5 Pandemic-Proof Online Business Models

See how five niche publishers are using their online business models to thrive in uncertain times

As the global pandemic churns on and we’re all getting used to working from makeshift offices, homeschooling, and abundant video conferencing, we thought we’d dedicate today’s post to shining a light on some of the savvy publishers with whom we partner. The digital offerings their online business models afford them are taking on a new relevance both for their own economic prosperity, and their ability to serve their audience in a meaningful way during these difficult times.

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I Like Crochet Network

This membership community celebrates the participants’ love of crochet, and their desire to master the skills and create beautiful artwork for friends and family. 

This all-digital community offers its members a deep archive of more than 700 well-tested crochet patterns, plus special designer patterns that have been selected by the editor. 

Premium members receive a weekly guided tour from the editor, focusing on both new and legacy content that is appropriate for the season and the current need to entertain oneself from home.

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Biblical Archaeology Society Library

Armchair archaeologists from around the globe can travel the world with professionals who are actively researching dig sites and creating new academic theories about these ancient times. 

The library offers premium members a multi-media experience, which includes more than 50 carefully curated special collections, more than 20 videos featuring lectures from world-renowned master teachers, books, 22,000+ color images and maps, and of course, a completely digitized full archive of their three publications, Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey with over 9,000 magazine articles.

Premium members enjoy four new magazine issues per year plus a constant stream of new content being added to the library, plus new special collections.

Cabot Wealth Network

Serious investors who belong to this premium community interact daily with a staff of financial analysts who are among the most successful on the planet. In addition to timely information about stocks to buy and sell, the analysts provide fascinating narratives about the world around us as it relates to financial and economic conditions. 

Needless to say, they have plenty to write about as the stock market gyrates through changing market conditions. While readers will always get great information about investing, the insights behind the trends on topics as global as converting our energy infrastructure from oil to electricity are perhaps the most fascinating part of this service.

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Having amassed a massive library of videos that were originally sold on DVDs, this prescient publisher launched their online streaming service back in 2017. When DVD players began to disappear, this streaming service created a new membership program that delights the artists dedicated to the craft. 

This program is one of four membership programs from Ceramic Arts Network and can be rolled into a capstone membership program they call the International Ceramic Artist Network. In addition to the legacy videos, they also produce a timely product that helps members connect with other ceramic artists around the country, which has taken on even greater value in the current stay-at-home environment.

Recipe Lion

Prime Publishing is a big presence in the food and cooking arena. One of their products is RecipeLion Gold Club—a capstone membership product that appeals to anyone who enjoys cooking, expert chefs and everyday cooks alike.

The RecipeLion Gold Club features professionally trained Chef Addie Gundry and all of her recipes, tips, and tricks. Premium Gold Club members get content as cooking shows to watch, including previews and a new episode every week; downloadable cookbooks and individual professionally tested recipes, with a brand-new cookbook released every week; specially curated collections, based on a single cooking topic; time-saving kitchen tips; and—to pump up the content and frequency—a digital magazine was added after launch, to deliver even more expertly tested recipes and cooking tips.

If you’re spending time watching what your friends and family are posting in social media lately, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a lot of proudly cooked meals. If you use social media as a measure, by the end of this pandemic, every household is going to know how to cook sourdough bread, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a few new food blogs pop up! That’s why RecipeLion’s Gold Club is especially relevant during these times, by providing instructional videos on how to cook just about anything, with Addie’s friendly face to guide you.

If you’d like to explore how you can use your brand and legacy content to develop a pandemic-proof digital membership program like these online business models, Don and I would love to chat and share all that we’ve learned over the past years helping other publishers transition their businesses into the 21st century and beyond. Schedule a time online, and I look forward to talking to you soon!


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