Building a membership site is a great method to monetize your knowledge while also building a loyal following.
When done right, a membership site may help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert, attract new leads, and earn considerable recurring revenue.
In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know in order to launch and run a successful membership website of your own.
So, let’s get started.
What is a Membership Website?
A website is considered to be a membership website if it offers content that is targeted toward a particular audience and needs visitors to join in order to receive access to that content.
There is typically a fee associated with joining, but this is not always the case. For instance, access to the website of a homeowner’s organization typically is free of charge, despite the fact that its use is restricted to residents of a certain community.
If you are an expert in your field, having a membership site could mean having a location where your followers can directly contact you to ask questions; it could also mean having a location where you facilitate connections and the sharing of knowledge among members, or it could mean having a location where you host online courses and other forms of educational content.
In most cases, a powerful membership website will include all of these things, and any one of these ways can result in revenue generation.
To ensure the continued success of your website, it is essential to have an existing audience or a method for rapidly gaining access to a new audience. How do you plan to bring in new members?
What are the benefits to them of becoming members of your membership site? It’s possible for certain business owners to hit the jackpot right away by developing a powerful website that caters to an unfilled market segment, but for the majority of people, your reputation will need to precede you before you can get new members to join.
Membership websites are driven by their content, which may be content that you develop, content that is generated by your users, or, in many instances, both. Therefore, before starting a membership website, you need to ensure that you have a solid content plan in place.
If you have already built a name for yourself as an authority in your field on the internet, you can use already published blog pieces, instructional videos, summaries of webinars, and other materials to get your membership website off the ground.
If you do not already have this kind of content, you will need to begin producing it and/or implement a strategy for rapidly generating content within the community. For example, you could run a challenge in which you reward members for contributing to the discussion forums, or you could host a series of webinars that you record and make available on the site.
You should have a plan for how (and how often) to develop new content so that your website has a consistent stream of material to keep members interested and keep them coming back. This is true regardless of the approach or strategies that you choose to use.
How to Create Content for a Membership Website?
The majority of membership websites offer continuing material of some kind or another in order to maintain member engagement and subscription rates.
Any entrepreneur will tell you that coming up with a consistent stream of fresh content ideas and finding the time to develop it may be a challenge.
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1. Reuse evergreen content
Since it has been established that membership websites present an opportunity to derive the greatest possible benefit from your material, it is imperative that you do not undervalue or ignore what you have previously produced.
These are really valuable assets to possess, particularly blog entries, access to older guest pieces, audio and/or video recordings of previous classes, seminars, speaking appearances, and so on.
It is a good idea to consolidate all of your content into one location, even if you already have a professional presence in another location, such as on an online learning platform or blog.
In most cases, the fact that your members could obtain everything else elsewhere for free is irrelevant because the ease of having all of that information on a central platform is still compelling.
And there is a good probability that they have either overlooked or completely forgotten about a good portion of the stuff that you have published in other locations.
2. Experiment with formats and ideas
Experimenting with different methods to determine which ones bring in the most money is a significant part of making money online.
As was mentioned earlier, having a membership site provides you with the ideal test audience for trying out innovative material, concepts, and presentation styles. (When it comes to validating your idea, this is one of the most efficient methods there is.)
Because your content will be hosted behind a login, you will not be restricted by the requirement to develop information that is friendly to search engines, which will allow you to explore more freely.
You don’t have to make every piece of content you produce into an article that’s a thousand words long or a movie that’s an hour long.
You could want to think about holding additional live seminars, uploading short mobile videos, audio recordings, photographs, or images, and creating infographics.
Find out what speaks to your group’s members the most, and don’t be hesitant to experiment with new things.
Conduct a survey asking your users what they like and dislike about the platform, then look at the user stats to see which features get the most attention.
Members of the site will be more understanding if you post stuff that isn’t relevant to their interests, but they may be reluctant to express their displeasure out of concern for how it might affect your feelings if they state they didn’t enjoy something you posted.
Instead, you should make an effort to post at least two pieces of content in each experimental format in order to determine the rate of attrition for views and engagement amongst the different types of material.
Members will cast their votes in the most honest manner possible while allocating their time, and they will ignore anything that is irrelevant to them.
3. Host a masterclass
People join up for your membership because they are interested in the topic you cover and in your level of knowledge. This desire goes beyond simply reading your blog or enrolling in one of the classes you presently provide.
Take advantage of this opportunity by holding a masterclass for the most dedicated students. Explore areas of your industry that you have only touched on in the past and branch out into areas that weren’t as important to your wider audience.
Do a thorough dive into any existing course or webinar content that you have. Explore areas of your industry that you have only touched on in the past.
Your members can gain “value added” to their membership through the use of one-time masterclasses, and you can explore new areas of your field and test out how well those areas are received in preparation for producing additional masterclasses in the near future.
If you give your members the opportunity to steer the curriculum of your classes, they will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to expanding the scope of your existing material and determining the path that your subsequent classes will take.
I hope you liked you liked our article on how to build your membership site. If you have any questions then do let us know in the comment section.