How to Succeed in Making Money Online – Membership Websites

How to Succeed in Making Money Online – Membership Websites

How to Succeed in Making Money Online: Membership Sites

Welcome to the Making Money Online series. In part one, I introduced you to the concept of affiliates and discussed how to make money online with affiliate marketing programs. That was followed up with part two and the discussion about incorporating and developing information product creation to your website.

In the third part of the series, our main focus will be on membership marketing sites. There is a good reason that membership sites are popular business avenues with Internet Marketers. Its popularity stems from the fact that they provide a consistent monthly income and in a lot of cases, this can be a great deal of money.

What is a Membership Site

A membership site is a private website with exclusive content that allows members the ability to interact with one another. As the membership site owner, these members pay you a monthly fee to have access to the site and all of its contents. An example of a membership site is Authority, which is a highly popular content marketing training and networking community. It is so popular that they have a membership waiting list.

Researching Membership Sites

If you plan out and implement a membership site, it won’t take you months or years to generate enough income online to be able to support yourself. If you design it properly, you can grow your site as well as your income very quickly.

What you have to do first when thinking about creating a membership site is to figure out if you have an audience that’s willing to pay well for access to your site.

If you are thinking about starting a membership site in a particular niche but can’t find other sites in the same niche that can be a warning sign. Though it’s not always the case, not having competition in a niche could potentially mean that the audience is not interested enough in your idea.

But don’t let that stop you from doing a bit of research on the topic as it can also be a sign that your niche is too narrow. If you broaden your niche and find membership sites, then you have found your market.

When you have a niche in mind, you will want to look at other successful membership sites. A good suggestion is to join some of these other sites if possible. Think about it this way – if you were going to open a car dealership in a city, then the first thing you would do is scope out other car dealerships in the area.

You don’t do this so you can steal their cars or so you can duplicate their marketing. You do this so you can study the other dealerships’ successes and failures. Review these sites for:

  • What is working well
  • What does the site lack (add these to your own site)
  • Is the site worth the fee you are paying
  • How can you replicate the good things on your own site
  • Do they offer resources and are they easy to find

Knowing what works well in your niche can position your membership site for success.

Building Your Membership Site

The next thing you need to do is decide how you are going to build your membership site. You can build a membership site by using software like WordPress and a plugin like S2 Membership. This will help keep your costs down – especially in the beginning.

But if you do go this route, it also means that you are virtually on your own for technical support. Since the backend management is the toughest part of having your own membership site, you need to compile a list of trusted service providers.

You want several providers that are capable of dealing with technical problems and can troubleshoot if something breaks down and you need help. If you would rather not deal with this hassle, then you could consider paying for membership software like aMember Professional. This means that if something does break, you’ll have a dedicated team that you can reach out to for help.

When you start building your site, you’ll want to assemble a team of moderators. Unless you plan on being chained to your computer for days on end in the beginning, you’ll need moderators. These should be people that support your vision and can help enforce member rules.

You probably already have some followers who would make great moderators. Look for the people who always comment on your blog posts, that promote your newest products, and that may already be involved in other communities. To make it worth their while, you can give moderators free membership and even throw in some perks from time to time.

Where to Go From Here

In this article, I was only able to touch upon a fraction of the things you will need to consider when developing and implementing a membership site. If you are seriously considering setting up a membership site, I highly recommend doing further research and signing up for an ecourse which will take you through the steps from start to finish.

If you have a membership site, I would love for you to share your experiences with my readers by commenting to this post. If you are member of a membership site, what are some of your favorites and what things do you like about them?

Please come back again to read part 4 of the series where I discuss making money online as a freelancer.

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14 thoughts on “How to Succeed in Making Money Online – Membership Websites

  1. Thank you for addressing the complexity of creating a membership site. I think it’s one of those things that sounds easy, but can be very resource intensive (like being a landlord).

  2. This post has lots of great information. I would have thought that if there is no membership site in your niche it’s a no-brainer to start one. I like you comment about it possibly being a red flag. I’m looking forward to reading your other posts in this series.

    1. Julie, I am glad that you are enjoying the information. As I research each topic area, I am learning so much that the series might actually turn into an extended ebook.

    1. If I see any freebie or inexpensive webinars/trainings on the subject of membership sites, I will make sure to share a post about it. There are great benefits to membership websites and people enjoy being a part of a group that share their same passions.

    1. Melanie, I have learned a great deal about membership sites during my research for this article. It takes a great deal of hard work and dedication to get one up and running. As a member, there are some great benefits and rewards being a part of a group that shares your same passions. I currently belong to a crafting membership site and they offer discussions, free patterns, groups for specific types of crafts, monthly webinars, and lots of YouTube instructions.

  3. Hi Sue!
    I think a lot of us are scared to start membership sites simply because we aren’t quite sure how they work. This is a great start and I’ll be saving it for future reference when I finally decide to start my own.

    Thanks!
    Cheri

  4. I haven’t participated in any online membership sites…outside of a few facebook groups that I’m involved with. Planning to follow your tips and do a little research!

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