If you don’t know this of me by now – you should do as I don’t hide it from anyone – I once worked as an attendant in a parking lot.
I wasn’t a traffic warden as some people seem to believe, I have never issued a parking fine in my life… but I have received a few!
My job was to collect money from people when they came to park their vehicles.
And do you know what I learned from that job?
It might make you look at things a lot differently too when I reveal it.
What I learned was that you can make untold amounts of money selling the same one thing to multiple people.
A parking space is one piece of land that is used by multiple people who pay to use it.
Now, you would be correct in pointing out that they cannot all use the same piece of land at the same time, this is true… (however when you apply what I’m explaining in ‘the digital world’ you can), and I will come to that later so keep reading.
A car parking space is similar to rental property in the fact that you will earn more if you rent it for shorter periods of time to multiple people.
Property rented out as a long-term rental to a family to use as their main residence will earn a lot less per month than if you rented it out on a per-night basis to people who are on vacation or visiting the area for business.
A parking space will earn less if you rent it out to just one person on a monthly basis compared to renting it out on an hourly basis to multiple people.
Now imagine that you had a piece of land that was big enough to comfortably park 200 cars at the same time. Imagine how much money you could make during the day when you had people coming and going renting each space for varying lengths of time.
I can tell you now; car parks make hundreds of dollars per hour. In fact, some car parks in busy areas are making tens if not thousands of dollars per day (think airports, theme parks etc.)
I soon learned that supplying the same thing to many people at a set price can make a lot of money.
Sell One Thing To Many People, Many Times Over
This is why I love selling digital products, especially subscription-based membership products and programs.
A digital product is one thing that you can sell to many people many times over. But unlike a physical parking space or rental property, you are not bound by physical limitations such as only one person can use it at one time.
You can only fit one car at a time into a parking space.
With digital products, you can sell the same product over and over and over again to multiple people all at the same time.
Because digital products are ‘digital’, a new copy is automatically created when the customer clicks the download button.
Now imagine that you could rent the same parking space to multiple people at the SAME TIME!
As well as renting it to multiple people at the same time, imagine that they also pay you each and every month to access that one parking space.
That is a subscription-based membership business in a nutshell.
Multiple people pay you each month to access the same product.
Think software for a minute.
There are various tools that people pay to use each month. It is the same online tool and each month they simply get access to it so they can use it.
A great example would be website hosting.
There is a monthly fee to host your website on a hosting company’s servers. It’s common practice today to pay for the year in full but generally, there is also an option to pay monthly too.
It doesn’t matter whether you do anything with your website or not. After a year is up… Whether your website contains the same original ‘four pages’ that you started it off with (or has many more pages) you’d still need to pay the hosting fee again.
Email autoresponder services such as Aweber are another online software tool that costs an ongoing monthly fee.
The great thing about these kinds of subscription services is that you earn a recurring income each month for doing very little more than providing access.
As long as the service is up and running at all times, the client will pay without question.
There are many different types of monthly subscription membership products and services, software is just one.
Television and music streaming networks such as CBS, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify to name a few are monthly recurring income subscription businesses that have many millions of people paying a monthly fee to access the same content.
Cell phone contracts are another monthly recurring income subscription business that has millions of people paying to access a specific network and system.
Trying to do something similar to those examples may be a little ambitious for most people – I’m not saying that it is impossible, far too many have been told they can’t do something by well-meaning folks only for them to go and achieve the one thing they were told they wouldn’t or couldn’t.
But let’s be realistic here though, if 1,000 people wanted to set up a monthly recurring income subscription-based business, it’s highly unlikely that all 1,000 will successfully set up a new Netflix of Spotify… however…
And this is a big…
All 1,000 could successfully set up a subscription-based monthly membership selling an information product like a newsletter or a fixed-term membership program where a course is drip-fed to each user over a specific time period.
A new Netflix or Spotify would require a lot of investment of both time and money. It would require a lot of equipment and a ton of people to get it off the ground.
In contrast, an information-based product/service like a newsletter could be started within a day and can be set up by just one person… you!
Seriously, you could quite easily have the first month’s content created and the sales page with a live ‘Buy Now’ button up and running within a day (especially if you license pre-created content like I make available via the Internet Marketing Newsletter PLR website).
Obviously, the more time you spend on it the better it will be.
I don’t suggest rushing it so that you get it all done in a day, but depending on what your product is it can be set up in one day.
A short sales page promoting a 12 page PDF newsletter shouldn’t take too long to put together.
You Don’t Need To Do It All At The Beginning!
The other important thing that you need to realize is that you do not need to create a full 12 months’ worth of content before you start selling access to your monthly membership.
You don’t even need to have the first couple of months’ content ready, in fact, I know people who have sold access to a membership subscription where the members area and the first month’s content weren’t actually ready when they launched.
They decided to test whether they had a viable idea first, so all they did was build a simple sales page, added a ‘Buy Now’ button and send an email to their email list to see how many people signed up.
It wasn’t until the sales started rolling in that they started to hastily create the content and began adding it to the member’s area.
I myself had a similar experience when I tested a product sending out 4,000 mailings (physical sales letters through the post) at a cost of $3,258 and within a couple of weeks the initial response pulled in $5,667.16 in initial sales but what followed after that was several months of additional recurring income from a membership subscription which many of the customers also decided to buy.
It was only after people had signed up for the additional monthly membership program, that I started to get the content ready. The good news was I still had four weeks to get everything ready before they expected to see anything new waiting for them.
While you can do the same, and acti quickly once you see how popular your idea is, as a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to have at least the first month’s content ready. So that should the initial take-up go well, you have the content ready to deliver to your paying customers. While the buyers devour the first month’s content, you work on creating the content for the next month, and so it continues.
REMINDER: I’ve said this many times before and I shall say it many times more, the great thing about a digital subscription product is that you do the work once… but get paid several times over.
If a 12-page PDF newsletter takes you a day or two to put together, it’s the same amount of time whether one person buys it or 200 people buy it.
At $27 per month, 200 people paying you to access a 12-page PDF will earn you a nice $5,400 and if all 200 people stick around for the next three months (four in total), you will earn $21,200 for supplying only four PDF newsletters which took no more than eight days in total to create.
That’s $21,000 for only 48 pages of content!
If you are earning around $5,400 each month, you might happily consider paying someone else a couple of hundred bucks to write them for you each month leaving you to enjoy your time or focus on finding and recruiting even more subscribers.
What Kind Of Information Will People Pay A Subscription Fee For?
If you are not sure as to what kind of information people will pay a subscription fee to access, let me tell you about a cool little newsletter from Ireland that I have recently discovered. (Yes Kate and I love Ireland so much, we might even decide to get ourselves a vacation home there).
Television presenter Maggie Molloy in Ireland is charging people €5 per month to receive a weekly email alert/newsletter which lists eight or ten properties for sale in Ireland at €100,000 or less.
She has a second email alert/newsletter which she sends out on the first Monday of the month with properties priced over €100,000 and she charges €20 per month for that one.
I’ve seen that she now has added two more newsletters – or as she calls them, ‘digests’ – to her portfolio which she charges €5 per month for.
The email alerts/newsletters have a picture of the property, four to five lines of text about the property, and a button linking out to the estate agent the property is listed with.
All she does (or pays someone else to) is search the estate agents across Ireland (and now Scotland and the rest of the world), and compile lists of properties that match her specific criteria.
It helps that she presents a television show called Cheap Irish Homes on RTE (Ireland’s National Television Channel) but let’s not kid ourselves here, anyone can search estate agent listings and compile them into a weekly newsletter. 🙂
I can’t imagine that it takes more than a day or two to do all four newsletters for the week. She does the work once and then sells it to multiple people at the same time.
What’s not to like about that?
If Maggie Molloy can sell subscription newsletters about properties, I’m sure there are plenty of other topics that people are willing to read about.
As an exercise, why not visit your local newsstands, supermarket, or Barnes & Noble and see what magazines they have on their shelves. If there is a magazine for sale on a certain topic, you know that there has been a fair few dollars spent on market research, content creation and publishing of that title. In which case… you have just found your very first profitable niche market idea for a newsletter or membership-based product/service.
There is always someone who will pay to access information and entertainment.
If you would like to know more about earning a recurring income by running your own subscription-based membership or newsletter, click the link below: