This is going to be short. I just want you to get used to the idea of mixing and marrying different types of business models. You don’t have to stick to any of the models discussed in these series. You can mix two or more of them together. You can mix them with free content models. You can mix them with something invented entirely on your own.
Heck, you can even switch models from time to time to figure out what works best. For example you can start with an info-product like e-book and later turn it into a subscription site just like Aaron Wall at SEOBook did few yours ago.
Here are just some ideas:
- Subscription membership site with e-learning. Have most of your stuff accessible based on monthly fee, but also offer a paid course that issues a certificate of completion. Presumingly the course would be next level of knowledge over the random material in the subscription area.
- Create LMS with courses but charge for monthly access. Thus instead of selling courses as products let users follow the material by their own pace (but in the order defined by you), while paying a fee every month.
- Free content with some premium content. Instead of partially protecting articles, have a lot of stuff for free in a blog or so. Then charge for access to the most advanced stuff only – either as monthly subscription, as paid courses, or as info product (or all the three).
- Run a membership site and also sell info products. Nothing stops you to do both together. Of course, ideally the content in the different products should not be the same.
- Sell info product and have people who buy it join to a subscription site or sell them e-courses. This is the typical upsell method where a $39 e-book is used to promote a $399 course.
- Give all the stuff for free but charge for access to tools and community. This was already discussed to some extent in the article about partially public membership sites.
- Create an entirely free LMS with lots of excellent courses. Charge only for final exam that issues certificate.
I’m sure you can add some ideas on your own. Don’t stick to a particular business model just because that’s what you have seen. You can combine different software solutions as long as you have premium content to sell.
This leads us to the next article in the series, which is also very important: The need of expertise to run a paid content site.