Recently Yaro Starak reopened his Membership Site Mastermind program.  His program promises to provide people with the tools necessary to build a membership site that can literally bring in thousands of dollars a month in recurring income.

Simply get people to become a paying member of your forum, your training seminar or some other recurring service and the money will come in month after month. Imagine this scenario:

Month 1: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $160 / Month
Month 2: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $320 / Month
Month 3: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $480 / Month
Month 6: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $960 / Month
Month 12: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $1920 / Month
Month 24: 20 People Sign Up at $8 / Month = $3840 / Month

Maybe that’s an ideal situation, but the idea is that each month you’ll make the recurring income from the first month’s sales and from every month since then.  Over time, the income can continue to grow without limits.  It’s a terrific way to build an online income.

You Want the Money but Can You Provide Real Value?

When he reopened his product, I had a wave of people asking me about it.  People with little or no experience about certain topics were asking me if they should create membership sites so that they could get in on the explosive potential of this type of a passive income.

I even had a couple of people suggest to me that I do the same thing with Site Sketch 101.  Some people offered to coach me how to make it big with this business type.

I’m very familiar with how to make it work but I operate on a different business model than most people.  I’m patient.  I develop my products and I wait until I believe that I can provide much more value than what I’m charging.  I want to give people great value.


Value in it’s simplest form is the amount of money that someone would be willing to pay for something if they were to make the purchase all over again.  Or if what you have to offer is free like blog articles, tutorials, or free plugins then value is the amount of money a user feels he saved by reading or using your product.

If I want people to make a purchase on Site Sketch 101, then I believe that I have to be able to provide tremendous value.  I believe that you have to be able to provide $100 worth of value to make a $25 sale.  I don’t want a single visitor to my site to feel slighted or cheated.

Once your reader has made a purchase for $25 from your site, do they feel slighted?  Or do they feel like they’ve just been given a great deal?

Here’s a checklist to go over the next time your trying to figure out if your product or even your blog articles provide real value to your readers.

  • Qualified: Have you made $100,000 online?  Then why are you trying to teach something you don’t know? If you really know how to do something then you’ll do it yourself first as proof and then you’ll have the credibility necessary to teach others.
  • Helpful: Is your article or product actually going to to help someone or solve someone’s problem or are you just putting it up to take up space?  Many of you are talking a lot but actually saying very little.  There are words and pictures all over your website but they don’t actually mean anything to the readers.
  • Legitimate: Is it going to give what it promises?  Does the product provide what you advertise? A lot of online salesman try to create killer sales pages and prop it up with strong adjectives and overbearing promises that aren’t ever delivered.
  • Timely: Are you writing opinions about news and events that are current or ancient?  Is your product out-dated or up to current standards?  If you’re still writing articles about Michael Jackson’s death, you might be a little behind the times.
  • Easy to Use: Is your material easy to understand and simple for your readers to put into practice?  Complicated solutions aren’t worth anything to your users.  People are looking for fast and simple solutions to their issues.

When you think of value, I’m sure you think of products that people pay for.  Certainly we want to make sure that people feel like they’re getting their money’s worth from the content that we sell on our websites.

Real value, however, goes well beyond that.

If you’re not striving to make every piece of content at your site (including freebies) contain real value then your site probably isn’t worth visiting. If your site doesn’t have any value to a user then it won’t even be worth the investment of their time to stare at your page and read your material.

You probably need to go back and read the previous paragraph again.  You may have just discovered why you can’t get people to come back and visit your website.  You may not adding enough value to your work.  You may not be providing for your reader’s needs with helpful, entertaining, easy-to-use articles.

Take the time necessary to add value to your articles, not so you can charge for your articles, but so that your readers don’t feel like their time is wasted just by looking at your website.  I want Site Sketch 101 readers to feel like they’re receiving entertainment and education that is worth paying for…and they’re getting it all for free.  I want your readers to feel the same way about your site but you have to do the work to accomplish that.

Personal Reflection

Remember folks, I’m not writing this article to put you down or to make you believe that you’re a poor blogger.  I’m putting this together for one reason.  I want you to honestly assess how useful your site is to your readers.  If you ignore the truth about how valuable your site is simply because it’s not comfortable to admit that your lacking then you are robbing yourself of a tremendous opportunity to grow as a person and as a blogger.

Nearly every day, I find areas that I lack in and that I need to improve.  It doesn’t bother me.  I keep learning and I keep growing.

Join me in this.  Let’s grow together.  Let’s influence the blogosphere.

Now let me put the ball in your court.  I want you to take a minute and honestly assess yourself.  Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself as think about the value that your bringing to the table at your site.

Am I providing value at my site or am I ripping people off of their time and money?  Do my readers and customers go away feeling ripped off after reading my articles or doing work with me or do they come back time after time bringing their friends with them?

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • Chris says:

    I think making money online is a fantastic way to earn a living. The problem is that it’s very, very difficult. I think 95% of all people who try to earn online fail. One of the major problems is that you really have to have a unique product and then that product has to have a market. Those two things are very hard to achieve hand in hand. It seems there is always somebody willing to give the product away or undercut the next person’s prices to get the online business. I give anyone who can make a living from blogging or websites a lot of credit.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Website Offers Super Savings And Coupons =-.

    • Chris –> I think people wanting to make money online get impatient and start shoving ads, products and anything else they can think of to make extra cash. We need to be patient, develop real value, and then monetize it only after we have something worthwhile to offer people.

  • Yes, I aggre 100% with you, we have to add value in all what we do, especially in our posts and comments.

    I always try to add real value in everything I do.

    I like your message: “provide much more value than what I’m charging. I want to give people great value.”

    Thanks Nick for sharing this inspiring artcile, it made me think about myself and my blog.

    So, as you said above: Let’s grow together. Let’s influence the blogosphere.

    See you Nick.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: ENTREPRENEURIAL CHALLENGE: How to Turn $5 Into $650 in 2 Hours =-.

    • David | –> Good. I’m glad that you took the time to think about it yourself and try to improve yourself. Thanks for joining me in growing and improving. Let’s make it big together.

  • John Samuel says:

    I have been very careful with the content of my post and post only relevant content based on the site title
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: How to Enable/Disable Spell Check in Firefox Browser? =-.

  • That’s a checklist we should all use.

    We need to have “preeminence” as Yaro says. We need to prove to people what we say we are and what we can do and then when you say you have a coaching program or a paid product, people will believe you and hopefully buy.

    People are very smart and they know if you’re being genuine or if you’re not so I think in the long term is easier to be genuine.

    Also genuine and successful people want to build an actual business and teach others. Those who are looking to make quick money will just disappear over time so be one of those genuine people and you’ll have something a lot more valuable for yourself and others.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The First “Content King” Contest Is Coming =-.

  • Jay Medina says:

    Every business or marketing plan has the risk to offer. If you know the strategies on how to deal with this stuff you can surely survive it. I mean we really need to work hard for it even though it’s internet or whatsoever.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Cause a Stampede of Prospects With Three Magic Words, Part 3 =-.

  • izzat aziz says:

    i far far away from reach yaro standard that can make me open membership site, need to improve in every possible area first.. the numbers look fine, but quality is needed.. 😀

  • BloggerDaily says:

    Yeap. Nice point. I found websites that provides irrelevant material confuses the readers.

    Real value shows clear opportunities and projection for any investment. For me, that’s what a real value mean to be provided =)

  • Sadly, most bloggers don’t know what value is. They slap something together and think money will just come. As a result, they have blogs with little or no value and are abandoned in a few months at the most.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Brand identity, part III – Building your brand identity long-term =-.

  • Arisu says:

    I think you don´t need to be Yaro Starak or Nick Z. Cardot to create a great value product, people are willing to pay for useful information and products, but also for entertainment and decorative products. It´s ok to follow your own path and if you would buy it, then probably other people will (of course, it´s very different to “think someone else will buy it” to “know you would buy it yourself” – let´s not fool ourselves).

    I don´t think I´ll be selling anything online soon, but over deliver in my everyday work is something I believe in. When selling design, you sell ideas, that will eventually become a product, but ain´t a product yet – so the real value issue is always present in my work.

    • Arisu –> That’s true. People think that they have to be the next Darren Rowse in order to really matter but the truth is you just need to be yourself. But you should should still work to provide great entertainment, great value, and great resources to your readers.

  • Good pint, that is why we should focus on providing value, not making money of course you will receive much more in the end!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Dedicated Server Hosting =-.

  • Nick,

    I love your unwavering focus on putting other people first. Sonia from Copyblogger called it (about Chris Brogan, but I think the same is true of you) an almost pathological need to put the other person first.

    I hope the message you and Chris preach spreads life wildfire.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Where Are Your Readers’ Eyes Going? =-.

    • Blake @ Props Blog Reviews –> Chris Brogan is a huge inspiration to me. I study the material that pours off of his blog like I would study for a final exam at college. His style, integrity, and attitude towards the people around him is absolutely inspirational.

  • Dave Doolin says:

    Sounds about right to me. I’m in Yaro’s program since last May, but haven’t yet determined what value I’m providing that’s worth real money to my readers.

    I’m in the game long term. No hurries, no worries, great content regularly delivered, everything will come clear in it’s own time.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Twitter Redux – Making Sense of Social Media Madness =-.

    • Dave Doolin –> That’s the right attitude. No hurries. No worries. You’re going to provide a lot more value to your customers than others will because you’re actually willing to take your time and develop something that’s worth offering people.

  • Sure, give a real value will make long term benefit for us but is it hard to determine the real value when our product is digital or service.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Atahualpa 3.4.4 Configuration =-.

    • Dana @ Online Knowledge –> It can be difficult. But I simply like to ask myself what I would be willing to pay for it and then I step the price back a little bit from that. I like to get a great deal and I think that others do also so I try to provide a good deal.

  • Jim Estill says:

    The primary reason people fail to add value is true value takes a lot of time and work. Much of what is touted on the internet is “how to make a quick buck”.

    I view money as the byproduct. Focus first on the value then the money will flow.

  • Ron Boracay says:

    Nick, you are really providing real value to your readers. I learned a lot from your blog and I personally think, sooner or later, you and your blog will come out big and strong on the blogoshpere.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Two Seasons Boracay =-.

  • Indeed Nick, I just love this post. Honestly we don’t want to flood the internet with things that do nothing but take people’s money.
    Really, I personally hate useless products and I know my readers will hate them too.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful advice.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Prove Thyself =-.

  • Nice checklist here. Your post, Nicholas is very timely! It coincide with World Kindness Day.

    Isn’t time everyone began thinking more about others and less about
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: 3 Easy Steps On How to Profit from Your Blog Using RSS =-.

  • Eric says:

    Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Too many people want to sell stuff and start making money with their blog right now, today.

    When they realise how much work goes into it and how long it could take them to actually make any money they give up easily.

    What people don’t seem to understand is that they’re falling for (without even paying, hopefully) the idea that they can sell crap online just to make a living and not care about how they help other people.

    This is business. It’s just like any other business except it’s your blog. Give quality and do it out of the goodness of your heart and when the time is right with the smart work combined, you’ll then see money if you’re doing things right.

    Focus on your customer’s needs as ultimately, if you do start making any money, they’re the ones paying for your bills in the end. Without them there would be no need in the first place. Treat them well now and you’ll see things start to happen later on.

    Patience is so hard for most of us so practice it every day until you’ve mastered yours.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Taking Action Is Something We All Do Yet We All Overlook Every Day =-.

  • […] owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, first. Cardot really focuses on inspiring his readers to provide valuable website content that over-delivers in value, therefore satisfying readers, which, if you think about it, is an […]

  • Hi Nicholas,

    This post is well over a year old but the truth never dies. Recently a lot of people have and are learning that the hard way with the recent Google algorithm changes.

    You are one hundred percent correct. Value is what we as website owners need to concentrate on. Without value the amount of visitors you are getting is absolutely worthless.

    I like your challenge to us at the end to assess ourselves and our websites. This is not a one time thing either. It needs to be done constantly.

    As for me? I’m still working, still assessing and still improving. Good thing there are still valuable sites like this one that keep me on my toes and make me strive to be better.


    Vincent Parker

  • Nishadha says:

    Having a membership site is a great idea but you need to have a product or a service that you can charge for. The course is pretty expensive too 🙁

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