Membership sites are widely regarded as one of the best ways to make a continuous stream of income – and it is easy to see why. Unlike selling regular products or services, with membership sites you are ‘guaranteed’ a certain fee from your members each and every month – that is unless they decide to cancel their subscription.
But actually setting up, running, and earning money from a membership site is by no means a piece of cake. As many people find out, it actually involves a lot of hard work and planning!
Setting Up a Membership Site
First and foremost, you’re going to need to figure out what your membership site is all about – and that means niche selection.
Finding the right niche is crucial, and although your first impulse might be to choose from amongst the most popular niches out there, the downside to this is that you’re going to face a lot of heavy competition.
So, you have to either figure out how to distinguish yourself from the competition, or select a niche that is less popular but also has less competition!
Once that is done, the next step is handling the technical details of setting up a membership site. Even if you have no experience in web development, you can take advantage of some of the many readymade membership site scripts that are out there and will handle all the gritty details on your behalf.
Providing Valuable Content
Hang on a sec though, you’re going to be charging people a membership fee to access your website – but what exactly are you offering them in return?
At the end of the day, every membership site sinks or swims on the back of the content that it is able to offer its members. Not only must the content you provide be interesting and helpful, but it must be perceived as being valuable enough to justify the fee.
Plus considering your members are going to be paying monthly, you need to make sure that you regularly add more new content to keep them around!
Most membership scripts and plugins (such as the ones we covered above) allow the site owners to ‘drip feed’ content by creating it in advance and setting specific dates when it will be released to members.
So, all you really need to worry about is creating the kind of content that your members will appreciate in the first place!
Marketing and Attracting Members
Initially, the challenge with attracting members will be convincing and proving to them that your site is worth what they’ll be paying to gain access.
As with any online venture, you’ll find that you can market your membership site through a variety of different channels, including:
- PPC Advertising on Facebook, Google AdWords, and so on
- Posting on forums and commenting on blogs
- Article marketing
- Creating niche-based blogs to indirectly promote your membership site
To help with the conversion rate of whatever traffic you do manage to channel to your membership site’s sale or enrollment page you should include as much proof as possible and talk about the benefits that people stand to gain when they sign up!
Including social proof in the form of testimonials from current members can often provide amazing results.
With everything set up, marketing and attracting new members is going to be an ongoing effort and it is how you slowly but surely manage to boost the income of your membership site. The other ongoing effort will be to continuously provide great content to your existing members, and that should not be overlooked either.
As you can see, setting up and running a membership site is not exactly the walk in the park that many people think it is.
That being said – if you’re willing to do what it takes, you could find yourself at the helm of a highly popular membership site that rakes in a considerable monthly profit!