Are you a digital content creator? And you are not generating recurring money out of it? The best way to generate regular income is to develop a membership website. If you have a particular set of people following you and take you as an authority in a specific niche, making a membership website can give you multiple benefits like passive income, becoming a digital influencer, etc.
What is a Membership Website?
A membership website is a business website where users can access the website content only if they have taken the membership subscription. The users have to become members to access the exclusive content by giving some subscription/membership fee. They are then provided with their complete Id and password to log in to that website as a member.
These subscription websites usually include exclusive content related to:
Audios and videos
Podcasts & webinars
Screencasts & white papers
This membership model is a great way to make money from your content without having to find advertisers. Instead, this allows you to take money directly from your clients for the content because they acknowledge the value you provide with your content.
Why Do Businesses Need a Membership Website?
Every business wants to retain its customers and enhance and grow its reputation and authority. Businesses can create a loyal customer base and authority in their niche by following the membership model. Companies benefit from having a membership site depending on who they are, what they value, and their ultimate goal.
If you're already an established content creator, you can make money from your audience by making a subscription website. Your online business can benefit from a membership model by generating some revenue, gaining some loyal followers, or both. Businesses often create a membership website in the following domains:
Published content: news, magazines, scholarly journals, etc.
Education: online tutoring, online degree certifications, etc.
Community: exclusive social clubs, fan clubs, etc.
Now, the question arises, how to start a membership site that is engaging and unique in your particular niche? Here are seven practical tips to create a membership website that provides value and knowledge to its individual customers.
Tips to Create an Effective Membership Website
Here are a few tips to create a membership website that can get you users, leads, and ultimately sales. If you apply these correctly and find a suitable website building platform to work on, you will be all set to start earning revenue monthly.
1. Choose a Niche
If you are already a content creator, finding a niche doesn’t concern you. You already know it. For someone who is not a content creator and wants to create a membership website, you have to consider the following aspects to develop a membership website.
What kind of following has already been maintained?
What kind of added value can you provide to your existing followers to tempt them into paying for your subscription website?
Would your exclusive content be worth spending the money on?
After taking all these questions into account, you will have a clear idea about how your membership website will add value to the services you are already providing.
If you don't already have a domain name, get one. Many web hosting providers even include a free domain name with their service plans for a year. A web hosting provider you can trust and choosing a solution for your site is the next step in creating an online presence. If you want your site's visitors to feel safe (and eventually become paying members), you need to ensure that their personal information is handled securely.
3. Choose a Membership Management System
Determine which membership management software (also known as MMS) will make it simple to convert your existing site into a membership website. There are several components to an all-in-one management solution, including a site-building tool, a membership subscription database, some sort of communications system, a payment system, financial reports, site analytics, and membership summaries, among other things. There are many membership plugins (both free and paid) available, so take your time and carefully consider your options before deciding.
4. Add Secure Payment Methods
Create a pricing page and add payment methods so that you can start reaping the benefits of your hard work through this membership model. We recommend selecting at least two payment methods (credit card and PayPal) because some of your customers prefer to pay with PayPal rather than their credit card information.
5. Create Membership Levels and Plans
Your customers should be able to choose from a variety of membership levels and plans to ensure that they are getting value for their money. Monthly and annual subscriptions are the most common payment options for subscription websites. Members who choose to commit to a more extended period are often rewarded mostly with a discount.
To reward them for their loyalty, you can give them access to the entire library or "sneak peeks" into your future work, behind-the-scenes material, special content, or other incentives. A membership website with multiple levels of membership plans is proven to enhance traffic and increase revenue.
Image taken from Strikingly
6. Keep Your Audience Engaged
Creating engaging members-only content is a crucial point for the successful running of a membership website, and it should be done on a regular basis as part of your daily routine. This will give members the impression that they are getting more than they paid for, which will help to keep membership subscription rates healthy and distinguish your site from the competition. Remember, gaining followers is easy, maintaining them is the real deal. If you are unable to deliver valuable content on a regular basis, you might lose your audience more quickly than you actually gained it.
7. Grow and Update Your Business
In an ideal case, you always want to grow your business and increase your customers. The best way to do that is to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and techniques. One smart way is to survey your competitors and see how they are going about their business. What different they are doing and how they are interacting with their members. An ideal membership website would be where a customer feels ownership of it and feel connected to it emotionally and financially as well.
Choosing a Suitable Website Builder to Create a Membership Website
Now that you know how to create a membership website and the essential features required to make it effective, all you need is to select a suitable and user-friendly platform for website development. There are numerous website builder options available these days, and each one of them provides unique tools and features, pricing packages, limitations, and customization options. To choose the best one for yourself, you must know the purpose and objective of the membership website you want to build.
The most important aspect is the ease of use of the platform you choose. In terms of that, Strikingly is rated among the best these days. Strikingly is a platform that allows you to build websites for free in just a few minutes, without writing any code. If you choose Strikingly to be your membership website builder, you will be using one of our ready-to-use templates as your web design.
Image taken from Strikingly
Once you have created and verified your account on Strikingly, you will get into your site’s editor. From there, you can activate membership for your site. The process is simple and self-explanatory. However, you will need to be on our Pro or VIP plan to be able to use our membership feature.
Choose the type of membership you want to offer. There are 3 options. You can either offer free membership to all your site visitors, paid membership to those who choose to enter their payment details and allow you to charge their card every month, and membership upon purchase. The last option is for the customers of your site, which means you need to have an online store section on your membership website to avail this membership type.
Image taken from Strikingly
Everyone who registers as a member on your membership website will be added to your site’s audience list. That’s where you can access their details and select them as recipients for any email marketing campaigns you might want to run.
We have more advanced features and part of your membership activation, which you can check out for yourself as you go through the process. You can invite your old contacts to become members when you just activated membership. You can also manage your existing members by changing their access or suspending their accounts (if the need be).
The tools on Strikingly are developed keeping ease of use in mind for all our customers. We keep updating our features regularly to keep up with the pace of the highly competitive market of website builders. Once you have your membership website up and running on Strikingly, you can be tension-free regarding its maintenance. We take care of all the programming and technical stuff on our end.