Available Store Credit: 0

Fast Member 1.2 Update: ClickBank Order Bump Support

This latest 1.2.0 release of Fast Member is focused on new support for ClickBank order bumps.

The order bump has become an important part of many online sales funnels and we are continually finding ways to support our users as they adopt these latest methods in selling their digital products.

Integration with ClickBank’s order bump is just the begging of a series of deeper ClickBank integrations we will be rolling out along with support for a number of other platforms over the coming months.

If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions leave them in the comments below.

 

 

Fast Member 1.1 Update

Glad you decided to take the time to checkout this latest update! We’ll talk more about the new update further down the page, first we’ve a few important announcements.

Announcing the NEW Add Ons!

Add On StoreIncluded in this update is support for a range of ‘Add On’ plugins.

For the past year we have quietly been working on a way to extend the capability of your FastMember sites, adding in the extra features you need without making the software bloated with other features you may or may not even use.

The only realistic way to do this is to steer FastMember towards a modular system, one where you pick and choose the modules needed to create the extact type of site you want.

As part of this vision, we are now announcing our online store and releasing a set of Add On plugins which you can access immediately.

Some are integrated directly with FastMember giving you additional features when installed.

Others can be used as standalone plugins regardless of whether you are using FastMember or not. Of course they will also work seamlessly alongside FastMember, often revealing extra features when used with together.

The aim is to allow you to build a fully customisable automated marketing and selling platform for WordPress. We’re building a scalable system for WordPress, one which we use ourselves daily.

And we’re making the components of this system available to you at a reasonable cost. This way you can create the exact type of site you need for yourself and your clients.

Lessons Learnt From 4 Years Of WordPress Development

While being a modular system was always the original plan, unfortunately in our eagerness to please everyone at the beginning of this journey, too many features were thrown into the core system.

Things have changed. Experience has shown us adding extra features just to please a few people slows down important core development tasks.

And when it comes to updates, it’s not best practice to force users to update the main plugin to fix issues related to features they may not even be using.

The Future of FastMember

We’re breaking FastMember down into a core system with a series of Add On modules. This will allow us to develop individual important features, such as the email and the affiliate system to full capacity, without future updates affecting the core system.

And while Fast Member is feature rich, not everyone wants every feature. Having a core system which does what it does VERY well is the ONLY real solution.

After all, imagine WordPress didn’t have plugins. Instead the entire repository was included as a system you had to install all at once. It’s vomit inducing just to think about wading through all those settings you wouldn’t even need, let alone the nightmarish task of managing the updates. While its a ridiculous example, this is what could have happened to FastMember if we had kept on this path.

Instead for your sanity (and ours) we’re taking the modular route and it’s gonna expand your sites capability beyond anything you can imagine.

What Does This Mean For You?

It means the future is a more streamlined version, with a pick and choose modular approach to the features you want to use.

What we’re not planning to do is charge you extra for features you already have. If you are a current FastMember customer, you’ll get the core system and the extra integrated Add Ons with the current functionality for no extra cost.

Of course we are still running a business. We will be finding ways to enhance the add ons with premium versions, so we can deliver even more value to those customers who see the benefits of choosing the versions of the new add ons with extra features they will use.

The Add On Store

As part of our drive to deliver you the best value, while also pushing the boundaries of what is possible both with FastMember and WordPress, we have developed an Add On store with a download credit system based around WooCommerce.

We’ve opted to use WooCommerce for the store simply because of the huge amount of support already available in terms of and integrations and themes.

Besides which, we don’t wish to reinvent the wheel. For us to branch out development and begin creating an ecommerce shopping cart platform would not be a wise move. Our focus is on making FastMember as customisable and powerful as possible. WordPress is a huge part of this and WooCommerce is a huge part of WordPress. The WooCommerce integration just makes sense as WooCommerce does what it does fantastically well.

And of course the system we have developed to sell our Add Ons is the very same system we are making available to you as plugins.

We’re happy and proud to announce a number of WooCommerce Add Ons, (with more planned) which can be used to extend your FastMember site into a hybrid Membership / eCommerce platform.


 

Fast WooCreditFast WooCredit – Adds a credit system to your WooCommerce store.

You can now assign a credit value to each product in your WC store and allow customers to pre-purchase store credit to pick and choose the products they want. This is a standalone plugin which can be used without even needing to use FastMember. However when you combine it with FastMember this is where the real power lies.


 

Fast WooMemberFast WooMember – directly links FastMember products with WooCommerce products.

Now you can use the FAST subscription engine to sell WooCommerce products on a recurring basis. When the product is purchased through Fast Member a new WooCommerce order is created and a WooCommerce invoice can be sent as usual.

Fast WooMember also works in reverse, allowing you to list and sell your digital products as usual through your WooCommerce store and then and granting your new customers access to both FastMember protected pages, posts or files and the drip fed content.


 

Fast WooDownloadFast WooDownload – Instantly turns payment buttons into download buttons.

When you have added hundreds of digital products to your WooCommerce store, the last thing you want to do is create hundreds more download pages. Fast WooDownload instantly turns your buy now buttons into download buttons the moment your customers make a purchase.

You can then either link to the WooCommerce my account page, directly link to your FastMember protected files or choose any destination such as a FastMember protected page for your customers to access their new purchase.

The download button also has the added advantage of letting customers visually see which products they have already bought and giving them instant access from the sales page or shop grid page.

Also using the custom short codes you can choose to display a grid of products your customers have already bought and also ones they have yet to purchase.


Even More Add Ons…

Those are just a few of the key Add Ons you have available

Other Add Ons include (all links open in new windows)

  • Fast Active Campaign – email integration with tagging and list segmentation for Active Campaign
  • Fast Sendy – email integration for Sendy self hosted email marketing system lists with FastMember.
  • Fast Stripe – The powerful Add On gives you true one click upsells.
  • Fast ClickFunnels – product integration with ClickFunels

Plus there are a number of standalone plugins inclding,

Finally 1.1 Beta Is Released

For a very short time, we’re classing this as a beta. However it has been extensively tested on live sites so the chances of it breaking anything are next to zero.

Details on how to update are here

What we’re looking for are any final glitches before we put it live next week.

We’re also changing the numbering from 1.0.9 to 1.1 as we feel it’s time to move FastMember to the next level.

We anticipate to be out of beta within the next 7 days, so for this short time we are offering you a chance to get access to any of the new Add Ons for 1 low cost.

Right now we are giving existing FastMember customers a discount on 15 and 30 credit Fast Credit bundles for the next 7 days.

Choose a credit bundle below and save 33% on the store prices of the FastCredit, and even more on the retail value of the add ons.

You will see the coupon discount applied on the checkout page

Caching, GET parameters and the FM Affiliate system

Caching is one of the most effective ways to speed up web server performance and by delivering the pages of site in a speedy manner increasing your user satisfaction. In short, it works by keeping a saved copy of any rendered pages in a quickly accessible  storage and delivers the page without firing up the wordpress core and all the plugins. That saves the time to re-render pages and  content is delivered quickly.

Unfortunately this increase in speed comes with some disadvantages, too. For one it can happen that when you have changes in your content, visitors are still seeing older cached content. Next there might be problems with dynamically created content. And last but not least the FastMember Affiliate system relies on some data being passed to wordpress so it can save affiliate information in a cookie and the wordpress database. This is is done by adding so called GET parameters to the address. GET parameters are the command pairs that you sometimes see trailing a URL after the question mark (like domain.com/?parameter=test).

Now fortunately most wordpress caching plugins have some mechanism to cope with that. Basically they have a setting that tells the plugin not to use caching when a request with GET parameters is detected.

In WP Super Cache the setting can be found in the “Advanced” section of the plugin settings and is called “Don’t cache pages with GET parameters. (?x=y at the end of a url)”

In ZenCache the option is called “GET Request Cache Exclusion”.

If you are unsure whether your caching solution works with FastMember or can contribute options/settings in other plugins, please contact FM support and tell us about it, then we can add to this article.

How To Protect Your Membership Content Like The Wall Street Journal

FastMember has a lot of flexibility when it comes to protecting your content. One method you can choose is used by many news sites such as the Wall Street Journal.

This shows the reader a teaser of the content and then directs them to subscribe if they want to read the rest.

This short video shows you how to do the exact same protection using FastMember.

This can be used for both free and paid subscriptions and is a great way of collecting new subscribers from your existing published content.

Why Creating A Digital Business Is Like Cooking Rice…

Let me explain

A few years back I had no real direction online and was struggling with building a solid business.

I’d done the usual things…

1. Enrolled in an online guru course which taught me how to make money by blogging about how I’m now blogging about how to make money blogging. Hmmmmm.

Quickly I thought this was a load of bull, so I quit. Don’t get me wrong I probably could have made loads of money if I’d kept it up, but it just felt fake.

2. Visited various forums, reading countless pieces of bad advice from others no more qualified than myself to dish out information on how to start and build an online business.

3. Built niche blog after niche blog thinking link building, article writing for SEO and all that crap that goes with it was a valid use of my time.

4. There’s more… but you get the idea. None of it really worked, probably because I didn’t believe in it enough to stick with it.

However along the way I slowly picked up things which made sense.

  • Build a following and more importantly get this following on a list
  • Create a relationship with this list
  • Market your content on your own platform and not someone else’s like FaceBook or YouTube etc
  • Learn the basics of how to write copy
  • Outsource or partner with others to do what you can’t do
  • Realise the only way to truly scale a business is by paid advertising. ‘Free’ traffic is not reliable and too inconsistent. Besides it’s never ‘free’.
  • Avoid shiny object syndrome – Get a plan. Stick with it.

Make Nice Rice

Once I’d got a grasp of the basics, all the tips and tricks and flashy techniques were like seasoning when cooking rice.

Sure you can make rice taste fantastic with all sorts of flavouring, but if you’re literally starving, plain boiled rice without anything tastes just as good, if not better.

And if all you’ve got is seasoning and water, without any rice, then you’re gonna go hungry no mater how great your water tastes.

It’s the rice which feeds you. The rice is like the foundation you build your business around.

So what does this have to do with my previous struggles?

Breakthrough

My first real breakthrough came when I found a system and stuck to it. It was like a recipe for really plain rice. Nothing fancy. No tricks or secret techniques.

I cooked it up following the directions without changing a thing.

I got a product created, paid for some traffic, got some affiliates on board and boom.

Gets $26K

In 7 days I’d done over $26k in sales.

This was a crazy experience for someone who prior to this didn’t have $100 in his PayPal account.

The key here was to follow a system. Luckily I also managed to partner with someone who did all the technical stuff….

  • Payment and affiliate integrations
  • Protected members area
  • Emailing customers access details etc

All the crazy tech stuff was taken care of.

Hopefully you know you don’t have to deal with this stuff either.

(If you already own FastMember, which does all the above and more then you’ve got it on a plate… bit like the rice)

Whats Your Goal In 2015?

However I know there are some who still haven’t got their business to the level they want, even though they own all the tools they need.

When we first launched FastMember we offered paid training as an upsell. This was to give those who needed it a little extra support on getting their business moving.

The training was delivered by Niraj Naik, a successful digital entrepreneur and the feedback we had was great.

This is the exact tried and tested methods used to build successful online business over and over again

  • Market research
  • List building
  • Product creation
  • Traffic

We’ve decided to put the training out there again as part of a holiday offer.

If you’ve got goals with your business you haven’t yet reached I urge you to pick this up.

Check out Passive Income Membership Training

This could be the missing piece to take your business to the next level in 2015, and it is currently at a ridiculous low price

We’re about to start driving some traffic at it and once the word gets out the price is going to go up

Any questions, just ask!

Dave @ FastMember

Get Started Now

EU VAT Update: How To Bulletproof Your Business With One Small Change

As a follow on from a post the other day about the impending changes to EU VAT regulations which have caused panic amongst digital product creators, there may be a glimmer of hope.

Again, I’m not your tax advisor accountant or lawyer. Do your own research. Contact your own advisors.

After some further digging it appears there may be a way to make your business bulletproof from these regulations. However it involves a small tweak to your business model which may or may not be feasible.

Offer Webinars Or Live Support

Below is a table taken from the UK HMRC website. It shows that webinars or an online course with support from a live tutor will not be covered by the new rule changes. This is because there is a level of human intervention involved which takes your product outside the scope of being solely electronically supplied.

Examples of electronic supplies and whether or not they are ‘digital services’

Service E-service? Electronically supplied? Covered by the new rules
Pdf document manually e-mailed by seller Yes No No
Pdf document automatically e-mailed by seller’s system Yes Yes Yes
Pdf document automatically downloaded from site Yes Yes Yes
Stock photographs available for automatic download Yes Yes Yes
Live webinar No No No
On-line course consisting of pre-recorded videos and downloadable pdfs Yes Yes Yes
On-line course consisting of pre-recorded videos and downloadable pdfs plus support from a live tutor Yes No No
Individually commissioned content sent in digital form e.g. photographs, reports, medical results Yes No No
Link to online content or download sent by manual e-mail Yes Yes Yes

HMRC Source

By adding a system like a help desk for customers to ask questions or doing an extra live coaching call each month for new customers you could potentially fall outside of these regulations.

You may even be able to setup a Facebook group as part of your product and the manual approval and moderation of this may also count.

However I’m saying ‘potentially’ as I’m still waiting to hear back from HMRC whether this is the case for FastMember. We are most definitely hands on with our support when needed, and we do the occasional live webinar, so I think we have a good case for falling outside these regulations.

Your business may also be in the same position, so it could be worth contacting them about it.

If it’s not, then maybe consider making a few changes.

And besides, having direct interaction with your customers should be an important part of growing your business. It can help you find out what they really need and let you deliver more value. Even the simple addition of a Facebook group really helps you to understand your customers on a deeper level.

Be careful with Facebook though. I hear they are tightening up their rules about selling on their site. I guess as long as your group is focused on delivering value and not a pitchfest then you should be ok.

I’ll post an update from HMRC on this blog as soon as I get a reply.

Let me know what you plan to do and if you see this as an easy change to make to your business model.

EU VAT ‘Mess’ – How It Affects Your Digital Business And Why You Should Not Be Running Scared

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Benjamin Franklin

Come January 1st 2015, many people believe death and taxes becomes be a reality for small businesses online.

As you are hopefully aware on January 1st new legislation comes into effect in the EU which impacts anyone who sells digital services online. The full legislation refers to digital services as follows:

Broadcasting

Includes the supply of television or radio programs to a schedule by the person that has editorial control of those programmes.

Telecommunications

Includes the service of sending or receiving signals by wire, radio, optical or other systems – and includes fixed and mobile telephony, fax and connection to the internet.

E-services

Includes video on demand, downloaded applications (or ‘apps’), music downloads, gaming, e-books, anti-virus software and on-line auctions.

HMRC source

These can be broken down further into the following:

• Download and online games
• E-books (e.g. Amazon Kindle)
• Download and streaming music and videos
• Cloud computing, including software provided as a service (‘SaaS’)
• Mobile phone services
• Internet telephony (e.g. Skype)
• Streaming television (e.g. Netflix)

If you are reading this, then it probably affects YOU.

Welcome To The New Digital Economy Folks!

In short the legislation means anyone who sells digital content for delivery online via an automated mechanism, ie a membership site or download delivered by email, is liable to collect the VAT for the country where the buyer is located.

If you do not collect it you will be liable for the VAT of any EU based purchase and you must keep records for 10 years. Any member state can request an audit at anytime, and with each member state having different VAT rates and thresholds things are about to get very messy. Welcome to the new digital EU!

Welcome To #VATMESS

Given the scope and complexity of our users sites it is clear many of you will be affected by these new rules. And with the place of supply rules, this includes our users outside of the EU. Yes my American brothers and sisters, this means you if you make a single EU based sale for just $1 you may owe a random EU state VAT!

While this blog post could go into many directions ranting and raving about the lunacy of these rules, I’ll leave this to my personal blog (if I ever decide to publish it after this mess).

Instead what I’m going to outline is my understanding of what is required and a proposed solution to this problem.

Otherwise here is a small taster of what you may have to deal with…

Now I don’t know about you but I’m less than excited at the prospect of dealing with an automated system which doesn’t even recognise the impending changes.

Lets Be Proactive

I’ve seen many bloggers state they will simply shut down their digital businesses on Jan 1. For FastMember (and me personally) it’s not an option. While we are a small startup, we have plans to be much larger and we still have customers to serve. Shut down is not happening.

Failure Is Not An Option.

I encourage you to adopt this attitude too.

Also we want you to be confident you can continue using the FastMember platform, knowing it will be fully supporting your digital business.

At present I am un fazed by these rules. I see this as a challenge. Not ‘The End’.

What You Need To Do

The following is not legal or accountancy advice. Get your own advisors if you want this. I’m not responsible for your business success or mistakes.

OK? Then read on.

Here is my understanding after annoying my own accountant.

You do not need to register for VAT in the UK if you are below the threshold. You will simply be required to sign up for the HMRC MOSS scheme and collect VAT on any EU sales made.

Still a burden, but not quite the full burden I initially thought.

A Better Solution…

Still as a digital startup we need to make things as hassle free as possible, both for you and ourselves. We have 2 proposed solutions to this digital madness.

1. Use ClickBank.

FastMember has been ClickBank compatible since it’s inception. By using ClickBank as your vendor you may well find a way around these issues as they collect the VAT on your behalf effectively letting you bypass the entire EU VAT ‘mess’.

If you can serve all EU based customers a page which takes them to ClickBank you may pretty much save your business a big headache. Sure there might be a small cost involved based on listing your product in their marketplace and an increase in transaction fees. However when you weigh this up against the burden of tax compliance and data protection legislation (10 years of record keeping based on users location details) the benefits far out weigh the costs.

Besides having access to a network of affiliates which can promote your products can only be a good thing. Unlike Amazon and other online vendors, Clickbank do not keep your customer list to themselves so you can follow up with your buyers and build your digital business with full control. You also decide the commission rates affiliates get. It’s a good solution and many small businesses have grown into multi million dollar operations through this model.

2. Use Stripe (with some tweaks)

We have developed a fully integrated solution for Stripe.

You can check out full details here

You can accept payments directly on your own site and let Stripe collect the needed data, leaving them to deal with PCI compliance.

By integrating Stripe further with Quaderno or Taxamo and registering with the MOSS scheme for your country you will have the means to be fully compliant with the least amount of hassle.

Again some extra cost involved, but its better than a full on battle with EU’s red tape system.

With A Few Tweaks

Unless you plan to just use Clickbank for all your sales, these 2 solutions may need a few tweaks on the FastMember side to be fully usable.

What we have planned

  1. A Geo Location Recognition add on system which will recognise where your customer is located. This can then redirect your buyers to a Clickbank (or any other) compatible landing page depending on which country they are in.
  2. An EU VAT add on system which will determine the country and EU tax rate your buyers should be given. This would then add the VAT at checkout when using Stripe or PayPal and also send your customers an invoice at time of purchase. You still need to manage your VAT accounting, this will just make the process a lot easier.

These will be both paid add ons, both between $50 to $100 each, depending on how much development is involved. This will be a lot less than the cost of full on compliance and wading through reels of red tape or developing your own custom solutions.

However you can get access to both of them, plus the Fast Stripe add on, (and all future add ons too) as part of our NEW Fast Club.

You’ll get the needed add ons delivered by Jan 1st 2015 and be ready for compliance with the least amount of effort and a minimal cost involved.

Join Fast Club now and be ready for 2015.

Check Out Fast Club

 

What do you think? Am I off track? Should I get a better Tax advisor?

Fast Member Adds Support For Auroracoin With Moolah.io Add-On

Moolah.ioFast Member, a premier secure digital delivery platform for WordPress, is pleased to announce support for Auroracoin and other virtual currencies with it’s first add on plugin FM Moolah.

FM Moolah harnesses the power of the Moolah.io virtual currency payment processing platform and opens up the possibility for online content creators and marketers to begin accepting virtual currencies on their WordPress based membership sites.

“Choosing Moolah.io gives our users more flexibility in deciding which virtual currency they wish to accept. We recognize the need for site owners to have more choices when it comes to accepting online payments. We’re now glad to show support for existing virtual currencies like Bitcoin and emerging ones such as Auroracoin.” states Fast Member founder Dave Dunn.

Auroracoin is based on Litecoin, a Bitcoin alternative, and already has the 4th largest market cap of any crypto currency. Launched in February it is being distributed to the citizens of Iceland in a bold move to “provide Icelanders with an alternative to the króna, a currency they are forced by pain of imprisonment to use” claims it’s mysterious creator Baldur Friggjar Odinsson.

Moolah.io currently support’s Auroracoin, Bitcoin, Darkcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Mintcoin and Vertcoin.

Fast Member turns any WordPress site into a membership based secure digital delivery platform. Content creators and marketers can deliver their digital content to their customers and subscribers in an efficient and secure manner.

More news about Auroracoin can be found here on Forbes.com and on their twitter page.

 

FastMember Support Site Update

In a bid to bring you an even better FastMember experience we are moving our current support site to http://support.fastmember.com

This means you will only need the 1 single main site login to access the helpdesk. Once you are logged into one you will also be logged into the other.

We’re able to do this because FastMember is near ready to be declared as stable for running WordPress Multisite. We’re running it in MultiSite mode here on the FastMember site and we’re excited at the possibilities this opens up.

One thing to be aware of with the help desk. If you have old tickets still open you will need to make a note of the ticket number. We will then pickup where we left off with your issue.

You can access the new support site here

http://support.fastmember.com

 

Fast Member 1.0.8

Hey it’s Dave Dunn from Fast Member .com

In this video I’m gonna talk about the new features in Fast Member 1.0.8

One of the major things we have done is re-written a lot of the core code. This means Fast Member is now more integrated with the WordPress core, making it even more future proof.

But that stuff is pretty boring!

What you want to know about are the juicy new features. So here we are…

Improved Free Products

Read More

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