A Membership site is a great opportunity to share knowledge, network with people, and create a sustainable business. But, What is a membership site, you may ask. A membership site is website that has valuable, exclusive content only available to subscribing members. The members must sign up, and preferably pay some form of subscription fee to access the content.
A Membership site usually has some sort of platform for members to interact with each other. This can take the form of an internal social networking site similar to twitter, reddit, or others, it it can be a simple community forum.
A Great way to think about a Membershp Site is that it is an extension of an Authority or Niche site. The conten is so valuable and the community is so awesome that people will pay to be a part of it.
- In the Beginning, you should either not have a membership fee, or keep it very low. But still require a sign up. You should aim to create a solid viable product, not a perfect one to start. You can raise prices as you improve your site in stages.
- You should consider joining at least one or 2 membership sites in the beginning to see how they operate and what the business looks like from a customer perspective.
- After joining those sites, learn what you like and dislike about what they do and strive to do better. Ask yourself “What makes this worth the monthly or yearly fee?” and “How can I make this, and make it better?”
- You must interact with your members, as stated above, don’t just drip content. Provide some form of “Insider Access” to your members. They pay to actually interact with you. Dedicate time DAILY to interact with your members! Answer their questions in a forum, hold Q&A sessions, or simply send random members a personal email or community message thanking them for being a part of the community.
- Start group events and challenges to keep your members engaged in your community and give them a reason to log in every day. Make it easy for them to participate and offer prizes and post leaderboards to create incentive for participation.
- Always review what’s working and what isn’t. Adapt your membership site around this information. Don’t be afraid to ask your members what they like and what they want to see more of! Compare text vs infographics vs video vs live discussion.
- Introduce new ideas one at a time. Don’t overwhelm your members with too many options at one time. And if there happens to be something you have added that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention from members, don’t try to keep pushing it, sometimes it is better to let things die than it is to continue to push your members to it.
Above all, Listen to your Members!
Who Should Try This?
Building a Membership site is for someone who has more than a casual interest in a particular topic. You should be always involved with your membership site.
If you want to share your Knowledge and engage in a community surrounding it, you should give a membership site a try!
Expertise In a Specific Topic
You need to have a fairly in depth knowledge of a particular topic in order to create a good bit of valuable content to start.
You must have a desire, time, and the ability to continuously research new information related to your topic or niche.
Community Social Interaction
One of the most important things about membership sites is the community. You need to be an active part of the online community and not just drip content.
How to Monetize
Monetizing a Membership site is much the same as a Niche or authority site, with one major exception.
- Ads. People paying to have access to your membership site typically do not want to see ads. Unless of course you have multiple teirs of members. This can help or hurt your community and you should proceed with caution.
- Basic – access to members area with Ads, Limited customization of profile.
- Premium – access to members area with NO Ads, profile customization and premium “Lounge area” with advanced topics.
- Sell Something – Sell some form of good from your website. Typically something you create.
- Physical Products like apparel, art, or some other item can be sold and shipped all from you own website. You can even accept Credit Cards or other forms of payment.
- Digital Products are the easiest to manage and are a much more passive tactic. A digital product is something you create once and sell over and over again. Things like eBooks, Courses, and more are the most popular types.
- Other Digital Goods such as upgrades to your membership, special recognition badges, and so forth.
- Promote Something – You can promote products and services through affiliate marketing. This works like commissioned sales. You promote and sell a product and the vendor gives you a share. Typically 1-50% depending on product.
- Donations – this is another touchy subject, but if your community is great, people may be willing to donate to keep it running.
- Affiliate Sales
- Sell Stuff (Digital)
- Sell Stuff (Physical)
- Sell Subscriptions
Want to Hire an Expert?
If you think this is what you want to try, send me a message. I offer expert coaching, guidance, and even offer a variety of Services to help you succeed.
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A Niche Website is a small website focused on one particular topic which shares information relevant to the chosen topic. It is important that the information be both useful and interesting to your readers. A niche website can be either a few pages or even up to hundreds of pages, depending upon the size of the niche. Typically The Larger more general niche sites are called Authority sites. IMO, Authority are more work for your time investment. If you don’t feel comfortable outsourcing blog tasks, I would stick to smaller niche sites and focus down on your chosen niche.
A Niche Website is a small website focused on one particular topic which shares information relevant to the chosen topic. It is important that the information be both useful and interesting to your readers. A niche website can be either a few pages or even up to hundreds of pages, depending upon the size of the niche.