7 Ways To Make Money With Membership Websites
Memberships are part of our everyday life even when we don’t realize it. It’s a business model most people are comfortable with. You can join memberships for sports clubs, chiropractor care, medical practices, gyms and more. Members pay a regular fee, normally every month, and as long as they feel that they are getting good value, they continue to pay.
A membership website means that the public is blocked from the content. It’s only available only members who pay a fee to access the membership area. It’s an effective business model for the website owner because it generates a healthy passive income stream.
However, to make money with membership websites you do have to continuously ‘wow’ your audience to keep them interested, plus devote a fair amount of time to marketing the membership. So, how does the membership site business model really work and why?
How Successful Membership Sites Make Money
1. People Love Feeling As If They Belong
Being part of a community of people who enjoy the same things you do is a very special feeling. They say birds of a feather flock together, and memberships prove this point over and over again. You can have a very small niche and still attract members in enough numbers to make money with membership websites if you price the membership right. If your niche is super popular, and there are many other people doing the same thing, you’ll need to consider how you can differentiate yourself.
Your niche audience has an income and you need to know how much income they can spare to spend on something like your membership. Check out your competitors. How much are they charging and how busy are they? If you can spare the money, join a few of your competitors’ membership programs to find out how it’s working for them and how you can do it better.
FREE Checklist: How To Build A Membership Website
2. You Offer Unique High Value Products
No membership website is complete without at least monthly new products or services added to the membership to keep the members interested. The products need to add value to the consumer to the point that they say, “Wow, this is awesome.” Do bear in mind the cost of these products and services to you. For example, if you’ve promised a full information product each month to do with your niche, how much will it cost you in time and money to produce?
3. You Participate in the Forum Personally
The forum is the lifeblood of any membership website. A forum provides you the opportunity to keep your audience motivated to pay the membership fee month after month. Your private membership forum enables you to build an entire online community and can help you build relationships and understand your audience. You can also create a private Facebook Group that only your members have access to. The more you know about your audience the easier it is to provide products and services that they want.
Mostly, you should spend time on the forum or Facebook group on at least a weekly basis to answer questions and provide information. Plan how much time do you plan to commit to the membership each week and what is your time worth? For example, if it’s going to take a couple of hours a day, you need to count that in the cost.
4. The Content Is Regularly Updated and of Exceptional Quality
Aside from products or services, the content that your members consume is important too. You need to update content on a regular basis – at least once per week. Also provide extra content each month such as white papers, checklists and so forth. The more value you provide, the longer your members will stick with you. Even when people think they can’t afford something, if it offers a lot of value, they’ll come up with the money.
5. You Know How to Over Deliver
It’s easy to get carried away when promoting your membership site and make your audience feel as if they’re going to get more than they are. This is a huge mistake. The online entrepreneurs that make money with membership websites deliver far more value than the person joining believes they’ll get.
The real trick with subscription websites is keeping the consumer interested. You can do that with unannounced extras that make your customer want to see what comes each month. Make these really special and super hyper-focused on the audience, and you’ll have a winning combination.
6. Startup Costs Are Low
All you need to start a membership website is a way to make sales pages to promote your website, simple membership website software, plus an email autoresponder. Make sure you figure out what technology you plan to use for the membership because it can be tricky to switch it all over once you’re up and running. You can build and install it all yourself or hire someone to do it all for you.
7. You Can Charge More People Less for Superior Value
The other attraction people have to memberships is that it’s a way to spread the cost of resources over many different people. Something that might cost thousands a month for one-on-one work or consultations will now cost just a fraction of that when you spread that cost over many members.
Setting a price for the membership program you’re offering has many factors involved. Consider all factors, including your competition, and you’ll get started off on the right foot. Remember, you can always raise or cut prices based on what happens after you lauch your site.
Free Checklist: How To Start & Make Money With Membership Websites
Creating a membership site is a great way to set up recurring, passive income. You build the site and create the core content once, and you receive recurring weekly, monthly or quarterly payments. To make money with membership websites you do need to choose the right software, consider your budget, know how many members you want to attract, how much you plan to charge and what you want to include. For an easy to follow guide, download my free checklist, How To Start a Membership Site and start receiving passive, recurring payments sooner rather than later.