23

The $300K Niche Membership Site with Ian McConnell

How lucrative is a niche market like “model trains” for someone who’s new to online marketing?

As Ian McConnell shares in this podcast episode, the answer is: VERY lucrative. At least, if you play your cards right.

Listen in and you’ll discover a brilliant traffic generation strategy that Ian used to drive the right kind of visitors to his offer. Plus, you’ll see how he built a very successful business in small, minimum-risk steps.

Podcast Video

 

Podcast Audio

Click here to download this epsiode in mp3 format.

Links

Do you have questions or feedback on this episode? Let us know by leaving a comment!
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Shane
 

I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 23 comments
Mosheh Ben Avraham - May 29, 2013

Hey Shane, I just joined your e-mailing list and purchased hybrid-connector. I just stopped working for an employer to build my own business, and I just wanted to express my appreciation for your quality content. It helps to have direction in such a massive confusing web :p

Reply
Ronen - May 29, 2013

Thanks for the post.
One day,… I will be honored to be your guest.
Lot’s of work till then.

After this great video, I feel a bit out of line asking a question
that doesn’t directly relate to it, but…

I was wondering what is the audio player plugin you are using.
I was struggling to fine one that works on all platforms, browsers, mobile and couldn’t so far.

Thanks,
Ronen.

Reply
    Shane - May 29, 2013

    I’d love to have you on. Make it happen. :)

    The plugin is called “audio player”. It’s very basic and gets the job done. I always also include a download link, so that all bases are covered.

    Reply
Kimberly Castleberry - May 30, 2013

Hey Shane, good stuff as usual. Just wanted to note that your social share buttons on the page itself have reverted to short code. Only noticed it when I went to tweet it.
Kim

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    Gary - May 30, 2013

    Shortcodes + icons have left the building from where I’m standing!

    Reply
Leo - May 30, 2013

What a breath of fresh air this interview is. I love Ian’s down-to-earth approach and real-world business sense.

More interviews like this please!

cheers

Leo

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Leo - May 30, 2013

PS One question for Ian: How come he sold such a successful business? Why not keep running it, or employ someone to run it?

Seems like he would have made more money from annual sales than from the one-off sale of the business.

thanks again,

Leo

Reply
    Ian McConnell - May 31, 2013

    Hi Leo,

    Great question and something we didn’t cover in the interview.

    When I sold the site I was effectively getting the next 2 years of profit upfront and I got all my time back. So, as long as I could build a new membership site, and have it make a similar monthly profit within 2 years, I would be in front.

    Now I can set up a new membership site (ready to take orders) within a week (I only need 1 month’s worth of content before opening the doors). So my business model is to build a membership site, get some good sales history (at least 2 years to maximise the sale price), sell it for 6 figures and then rinse and repeat.

    The lump sum payment every 2 or 3 years is VERY nice. It gives you great funding to hire top writers, copywriters, designers, etc. And it completely eliminates the boredom of being in one niche.

    I tried outsourcing but then I just became a manager of people and the time I was saving wasn’t worth it. I prefer just getting rid of the asset and starting with a clean slate… It makes it exciting!

    Cheers
    Ian

    Reply
juan - May 30, 2013

Ian´s voice is a little bit weak. Next time, make sure the person you interview has his mic closer to his mouth.

Reply
    Ian McConnell - May 31, 2013

    Sorry Juan, the lapel mic was as close as I could get it.

    I might have to upgrade…

    Cheers
    Ian

    Reply
    Shane - June 3, 2013

    I think this might have been a GoToMeeting issue. Next time, I’ll try a different method for recording, to see if I can get better quality.

    Reply
      Leo - June 3, 2013

      After reading the other comments I listened again and, although your voice is much clearer, I found Ian quite easy to understand. His voice certainly is a bit fuzzier compared to the sharpness of your voice, which I suspect is a tech issue.

      But I also wonder if there is a cross-cultural factor? I’m a Brit and find the Aussie/South African accent easy to listen to. Could it be that other cultures find it much harder to make out the words when spoken with that accent? Just a thought.

      Reply
Leo - May 30, 2013

Have to say that my ears are not what they were and I often struggle to hear what peeps say. But had no problems at all listening to Ian. And I was doing yoga at the same time! :-)

Could it be your audio settings, Juan?

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Paul - May 30, 2013

Great info but wondered if you could go into detail on a further podcast about the technology used, which membership script you used and what you found good/bad. Also alternatives to clickback, I am going the clickbank route at present but I have heard several people say that many customers do like the payment interface and shy away from it.

thanks
Paul

Reply
    Ian McConnell - May 31, 2013

    Hi Paul,

    I go into great technical detail over at http://goo.gl/QAZPU but basically I used WordPress with Wishlist, Aweber for the autoresponder and payment processing by Clickbank.

    When starting out you could just use an autoresponder with Paypal to test the idea. If it converts and looks like a winner then upgrade to a membership script with Clickbank or some other payment processing.

    Cheers
    Ian

    Reply
Don - May 30, 2013

hmmm… must be my audio settings too.

I too found it very difficult to hear what he is saying…
though you sound perfectly clear Shane.

I don’t know if it is the mic he used or perhaps his accent or both, but it definitely wasn’t a volume issue, cause I could turn my volume up while he was speaking and it really didn’t help.

Don

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Ian McConnell - May 31, 2013

Sorry Don, the Zimbabwean/Australian accent can be tough to understand at times.

Maybe a good podcasting mic will help…

Cheers
Ian

Reply
    Shane - June 3, 2013

    Thanks for participating and answering everyone’s questions, Ian! Much appreciated. :)

    Reply
Iain - June 5, 2013

Great podcast.

It just goes to show you that you can be profitable in any niche. you just have to work the right angle to make it successful.

I thought this was pretty cool because I use to rock model trains a bit when I was younger. I never got into it in a crazy way, more dabbling.

Having a business background sounded like it helped a lot. I’m working on developing my business experience now.

Cheers

Reply
    Ian McConnell - June 6, 2013

    Thanks Iain,

    You probably could be profitable in any niche, but it’s the level of profit for the effort you put in that you should be focused on.

    The amount of effort required to sell the model train ebook on it’s own was about the same as the effort required to sell the membership.

    But, the average income of the ebook was $27, while the membership was about $129.00. Same effort required, but the return was about 377% more. That’s a BIG increase in hourly rate…

    Model trains is like IM… There is always new stuff to buy and there is always new stuff to learn. If you do the right thing for your customers (think Shane Melaugh) you will always have a great lifetime customer value.

    Business is SO much easier when you acquire and RETAIN customers.

    Cheers
    Ian

    Reply
      Iain - June 6, 2013

      That’s a really important point you made there Ian. Customer retention is more important the customer acquisition. Particularly in this case.

      Reply

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