Membership websites are a great means for earning money online and the best part is the recurring payments you get each month. Once you’ve set up an efficient membership base, you can begin earning plenty of money from this business. Starting such a site can seem to be one of the very exciting income tools online that can be used for your blog. This model has been seen to be successful in several environments.
If you have been thinking of starting a membership site from a long time, but you are not sure how it is going to work, this post will help you to set up a simple membership site and onboard members to your paid site. It is a great way to make consistent money month over month.
Decide What Your Site Is Going to Offer
Now that you have finally decided to start a membership site, you must think what problem you are going to address and why would members be interested in paying for your content. You cannot have a site, which will interest everybody. This way, you cannot satisfy any member and ultimately they will cancel the subscription. The best suggestion would be that you should target a group of people, who are facing a specific problem or have common interests. This way, when a user comes across your website, he will be happy that there is a place where his/her specific problem will be addressed.
Give Unique Content and Course Material
Once you have decided what your membership website is going to offer research and see if there are other websites that have similar content. If yes, how is your website going to be different from others. Only if you offer unique content, people are going to pay for it. Get creative and think of ideas using which you can offer your members something really unique, special and interesting. Make use of video clips and some content through which you can provide answers to the most common questions in the minds of members. How-to guides and step-by-step guides to do something are trending in many such communities.
Think How Often You Should Post New Material
The next question would be how often should you update? You should plan your content in such a way that users can keep up with your posts. Weekly one or two posts should be good. If you put too many at a time, members might not get time to read everything and will get a feeling that they will not be able to keep up with your pace and cancel the subscription. On the other hand, if you post too little, they’ll feel they aren’t getting much value for the membership and might decide cancelling it. So, get to understand the nature of your members and post accordingly. You can also consider conducting a survey to find out more about your members and act accordingly.
Keep Your Viewers Engaged
How can you ensure that members don’t get bored? Instead of just some written content, you can post videos of seminars or lectures, which will give a break to users from reading long posts. You can also run some contests and give away some gift coupon as prize. You can also arrange meet-ups where you can all discuss your problems under one roof. People who can’t be physically present can join through video conferencing.
Interacting with your member on a regular basis is a good way to show your concern for your loyal members. Dedicate some time to answer questions posted by your members. They will be happy to see that you are interested in solving their problems. If the site is quiet without any interaction among the members, be the first to instigate a conversation. Few members may feel shy to break the ice.
Set up Your Website
There are many plugins available in WordPress to setup membership view to your website. These plugins offer you multiple options like pay per post, discount for 6 months subscription, or monthly subscription model. You can also have different levels of subscription. Like if a viewer is interested only in few topics, you can give level 1 subscription for say $30 and if he is interested to get access to full content, then you can charge him $50 for level 2. These plugins easily integrate with PayPal or other popular payment options.
Give Discounted Membership for Early Birds
Now, the next step is how you can attract users to join your website. You can run some offers for the first few members. Like you can offer 50% discount for first 50 members or keep one week free trial and after one week send out a mail to the members to take paid subscription. Such early bird offers are generally very attractive and instill that rush in the potential members to grab the offer, thus compelling them to join as a member as early as possible.
Try out these techniques and set up a successful membership site. As you continue, you will automatically know what is working best for your website and what else you can offer to your members. If you are successful, there will be members who will subscribe for years together and this will become a steady monthly income for you. Now that you are aware of how to start a membership site in simple steps there’s nothing that can stop you from going ahead.