Outpost makes production, distribution and the business of running a membership-driven site as simple as possible, so sites can spend as much time as possible writing, drawing, podcasting, etc., and less time on administration.
To make that possible, Outpost provides power tools for member communication, customer retention, subscriber growth, promotions, analytics, and connections to outside tools.
Outpost works exclusively with Ghost as the underlying CMS. Ghost is an open-source CMS that has powerful tools for posting content, sending newsletters, signing up free and/or paid members, and more. It's wickedly fast, built on modern technology, and has a great editor for writing.
Ghost the company offers a top-tier hosting service called Ghost(Pro) that includes the price of sending out newsletters, and we strongly recommend it for all Outpost customers not already using it.
Outpost builds on Ghost's powerful system to help member-driven publishers run as smoothly as possible, growing their business while spending less time on the business-y tasks.
Outpost is a publishing system and a publisher cooperative.
That's because when you start a paid website/newsletter, you are actually launching a publishing business, where writing or drawing is only part of the job.
To help you run the business, Outpost's publishing system includes:
- A modern, fast website that is membership-centered with flexible publishing tools (powered by Ghost, typically hosted on Ghost(Pro))
- An enhanced membership management system
- A system for sending out different newsletters to different tiers of users (without having duplicative posts show up on your homepage)
- A system for collecting, creating and handling payments, discount offers, gift subscriptions, and tips, on your site and off (Ghost has monthly/annual plans built in via Stripe)
- A way to write members and select groups of members directly without sending a newsletter or writing a post
- Smart recommendations to more of your own content on your posts
- A default comment system tied to membership levels
- Automated connections to other services for community building
- Automated communications (aka Auto-responders) to convert free users to paid ones and keep paid ones paying (MBA-types call this customer retention and customer conversion,)
- Analytics that tell you what you need to know with both a dashboard and smart email reports
- Support for your site and business (Access to both Ghost(Pro) and Outpost support)
Outpost's publisher cooperative model means every client is a member:
- Outpost's mission is to help its members build their businesses
- Outpost can't be sold without members' permission (which basically means never)
- Outpost uses its collective size to get group and volume discounts on third-party services, including email services to write subscribers directly and analytics
- Outpost members get a say in what we build
- Outpost members get to support each other and share tips and tricks
- When Outpost makes more money than it costs to run the business and pay fair wages, the excess gets returned to members as a rebate