How Easy Is Starting a Membership Site?
There are many ways to earn money online, and starting a membership site is a favorite of many marketers. A membership site is basically anything that you offer as a subscription where the customer receives a product or service automatically on a schedule until they choose to cancel or the subscription runs its course.
Delivery is usually on a monthly basis, but it can be more often or less. And the subscription can have an ending date or go on forever.
There are many reasons for starting a membership site, but it’s essential to take a balanced look at the subject because membership websites that make money do face a number of challenges.
The Pros and Cons of Starting a Membership Site
Membership sites can be extremely complex, or very simple. There is even free membership website builder software that you can plug in directly to your current website. At its most basic level, you have a website with preloaded content, and that content is restricted to members only. Members pay monthly or annual fees, and they get instant access to all the content on the site. Non-members get access to free content, but your most valuable, premium content is hidden behind a pay wall.
1. Recurring Income
The best reason for starting a membership site is the ongoing revenue. Instead of selling an item and getting a one-time payment from a customer, if you start a successful membership site, you’ll get paid every month or year as long as the customer remains active.
Member retention is critical to the long-term success of a membership website. If customers have a convincing reason to keep their membership active and keep paying those fees, the value of the average customer will be high.
2. Predictability of Income
Membership sites provide a great level of stability of income. As the site grows and you build a solid base of paying customers, you can calculate stats like your retention rate. This will give you a good idea of how long the average customer will remain active.
Also, you can calculate the average number of new customers that sign up through you per month. This information will help you predict how much revenue you can generate month to month from the site.
It’s important to keep an eye on member engagement and involvement and don’t doggedly pursue things that no-one seems to care much about. Don’t be afraid to ask your members what they want. Most will be constructive and supportive and will have some great insights for you.
3. High Value of Each Member
The fees members pay vary from one membership site to another depending on what members are gaining. But a site that keeps a customer for about a year will earn more revenue per member than would be possible selling the same product with a one-time fee.
The best way to increase your income through membership sites is to focus on increasing the amount you earn from each member, instead of trying to bring in more new members. A membership site makes this possible through the retention of paying customers and by getting them to upgrade to higher-cost membership levels. For example, you could create an exclusive event by organizing something with a high impact such as a web summit.
1. Many People Resist Signing Up for Recurring Payments
The biggest lesson online business owners have learned when starting a membership site is that many people don’t want to sign up for ongoing payments. But customers will sign up for an ongoing payment in the right situation. So the offer needs to be compelling and you need to make them see the benefit of joining that membership site. Having said that, people don’t like committing to recurring payment every month or year, even if they can cancel the payment anytime. Many people worry they’ll forget to cancel and they’ll be charged for something they don’t want or use.
People join membership sites to have their problems solved and to reach goals, so everything you do should be in pursuit of that. The content that you provide for your members must continually help to solve their problems and deliver a positive outcome.
2. Getting Started Can Be Difficult
If you start a membership site and you don’t have an established audience, it’s challenging to earn significant revenue. Establishing a solid base of paying members will be difficult and growth during the first year will be slow. But, don’t give up. Nothing worth having comes easy!
Free Checklist For Starting A Membership Website
Starting a membership site can be lucrative, 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. To discover more on what makes a good membership site. and how to create one. download my Create A Membership Website Free Checklist.