Setting up a members only site and selling a monthly subscription is one of the top recurring revenue generating ideas that just about anyone can do.
Most often the membership charges are monthly, quarterly, or annually.
How does a Membership Site Work?
Setting up a website or forum in a way that restricts access to the premium content most desired by your customers.
Admittance is allowed to paying members only. The content would be superior value. To justify ongoing monthly charges, more select content is added per month.
There are several ways to set up your membership payment schedule.
In some cases a monthly fee may be charged for the duration of use and is controlled by the user. For example, a training site that once you have completed your training you can opt out of your subscription.
In other cases a membership site is set up to restrict access but there is only the one time fee, or there is a cap on the number of months to be charged. After that the individual still has access to the membership area but there will be no more fee’s applied.
Membership websites is an excellent way to deliver value and content, and still restrict access to your material. This can help boost the retention on a course that has a three or six time payment plan. It is also a good way to “drip-feed” content over a specified training period.
*Side Note* – Drip-feeding content is an accepted way to receive and deliver training course materials. Because of this you can actually sell memberships to a site that the
This way, you might find there isn’t as much demand for the idea you had and save yourself a boat-load of work. OR. You might find your buyers are really great and you build out your membership bigger than anticipated. If the second one happens you can start
A membership site can be completely exclusive content, or a mix of free and premium. Membership sites don’t need to be paid. They can be set up in trade for email access too. If a person who gained access unsubscribes from your list, you just remove their access.
Membership Site Benefits
If you set it up for monthly payments then you have an excellent passive income project. Continuity income from automatic monthly payments using a merchant account specifically set up to automatically take the money. This can be from your users credit card, PayPal account, or whatever system you choose to set up.
The drawback to this set-up is it does require some babysitting. Your clients will have questions in the forum or Q&A section. People will loose passwords, forget payments, and want their money back when they forget to cancel.
You have to be very wary of how and with whom you set up your merchant account. Be sure you are using a company familiar with online sales. You will experience times of unusually high volume sales (like during a big JV launch). You will get charge-backs from people who change their minds. Because of this you must choose your merchant differently than if you had a corner store.
Handling High Volumes of Members
One way to deal with this is to have a centralized help desk or appoint “moderators”. Moderators will often keep an eye on things for a small piece of the income or for a few free courses.
As the site continues to gain in popularity so will your membership grow along with your monthly income.
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Membership sites are also good for having a captive audience. You can promote within your site for additional products or services. People already giving you money will be more likely to buy other products – provided they are happy with you.
How Much to Charge?
You can also have different levels of memberships with each having their own benefits and exclusiveness. Each one costs a little more than the other. If you do set this up make sure the “teaser” content and course titles are available to all the other levels.
The average “stick” rate of a member is about three months. This way you can closely estimate monthly revenue.
Membership sites are fairly simple to set up. There is a little more involved than setting up a blog and different choices for access but most platforms have good training resources and of course there is always YouTube for information.
You can get free membership plugins or even go as simply as just setting passwords on blog posts or in your root files.
To see what it looks like – here is a restricted post, just enter this password: $LetMeIn$
Increasing Membership Sales
Sometimes people will want a “deal” to pay for it all at once. You can offer different payments so you can appeal to a broader spectrum of people.
$27 monthly or $67 quarterly or $197 annually
Shows BIG savings.
You have to take some things into consideration. If you are drip feeding content you want to keep doing that to encourage people to stay.
You can add weekly or monthly live coaching too to help people consume the information, answer questions, and engage with your followers..
You could also try $1 trial and first payment in 7 days.
Increase the VALUE to make the membership site look like more of a bargain, put bundles of other products inside the portal being offered as sign-up bonuses. Products that have already sold and established their value.
These products could still be for sale separately at higher prices.
How to Build Your Membership Site
There are several types of membership plugin’s or portals you can choose from. Some free, some really expensive.
To profit from a membership site you need to get people to sign up in the first place. To get the ball rolling on a new site, you can have contests where the winners are encouraged to ask questions, get in on live webinars etc. This way you can “pad” your content with an active group as you transition to a paid model.