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Forum Moderators: lawman
What good is a subscription [webmasterworld.com]? What goes on in the community forums that us plebes don't see? I like your site, but I haven't seen a good reason to pay all that $$$.
You should spend some time on marketing. ;)
If you want to do it then put 5 or 10 bucks away somewhere every month and when you have the cash go for it.
That is a very sensible idea. Five bucks each month and youŽll be able to afford membership for one year in 30 months ;). Or how about 6 months membership for just 17 months of saving :(.
I myself, am not obligated to post anything, other than maybe "me too" once in a while so my account remains active. I need not help, assist, answer any questions, and no other member needs to answer mine. It's a community thing and share is part of the process - but sharing isn't always about "what do I get before I give".
I need not pay for a subscription, if I don't want... there is nothing to gain in upselling a plug (or marketing the private forum) and I doubt anyone will make a million by simply subscribing.
I chose to do all of the above. Why?
Forward thinking... (consider my previous post)... everything is about risk and managing that risk.
For 3 years WebmasterWorld was donate, now subscribe but those forward thinkers that opted for the early risk received "in kind".
I chose to look to the future... if I do this today - where will I be tomorrow.
If your answer is $150 dollar poorer... then back behind close doors is likely not a good investment on your time or money.
thanks all for your responses. i'm not quite sold yet though.
if you guys paid marketingguy $1000 to make a sell page for the subscription, I bet you would easily make it back x10 in a very short time frame.
Being a professional marketer, I immediately recognized the same thing... and applaud Brett for not doing it.
Brett hasn't received my check yet, but when he does I'll be glad that he isn't selling subscriptions more aggressively.
A sparkling sales letter with compelling benefits would completely change the psychographic of the subscribers.
Currently the private forum is populated by primarily "givers", whereas a community populated by those drawn in by a powerful sales letter would completely change the forum's culture.
Brett's incredibly clear vision for the development of this community along with all the countless members that have been drawn to it, is what makes WebmasterWorld such a priceless (pun intended ;)) resource.
In some things, attraction is a far more effective strategy than promotion.
I've debated subscribing for too long. Maybe subscribing will ease my guilty consience for all the bandwidth sucking lurking I do here.
I'm getting to the point where I finally think I could answer simple questions without embarassing myself or the board. :)
Does anyone know who you make a check out to if you are sending it US Postal mail? I'm guessing the address on the "about" page here is where to send it.
I don't do PayPal, etc.
Blah, blah, blah, donate or do not... WebmasterWorld rocks and many people who make it all happen by sharing their hard work, experience and knowledge are worth their weight in GOLD.
Get it for free or get it in the Private Forums, either way you get it advertisement free. Just consider giving something back, be it helpful comments, cash or both.
Maybe subscribing will ease my guilty consience for all the bandwidth sucking lurking I do here.
Not even a concern IMHO.
Although I am personally am not in the know, I suspect the WebmasterWorld brand recognition and market influence is significantly much more valuable than all the revenue - if every active member subscribed.
I would gladly pay 3 x the subscription fee, if all good information was kept locked up. Maybe give the less important forums with "news" open to discussion for free, but anything that involves tips/help on optimizing for search engines should be 100% subscription.
I agree, that I wouldn't pay for something that was free other than out of EXTREME gratitude (like I made tens of thousands of dollars off this site's help or something). After all, I did do the work myself even though people told me what to do.
If I didn't read Brett's posts, or this forum was run by IBM or something I would never subscribe. But because I know how much work and TIME he has put into it, and how much I have benefitted, I do plan to subscribe out of appreciation. This site really has helped me a lot, so I will subscribe soon, I promise! :)
But part of me would like to see the freeloaders gone before subscribing, just because I feel the content is so valuable that I would like to keep it from my competitors, but of course I have no right to refuse them a membership.
I agree with the right marketing, this site could easily get $149/yr... "Why pay an SEO $1000+/yr when you can do it yourself for $149/yr...." ... "Read the stories of these satisfied customers"...
part of me would like to see the freeloaders gone before subscribing
Wait - before you stop being a freeloader - you want to see the other freeloaders gone?:) You have to admit there is some humor in that remark ;)
But seriously, no one should look at non-subscribers as freeloaders. There are some who can afford to pay and do, but really contribute nothing; there are also some who can't afford to pay but bring real expertise to the forums.
As long as Brett wants to have an open section - which is what brought everyone here in the first place - I think those who avail themselves of that free service should not be considered freeloaders or anything similar. They are just people who share a common interest but have not yet found reason to pay.
I'll let you speculate as to whether or not I'm a "freeloader." :)
I would still like to see all the "good stuff" under lock and key.... anything private e-commerce individuals could profit from. It's not like they wouldn't make good ROI for $149.
Hey Mardi Gras - Just read your post, guess i'm not a frealoader anymore ;)
At current, the subscription system was setup:
a) In response to member requests for a quiet area of the board. I could see no other way to do it and make it work.
Posting qualifications was not an option, because those don't work and encourage post count spamming.
A monetary requirement mandates a more professional of a crowd and those were the people requesting it.
b) To keep advertising off the board. I feel a huge part of why people come here, is they can trust that the mass majority of information they find is unbiased and unendorsed. Going to an advertising system could lose that feature.
That's not to say I don't feel there are ways to advertise responsibly that would work. Something such as self-serve text ads managed by a third party might work, but big ol eye bleeding banner campaigns aren't going to happen.
c) The donation system was taking a great deal of time because members were treating it like a subscription system. I was forever looking up for people when they last donated. Some were donating every week out of their pay check. The subscription system automated that (hence, the 6 months and one year options - no fuss, no muss).
To think of it another way, the subscription fee is like a cover charge at a nice night club. The club just sets the atmosphere and waits tables - it's up to the crowd to have the party.
The best advertising is always word of mouth. For 3 years we've never advertised. Just this last week was the first time I'd ever purchased any advertising for WebmasterWorld and that was just for reciprocation and for the fun of it (ya, advertising can be fun - ok, ya I'm a marketing geek - we like things like that).
We've sort waited for someone 'big' to 'notice us' here. Since they haven't and now that we are the biggest forum on the net, I'm getting that old deja vu, lets's just stay off the radar feeling all over again.
Word of mouth, always works the best. Besides, the subscription and benefits, are for community members. No need to go off site or promote anything about it. You folks know what we do and what we are about here. We've not tried to sell you on anything but the community since you came on board - there is no need to sell you on a subscription system either. You either get it or you don't.
I'm just trying to stay out of the way here and let the system work.
Thanks for the support.
Besides, I'm thinking it'll be really fun when I am generating income and have earned my way in <g>
For all the funnin' though..I had no problem coughing up for other business supplies and I won't choke when the google adwords bill comes due, and next month I'll chip in to support WebmasterWorld. It is a qualified biz expense, just like any other professional training. I only wish I'd found this forum 3 months before I built my site, not 3 months after.
Now my feelers are all in an uproar. :)