If you’re thinking of launching a subscription website, don’t skimp on preliminary research.
So you’ve decided to start a subscription website. We get requests weekly from entrepreneurs, veterans and newbies, who see subscription websites as the gold they want to begin mining. And while we love the enthusiasm, you need to approach subscription website publishing with a cautious mind. If you haven’t nailed down these seven basics of planning your site, you might as well halt and start over.
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1. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
Focus your subscription website product idea.
Your subscription 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. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
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 subscription website users and subscribers,
- Are part of either a growing or very stable audience,
- Are not adequately served by existing subscription websites.
3. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
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. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
Conduct a search engine marketing test.
Use email and/or 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.
5. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
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.
6. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
Identify key personnel.
Your personnel and your subscriber base will become your two key assets. Find the people who can make your idea happen and don’t forget to search for strategic partners as well.
7. Your subscription website could fail if you don’t:
Prepare a detailed subscription 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.
Do you agree with these tips? Are there some that we might have missed? Post comments below.