Sudbury, MA, November 22, 2005 --(PR.com
)-- Mequoda Founder and Membership Website Expert Don Nicholas announced today the release of How to Launch a Successful Membership Website
(http://www.mequodacafedaily.com/membership_website_ebook.html), a free eBook available at the Mequoda Café Daily, a free website and newsletter about best practices for Internet marketers, publishers and designers.
How to Launch a Successful Membership Website
(http://www.mequodacafedaily.com/membership_website_ebook.html) is based on research that Nicholas and his partners have done over the past 11 years. Nicholas and team have worked with over 100 successful membership websites and have developed guidelines to launch a special-interest membership website that should generate $2 to $5 million per year in total revenue after three to five years. Following is a summary of How to Launch a Successful Membership Website
1. Focus Your Membership Website Product Idea. Your membership website should be targeted to a specific group of readers who share very specific information needs, and are willing to pay a premium price for that information.
2. Profile the Information Needs of Your Target Customer. Your goal is to locate a target market focused on people who:
• Have established an interest in what you’ll be writing about,
• Are proven membership website users and subscribers,
• Are part of either a growing or very stable audience,
• Are not adequately served by existing membership websites.
3. Prepare an In-Depth Competitive Market Analysis. Search for competitive sites, request sample copies or purchase competitive publications, request media kits (which often contain a wealth of information about the market) and understand advertising and subscription pricing policies for your competition.
4. Select Your Membership Website’s Competitive Position. Use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to evaluate your closest competition. How will you be different and how sustainable is that difference?
5. Quantify the Economics of Your Membership Website. Make assumptions…how many free members, how many paid members? How much for an annual subscription, what about other revenue sources, how much does it cost to obtain a new member, how long will you keep members?
6. Grade the Membership Website Concept – Pass or Fail. You understand the competition, how does your concept stack up? If most of your ideas already exist, you probably need to rethink everything and go back to stage one.
7. Determine the Pre-Launch Start-up Budget. Start with the test phase and determine how much money you’ll need. A complete business plan usually requires you to perform a complete market test and to line up key personnel.
8. Raise Membership Website Test Capital. There are many different ways to raise capital that depend on your resources, your company's resources and the size of your idea.
9. Identify Key Personnel. Your personnel and your subscriber base will become your two key main assets. Find the people who can make your idea happen and don’t forget to search for strategic partners as well.
10. Perform a Membership Website Market Study. This study lets you catch users who have searched using a keyword that indicates interest in your website idea. Using pay-per-click ad words, you’ll offer the searcher the chance to voice their opinions and earn an incentive.
11. Create a Functional Membership Website Specification and Paper Prototype. A good functional specification and well-tested paper prototype will help you produce a website that is customer friendly.
12. Prepare a Detailed Membership Website Content Plan. Outline your editorial content in as much detail as possible and make sure you have enough content to publish at your chosen frequency.
13. Create and Test a Non-Working Membership Website Prototype. During this stage you’ll build web pages that link and explore the paths a user might take to do all the things they can do at your website.
14. Conduct a Search Engine Marketing Test. Use email and pay-per-click to test your concept with the goal of generating 100 to 500 gross orders that will help you make the decision to launch and move you to profitability when regular publication begins.
15. Prepare the Membership Website Final Business Plan. Pull all of your findings together into a professional compact format, projecting five years of operations.
16. Raise Membership Website Launch Capital. Start with media companies, they may have been interested in a similar product but didn’t have the manpower to start it. If your idea is a good one, they would be silly to "steal" it. People are the key to this business, not ideas.
17. Execute Your Membership Website Business Plan and Let It Go. You’ve planned and organized and are ready to go. Stay true to your editorial mission and let the product be what its subscribers want it to become.
This eBook is the first in a 10-part series of free eBooks that will be given away at Mequoda Café Daily. For more information about How to Launch a Successful Membership Website or the Mequoda Café Daily, please contact Kim Mateus at Kim@Mequoda.com or 800 901 3556.
Mequoda Café Daily, a free website and newsletter about best practices for Internet marketers, publishers and designers, is the nexus of a larger website network owned and operated by Mequoda Group, LLC. Mequoda Group is dedicated to helping special interest publishers create, build and manage multi-million dollar niche media empires. Other sites in the Mequoda Network include the Mequoda Library, a five-volume digital reference set on Internet strategy, Internet marketing and website design, and the Mequoda Summit, the company's annual event held in Boston, MA in September.