August 15, 2011
A membership web site can easily be created with the correct choice of subscription software. In fact, unless you are conversant with coding and using content management system (CMS) software, it is unlikely that you could generate anything but the most rudimentary form of membership site by yourself.
There is subscription software available online that can make creating a membership web site as simple as clicking a few buttons. However, creating a subscription site is just the beginning, because once you have the site what are you going to use it for? The vast majority of people that use software to create a membership website fail to make any money with it for a number of reasons, but the most common is failing to plan.
Formulating a Plan
You must have a plan before you start up your first membership web site – in fact before you even decide on the subscription software you intend to use. There are a number of questions you must ask yourself.
• What are you going to use the site for?
• How will you attract members?
• How will you keep your members more than the first month?
• How will you make money from your members?
• What will you give them in return?
Some of these questions are discussed briefly below:
Using the Site: The answer is to make money! Keep that in your mind all the time – you are not benevolent, but will give fair return for your members’ payments. However, you have to make money! There is one exception to this, and that is a charity website, in which case you are here to give information. However, you can still make money for your charity!
Attracting Members: You can attract members to your site by means of common internet marketing techniques such as article marketing, PPC, participating in forums, Facebook Ads, submitting on website directories, using social networking and social bookmarking to promote your site, participating on Scribd.com and so on. Once you have them on your page, you must keep them there – see below.
Inducements: Inducements to join your membership web site can keep visitors on your site for more than a month- free gifts if you have any to give. Free reports on your niche and so on. Simple product reviews are no good because these are available free online for any product you can imagine. You can easily make up a short report using FAQs you can make up. Think of common problems and then answer them.
Financial Plans: How much to charge? That is up to you, but can be from $7 to $97/month depending on the value of your site to your membership. You should be able to accept PayPal or straight credit or debit card payments.
What Niche: You can run more than one membership web site, so your niches are unlimited. Start with a niche you know well and then branch out to others when you have more confidence. If you add forum software to your membership web site (not difficult) your members can answer their own questions, and you need not be an expert on your niche. Ask a knowledgeable member to act as administrator – many people love doing this job without payment. It lets them show off their knowledge, and you can learn from them.
The other questions can be answered as they come up, but you get the idea. Make sure you have a plan and are not starting off blind, or you will fail. Subscription software is very good, but it can’t plan for you.
Choosing the Subscription Software
The subscription software you choose to run your membership web site is very important. You should first set out your plan, and what you need in the software to enable you to carry it out. Free software is fine for a knitting club, but not for a high-powered internet marketing business.
Your subscription software should enable you to generate a membership web site that is totally flexible and that can incorporate any additional software you want to use with it – such as forum software that enables your members to interact with each other. It should come populated with products you can offer your members, and should be easily updated.
The ideal type of subscription software, although you may not understand this right now, will charge a monthly fee, in return for which you receive monthly updates of products and reviews you can offer your members. Otherwise it will not be a turnkey solution and you will have to maintain it yourself every month. Your members will soon get bored if your site is not regularly updated, and this is what a monthly subscription site can do for you.
Repeat Again and Again and . . .
Let’s face it, whatever they charge you, you can get back with just one or two members, and your membership will grow month on month. This is how the big dogs make so much money – they find out something that works and they repeat it again, and again, and again, and. . .
Repetition is the name of the game, and if you repeat your membership web site many times each month with different niches using the same subscription software that can handle multiple membership web sites then you will be more than satisfied.
If you are seeking ways to create a membership web site to make you money online, then check out http://www.MemberDesk.com where you will find the subscription software you need. This offers you total flexibility to designer a membership site to suit your needs.