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Are you considering creating a membership site for your courses, products, or services? If so, it can be a great way to cater to your target market and increase your business’ revenue among many other benefits.
But what exactly is a membership site? Put simply, it’s gated content that’s only accessible to members and subscribers. Most of the time there is a fee or recurring payment involved, but sometimes it can be as simple as signing up for an email list.
Recommended for: those with a teachable skill who want to build a full-time passive income stream
How much can you earn: anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month…to tens of thousands (and even more for hugely popular membership sites)
Start-up costs: the start-up costs are a bit higher for this project; you’ll need membership software to build your website, tools to help you create webinars and online courses, hosting for your website and some other incidentals (so it could cost you at least a few hundred dollars to start with)
Building a membership website is a lot of work – I think it’s important to get this out of the way from the start. That being said, it can also be an extremely profitable business model and one that can become a full-time job for you, helping you earn passive income (although you’ll still need to be quite active and add new content, as well as promote your website continuously to keep driving memberships up).
But what is a membership website, exactly?
Basically, it’s a website with content that only members can access; if someone wants to access your website’s content, they’ll first need to sign up. Some websites do this only for a part of their website, while others do it for the entire website.
As for monetizing a membership site, the main principle is that you charge people to get access to premium content. It can be your entire website but generally, it’s best practice to offer some quality content for free so that people can get to trust you and to show them what kind of value you can offer them; then, you upsell them on your premium content and either charge a one-time fee for access or build a kind of subscription-based online community where you keep adding new content.
Before you start building a membership software, first take the time to thoroughly research your niche and market. Just like with blogs, you need to have a very clear picture of who you’re targeting and they’re buying power, so that you’ll know whether there is true potential there.
Plus, this will also help you understand what kinds of content you need to create and what topics you need to cover in order to build a type of online community that there’s a real demand for.
And once you’re ready, you can easily build your membership site by yourself with software; WildApricot is one of the best options around, and it features all the tools you need to build your website, including some beautiful pre-made themes, an easy-to-use responsive website builder and built-in payment options, among many other features.
What do I need to start?
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