A membership site is a site where some content is available only to members who have logged in. To gain access to this content, visitors usually have to pay to join as a member.
Membership sites often include user-submitted content. The site where I got a slider photo is a membership site: you sign up and pay for a subscription that lets you download photos.
Another example is newspapers that put up paywalls are also membership sites. Some sites combine membership with other tools, such as learning management or social networking.
There are a lot of different models for a membership site, so it can be difficult to know how you should set it up. For example, a membership site can mean many things, including:
- Industry publications (white papers, surveys, reports), and newsletters
- Courses, webinars, and guides
- Private member directory (especially for associations and business groups)
- Exclusive invites to events and conferences
- Discounts on products/equipment/services for a specific industry or geography.
How do you build a membership site?
There are almost as many different ways, from plugins to third-party services to custom code. We’ll talk about some general considerations when planning and building such a site and some popular membership and content restriction plugins–which are easy to use, which are easy to customize, and so forth.
There are a number of options for building your membership site, in most cases, you’ll be looking at one of two choices:
- Cloud Platforms: This option enables you to get up and running quickly without wrestling with tech. However, it’s important to remember that with such services, you’re simply renting someone else’s platform. You sacrifice a lot of control over your membership in exchange for convenience, and this comes with costs that are not monetary.
- WordPress with a Membership Plugin: This option you complete control over your site and greater flexibility in terms of how your website looks and functions. However, this does mean that unless you’re hiring a web developer to help, you’ll need to build and maintain the site yourself.
Up to date, we have a wide selection of WordPress plugins specifically built for membership sites to handle payment, user registration, and content protection.
- Paid Memberships Pro
- Wishlist Member
- Woo Subscriptions & Membership
- Digital Access Pass
There are a lot of good reasons for building a membership site. Perhaps you want to create a private area for your clients, demonstrate your knowledge of a certain topic, develop a new course or share your passion and interests. Or maybe you’re simply looking for a new way to work online.
A membership site especially takes a lot of time to set up and get running. However, what a membership site does give you is a regular, recurring income that can give you the extra money you need to make your life more comfortable. And that’s without having to worry about driving more traffic to your site.17
Imagine having just a few, let ‘s say 50 members paying you $19.99 a month, You can end up with almost $ 1,000 a month. A steady stream of income every month is what most Internet marketers strive for.
Use your Knowledge and become a Specialist
If you’ve trained for a career or spent years learning on the job, then you have a lot of knowledge you can pass onto your audience.
There’s a lot to be said about sharing from the wealth of your knowledge. And, After all, it’s one of the main motivation ways to showcase your expertise and let people know that you’re the master.
For instance, within a membership site, you can create courses with content that builds on itself. It allows you to go much deeper than you could in, say, a blog article or a podcast.
You might create some introductory courses, then build on that basic info to lead for free and to more advanced course material paid.
If you already are a speaker, author or another kind of expert, a membership site can provide you with a commercial element that confirms your expertise and gives you something tangible to sell.
Build Loyalty and Respect
When you ask someone to pay a membership fee to access your content, you’re also giving them a reason to focus their time and attention on what you’re trying to give them.
A customer becomes a member, you are providing a service and providing new information to that member on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Doing this builds loyalty and respect. That is a solid foundation for a successful business!
Building a free subscriber base and then getting them converted to ‘paid members’ is only half of the job.
If your members are going to keep paying you every month you better make sure to provide them with valuable, up to date, and fresh information.
Ready To Build Your Membership Site?
Whether you’re building a site for yourself or a client, being clear about the type of membership site you’re building, how billing will happen, what members should get, and how you communicate with members will help you determine the best tools and setup for your site.
Best of success building your membership website!