not allow you to send your buyers links via email that lead back to your site. You cannot send out other offers of your own or affiliate links. Your access to your buyer's list is very restricted, and your email list that you build on such a platform cannot be downloaded, imported into another system, it cannot be sold as part of your company if you end up selling your company. So this rented list is not a true asset for your business.


    Reason #5: Instead of building your own business, you are essentially building THEIR business. They are the ones really getting a paying customer. They're just paying you a small commission, for all practical purposes. They are the ones who can continue to market other courses to your buyer. For LIFE. They are building an asset off of YOUR back. It's their lifetime customer value that keeps going up, not yours.


    #6 why you should NOT make a 3rd party platform like Udemy your main course delivery platform: A lot of the stuff on Udemy is coupon-driven. Udemy frequently offers up 100 or 200 or even 300 dollar courses, for just 10 dollars. And it feels like this "buy any course for 10 bucks" promo happens like almost once every couple of weeks. Of course, as a seller, you would need to opt in for this promotion. So you basically have to tell Udemy that it's ok for them to promote your 300 dollar course for 10 dollars. And then they practically spam the heck out of all their buyers - which, remember, includes your buyers as well. I won't lie to you - I myself have purchased a couple of courses on Udemy after they dropped from a few hundred bucks to just 10 bucks. And as a seller, it's tempting to opt in to this promo, because you know Udemy is marketing the heck out of these 10 dollar courses, and you certainly don't want to be left out. But guess what? If the course sells for 10 bucks, then you're probably going to get paid 1/2 of that, because remember, it's not your promotional effort - the 10 dollar promo is their promotion. And you can't maximize the transaction by upselling them or add them to your list and market them other stuff. Guess who gets to do all of that? Udemy, of course!


    Finally, reason #7 to not use a marketplace platform to build your long-term business: They don't allow you to sell recurring subscription products. Not as far as I can tell. Just 1-time products.


    So this whole miniseries is not really about picking on Udemy. In fact, if were to ever use a third-party marketplace, I would pick udemy over all other solutions out there.


    What I'm talking about is strictly about not focusing on a third-party marketplace to build your entire membership business. Basically, I'm telling you to stop renting and buy a house. That's all. So you could technically replace everything I said about Udemy and replace it with any of the other 50 course-creation web sites that are out there. I just use Udemy in my examples beacause it is the most popular one.


    There are so many out there, that I found an article online that lists all of them. And I will link to it in my show notes.


    Some of the names are: Ruzuku, Teachable, Skillshare, Digital Chalk, Mindbites, Mindflash, WizIq and on and on and on.


    Now, let's flip the coin and see what's on the other side...


    You can use Udemy and other such online course creation platforms as a marketing tool - maybe repurpose some old content, old videos, and see if you can leverage that massive organic traffic that you can get from them. And you can try to fly under the radar and using bonus lessons and other tricks, see if you can get them over to your web site.


    If you have to tiptoe around too much, then I don't know if it's worth it. Because for all that time and effort, you would be better off creating maybe a podcast, or creating any number of courses within your own content library, where even if you sell it for 5 bucks, you get to keep the entire 5 bucks. And if you used a membership plugin like DAP, then you can make each buyer into your own affiliate, and you can offer THEM commissions to help you promote your product. Every member becomes an affiliate, they promote it, bring in more buyers, then each one of THOSE people becomes an affiliate and brings in more members, and so on. A massively viral marketing opportunity using an affiliate program. And you can use all of that to build YOUR own business, and not the business of somebody else.


    So before I conclude, let me talk about WHEN and WHY it is a great thing to use Udemy.com


    #1) Marketplaces like Udemy are great if you're just getting started, don't have an established name or brand. And you're trying to build a name for yourself. And you want maximum exposure for your brand. In that case, create a free course. And then create a more expensive course, make it worth a lot - like 100 or 300 bucks. And then participate in all of their promotions, because at this point, making money or building a successful business should not be your goal. Your goal is to get your name and your brand out there in front of as many people as you can.


    #2) Getting that kind of exposure will help you get noticed, help you build authority, if your course gets thousands of students, you can leverage that exposure into becoming a mini celebrity. Use that as a testimonial - 5,000 students on Udemy with high ratings - and you can go as a guest on other podcasts, write a book about how you created it, create an online course about how you did all of this, then use that in order to help others with their marketing, and so on. So if you don't have your own web site, then marketplaces like Udemy can be a great starting point to go where there's already traffic, and create your presence. Just like renting a store at the mall, where there are already so many buyers. Like selling on Amazon. Like putting you podcast on iTunes. Like writing a blog post on Medium.com, rather than on your own blog. So to leverage a large, built-in audience, that's where Udemy and other marketplaces are priceless. But you have to know where to draw the line when it comes to renting versus owning. And unless you bring it all back to your web site, you don't have a successful, long-term business. And you sure as heck cannot sell recurring subscriptions on most of these marketplaces.


    So remember, out of the 3 ways to host your membership site...

    1) A Self-Hosted WordPress Site


    2) A fully-hosted membership site, and


    3) A third-party marketplace like Skillshare and Udemy


    The absolute best option, in my humble yet spectacularly wise and intelligent opinion, is to have your own WordPress-based site running on your own hosting account, running a membership plugin like DAP, where you OWN and have full control over your content, your members, your affiliates, your emails, the payments... basically everything. And THAT is how you build a successful, long-term profitable online business.

  • Digital Sharecropping, 3rd-Party Marketplaces like Udemy.com - Ep #16
    Wed, Jan 20, 2016


    Hosting your membership site on a third-party marketplace - like Udemy.com and SkillShare.com


    On Udemy, it is free to create a course. And whatever price you end up charging for it, if you do the marketing and send buyers to your own course page on Udemy.com, and the visitor buys your course using a coupon that YOU have provided them with, then you keep 100% of the revenue from the sales. Of course, they deduct about 3% for processing fees, but still, that's 100% of the actual revenue.


    If Udemy sends you customers via their own marketing efforts, then they get 50% of the sale. They have other service add-ons to help you with marketing, and opting in to those would net you less on each sale, but you can reach a wider audience because of the increased exposure your course would get from Udemy’s marketing efforts.


    There are a number of other course-creation platforms, and each one has its own place in the industry. But probably the most popular one, that I myself have purchased a course from in the past, is Udemy.


    Digital Sharecropping

    Sharecropping, by definition, is "a system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on their portion of land."


    And building your business on a third-party platform, where they own the platform, they control the sales, and then they pay you a portion of the profits, is generally referred to as Digital Sharecropping.


    It can work for many businesses – like my book SubscribeMeBook.com is being sold on Amazon Kindle and will probably make the most sales on that platform. However, that doesn’t stop me from selling this book on my own web site, or through other eBook platforms. And that is why my book sales will not get entirely shut down if Amazon decides to not allow my book to be sold there. It is not the end of the world. However, if you are building your membership business on a third-party platform, and something goes wrong with your account or your product, or the platform itself shuts down or gets bought out by another company that maybe absorbs the talent and shuts the business down, then all of your content, your members, their recurring billing profiles – everything disappears overnight.


    That thought makes most membership site owners nervous, which is why a building your own self-hosted membership platform using WordPress and a membership plugin like DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), is a great idea for most people.


    All this and more in today's episode #16. Show notes available at http://SubscribeMe.fm/16/

  • Udemy vs. Self-Hosted WordPress Site vs. 3rd-Party Hosted Membership Site - Ep #15
    Fri, Jan 08, 2016


    At DigitalAccessPass.com, we recently got an email from a prospective customer, who said this, in part (paraphrasing):


    Finally, I have built a course that I will use for content, should I host it on my site, or put it on Udemy and then give free coupons to my members to take it on udemy?


    And I'm going to break up my answer into multiple episodes.


    So in today's part 1, before I can answer that question about Udemy, we first need to talk about the 3 options you have for running a membership site.


    1) Self-Hosted WordPress Site


    2) A fully-hosted membership site, and


    3) A third-party marketplace like Udemy.com


    Let's get into each of these in more detail...


    1) Self-hosted WordPress site: If you listen to Episode 3 of this podcast - this is episode 14, by the way. So the title of episode 3 was "$1.5 Billion for a Membership Site? Membership Site Dream Team" - you can listen to it at subscribeme.fm/3/ , I have talked about having your own domain, the kind of hosting you should use, and how you should have your own WordPress site, what to use for video, and so on.


    So having your own domain registered via Godaddy, your own hosting with liquid web - to support this show, please use my affiliate link , http://subscribeme.fm/liquidweb/ . Your own version of WordPress downloaded from WordPress.org and installed on your hosting account, and then using a membership plugin like DigitalAccessPass.com, now THIS... is a self-hosted WordPress membership site.


    So be sure to check out episode 3 at http://subscribeme.fm/3/


    2) A fully-hosted membership platform: The difference between self-hosted and fully hosted, means that on a fully-hosted platform, everything is stored on their servers. You can use your own domain, but the hosting, the content, the videos, the forums - all of these are hosted by someone else. Just like gmail hosts all of your own email. So these third-party platforms manage your site, the content, the security, the server updates, making backups of your content. They basically take care of all the "tech", and you just log in and create content and set up your funnels. Easier said than done. Sounds very simple, but in reality, it's not.


    Anyway, there are 3 commonly known, fully-hosted membership solutions: They are Kajabi.com, Nanacast.com and Rainmaker Platform.


    Kajabi is considered more newbie-friendly and easy to use when it comes to usability and look & feel of the web site. It is a proprietary platform where everything is hosted on their servers. Proprietary platform means, it's not running on WordPress. Which means you cannot easily extend the functionality of whatever they are offering simply by uploading a new plugin or a theme. That can be good or bad, depending on what you're looking to do with your web site.


    Nanacast is also a proprietary but more full-featured platform that comes with a lot of features, but it is generally considered complex to set up. Nanacast does offer a WordPress plugin to let you integrate your existing WordPress site with the main account on their server, but you will probably need to hire a Nanacast consultant to help you set it all up.


    Finally, Rainmaker Platform is from the team behind Copyblogger and Studiopress themes. It is all built on WordPress, but it is hosted on their servers.


    If you use Infusionsoft.com as your CRM, then you can use either Memberium.com or Infusionsoft-owned CustomerHub to integrate your membership site with Infusionsoft. DAP integrates with Infusionsoft too.


    So Kajabi, Nanacast and Rainmaker are all fully-hosted solutions, and these are a completely different animal compared to self-hosted solutions (like your own hosting account with  WordPress & DAP). And usually, such fully-hosted solutions start at about 100 dollars a month, and go up from there, depending on the number of users, and add-ons you purchase. So it could become pretty expensive over time - like 300 to 500 dollars a month. And even when you pay all that, you won't really have the full flexibility you can have with your own WordPress site.


    Here's a couple of key disadvantages of a fully-hosted membership solution:
    (check out the full episode to hear the rest...)

  • Launch One-Time Product First or a Recurring Subscription? - Ep #14
    Wed, Dec 30, 2015


    Which One Should You launch First: A One-Time Product or A Recurring Subscription?


    If you have never launched a web site before or sold anything online, especially digital products, then I would NOT recommend starting with a subscription-based product right out of the gate. And on top of that, you should DEFINITELY not start with a high-ticket 1,000 dollar product. In the beginning, you will not have the copywriting skills, the marketing skills, the positioning skills, or the product development skills, or the ability to recruit JV's and affiliates, or the savvy to put it all together. No matter what kind of a superstar you've been in your day job, you simply won't have those skills when you are first starting out with your own membership site.


    Let me quickly touch upon the 3 basic monetization models. I call these DIY, DWY and DFY. DIY stands for Do it yourself, DWY stands for Done With You, and DFY stands for Done For You.


    DIY is the very basic level which is the basic fully automated online course where everything is delivered digitally. This is similar to the 1-site license we offer at DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP). Where the person who downloads the software can watch documentation videos and read how-to setup documentation and set up their web site themselves. Of course, we offer a lot of ticket-based support, but they don't get any 1-on-1 calls with us.


    DWY - Done with you - is slightly more advanced where you do things WITH them - again, to give you an example of what we do ourselves, we set up our users' membership site by working alongside our Platinum users. We do it on a live 1-on-1 call. Either myself or my wife Veena Prashanth - we will get on a call with you and ask you what you want to accomplish, what kind of content, what kind of products you wish to sell, and we tailor the set up of DigitalAccessPass - DAP - to fit your specific needs. There is simply no other program that is better than the 1-on-1 coaching and consulting we offer. So that includes the software and the 1-on-1 setup and training. That's your classic DWY - Done With You. You can charge more for DWY compared to DIY.


    And then there's the top-most tier - at least, it is top-most in most niches. Which is DFY - Done For You. We don't offer a Done-for-you option in our business at this time. In this model, the client does not want to do it themselves, they don't also want you to do it WITH them. They just want YOU to do it for them and tell them it's done.


    So at the lower end of Done-For-You are SEO services, marketing funnel set up, setup of big CRM's like Infusionsoft, traffic generation, Facebook campaign set up, etc - they all fall under this umbrella of DFY. Now, to this same tier, if you add 1-on-1 coaching and consulting, where you work with your clients first, find out their needs, customize the solution specifically for their needs, and THEN ALSO offer the backend services to get it done FOR them, that's probably where you can charge the most.


    So back to Keith. You said you are already selling a $1000 product upfront, followed by a monthly fee. That is absolutely a great model to follow. If you are already successfully selling a high-ticket item, then there's definitely no need to swap that out for continuity. What you are doing is already the best of both worlds - a big upfront payment, followed by continuity.


    This is the DFY tier I was talking about earlier. So if you were doing marketing consulting, then the big upfront fee - whether it is $1,000 or $5,000 or $10,000 - all of that goes towards, say, your initial coaching and consulting where you work with clients 1-on-1, figure out their requirements, analyze their business, find areas for improvement, come up with a plan to optimize their funnel, get more traffic, get more leads, improve conversion, and so on. And that's what the initial 1000 or 5000 could be for.


    Once that initial part is done, you could present them with a fantastic project report that summarizes all of the work done so far and tells them what they need to do next in order to get to where they want to be. And that's where your add-on services could come in, and you say, Hey Ravi, I have a team that can take all this stuff off your hands. And now here's 3 different tiers you could come in at for these services.


    And that would be your continuity tier, where you create 3-tiers - say, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with each tier offering more benefits than the other, and that could include not just your team's time, but also your own ongoing consulting and review of the business roadmap.


    Now, most importantly, remember this: Even if you launched a 100 dollar month program directly, your member would have to stay for 10 FULL months before you can earn that same 1,000 dollars from them. So 10 months of fees - if they don't cancel, if their credit card continues to work - if you keep delivering, if they don't lose focus - 10 full months of all that, at 100 dollars a month, would earn you 1000 dollars. BUT... if you are ALREADY charging that 1000 upfront, then your subscriber's lifetime customer value goes way way WAY up, because they are STARTING with a payment of 1000 dollars. And after that, all of the continuity payment you get from them is pure gravy.


    Now, another thing we tend to forget, is that a 1,000 dollar customer's mindset is going to be WAY different, in a good way of course, it's going to be WAY better compared to a 100 dollars a month client. No offense to anyone paying less. That's just how it is for the most part. Who would you rather serve? The person buying at the dollar store? Or the person buying at Walmart? Or the person shopping at an expensive jewelry store? See what I mean? The more expensive your product is, and the more they pay you, the more fun they usually are to work with, they require less hand-holding, need less support, will bother you less, will praise you more, and will refer more clients to you. Weird, but true! I didn't make that one up, ok?


    That means that if someone paid you 1000 dollars to begin with?? then the chances are very high that they will continue with your 100 dollar a month continuity afterwards. Because if they could afford to pay you that much upfront, then they definitely value their time... and what you are offering them in return. And they will not have a problem paying a small percentage of that to keep getting that value from you.


    Now, if you - Keith - had said you're not converting enough people to your 1000 dollar program, and because they don't get in, they're not even getting to the point of continuity, then that's an entirely different issue altogether. I'm going to talk about that in a different episode, because this topic is way too important to be left unfinished.


    Anyway, for now, the quick summary for you, Keith, is this: You are already selling the perfect hybrid model. Get a big chunk upfront, followed by continuity. This is probably THE BEST monetization model there is as far as continuty goes. Because the standard stick rate for the average membership is like between 3-6 months. That's like a very generalized number of course. But if you're getting lock in from them to the equivalent of 10 months upfront, and then add to that the mindset advantage you have with such customers paying for high-ticket items, then you now have the best kind of membership site there is.


    Big Chunk Upfront - Plus Backend Continuity - Membership Thy Shall Maketh Successful, like Yoda would say.


    All this and more in today's episode #14. Show notes available at http://SubscribeMe.fm/14/

  • Why You Should NOT Drip Content In Your Membership Site Or Online Course - Ep #13
    Fri, Dec 25, 2015


    When should you NOT drip content? Are there situations when content dripping is not right for your members? What do you do in that case? Do you simply allow access to everything from day 1 and risk getting ripped off? Or is there an alternative to content dripping?


    #1: If you want your members to feel that you are continuously creating NEW content, fresh off-the-press, fresh-from-the oven type of freshness, then you should NOT use Content Dripping to make it look like it's new or just created. That is NOT what content dripping is meant for.


    Your members will figure it out that the content that you are dripping was probably created a while ago - sometimes maybe months or even years ago, because there is bound to be some kind of a trail - like comments from other members, or references in the content to dates or events from the past. So DO NOT use content dripping to try to fool your members into thinking that the content is freshly created. You shouldn't do that with content dripping or with email autoresponders.


    #2: Another reason why you should not drip content: is when you have a LOT of modules, and there's a chance that your audience might not want to consume it in the same order that it is dripped. Let's take the example of a physical fitness course. Within the main course - that we will call "Get The Body of your Dreams And Keep It For Life", you may have a long-term strategy and schedule for losing weight and keeping it off. Your modules might be Cardio, Thighs, Abdomen, Shoulders, Arms, etc. And you may be dripping the content in a certain order. And someone who joins your course gets the Cardio module on week 1, Thighs in week 2, Abdome in week 3, Shoulders in week 4, and so on. If someone joined today, and after week 1, they just don't care about the Thighs module, and they want to skip ahead to the Abdomen module from week 3, then since you're dripping content, they cannot fast forward the content. But at the same time, you may not want to make everything available from day 1. In fact, let's even say you're dripping content monthly, and not weekly. And what if they want content from Month #4 to be available today? You want to drip content, but they don't want you to drip content. So what do you do in that case?


    Many years ago, at DigitalAccessPass.com, with the help of a DAP user's tiny little spark of an idea, we came up with the concept of what we called the Credit Store. The idea is, that instead of dripping content based on YOUR personal preference, you instead give CREDITS to your users, and then they can take those credits and redeem them for specific modules in your content store.


    This is similar to buying tokens at the local fair. You buy tokens at the entrance, and you can use them on any game or ride in any order, as many times as you want, based on YOUR preference. Similarly, when someone signs up for a subscription, then with each monthly payment, they get, say 10 credits. They can take those 10 credits and go to your Credit store - which is basically your Content Store. And there, they see the Cardio module for 3 credits, Thighs for 2, Abdomen for 4 credits and so on.


    This is an extremely powerful alternative to Content Dripping. And at DigitalAccessPass.com, we launched the Credit Store plugin a few years back, and it has been a huge hit among those who want to offer their members this kind of flexibility of redeeming content, while not giving away the farm on day 1 and still maintaining control over the security of the content.


    Finally, another reason to NOT drip content, is when your content could get outdated quickly. Like stock quotes, or financial news, or current events, or when you're following a certain company or trend or current event. You absolutely cannot queue up any content, because by the time your content gets dripped, in weeks or maybe even in months, then it might already be outdated partially or even entirely.


    So those are the 3 major reasons when dripping content is NOT a good idea.


    All this and more in today's episode #13. Show notes available at http://SubscribeMe.fm/13/

  • To Drip or Not To Drip Content: That Is The Question - Ep #12
    Sun, Dec 20, 2015


    To drip or not to drip. That is the question.


    In this episode, I discuss 5 reasons why you may want to drip content in your membership site.

    1) If you have a lot of content to deliver in your online course.

    2) If you have a structured online course, where things have to be delivered in a certain sequence.


    3) If you want to put in most of the work up front and set up the content to drip slowly over time.


    4) The Halloween-Candy analogy: . You give it to them little by little. To extend the value of your content, even if your members know that it is already there, and you give them a sense of anticipation and excitement. You can even tease them what's coming up. Almost like a trailer for a move that hasn't been released yet.


    5) Finally, two important reasons to drip content, is to prevent a) your members from feeling like they're getting ripped off, and b) to make sure YOU yourself don't get ripped off.

  • WordPress Pages, Posts or Categories? Why and When to Use Each One - Ep #11
    Sat, Dec 12, 2015


    So, why did they even bother creating a type of content called a Post? Isn't everything just a Page? Why did posts even come into existence in the first place? To answer that, we need to do a quick 1-minute flashback to the time, when the word "blog" came into being.

    Did you know that the word "blog" is actually a short form for "Web Log" as in, a online log of events. Like a personal diary. On one of my web sites early in 2000 - a lot of web site owners did this - used to have a link in their menu called "Web Log". I certainly did, and it took the visitor to a page that had an online diary of sorts - the kind that we would publish on Facebook today.

    A typical WordPress blog shows all of your blog Posts, in reverse chronological order. And if your blog is set to show the latest 5 posts, and you keep publishing new posts ever week, if I go to your blog in 2 months, I will see an entirely new set of blog posts on the front page, assuming your front page IS your blog. So if I am on your blog, and I like one of the posts I read on the home page, and I want to send the link to a friend, then I can't send my friend to just your home page, because depending on when the friend visits your home page, that post may or may not even be there. And so each post needed a more permanent link in order to be able to share with friends and index in search engines. That permanent link came to be known as the now famous "permalink" in WordPress.

    Then, there is the WordPress Page, with a capital P, which is a more static entity. There's no rolling sequence of pages. A page is a page. It's just there. It has a link. Which is a permanent link.

    So, when should you use WordPress Posts and when to use WordPress Pages?

  • My Deepest, Darkest Fiverr.com Secrets And A Large Dose Of Creativity - Ep #10
    Fri, Dec 04, 2015


    In today's episode, I give you all of my deepest, darkest secrets... about Fiverr.com - including the most awesome Fiverr freelancers that I've had a tremendous experience working with!

    In the last episode, I mentioned 3 of my favorite outsourcing web sites. Check out Episode #9 for that.

    In today's episode, I go deep into one of them, which is Fiverr. I've found some really cool uses for Fiverr, no matter what others tell you about fraud and low quality of work on Fiver. I've had nothing but great experiences working with Fiverr Freelancers, especially when it comes to unusual, wacky and odd jobs.

  • Outsourcing Tricks, Whacky Projects & Fiverr Fever - Part 2 - Ep #9
    Fri, Nov 20, 2015


    In today's Part 2 of my "Top 20 Favorite Tools" series, I get into more detail about outsourcing services and a couple of really neat tricks to get the biggest bang for your buck.

    In the last episode, I talked about tools that I use for communication, a 3-pronged data back up strategy, video creation, and finally Graphics and Image creation. So make sure you listen to that one first.

    Category #5. Outsourcing:

    There are 3 major sites we use for outsourcing work in our business. 1) Upwork 2) 99Designs & 3) Fiverr

    Each of them has a different utility. So when do you use which web site? And what is the best way to use them? All that and more in this episode. So be sure to check it out.

    Show notes available at http://SubscribeMe.fm/9/

  • My Top 20 Favorite Tools I Can't (and Won't) Live Without - Ep #8
    Fri, Nov 13, 2015


    In today's show, I'm going to list my top 20 tools, that I simply couldn't live without. And won't live without.

    Show-notes and links to everything mentioned on the show, are available at http://SubscribeMe.fm/8/

    #1. Communication: Skype

    And for business communication, I use Gotomeeting.

    #2. Data backup: When it comes to keeping our business data safe and backed up, I use a 3-pronged approach. I use Carbonite, Google Drive and a local hard-drive.

    #3. Video creation: Camtasia Studio, Jing, Powtoon, iPhone, Audio downloaded from Audiojungle.

    #4. Graphics & Images: Canva, Box Shot King, Gimp, and Jing

    More tools coming up in the next episode. So stay tuned.

     

    - Ravi Jayagopal
    http://SubscribeMe.fm/8/

     

  • 6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Deliver Member Content Via Email - Ep #7
    Wed, Nov 04, 2015


    Why not simply use email to deliver content? Why bother with a membership site, membership software and all the setup & maintenance headaches?

    Let me first show you how to create the world's quickest membership site - in just 4 hours.

    Step 1: Signup for an account with Mailchimp. They allow you to have up to 2,000 subscribers on your list, and send out 12,000 emails per month. So that's about 6 emails per month. Go to subscribeme.fm/mailchimp, and get $30 in free credit to use when you exceed 2,000 subscribers.
    Step 2: Load up all of your course content into an email autoresponder sequence, set up these emails to go out once a week. You could even start with just the welcome email and content for module 1, since you will be dripping the emails over time.
    Step 3: Create a one-page landing page through a free WordPress.com web site.
    Step 4: Log in to Paypal, create a buy button, and put it on your free one-page sales page.

    That's it! You could be done with this basic membership set up in about 4 hours. And you could launch it tomorrow.

    So, if creating a membership site with just email can be done in 4 hours, then why even bother buying specialized membership software? Why bother with  all of the setup and maintenance headaches of installing and running your own membership site, and spending time and money setting up a member’s area, and creating your content online, and protecting that content? So why bother with all that work?

    In order to automate everything for yourself and your customers, you need a web site. And simply throwing up a WordPress installation on your site is not going to help you automate payments, automate member-account creation, automate content delivery, send out follow-up and marketing emails, allow members to access private content, watch videos, listen to audio, download reports and documents.

  • Ravi is interviewed by Steve Kidd from WeHelpYouThrive.com - Subscribe Me - Ep #6
    Wed, Oct 28, 2015


    In this 6th episode of Subscribe Me, I have a special interview. No, it's not me interviewing someone else. Instead, it's ME being interviewed on somebody else's show.

    I was a guest on the Thriving Entrepreneur Radio Show hosted by Steve Kidd. Steve has an amazingly gentle way of asking great questions, while offering his own perspective along the way. And Steve has a program called "Write Your Best Seller" where he helps you become known as an authority, get on TV, become an amazon best seller among a host of other promotional services. Check out his program by going to SubscribeMe.fm/authority/ .

    After he interviewed me, I wrote to him and asked him if I could publish the interview on my own podcast to my own listeners. And he very generously agreed. Thanks, Steve! So check out Steve Kidd interviewing one of the most awesome people I have ever met... that's ME! :-)

  • Interview with Ryan Lee, veteran Online Marketer, Lifestyle Business and Membership Site Expert - Ep #5
    Fri, Oct 23, 2015


    In this 5th episode of SubscribeMe, I pick the brains of Ryan Lee, a veteran online marketer from Connecticut, Host of the Freedym show at Freedym.com - and one of the earliest people to start a membership site online.

    Ryan started his first membership site in 2001. The previous year, in 2000, I had just moved to New York (from India) with my wife and daughter (my son was born in the US several years later). Ryan has seen the evolution of the Internet Marketing industry, and has launched many successful web sites. He has previously been a writer for Entrepreneur.com online magazine, and lives in Connecticut with his wife and 4 daughters.

    On the show, Ryan and I talk about the early Google, the now defunct Goto, ClickBank, Paypal, hustle, "Ask and you shall receive", the importance of building a recurring-income based business, personality-based marketing, emailing you list without worrying about unsubscribes, how much of yourself should you share with your audience, and keeping your members around for long and reducing churn.

    Ryan's enthusiasm and energy is contagious, so listen to the show and you will get inspired and take home lots of actionable tips.

    Cheers!

    Ravi Jayagopal

  • Too Much Content. Too Little Revenue. Making Content Without Monetizing Doesn't Go Very Far. - Q&A - Ep #4
    Sat, Oct 17, 2015


    In today's show, we have a question from Michael Britt, a Psychology professor who has been super-successful at creating lots of content, has millions of downloads of his podcast and his youtube videos, but has not had much success at monetizing 9 years of hard work.

    A weak call to action, content all over the place, not focusing on one sub-niche at a time, trying to be everything to everybody, spreading yourself too thin.

    The problem might be that you've just kept creating content for years, without any kind of structure or specific goals. And you've been creating products without identifying who your target customer is.

    When I go to your web site, I can't really make out who it is really for. Is it for students studying psychology for a college degree? Is it for the casual person looking to learn about psycology? Is it for people who are looking to learn more about psychology because of a loved one who has an issue? The content is just too much, and it is all over the place, from what I can tell.

    You have a very weak call to sign up for your newsletter at the top. Doesn't state any benefits. Just "sign up for my newsletter" is not going to cut it. Instead, it should be something like "Get the top 10 memory boosting tricks that are borderline illegal, have been baffling both scientists and students - and will rewire your brain like you are Sherlock Holmes". Have a nice digital image of a great report. Say how many times it has been downloaded. Why it helps. Benefits. Who all it helps. "Whether you are a teenage student or you are 60 years old and you have just been diagnosed with Alzheimers".

  • $1.5 Billion for a Membership Site? Membership Site Dream Team: WordPress, Theme, DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP) Membership Platform, Media Hosting & Payment Processor - Ep #3
    Sat, Oct 10, 2015


    Dream Team of 5 Tools You Need To Create A Membership Site.

    Let's do a quick flashback. Back in April 2015, LinkedIn purchased online learning website Lynda.com for a cool $1.5 billion. Lynda.com, at its very core, is nothing but a membership site offering online courses with videos and checklists and PDF document downloads.

    So when you have a membership site that earns recurring revenue, you increase the value of your business as a whole, and that makes it easier to sell your site to a prospective buyer in the future, if you ever decide to walk away from it all. So a web site with recurring revenue has greater lifetime customer value, which will help you sell your site for a lot more than if you had just one-time products. Which is why a site like Lynda.com could get a valuation of 1.5 billion. Of course, they had millions of members, but the point is, that they weren't just regular members, but members paying a monthly fee.

    And you too can create your own mini version of Lynda.com.

    Here are the 5 members of Ravi Jayagopal's Membership Site Dream Team:

    1) Content Management System
    2) Theme
    3) Media Host
    4) Payment Processor
    5) Membership Plugin & Marketing Platform

    So which ones did Ravi choose for his dream-team? Listen to the show to find out!

  • Apple's New Membership Model, Ripped To Shreds On SharkTank & Trolling My Own Indian Accent - Ep #2
    Sat, Oct 03, 2015


    So just how important are memberships and subscriptions? I read this article from marketwatch.com, which is a web site published by Dow Jones, and tracks the financial markets and apparently has more than 16 million visitors per month. And I'll link to this article in the show notes - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-iphone-payment-plan-could-upgrade-the-stock-2015-09-16

    So here's what it says - and I'm quoting verbatim here...
    The headline: Apple’s iPhone payment program could upgrade the stock
    The subheadline: Upgrade program, launching with iPhone 6S, could drive Apple shares above $200

    So let me give you the context. Recently, with Apple's iPhone 6s and 6sPlus launch, they announced that they would offer new iPhones on a payment plan, and people can get a 1 year payment plan or a 2 year plan directly from Apple, and not worry about extending their phone contracts. So you basically pay the cost of the phone directly to Apple, and in return you can get a new phone from Apple every year, or 2, depending on the payment plan. And apparently, Apple in turn also gives you some premium support and service.

    So back to quoting from the article: It says...  Apple Inc.’s new iPhone upgrade program isn’t going to just benefit users who want to get their hands on a new phone every year, it could also give a boost to Apple investors.

    "By encouraging customers to upgrade more frequently, the program — which takes effect later this month with the launch of iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus sales — could produce more sustainable iPhone revenues, driving earnings per share higher and producing a better stock multiple."

    Ok, now pay attention to this next part: "Analysts at UBS, who have a buy rating and $150 price target on the stock, said this week that the installment plan “could be a big deal” for Apple and drive its shares higher than $200. “The iPhone begins to look more like an annuity and less like a hits business,” UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in a note to clients this week. End quote.

    Now think about that for a minute. To give you some perspective, Apple is the world's most profitable company not in the world, not just right now, but in the history of the world! Apple is the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, and Apple last year became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion. Yes, that is 700 BILLION - with a B! A monthly payment plan is nothing but essentially a subscription, and this is really Apple's first big subscription-based product - of course, I'm not including the underwhelming launch of Apple Music. And people in general are agreeing that Apple adding essentially a subscription-based product to its offering, is going to make it look even better, and make its shares become even more valuable!

    Even A 700 Billion dollar company can do better by adding a recurring subscription model to its business. I hope that right there makes you seriously consider adding such a subscription model to your business.

    Don't worry, you don't have to figure it all out by yourself. I will help you get there - all you have to do is to just keep listening to this show.

  • Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content w/ Membership Sites & Online Courses - Ep #1
    Sat, Sep 26, 2015


    SubscribeMe.fm is THE podcast that teaches you all about about creating a highly profitable, long-term business with online courses & membership sites, using recurring subscriptions.

    In this podcast, and I don't mean just this episode, but the entire series, I'm going to be talking about how you can build a successful business by creating subscription-based products and services that bring in recurring income month after month... where you don't have to go hunting for new customers all the time, where you can focus on creating a remarkable product - like Seth Godin would say - A product that your customers love, where they keep paying you to keep delivering your product or service, and where you get to actually focus on your remarkable product - and improving it and adding to it over time, and you get to focus on, quote unquote "Enchanting" your customers, like Guy Kawasaki would say.

    The main focus of this podcast will be how to make, market and monetize your online digital content. But here's a a list of other topics that we will get into in this podcast series.

    • The Subscription Model, how you can add one to your existing business, and how you can generate recurring revenue.
    • How to create the "Perfect" Product
    • Various tools and services that you will need when creating an online course
    • Explore various Self-Hosted and Fully-Hosted Solutions
    • Third-party Marketplaces where you can host your online course
    • How to create content For Your Membership Site: Both creating your own, buying content vs getting others to create your content for you.
    • What is the Commitment Ascension Model (CAM)
    • What are the various Membership Models & Content Strategies
    • Pricing Strategies
    • Payment Processing options
    • How to do Marketing for Your Membership Site and get new members
    • How to start your own affiliate program and get others to market your course for you
    • How to use other platforms like Podcasting, Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing to build an audience and then sell them stuff
    • How to get members to stay - thus increasing your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
    • To Drip or Not To Drip
    • Are forums worth it? Where and how to create a forum? Should you do it on facebook? Or on your own site? Or use a third-party service and embed the forum on your site?
    • One-time Product Launches vs. Evergreen Products
    • Membership Site Design
    • Membership Site Launch
    • Selling Your Membership Site

  • More Details

    • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: S089460