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Simon Lee

Just a simply guy that just loves working for himself, and would like to Help empower as many people as possible to the Benefits of working from the comfort of their own home. To a lifestyle of freedom...

Sharing my online experiences with the next generation of ientrepreneurs and the newly liberated web!
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The Pros and Cons of free membership sites....

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Posted 30th November 2010 at 06:56 AM by Simon Lee

The Pros and Cons of free membership sites.

Basically, a free membership site is a site where the user is not charged a membership fee to use the site but is required to supply
their e-mail address, choose a user name and password to enter the site, participate in the discussions and activities. Sometimes free
memberships are limited to less useful information or access while paid memberships have full access.
A large entity like MSN, for example, allows members to access most things on their sites without the need for any sign in procedure at all but, in order to join a group, you must supply your email address, choose a user name and a password. The use of the
site is still free. However, to use MSN as your ISP or to gain enhanced email resources you will be required to pay for it.

In the same way, an individual might start a free membership website. There would be no charge at all to access the site. To gain
access to limited information would require supplying an email address, choosing a user name and a password. To gain full access
to the site would most likely require payment if the information they are providing merits a fee. Some sites never charge a membership fee and rely solely on selling their own product or promoting products produced by others as a source of income.

Free membership sites very rarely, if ever, supply information that you couldn’t easily acquire on the Internet yourself. An individual
who sets up a free membership site doesn’t do it for free so they will be planning to make an income in some way. Usually free
membership sites are for the purpose of selling a product or service. Some information will be provided but supplying information is not the main objective.

The Pros
Free membership sites do have their advantages. When you start setting up your membership website, ask yourself what your main objective is. If your main objective is supplying information that is not readily available or easily found anywhere, then your site should not be a free site. If, on the other hand, the main objective
of your website is to sell your own product or products that others have produced, then a free website might be exactly what you are
looking for. Free online membership products and services are very popular. In fact the most recent estimates from June 2005
indicate that nearly 45,000 membership products or services are being marketed online, and there are more than 120
million subscribers to online products and services in the United States alone.

If the theme of your website is, say, Toy Poodles, you might have a message board, blog, or forum where people who have and love Toy Poodles could meet and discuss them, as well as, articles and information about Toy Poodles for all members to view. However, your objective would be to sell products you advertise that relate to
Toy Poodles. Your income would be derived from the sale of the products and not from fees charged for memberships.
Free membership websites require much less time to administer than do paid membership sites. The content is generally much
easier to find and to write. The members themselves supply a lot of content just with their posts. It’s easy to hold interest by running picture contests or doing online quizzes that are easy and quick to
get up and running. When you sell products rather than memberships, there is no need
for a customer support system. This alone eliminates a lot of the time, work and aggravation of managing a website.

The Cons
If there is an upside, there is always a downside to everything including free membership websites. Your free membership
website that you have set up is supposed to practically run itself. It isn’t supposed to eat up large chunks of your time, is it? You have to monitor the blogs, forums and message boards constantly to keep material off that is offensive to most of your members…even if they don’t pay you a dime to do it. Even though you aren’t making anything from people being able to post on your website, state their thoughts and even vent, you are still responsible for what is posted. Unless you are running an adult content website where anything and everything goes, you have to spend a lot of time just monitoring the website.
In order to maintain enough interest and keep enough traffic flowing through your website you have to keep relevant, timely
and interesting content on your site even if your main objective is to see products and not entertain or inform the public.
You must publish an e-zine at least bi-weekly in order to keep your
members informed and interested. Writing content for your newsletter is a time consuming task and pays nothing up front.
You must guard against spamming your members. Complying with anti-spam legislation is important. No matter how sure you are of the worth of the products you are selling, you still aren’t allowed to spam your members. You will find them opting out of your site in droves if your over-do your advertising. Another not-so-good-thing that happens to a free membership site owner is that a product that you are advertising turns out to be a dud. Now you have an irate member who will tell others on the site
about the product that failed to live up to what was promised. You must constantly be on the look out for these kinds of posts to your forums or blogs and take immediate steps to set things right asap!

Hope this helps and if you would like to make a healthy income from your own membership site.
Find out more! p.s, I'm letting go of MD! I don't need or want it anymore. If anyone reading would like it, then simply hook up with me:-) I'll give it to you! (if it's not gone already that is lol)

Update: If you'd rather not be bothered with membership sites and still like to make easy $15K a month, using a proven system and product that literally "Sell Itself" then You need to get In on my personal list, which can be found on my personal empower network blog. Or simply just click here instead:

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