Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to Get Started with a Home Business - Membership

Questions asked and answered - found a way to get started cheaply and effectively.

Education Home Business

One thing Elevation Income left me hanging with is how to get started.

It's obvious that Mike Dillard ran first Magnetic Sponsoring and now Elevation Group on a membership backend. His 10th video recommends either Infusionsoft, or Clickbank, along with Katabi.

Unfortunately, this is not feasible for someone starting from scratch, as I've gone over. The business has to pay for itself as it goes. $300-$400 per month isn't acceptable, when I have a home business currently which is bringing in just that much. The problem is scaling the business, leveraging what I already have - not increasing the fixed costs.

My earlier workout (even as revised) didn't leave me satisfied. I still had more questions.

I was settled with running Wordpress. While I had plug-in problems in the past, I'd also been able to run a test site ( successfully for a few years now on a WP backend with no problems. True, it doesn't get the traffic I had before, but it didn't hang.

Adding a membership plug-in to this shouldn't be a problem in that case.

There was next a question of whether I needed a shopping cart solution in addition to the membership plug-in. Some membership solutions covered this and some didn't. Having to get one additionally would add extra cost.

I already wasn't happy that I was going to spend something like $97 to $167 to get started, and then add on a monthly fee in addition to AWeber which I've been paying for right along.

Ideally, it would be a single one-time purchase - and cover everything I needed.

I checked around with Wishlist and it's alternatives, as well as whether the various Clickbank alternatives would bring that price down. (I was not happy at all to find that CB has now gone onto a monthly subscription basis for vendors - more monthly cost.)

Let me list the various review pages I've found so you can check them out yourself:

Key are a couple of links which tell you how to get going at all:

The bottom line is that there are tons of solutions and price ranges.

What I was looking for specifically had to do with the type of business I want to expand on.
  • I publish books successfully. The idea is to bring greater leverage to these by building bundles and doing releases from these. 
  • A membership which enables people to login and become part of all this research and resource-finding that I do.
  • Additionally, I need to be able to have affiliates send this offer (as well as the releases themselves) to their list.
  • Of course, buyers need to be able to pay on site. 

The whole scene becomes quite confusing, since these various plug-in's and services have huge feature-sets - and spotting what some have and some don't gets to be a mess. Almost had to set up a spreadsheet to follow them.

The key idea is to keep additional monthly payments to nothing, and the initial cost below $100. That's my budget price for starters. Later, I can upgrade to Infusionsoft, etc. After the 6- and 7-figures start rolling in.
  • Additionally, I needed to be able to A/B (split-test) landing pages. 
  • It also needed to accept at least PayPal, and
  • integrate with various affiliate programs such as Clickbank, JVZoo, and Digicipher - besides running my own.

Right now, for both you and me, we need to start with what we have. And concentrate on getting new products out and affiliates lined up.

So there was a lot of work to do. Took me a few days, on and off.

One hint was that Dillard says in video 10 that he had trouble even uploading a video to Wordpress. Means he is very challenged in this area (compared to me who has run every OS out there (nearly) and currently run about 35 or more blogs on all the major platforms. Like I said, I got kicked off a couple hosts for putting too many plugin's into one of my several Wordpress installs.)

Dillard's former use of Wishlist Member plugin on WP might not have been the best one - or later ones may have been developed. Also, that video describing how they used to have it rigged and were spending millions to fix it - said maybe the homework was incomplete on this.

It was.

My conclusion:


(Yes, that's an affiliate link.)

  • $47 one-time purchase.
  • Added theme with purchase, as well as extra documentation.
  • Does A/B testing.
  • Handles internal affiliates (two-tier) and also integrates with all sorts of external affiliate services.
  • Accepts PayPal and others for direct sales
  • Can create multiple levels of memberships 
  • Essentially does the laundry list which the others also have.

Key point: one-time purchase to get started quickly.

Because that is our mutual problem, isn't it?

With this, I really consider that I can get this all up and running within a month now. Not because it will take that long to set up a site, it's that I have to finish other studies (copywriting itself, plus more reverse-engineering of Dillard's MS success) and do some homework on how to get it integrated with everything else I'd already planned out. The site itself will set up in an afternoon.

Hope your results are going as swimmingly.
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