Marketing Instructables

This site is the business activity of Instructables Inc, and as such has to turn a profit (or break-even at the least). I don't know how the books balance or who has how much equity in Instructables Inc, but we do know that paid memberships (Pro accounts) have been introduced as an additional income-stream. Current Pro users number just over 600, so small money so far.

A lot of complaints have been made about Pro membership, mainly in relation to what will be denied to free members, but also with regard to perceptions of an "us and them" division.

  • If the site can successfully sell memberships and attract advertising revenue / sponsorship, it would not be necessary to annoy / nag free members by denying them basic features they won't or can't pay for.
  • This is it: How can the site better market what it has to attract paying users willingly, and maximise other sources of income?

E.g. gmjhowe's suggestion of Testimonials ("awesome" E Wilhelm)
E.g. changing the Pro badge
E.g. changing the "recent Pro users" on the front page ("interesting idea" E Wilhelm) taken up unless it's just coincidence that it appears to be that way

This topic is for constructive ideas around the introduction of new features and increasing site revenue, not for complaints (there are plenty of other topics for complaints)

Personally I think the marketing of Pro accounts could be improved in some areas?


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I still don't get why there's nothing on the front page about pro accounts. There should be an easily visible area describing them with a link to the order page. On the big slide show, the instructables book has a spot, but not pro accounts, how does that make sense?
lemonie (author)  Weissensteinburg8 years ago
It's a bit subtle, but there are the recent Pro members, so there isn't absolutely nothing on there. I think the idea is to allow people free access so that they can see what the site has, but to be reminded (nagged) that it's a better experience if you pay for extras. This is sensible for passing traffic & new users, but having an upgrade button on your non-Pro you page might be a good idea?

I thought that's shat it is, but it just says, "Members." Because I'm pro, I don't know how much they're nagged or confronted by go pro stuff, but I still think there should be something on the front page. I'd also like an easier to find link for going pro, so I can retrieve it whenever people make topics asking about it.
lemonie (author)  Weissensteinburg8 years ago
bosherston8 years ago
Slap me down if I'm being naive, but how about some kind of share scheme in Instructables Inc. or would that conflict with US trade regs?

Instructables Inc would have to change their Articles of Incorporation. That way Eric and the board (is there one?) at ibbles can set out the limits as to how the issue of stocks/shares affect the day to day running.

If I have got this right Instructables as a private company can issue shares that can have really restrictive rights applied to them - so no risk to EW of share battles or a takeover.

What form do the shares take - maybe patches, a cyber-certificate - and the warm glow of pumping a bit of capital into something that's in our interests to keep healthy.


We already have a board of directors, and have already issued shares of stock. The company is private, so you cannot buy those shares. Issuing shares is a normal way one starts a business and raises capital through private investors.
Could you issue another tranche of shares, maybe even have it so one could pay in installments? Say for example Instructables shares are $50 each but you can elect to buy them using Poopal as-and-when you get a bit of spare casch. If you have to login before you can do this would this equate to private shares? btw that's the first time I've ever seen a Corvus eating a Squalidae. Cheers.
No, sorry that won't work.

I do not want to see ibles go corporate. You have a board running it, and forget it! I've no trust for a board of investors running the site - I'd leave faster than hot grease can spit.
In your comment you mention board, then board of Investors.

The about page has a small section listed as "Instructables Advisors & Board Members" with one Mark P. Jacobsen listed as a Board Member. Maybe part of a Board of Directors?

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