The New Internet Revolution
The internet is undergoing an evolutionary ... and inevitable ... change.
In the early days of the internet, there was a universal perception that content on the web should be free. If content owners wanted to make money from their information they were expected to do it through advertising!
Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), there was not enough advertising dollars to go around. Thousands of smaller specialist websites could not generate sufficient advertising revenues to make it worthwhile for the site owner to keep their content updated.
The final straw was when the internet bubble burst.
Thousands of content websites stopped being updated or were closed down.
It was a sad end to the first phase of the internet revolution, but the wonderful beginning of the second phase of its evolution.
One of the big changes that the crash created was that internet users started to accept that if they wanted quality content, they would have to pay for it just as they do in the print world.
Likewise, after the experience of early internet publishing, individuals and companies with valuable expertise were no longer prepared to give away their knowledge for free. Why should they give away their most valuable asset for nothing?
The days when everything on the internet was free are gone and they will never return. It is a similar revolution that TV is undergoing, with more and more specialist content being locked up in subscription channels.
This changing perception about the value of internet content has created a surge in the number of specialist websites that are generating good revenues from charging subscriptions for access to high quality information.
Our research revealed over 2,000 paid membership websites that have been running for at least a year.
And this industry is still in its infancy.
The opportunity is still available to anyone who is passionate about just about any subject.
There are currently few barriers to entry, and new web-services are becoming available that enable non-technical people to start and run a professional membership website cost effectively.
Within five years, the barriers will be much higher.
The large publishers will have caught on and will be publishing hundreds of niche websites, rather than focusing on mass-market print titles.
New online publications will need to pull customers away from existing online publications to build their membership base.
This will increase the costs and risks for small players.
If you decide that this business is for you, the opportunity will never be greater than it is today.
It is a young and rapidly growing market that is guaranteed to continue to grow for at least the next decade.
Currently, a site can be run from anywhere and by anyone with a computer and internet access.
It can be part-time or full-time.
It is simple and fun.
You or your organisation can make a small monthly income stream or focus all your effort and make very significant revenue. Some niche membership websites are making over £2.5 million ($4 million) a year.
There has never been a better time to get started.