September 30, 2011
Many people use membership sites to make money online, but just as many fail to make anything at all. That is because members expect something in return for their monthly membership, and if they don’t believe they are getting that then they will cancel. Your member site, also known as a subscription site, must offer content that is useful to your members and that not only solves problems for them but also helps them make money.
Such content is not always easy to find or to generate, so how do you achieve that and keep your site fresh, month after month after month? Here are some ideas.
Membership Sites: Permanent Content
You membership site should contain both permanent content and content that changes monthly. The permanent content can include training files – written or video – on how to make the best of the membership. They should explain what the member gets from being a member, and how to use the site to their best advantage.
For example, if your site is a fishing niche, you could video yourself tying certain types of fly, and explain what fish they are designed to attract. Or maybe video your local lake and show the areas where your members are mostly likely to find carp. Perhaps write a short report on the best coarse fish for eating, and which are best for sport.
You could also include a number of informative articles. Each article you write can be added to the article folder – it won’t be long before you have a good number of useful articles on the site for your members to read through.
There is no need to delete content unless it is time-dependent, but simply add to it, building up a large portfolio of information that will keep members happy.
You could also search the internet for useful software – offer a mixture of free and commercial software, but make sure you have affiliate links for everything you sell on your site. Every cent your members spend on your subscription websites should bring you some income, whether it is their monthly membership payment or an affiliate commission.
Video courses are always handy, and it’s not difficult to make your videos these days. A webcam is all you need, and most digital cameras offer excellent video quality. Cell phone videos are OK, but tend to lack professionalism.
There is also good video software online that capture your screen and vocals as you show how to build websites, set up blogs and carry out many of the tasks involved in general internet marketing. Such videos are always useful, as are those dealing with specific niches if your membership sites are niche-oriented.
Among the temporary content that gets changed every now and again are news items on the niche, perhaps RSS feeds that renew themselves, links to YouTube videos that your members might find interesting, and anything else you believe should be changed on a regular basis. Some products may also be offered on a temporary basis – discussed below.
Membership Sites: Products
In addition to the monthly membership fees, you can also make money selling products from your subscription sites. Some member site packages offer you products to sell which are regularly changed – generally picked from the most popular on Clickbank. However, these tend to focus on marketing products, but it’s not difficult to check out Clickbank for the newest and more popular of products on offer for your specific niche.
By offering good products relevant to your niche, your members will believe you to be offering them a good service. You should not continually push products, but have them available if your members want them. You can mention specific products in your on-site articles and offer a link but your site is not a sales site but an information hub for your members where they can also find help with any problems they have. You should give them confidence in your ability to help them out, and not just continually bombard them with requests to purchase products.
Membership Sites: Social Interaction
Good member site packages will enable you to run a blog or even a forum from your site. This is the type of social interaction with peers with the same interest that can make a membership site buzz. Although WordPress can be used to a run a membership site of a sort, you are better to use a professional subscription site package, and include a link to your WordPress blog on the site.
There are a few cheap or even free forum software packages available online, and if you can’t install it yourself your member site provider should be able to do it for you. A forum allows members to communicate with each other either on the forum itself or by private messaging. You could also include a ‘Support’ link so that members know that help is available if they need it.
If you include all, or even most of the above suggestions on your site, and work towards generating a different subscription site for each good niche you can find, then the income from your membership sites will rapidly increase and you may even be able to make money online sufficient for you to pack in the day job.
Article by Margaret Winfrey. Without good content your membership websites will fail to retain its members. Check out Member Desk online at http://www.memberdesk.com for a subscription site package that allows complete customization and use of any content of your choosing.