Membership sites are a great way to generate recurring income. The best part is, it doesn’t require you to create any products or services. Instead, you get to charge people to access valuable content on a site dedicated to your niche.
There’s no easier way to have your content shared and built into your subscribers and customers than by using an automated membership site, or MBS…But creating one is not easy. Creating a MBS is like starting a business—it takes discipline, commitment, and a vision to get it off the ground.If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in the idea of a membership site. These sites should not be confused with paid subscriptions, which are based solely on a financial model that links users to their sites.
Netflix, for example, is a classic example of a subscription site: It is a platform to which users have access for a periodic fee. Membership sites, on the other hand, refer to platforms that offer closed content that can only be accessed through, you guessed it, membership.
These sites can be paid, free, or tiered, depending on the intent of the site as a whole.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of membership websites, how to create member-only content, and the top three membership websites.
Why you should make a membership site
There are many benefits to creating a membership site, including building a community and monetizing your content.
Below we will look at the three main benefits of creating a membership site structure.
1. Become an expert
Everyone wants to be considered an expert in their field. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.
A surefire way to brand yourself as an expert is to provide valuable content that fills in the gaps in the general knowledge base of your industry. These resources can take the form of white papers, infographics, blogs, podcasts and any other form of consumable content.
When this content is only available as part of a membership, you not only increase demand for your content, but also firmly establish yourself as an industry expert as consumers are willing to interact with your closed site.
2. Strengthening your community
When you choose a membership site, you are not only creating a transactional environment, but also a community.
Your target audience has agreed to participate in your membership site because they have a general interest in your product or topic.
Support this community with unique offers, benefits and a place to meet. Whether your membership site is paid or free, you will have a unique group of active members with common interests who are willing to share.
Building a community will also help you in the long run, as you will have built a base of followers with whom you will have established a relationship of trust and goodwill, making it more likely that they will engage with your products and offerings in the future.
3. Increase in total cost
With each new member and each new source of content, your website becomes even more valuable. The more content you create, the more you can offer to potential community members.
While traditional digital models work with one-time sales of products or services, your membership site has the potential to build cumulative value that grows over time.
Creating a member page
Once we have convinced you of the benefits of a membership site, the next step is to describe how to create one. In this section, we’ll look at three steps to creating a membership site that keeps users coming back.
1. Creating your membership template
Before you start building a membership site, you need to define a membership template. At this point, you must first decide if you want to charge your members. If so, you need to determine how much and how often.
When evaluating prices, consider what competitors are charging and what they are offering. Sometimes waiving fees can be worth the lost revenue because it allows you to get a large number of qualified leads.
Once you’ve determined your price, look to your buyer personas to determine what will be useful to your customers. These value factors don’t have to be in the content, but can include offers like free shipping or points per purchase. Whichever route you choose, make sure that your offers connect to what your target audience finds interesting.
2. Create user-only content
If you offer exclusive content about a model, it should be: exclusive. If potential subscribers pay a fee or provide their personal information, they should get something of value in return.
This is where you need to look at buyer personas to determine what content to create so users find value on your website.
3. Choosing the right membership platform for your needs
Now that you’ve created a membership model and developed member-only content, it’s time to find the right platform to make your website successful. If you built your existing website on WordPress or Squarespace, there are plugins that can make this step very easy.
If you don’t use these platforms, you can choose a third party to create a membership site for you.
Regardless of the platform you use, your membership site should have the following features:
- Member administration : This feature allows you to create different levels of membership, add and manage members.
- User registration and user profiles : These are the external features that allow users to register and access their profile.
- Restriction of content: We’ve often talked about closed doors. So you need to make sure your site has the functionality to hide these valuable assets from non-members.
3 Examples of successful membership sites
While there are many membership sites out there, we’ve provided a few examples that are really catching on. These are both well-known names and lesser known membership sites that offer value to their audience.
1. ScottCheap flights
Everyone wants to spend less to get ahead, and that’s what this membership site allows you to do. This membership site offers a variety of flight deals and allows users to buy cheap airline tickets, opening their horizons and wallets.
This membership site offers members up to 90% off flights and is particularly enticing with its customizable offers. By offering each participant flights that match their interests, Scott’s Cheap Flights creates a personalized experience for participants that they return to again and again.
2. International Gemstone Society
If agate doesn’t make your mouth water, this site may not be for you. If cliffs excites you, make sure to bookmark this membership site in your browser. Members sign up for a paid model to receive certification courses, articles and a thriving forum.
There is also a lot to learn about creating a membership site, especially in a niche market. By offering its members content that meets the needs and interests of a specific group, the International Gem Society keeps its members coming back.
3. Food Blogger Pro
As the name suggests, this site is for all potential food bloggers. This site, based on the experience of two successful food bloggers, offers users course material and a forum.
If you want to make a membership site, you should check out this forum. Lively and interactive, the community really takes shape on the discussion side of this membership site.
Member page Frequently asked questions
Should my membership site template be paid or free?
Deciding whether your membership site should be paid or free depends on your goals. If you want to make money from your content, you need to sign up for the paid model. However, if you just want to gain credibility and establish yourself as an expert and a leader in your field, a free subscription may be for you.
What content should I include in my membership site?
The content you create on your membership site should be targeted to your audience. Provide valuable content for your target audience and offer them assets they can’t live without.
These offerings can include infographics, white papers, blogs, podcasts and other resources that fill gaps in your industry’s knowledge base or provide useful services to your members. Again, it always comes back to the question: What do my members really like?
How do I create a member page?
Creating a membership site doesn’t mean you have to be a programmer. Sites like WordPress and Squarespace offer plugins to help you migrate your existing site to a membership model. If your platform doesn’t offer plug-ins to facilitate this process, consider hiring a developer to help you create a members-only section on your site.
Why should I consider a membership site?
The benefits of membership include generating income, building a community, establishing your reputation as an expert, and monetizing your content.
Completion of side of limb
Whether you want to monetize your content or simply establish yourself as an expert in your field, creating a membership site can add value to your brand.
However, to create a truly successful membership site, you must intimately understand your target audience. By identifying the people you are trying to reach, you can better determine what they are trying to accomplish by signing up for your membership site.
Next, create a pool of content that you can distribute to participants at specific times to ensure your offerings meet their expectations. By establishing a frequency, you are building a reliable exchange that builds trust in your site and, ideally, increases your base.
What’s the best example of a membership site you’ve seen?
- SEO – Unlocks a large amount of SEO traffic. To see real results.
- Content marketing – our team creates epic content that gets shared, attracting links and traffic.
- Paid media – effective paid strategies with a clear return on investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I create a community membership website?
You can create a community membership website by using the Community Membership Website template.
How do I start a membership program?
You can start a membership program by creating a new plan in your account.
How do you create a successful membership program?
A successful membership program is one that has a clear value proposition, provides a high-quality experience for members, and is easy to use.
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