Do Membership Sites Work In Any Paying Niche?

by coreytucker 16 replies
Hi,

so im thinking of starting a membership site. But will membership sites work well in niches like knitting, memory improvement etc? I want to target self help niches and hobby niches. I figure I just build a website with an opt in form and drive traffic to it. Then once my list starts growing I start offering my membership site for $9.99 a month. If I build a list of 500 subscribers then I eventually get 100 of them sign up for my membership site/community. Keep the list growing and rinse and repoeat with another niche. Does this sound like a good plan? Thanks
#main internet marketing discussion forum #membership #niche #paying #sites #work
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    But will membership sites work well in niches like knitting, memory improvement etc?
    Membership sites are simply an alternate way to deliver content. If people are currently buying info products in a niche, a membership site will work.

    To succeed it's vital that you position your site correctly, effectively utilize principles of persuasion, and deliver true value.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author coreytucker
    right but some people say its soooo easy while others say its soooo hard.
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    • Profile picture of the author JD Jens
      Originally Posted by coreytucker View Post

      right but some people say its soooo easy while others say its soooo hard.
      The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. There is work involved because you are providing unique, quality content and updating your member area with useful tools, etc. But a lot of people get stalled because they're trying to make things harder than they need to be. Get your offer out there, provide quality content, and get members to your site as soon as possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by coreytucker View Post

      right but some people say its soooo easy while others say its soooo hard.
      And all of them are likely telling the truth - as they know it.

      I think that the type of membership has something to do with it. If the main benefit of the site is big quantities of new content every month (like the PLR type sites), and you care about quality, providing that content can be an ongoing challenge.

      Your price point and position relative to other options may also have an effect on how easy or tough it is to market the site and retain members. So will your niche.

      For example, if you had a membership that revolved around wedding planning, and you had the price point right, marketing the site might not be that tough. But keeping members past the wedding date would be darn near impossible. You could try transitioning them to another site for newlyweds or something, but keeping them on the planning membership would be tough.

      On the other hand, if you had a site for wedding planners, getting them to join might be the tough part. If you deliver outstanding value in some way, keeping them shouldn't be as big a deal.

      Corey, I noticed the affirmation in your sig. One caution...

      All the people I've talked with about membership sites have told me that continuity income is great, but it's hardly "autopilot"...
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  • Profile picture of the author quiescen
    Well, I have a membership site that teaches adults how to play piano in the New Age style. $19 a month and over 1000 subscribers. Not too shabby.
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    • Profile picture of the author JD Jens
      Originally Posted by quiescen View Post

      Well, I have a membership site that teaches adults how to play piano in the New Age style. $19 a month and over 1000 subscribers. Not too shabby.
      Great work. Just curious, how do your members usually find you?
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      • Profile picture of the author quiescen
        Originally Posted by Free Time View Post

        Great work. Just curious, how do your members usually find you?
        Vaired marketing tactics. Articles, press releases, ads, etc. I'm all over the place!
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Originally Posted by coreytucker View Post

    will membership sites work well in niches like [...] memory improvement etc?
    If it doesn't help the members... they will forget to pay for the next month.
    If it helps them... they will stop being members, saying they 'don't need it anymore'.
    :p
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  • Profile picture of the author TracyNeedham
    IMO you'll probably find it easier with a hobby niche than something more general self-improvement unless you're targeting a specific market with that.

    Sure, they probably can work in any niche as long as the value proposition is there for the member...and I'd add as long as enough of your market spends time online. I still know of people who don't have desk jobs or can't access the internet from work and they don't get on much after work either.

    One of the hardest things I think about membership sites are forums. When they're great, they can keep people coming back long after they've stopped using the other materials.

    When they're dead, they make the site look dead and people don't stick around long. Then there's the issues of spam comments and moderating them and all.

    You don't have to have a forum, of course, but then it feels more like just a content delivery mechanism than a real membership and I know I'm much less likely to stick around.
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    • Profile picture of the author NemoChu
      One of our best customers runs a membership site on painting called Create38. It's working very well for her. Another customer runs a membership site on social media marketing called Exploring Social Media. Also doing quite well.
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  • I don't have a membership site, myself, but I do belong to a few. The reason I stay with them is because a) I receive quality content each month that isn't being disseminated to the general masses, and b) because the content allows to me make many times more than what I pay each month for the membership.

    Now do membership sites work in any paying niche? I don't know about that, but some would definitely be harder than others, for sure. As JohnMcCabe pointed out, keeping quality content coming each month would be the hard part, and that would probably take up a good portion of your time, so I'm not so sure how many times you would be able to do the 'rinse and repeat' part and still keep up.
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  • Profile picture of the author quiescen
    Easy breezy brad. The hard part is getting enough content online first so you attract members (unless you drip it.) The easy part is creating the monthly content.
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  • Profile picture of the author brik2500
    The quality of the content is key. If it's worth something, people will pay for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author quiescen
      Originally Posted by brik2500 View Post

      The quality of the content is key. If it's worth something, people will pay for it.
      Yes ... and the more unique and one of a kind it is, the better.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    I haven't run a membership site, but I've been told the best way to do it is have content automatically released each month.

    So basically you do a lot of upfront work, but then it is a bit more on autopilot. Let the user know that they have to stick around for a full year to get everything too.

    So if you're in the IM niche, maybe month 1 is Article Marketing, month 2 is Video marketing, etc.
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