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How I Built a Membership Site Using Joomla Components and without being a developer with Nicole Warner

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Presented at JoomlaDay Chicago 2019
Membership sites are growing in popularity and profit. But when I wanted to start one, I couldn’t find a lot of resources for Joomla. So I researched and found Joomla components and plug-ins which allow the creation of a great membership site.

Come hear which components I chose and why, why I chose to stick with Joomla, and how the first few months have been in the GermanWithNicole Klub.

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How I Built a Membership Site Using Joomla Components and without being a developer with Nicole Warner

  1. 1. GermanWithNicole.com How I Built a Membership Site Using Joomla Components and without being a developer.
  2. 2. © GermanWithNicole.com 1. Joomla + Nicole – a short history 2. Why create a membership site? + Business Model + Expert spotlight 3. To Joomla or to WordPress? A short answer to a short question. 4. Components I used in my site 5. You don’t know what you don’t know. + Expert spotlight 6. Disconnects between Joomla/Joomla developers & users like me 7. The best things I learned on this 9-month adventure. Questions? – ask them in between or at the end. How I Built a Membership Site with Joomla Components with my limited Joomla capabilities.

  3. 3. 1.Joomla + Nicole – a short history First introduction to Joomla NotesontheRoad.com – now in WordPress. ☹ Swapped a recording for a website – Axel Joomla Bamboo template with nicolewarner.com Outgrew Axel - on my own. 2009-2010 c. 2012 © GermanWithNicole.com c. 2012 Started re-building nicolewarner.com with Arrowthemes template 2013 Began german.nicolewarner.com (used a tutoring site) 2014 Bought GermanWithNicole.com – viel, viel besser. Got another Arrowthemes template
  4. 4. First Joomla Day!2017 2019 „That sounds crazy, I think I‘ll do it.“ 2018 Began attending JUGCN User Group regularly. Joomla + Nicole – a short history
  5. 5. 2. Why Build a Membership Site? © GermanWithNicole.com Blog Clients Other Work Membership batch creation private lessons interpreting batch creation 1:many – for $0 1:1 time for money 1:1 time for money 1:many “sending out ships” + recurring (monthly) - can be volatile - unpredictable recurring (monthly /yearly) $0 + prevents me from being dependent on one economy - unpredictable • downsell clients • win back former clients • potential client base • future classes + evergreen + even time- sensitive posts still get hits à sign- ups long-term relationships 6 mos. – 4+ yrs. average 2.5 years - unpredictable + evergreen content + new content, interest + works 24/7
  6. 6. 2. Why Build a Membership Site? (continued) © GermanWithNicole.com Work smarter, not harder Provide a higher-quality product/service Add value for clients • Private lessons are awesome, but are time for money • Create new, high-quality activities for them • A place for additional resources (use twice) • A back-up for me when I‘m on vacation/ill/etc. • Batch creation is genius • Scale/reach more people • Evergreen content + new content 3 weeks/month • Many free resources for learning German • confusing • overwhelming • irregular / people have to go hunting • made by people who aren‘t qualified German instructors • too much social media positioning, not enough learning
  7. 7. 2. Why Build a Membership Site? (continued) © GermanWithNicole.com Members Monthly Total Monthly Stripe Fixed Costs Taxes 30% Savings 10% Owners Comp 60% 50 $25 $1,250 ($37.50) ($40.00) $1,173 ($351.75) ($117.25) $704 100 $25 $2,500 ($75.00) ($40.00) $2,385 ($715.50) ($238.50) $1,431 150 $25 $3,750 ($112.50) ($40.00) $3,598 ($1,079.25) ($359.75) $2,159 200 $25 $5,000 ($150.00) ($40.00) $4,810 ($1,443.00) ($481.00) $2,886 250 $25 $6,250 ($187.50) ($40.00) $6,023 ($1,806.75) ($602.25) $3,614 300 $25 $7,500 ($225.00) ($40.00) $7,235 ($2,170.50) ($723.50) $4,341 350 $25 $8,750 ($262.50) ($40.00) $8,448 ($2,534.25) ($844.75) $5,069 400 $25 $10,000 ($300.00) ($40.00) $9,660 ($2,898.00) ($966.00) $5,796 450 $25 $11,250 ($337.50) ($40.00) $10,873 ($3,261.75) ($1,087.25) $6,524 500 $25 $12,500 ($375.00) ($40.00) $12,085 ($3,625.50) ($1,208.50) $7,251 Business Model by the numbers (monthly)
  8. 8. Members Yearly Stripe Fixed Costs Taxes 30% Savings 10% Owners Comp 60% 50 $15,000 ($450.00) ($480.00) $14,070 ($4,221.00) ($1,407.00) $8,442 100 $30,000 ($900.00) ($480.00) $28,620 ($8,586.00) ($2,862.00) $17,172 150 $45,000 ($1,350.00) ($480.00) $43,170 ($12,951.00) ($4,317.00) $25,902 200 $60,000 ($1,800.00) ($480.00) $57,720 ($17,316.00) ($5,772.00) $34,632 250 $75,000 ($2,250.00) ($480.00) $72,270 ($21,681.00) ($7,227.00) $43,362 300 $90,000 ($2,700.00) ($480.00) $86,820 ($26,046.00) ($8,682.00) $52,092 350 $105,000 ($3,150.00) ($480.00) $101,370 ($30,411.00) ($10,137.00) $60,822 400 $120,000 ($3,600.00) ($480.00) $115,920 ($34,776.00) ($11,592.00) $69,552 450 $135,000 ($4,050.00) ($480.00) $130,470 ($39,141.00) ($13,047.00) $78,282 500 $150,000 ($4,500.00) ($480.00) $145,020 ($43,506.00) ($14,502.00) $87,012 Business model by the numbers (yearly) 2. Why Build a Membership Site? (continued)
  9. 9. https://www.membershipacademy.com?aff=GermanWithNicole Expert Spotlight: Membership Academy MembershipAcademy.com and TheMembershipGuys.com
  10. 10. 3. “to Joomla” or “to Wordpress”? A question you have to ask yourself when you visit MembershipAcademy.com… • A complete change of system • Re-do site or create another domain • Weighing the options, I looked at: • extra time to switch • components I would need • problems others were having • abilities/advantages Conclusion: • too much time • not a good idea to go away from my URL • the grass isn‘t always greener • still need a membership component • still need a payment plug-in or shopping cart • still need a bunch of components • still need some help setting things up • still have problems
  11. 11. Components Used: 1st landing page: SP Page Builder Membership Component: Membership Pro Payment Plugin: Stripe Content Display: EasyBlog Comments: Komento Forms: ConvertForms Document Manager: eDocman Email Newsletters: AcyMailing Graphics & Headers: Adobe Spark
  12. 12. 1st landing page: SP Page Builder Let’s take a look… 2nd landing page: Joomla core Let’s take a look…
  13. 13. Membership Component: MembershipPro Pros Cons Known system, I already use Events Booking Really complicated. Lots of features Emails & Messages default doesn’t auto-populate, have to track your own email texts. Sign Up via URL (not public plan) No coupon from back-end (clients have to sign up for their own free plan, I can’t issue it) Good response time on tickets Took me a long time to set up, configure, and re-configure
  14. 14. Content Display: EasyBlog Pros Cons Known entity, I used to use it, was easy to get used to again Really complicated. Lots of features Took me a long time to set up, configure, and re-configure Many different layouts No preferred documents manager Good response time on tickets Customizations (export post to template) rather high-priced
  15. 15. Document Manager: eDocman Pros Cons Known system, I already use Events Booking and MembershipPro Really complicated. Lots of features Took me a long time to set up, configure, and re-configure Good response time on tickets Display in my template is suboptimal.
  16. 16. Email Newsletters: AcyMailing Pros Cons Fantastic component I’m waiting to upgrade to v6 (full features) Setting up campaigns is really easy Campaigns can’t be shut off, can only be turned on. (manual shut off for sign-up bonus email + eBook) Good documentation and use of forum for assistance Must calculate timing for campaign sequences
  17. 17. Email Newsletters: AcyMailing Klub welcome sequence:
  18. 18. Graphics & Headers: Adobe Spark $99/year saves me hours every month. Let’s take a look…
  19. 19. Cost break-down Component Price Yearly Price Monthly Membership Pro 40.00$ 3.33$ Stripe Plug-in 25.00$ 2.08$ Easyblog 80.00$ 6.67$ Komento Pro 35.00$ 2.92$ ConvertForms 34.00$ 2.83$ eDocman 35.00$ 2.92$ Adobe Spark 99.00$ 8.25$ Site hosting (1/2) 50.00$ 4.17$ Acymailing (1/2) 50.00$ 4.17$ 448.00$ 37.33$ Also built in to the monthly & yearly numbers: Joomla Project Donation Without Joomla, who knows where my website and business might be.
  20. 20. 5. You don’t know what you don’t know. Problems I ran into: • Many extensions don’t function the way I thought they would. • There is a fairly serious disconnect between what I need to be able to do and what I want to do with my site. • I can’t code. This means there are certain things I can’t fix on my own. This is a bit of a hindrance for me. • There is a very serious disconnect between marketing and membership terms and how to implement these things in Joomla. • Unhelpful or outdated documentation (link) and external blog posts. What do I need to do // what’s it called in Joomla // search for it // decide which resource is the most reputable // check the date // figure out what in the world is going on // make more coffee // repeat.
  21. 21. 5. Expert spotlight SD to the rescue! SD came in this summer and has since helped me: • reorganize the menus for the Klub and Client areas • tweak the newsletters • taught me how to properly use anchors in Joomla articles • helped me troubleshoot a serious ACL issue in eDocman • fixed the tables I ended up using on the second Klub landing page • updated the URL structure • fixed the profile sync issue I had with MembershipPro • keep my sanity during the launch of an entirely new business
  22. 22. 6. Disconnects… Caveat: I don’t know anything yet about the development of Joomla 4. This Klub build kept me busy for the last 9 months (and I moved, too). 1. The world of internet marketing is huge and moving very quickly, and mainly they are using WordPress. 1. Amy Porterfield 2. Membership Academy 3. ProBlogger 2. Documentation is usually OK, but implementation takes a lot of technical know-how. This is a serious barrier to entry. 3. Developer to developer is one thing, developer to consumer is another, developer to consumer to end-user is another.
  23. 23. 6. Disconnects… How to tackle these disconnects: 1. Figure out how an end user would use your component, then build it backwards from there. Learning goal à Warm-up/intro à Activity 1 à Activity 2 à achievement 2. Connect the dots for self-maintainers like me and the thousands of membership site owners. Documentation is good, demonstration is even better. “Help me to do it myself.” (Montessori) 3. Cross-market your documentation and knowledge with the Joomla documentation. (Also: cleaning out is not only good for your closet, but also your Joomla blog.)
  24. 24. 7. The best parts have been… 1. Learning more than I possibly imagined I would and that at a deeper level. Membership sites, marketing, blogging, work flows, simplifying, condensing, batching 2. Increasing my confidence in working with Joomla. 3. Pay for expert advice. Thanks again to SD. ☺
  25. 25. Eure Fragen Welche Fragen habt ihr? What questions do you have?? © GermanWithNicole.com
  26. 26. Danke! Herzlichen Dank für‘s Zuhören. Thanks so much for listening. GermanWithNicole.com Nicole Warner, Owner and Instructor • (715) 602-0339 • Nicole@germanwithnicole.com

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