7 Best Recurring Revenue Business Models

June 30, 2022

If you’re looking to boost your online course sales, one of the best ways to do it is by selling your courses as evergreen programs. Evergreen courses are online courses that are always available for enrollment. This offers both students and instructors a lot of flexibility, and can also result in a steady income stream. There are a few different ways that you can sell these courses. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best recurring revenue business models that you can use to achieve success with your online courses!

7 Best Recurring Revenue Business Models

Among the best recurring revenue business models is the subscription model where customers pay a recurring fee to access a service or product.

This could be a monthly or annual fee. Other models include usage-based billing, in which customers are charged based on their usage of a service, and lease-based models, in which customers make periodic payments for the use of a product.

Here are a few of my favorite recurring revenue businesses. They should give you an idea of what’s possible and should hopefully inspire your own ideas.

1. Build a Membership Program

With a WordPress Membership Plugin, you can allow your website visitors to sign up for access to an offering that you have created on a membership website.

A membership site is where you deliver information to members, build a community of like-minded people and charge them a monthly membership fee.

Only paid subscribers can participate in this, and all of this is typically handled by a WordPress plugin or a platform.

If you’re looking to create a subscription-based business, then these essential tips are for you! By building your client base, managing a sales funnel, and generating reoccurring income, you’ll be on your way to business success.

Memberships can come in many shapes and sizes, from providing exclusive access to certain content or tools to offering members-only communities, or one-on-one coaching sessions.

Researching your niche is important. It’ll help you identify which of the most common online course topics you should focus on.

A subscription-based website allows you to sell products or services on a recurring basis. This is a great option if you want to sell your products to customers on a weekly or monthly schedule.

If you want to build a business that succeeds, then you need a teaching program that teaches others how to use your platform. A member’s area will allow your members to get the information they need without having to talk to you directly.

This would create a steady, predictable stream of revenue.

This can help give customers the peace of mind that they’ll be getting consistent, affordable support from you.

2. Produce Physical Product Subscriptions

Have you heard of the “box subscription” business model? It has taken many industries by surprise and has become a powerful force.

From razors to clothes, and everything else in between, there are tons of subscription box services out there.

This is one of my favorite examples of a subscription model that I’ve used. It’s from a company called “Plum Deluxe” and every month they send me a box of gourmet teas.

Now, I eagerly await the monthly delivery of my custom blend of loose leaf teas, and drinking a cup of my special brew has become part of my morning routine.

Creating your own subscription service can be simple or complex, depending on your materials and how you plan to deliver them.

If your business could produce physical product subscriptions, it’s worth investigating the logistics and doing some cost analysis to see if it’s a viable option long-term.

You can test it out first with a beta test group before rolling it out to all of your clients.

3. Develop a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Product

SaaS is a type of software that is sold on a subscription basis. Because of the monthly cash flow, this type of program is beneficial for businesses that want to improve their product quality and customer service.

One big example that has impacted the SaaS world is software giant Adobe.

In 2012, when Adobe switched to a subscription-based cloud model, they experienced a significant increase in income, which allowed them to expand their services to more small business owners.

Although Microsoft and Adobe had problems when they changed their subscription model, it did end up decreasing the upfront cost for consumers, and also increased their revenue.

Now 10 years later, Adobe continues to dominate the market in many industries, from graphic design to everyday business.

4. Become an Affiliate for Other SaaS Products

How can your business take advantage of Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Of course, with affiliate marketing!

By directing customers toward affiliate products that will improve their businesses, they’ll appreciate your recommendations and will likely purchase them, too.

When a referral of yours signs up for a software as a service (SaaS), you, as an affiliate, will receive a percentage of their subscription fees every month they stay subscribed.

This lets you earn a recurring income from your subscribers while avoiding the costs of building your own software solution.

Not in the SaaS space?

No problem. There are businesses other than just Software as a Service (SaaS) companies that need traffic directed to their website.

These alternative types of purchases can include anything from web hosting plans to online courses to monthly subscriptions.

5. Create Service or Retainer Plans

Rather than selling products or services on a one-off basis, many businesses provide ongoing services. These are often paid on a monthly basis.

You earn more money with less effort. Your clients get discounts or extra services, and you don’t have to pester them constantly.

Let’s say you’re a web developer or freelance designer. You know that clients in your industry will need to update their website or print materials on a regular basis.

So instead of having to quote them a new project each time, why not offer a package that covers your clients for an entire 3 months? Or a year-long program to keep them growing from beginning to end of the fiscal year?

Another way to earn more money with your small business is to offer additional products and services. These additional services can serve as great ways to boost your monthly revenue, diversify your product offerings and increase your value to potential customers.

Whether your business offers web design or time management, adding supplementary services to your portfolio is a great way to add value for your clients.

Think about what your ideal clients need when deciding to work with you. What other services could you offer them?

6. Combine Online Membership and Physical Product Delivery

Another way to create monthly revenue from your business is by pairing a paid subscription with a physical product that is delivered each month.

The example of The Ornament Girl is a good one, as she runs a subscription service called The Ornament Girls Club.

When you join her monthly membership, you get access to her exclusive ornaments, which are only available to members. You can either download the eBook and watch the videos, or you can get the physical kits mailed to you.

It’s a brilliant strategy to use content marketing and a physical book to generate two streams of income.

7. Sell Your Online Courses As Evergreen Programs

Online courses are similar to membership sites, in that they both have a specific focus. However, while both offer exclusive content, an online course is more about teaching something specific.

Although selling courses is a great way to monetize your content, it’s important to have a strong funnel in place to ensure continuous income from those customers.

To succeed at this strategy, you’ll need to set up a system for generating new sales. You could do this by running ads on Facebook, content marketing, or you could even run a social media campaign.

But once you get going, it can generate a recurring stream of revenue.


If you’re looking to boost your online course sales, one of the best ways to do it is by selling your courses as evergreen programs. With your online courses, students can always purchase them and take them whenever they want. This flexibility gives your students more freedom, and it allows you to generate a steady income. There are a few different ways you can structure your online course business. In this blog post, we’ve looked at some of the best recurring revenue business models that you can use to achieve success with your online courses!

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