In this article, we’ll be looking at the basic approach to building and marketing a strong membership site.

When building a membership site, you need a highly targeted and specific theme for your site. The more targeted your theme is, the more focused your efforts for content/product creation and marketing will be. You can select this theme using the same keyword research strategies which you would use for creating a site. However, it’s also a good idea to check trade journals, magazines, forums, and even sites like Amazon to make sure that your site theme already has a healthy number of interested customers. Once you have a specific theme for your site, you can start creating a marketing funnel for monetizing your site.

Your site monetization strategy will depend on the type of membership site that you start. For example, there are membership sites that require a monthly payment in order to remain a member and to gain access to the members-only content.

Dan -- a monthly membership site for people who are interested in learning about online and offline marketing strategies and principles of copywriting.

If you choose to have a membership site that requires a monthly payment, it’s essential that you have a good eCommerce platform that can handle recurring payments and also a website that can protect areas of content so that only members can have access to it. Two such programs that can integrate with WordPress blogging software are WP eMember and WordPress Wishlist.

Other membership sites offer either a free membership or lifetime access in exchange for a one-time payment. These types of membership sites generate their income by product and service sales which are made to their members and the site serves the purpose of attracting members to promote those products.

With these types of membership sites, you need a solid strategy for marketing future products to your members while also adding enough fresh content to keep them coming back so that you can continue to market to them. This is a great platform for business owners who want to provide exclusive offers to specific members. An e-book, a sample product, or a trial period for service all fall under these categories. You can still create the membership site that offers a monthly membership for those you marketed to and snagged with your amazing deals, unique content, and fresh offers. The idea is to keep them coming back, no matter what it is your offering.

The biggest ongoing challenge for membership site owners is to keep delivering valuable content for their visitors. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

Your membership site absolutely should have a forum, this way your members can help you to add social value to your membership site. Having a lot of fresh content for your site which is user-generated eliminates a lot of work for you while still building perpetual value for your site. However, you also need to make sure you’re adding value to the site yourself. So, in other words, don’t just rely on your members to contribute to the forum, the reason they are there is because of you and your expertise right?

Polling your members

You can do this with polls generated on your site, surveys, or even email campaigns. However you do it, just find out what your users want, and then, of course, give it to them.

When you gather information from your subscribers about what type of content they’re most interested in, you don’t have to use that information to create the content yourself. You can also find JV Partners who might be willing to contribute valuable content to your membership site in exchange for the chance to market their products to your visitors. Then, you simply make an arrangement to promote these products using an affiliate link and you can make a profit from the sales which are made to your members.

As you can see, a well-built membership site with a good monetization strategy can prove to be very profitable. The first step is finding your specific theme and creating a monetization strategy. With the right membership site technology and a little persistence, you can create a healthy stream of income using membership sites.

Have a great product, service, or some valuable, unique information.

  • Market with good SEO practices.
  • Ask your audience what they want, and actually listen to them.
  • Don’t stop marketing; always stay on top of the new trends.
  • Make sure you are not charging for something they can get for free elsewhere.
  • Don’t give up! If you believe in what you’re doing, others will too!