I closed my membership after five years - here's why - Worditude

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I closed my membership after five years

Here’s why…

Five years ago I launched The Worditude Club, a membership for business owners who wanted support and tutorials to help them write their own online copy.

On 30th April 2021, I closed it.

Why? Because it felt like the right thing to do at the time.

But that wouldn’t make much of a blog post, so here’s some background, highlights and the rationale for my latest decision.

 

The Membership Started Out As A Course Anyway

The Worditude Club started life as an 8-week copywriting programme to help business owners write their own website copy and then establish a content marketing routine to drive traffic back to their newly written websites.

It ran with 8 participants, each paying £350 to take part.

They had access to workbooks to help them write the copy, a Facebook group, weekly support calls, and on-demand feedback on the copy they had written.

It actually went pretty well. The delegates wrote website copy that more clearly conveyed what they sold and who to, and as the weeks progressed they grew in their copywriting confidence.

I’m actually not sure what made me change my mind and start offering it as a membership instead. I wish I’d kept a logbook of decisions I’ve made and why I made them.

My best guess is:

1 - I was easily swayed by what other people were doing. At the time I was pretty new to running my own business, and I was still in copy-cat mode. I could see lots of other people making memberships work (or apparently making their memberships work) so that seemed like a good model to adopt.

2 – I didn’t enjoy launching and hustling up sales, so the idea of a membership that was always open was really appealing.

3 – It felt easier to ask people for £35 a month and they could leave at any time, rather than £350.

4 – It was hard to get the length of the course right to suit everybody, and with a membership I felt like they could work at their own pace.

As I’m writing all this out, I’m thinking ‘damn it was a great membership idea, why have you closed it’.

A Brief History Of 5 Years Of The Worditude Club

Stage 1: Autumn 2016

£35 per month, housed on Memberpress - new content every month, monthly calls.

Launched November 2016, the same week as our Flossie came to live with us (shameless excuse for a kitten photo).

Stage 2: Spring 2018

I started running out of things to create monthly content about, and the members weren’t using it. Stopped creating new content, started providing drop-in calls with me 3 x per week (I know….already you can see how this will cause trouble, I just didn’t see it coming). Also parted ways with the VA who’d set up the Memberpress build and moved the content to Thinkific so it would be easier for me to manage myself.

Stage 3: Summer 2018

Moved to £97 for new members (grandfathered everyone else in at the legacy rate) and members could book in for 20-minute 1-1 calls with me. What. Was. I. Thinking ????? This meant I felt like I was working all day every day. I made myself way too available. And I often found myself more in a role of a business coach than a copywriting coach.

Stage 4: Summer 2019

Moved all the training material from Thinkific to Notion, and paid to have a super-whizzy system built so that members could generate their own templates to work from, then share the copy with me on Notion, and we could collaborate on it. Nobody used it. It was an amazing idea with great potential, but the learning curve for users was too steep.

Stage 5: Winter 2019

Winter 2019 we started building work at our house which made it almost impossible to have work calls because of the noise. And then January 2020 we moved in with my parents for a few months (while the building work was finished), and it was still impossible to have work calls (those that I did have were usually video-bombed by my Grandad, or my parents’ 20-year old cat tap-dancing across the laptop). So I dropped the price down to £35 per month, removed the option of 1-1 calls and started providing email support only.

Stage 6: January 2020

I realised that new members needed the most intense support for the first couple of months while they scrabbled to get their website copy written, and then often they left…..so maybe a membership model wasn’t right after all. I created a 12-week website copy-coaching package (for £350). The only way to become a member of the club was to complete that package, and then be offered a place in the membership. The packages were sold and delivered 1-1…. I think I sold about 3.

Stage 7: September 2020

I launched Write Your Website….a TWO-WEEK intensive - oh my goodness, why the rush! We offered two-hour-long drop-in sessions every morning and afternoon, plus daily copy clinics.

I ran this (with support from my copywriting co-pilot Rachel Extance) in September 2020 with 10 people, at £350 each. And again this January, with 20 people, still at £350 each.

And then vowed never ever ever ever to do that again because it was so exhausting.

But, the feedback was amazing. Delegates wrote the most amazing web copy. They got so clear on how they were writing for and what they wanted to share with them. They learned how to position their offer as something their audience desperately wanted. One emailed me to say ‘you’ve created something special here’. And I knew I couldn’t let it go.

The Write Your Website course material has been uploaded to its new home on MemberVault.

I’ve changed the format so now it runs over 6-weeks, with a weekly Copy Clinic for feedback on copy, and two drop-in calls per week.

And this feels so right. A defined time frame, to achieve a defined goal.

 

Why not keep the Club as the next step after Write Your Website?

I definitely could’ve done that. It was the original plan. That the only way to join The Worditude Club was to complete Write Your Website first, and I’d have the membership as a lovely source of additional income.

But I do not have a huge amount of time to work on my business. And I’m still working with retainer clients and taking on copywriting projects (mostly website re-writes and launches). I just didn’t feel like I had the energy to keep the membership running too.

Plus the work of content marketing is HUUUUUUUUGE. Website copy I feel confident to teach. But not so much all the rest of your marketing copy. And there are other people out there who do a better, more focussed job on that.

So on 30th April 2021, I closed The Worditude Club.

Having basically gone full circle.

I do wonder what would’ve been possible if I’d stuck with the original course idea and refined it back in 2016. Or maybe it still would’ve taken me 5 years to get to this point. It hasn’t felt like things were going wrong at any point, just that I was adjusting my business to what I felt was best, and what I (and my family) needed at the time.

Right now I feel like I need the gaps between the live rounds of Write Your Website to be as clear as possible, so I can work with 1-1 clients, learn new things, take time off, and be with my teenage sons as we move into post-14 and post-16 stages of education (they’ve been home-educated, so this is a big time for us).

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