How Do You Start A Membership WebSite?
If your business has got something people want and need, you may want to seriously consider adding other ways that will generate extra revenue for you. When you start a membership website it means that part of your website content is ‘gated’ where only members who subscribe to your service can access the content you’ve placed behind the gates.
A “gate” is simply a barrier you build into your website using a plugin. Once you’ve got that barrier in place, members can log in and access exclusive content, such as eBooks, webinars, online courses, and podcasts. You can also provide special offers, and create a community for your members to communicate and interact with other members and directly with you.
But before you start a membership website for your business, you need to decide which model will best serve your needs and goals. Here are 5 ideas for creating a website with membership and user login.
1. Content-Drip Sites
Many membership websites that make money use the “drip” method. These are websites where members pay a monthly fee (think subscription) to access your content. This works by having your content released to members on a predetermined schedule, where they can access the information immediately, and thereafter new content is made available every 30 days or so.
If you post evergreen content (content that is relevant for long periods of time), you’ll not find yourself having to search for new content or new ideas on a continuous basis. The content that you post today will still be relevant in a year’s time.
One thing to keep in mind is that because you’ll have members joining at different times, they’ll be receiving your content in different stages. One way of managing this is for you to limit your membership registration periods to certain times each month, but you’ll still have groups of members receiving their content in different phases.
The great thing about this is, your members will be coming to your site on a regular basis to access content, giving you more opportunities to offer new products and services, all while increasing your revenue and profitability.FREE Checklist: How To Build A Membership Website
2. All-In or “Buffet” Membership Sites
Who doesn’t love a good buffet? You pay a set price up front and are given access to the entire menu. That’s the idea behind the buffet membership site model – it allows your members to access your entire line-up of content as well as all of your products as soon as they join.
You don’t actually have to charge an up-front fee but you can choose to charge monthly. But keep in mind that when creating a membership program of this type for your business, your members will instantly receive access to all you have to offer (as opposed to the drip-schedule sites). This means you could risk them canceling their membership as soon as they’ve feasted at your buffet and are feeling full.
To keep your members on board, if you regularly deliver new and exclusive content, such as interactive challenges and quizzes, checklists, videos, etc., which are only available to members, they’re likely to be hungry for more and keep their membership active.
3. Online Courses
Online courses and seminar models are a great way to build your business. Even better, when you choose to do this, you can set up your course curriculum as drip-content, where each lesson or module is released on a schedule. You can also offer your material up-front, buffet-style and let members work at their own pace.
4. Digital Product Sites
A digital product membership site offers digital products to its members, such as eBooks, courses, downloads or software. They may also offer technical support, provide informative blogs, and allow access to other products and upgrades on a regular basis to incentivize members to keep their membership active.
You can also offer them monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscriptions, as long as you’re providing new products, enhancements, and high levels of support on a consistent basis.
5. Service Membership Sites
A service membership site offers services such as coaching, training, and support. Subsequently, the best way to encourage your members to remain active is to provide them with exclusive, additional content such as worksheets, activities, videos, and presentations.
Running A Membership Site
Regardless of the type of membership site you create, it’s important to keep these four things in mind:
- Draw members in by offering free resources and/or trial memberships. Show them what you can provide.
- Create clear policies and procedures for your members, letting them know about membership benefits and expectations, as well as refund and cancellation policies.
- Create communities where your customers and fans (turned members, of course) can gather in a protected forum and discuss your services, provide learning experiences, as well as share tips and success stories.
- Spend time on your site. Let your members know there’s a real person behind the screen. Provide them with a customer service and support email address so they can contact you or your team if they’re having issues with the products or sites.
Free Checklist To Help You Start A Membership Website
When you start a membership website it can generate a steady and regular income stream. But you need to choose the right software for your needs. Consider your budget, how many members you want to attract, how much you plan to charge members and what you want to include. For more information on how to create a website with login and password options download my free checklist How To Start A Recurring Revenue Membership Site.