Set up membership site or not?

by mc9320
14 replies
Could use some advice on whether it would be worth setting up a membership site or not.

I currently promote a $67 product to an email list who opt in via my blog. I reduce the price to $47 as a special offer if they don't buy after a certatin number of days..

From almost 500 subscribers, I've made 38 sales, which is around 8%.

This isn't bad.

However, I constantly make around $200 - $400 a month, but my income isn't increasing.

My problem is traffic and scaling things up, which might be a little tricky in my chosen niche.

So I'm wondering whether I can increase my earnings by getting customers to pay a monthly fee for a membership site. Any thoughts?

1) Is this potentially a good business model in my situation?

2) If so, should I drip feed my content or put everything in one go?

3) What Wordpress plugin would you recommend for membership sites?

Would appreciate any input...

Thanks in advance.
#membership #set #site
  • Profile picture of the author katarina1
    1) Is this potentially a good business model in my situation?
    * YES, If you want them to pay you have to give them a lot of value.500 people is a good start.

    2) If so, should I drip feed my content or put everything in one go?
    * I can't answer this because I dont now what is it about.Again,you have to give value.

    3) What Wordpress plugin would you recommend for membership sites?You can use SECRET facebook group.
    http://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/5-...gins-compared/
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    imo, it's a great business model. You are just leveraging your Assets.Create Products sell them on your own, let affiliates sell them, and then "dump" them on a membership site . (The word " dump" is not used in a derogatory since, here !!)

    You are basically repurposing your Content/Assets. And spreading your Brand out on the Web more completely


    So why not ?? It will only bring you that much more Cash Flow if done right !!


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author rehema
    Answering in this in short will be yes this is perfect Idea as you will also have a certain group that you will be working with closely.

    The testimonies that you will have from these will mean more income as many will be joining as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    There are circumstances when a paid recurring membership model makes sense . . . and there are times when it doesn't.

    Since you haven't said what your chosen niche is about, how much discipline you have, what original resources (including time and money) you bring to the table and how committed your subscribers are to your and the niche, I can't tell you if this is the right platform for you or not. So I will just share some thoughts about this model that I've experienced in the past with my own memberships:

    First, it's always best to start with your audience. I would suggest thinking about your potential membership subscribers and what is best for their needs/wants/desires in the niche.

    Remember WIIFM. What's in it for me. That's what your prospects want to know . . . not what is best for you, the vendor or business owner.

    I believe paid membership sites work best under the following niche conditions:
    1. If there is a timeliness or urgency factor - do you need to get the word out quickly? A good example would be a stock market advisory service. Your clients want to know, right now, what they should do in a very volatile environment. Another example would be a sports news site where there is always going to be breaking stories, changing team rankings, etc - stuff subscribers will come back to see often (maybe daily).
    2. If there is a massive download library. Are you offering 10,000 downloadable images? 10,000 sewing patterns? 500 video tutorials? A membership site would make sense here. The sheer amount of info that you offer is made much easier to update (for you), to catalog, and to access when convenient for your subscribers. You can "highlight" the latest additions to the site so your members know what is fresh and "the latest" that they haven't seen yet.
    3. If there is a community of people that feed off each other or want to communicate back and forth. A private paid forum site could be the means they use to engage one another. The example here would be a cruise site for senior citizens that want to discuss with other seniors the best cruise lines, where to go, what to see, etc. I don't know if you have this in your niche or not. Some membership platforms and software include forums as part of the paid membership benefits (Membergate, for example).
    4. If there is a tight-knit group of brand loyalists or owners. I'm thinking Harley-Davidson owners, Airstream trailer owners, etc. These people feel comradery and kinship. They want to be friends and "hang out" with like-minded people. I'm not sure if your niche participants have a desire to talk amongst themselves to help and support each other. If so, that's a good thing. Be sure to have a membership platform that allows subscriber interaction. The better platforms do.
    5. If there are forms, templates, resources that you offer in a particular niche. You don't want to sell these individually, but for all your members (and their monthly fees) you want to give them access. This is a good candidate for a membership site.
    6. As a licensed professional or association site where other (CPAs, counselors, architects, engineers, etc) hang out together to learn about specific occupational news, events, best practices, licensing, recruiting, etc. This is a pretty specialized reason for a membership site but it is a good one. Many professionals will stay a long, long time as they consider professional membership in the industry of their profession a "must have" expense to renew every year.
    7. "Jelly of the Month Club" - You know what I'm talking about (from Christmas Vacation). You give your subscribers something special each month that appeals to them in the niche and maybe saves them some money. It could be a magazine, a newsletter, a razor, a pair of socks, a tie, or anything else (physical or digital).
    8. Challenge event or period during which you're giving instructions and maybe keeping track of progress. A private paid membership site makes sense as you engage your members and they pay to have you "coach" them along. (Think weight loss challenge, writing a book, overcoming a phobia, learning a skill, etc, etc.)
    9. Guest or expert contributions. Here, you do not provide all the content. You invite niche experts or guests to supply your subscribers with valuable advice, even products or coaching. It's a convenient platform for "pushing" expert advice along that can be valuable and unique to your site. Sometimes subscribers (students) appreciate hearing from a variety of experts rather than just you.
    10. Courses, step-by-step instructional material, curriculum, etc where you publish your content in an orderly, "this first, then that" step-by-step organized fashion. Video tutorials are a popular way to push this type of niche content.
    11. As a marketplace. Sometimes a paid private marketplace is a great way to bring supply and demand together at convenient one web site. Active collectors, for example, (like coin collectors) will pay to have a site where buyers and sellers can interact. The niche can be anything where buying and selling, or just the exchange of valuable information can be expedited.
    I'm sure there are other good "platform" reasons for having a membership site. If your niche isn't a prime candidate, then you might be better off just putting your information in an e-book, a series or sellable reports, or something else.

    There is discipline and a lot of work and time requirements on the part of the owner that make this membership platform model "not so glamorous" and easy as some of the hype surrounding it would lead you to believe.

    Sure, a lot of membership site owners just slap up some PLR and call the content good. But typically these kind of sites have very quick turnover and they're constantly having to recruit to replace their lost members.

    But membership sites can be a great option for some niches where it makes the most sense!

    The very best to all of you,

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Mattj84
    Congrats on the sales so far! Membership sites are always a good idea if there is a market for it. What you may want to think about doing is to send some high quality content to your list (use an auto-responder) to pre-frame a membership site and get your list to know, like and trust you. Then offer them an opportunity to join your membership site for even more of your niche problem solving solutions!

    As for price, it would depend upon how many members you are looking to achieve. Selling a membership of $67 will make you more, but will get you less signups. Whereas a monthly price of $5.95 for example, people are more likely to sign up as it's only $6. So you'll have more members and should make up for the cheaper price.

    Hope that helps and good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author zdebx
    To scale things up, you'll need traffic either way, whether you continue with email marketing or set up a membership site and charge monthly fees...

    So rather than changing your business model, think about the ways you could generate more traffic. It's already working for you, you're making money, so get more traffic and you'll be good.
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  • Profile picture of the author mc9320
    Wow. Thanks for the responses so far. To give a bit more of an idea, let's say my niche involves some type of small business owner looking to either get started and/or find more clients.

    At the moment I have 2 ebooks, one which helps people get set up - $37 (doesn't sell that well to be honest), and my other product which helps with marketing - $67 (this one does sell well)

    So I could add all this content into a resource section of a membership site,and include a forum where people can share tips and ask questions, a monthly challenge for one business owner to help them grow their business, and get some other influential people in my niche to add quality content etc. I'm sure there some other things I could add aswell..

    The question is, would people be prepared to pay a monthly fee for this? And for how long? Or would they prefer everything in one go, such as an ebook

    Any more suggestions?

    I will email my existing list and see what the feedback is. If it's viable I guess I would need to give away some free memberships to get the ball rolling and build a community first.

    It's tricky because although this isn't a big earner (only $300 a month or so) it is some nice additional income at the moment. And I think an 8% conversion rate for a $67 product is pretty good (to people who have not bought anything before)

    My traffic at the moment comes from free methods - LinkedIn and Facebook groups, with a little from YouTube and SEO. Haven't really spent enough time and energy looking at paid traffic yet, but plan too soon.

    My earnings per subscriber is around $3.50 (gross figure).

    So I could just continue to try and put in some more time and drive more traffic to my blog and keep doing what I've been doing...
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    If you can create enough useful content the drip feed using something like DAP for several months, then yep, membership can work.
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  • Profile picture of the author ANDREIS
    Originally Posted by mc9320 View Post

    So I'm wondering whether I can increase my earnings by getting customers to pay a monthly fee for a membership site. Any thoughts?

    1) Is this potentially a good business model in my situation?
    YES if you can provide content on a month to month basis that they are willing to pay for. REMEMBER though, it's not easy to provide good stuff every week and every month...all year long. Also, it's not easy to create a library of things to use or download which people will be willing to pay month after month. If you can do that, then membership site is one of the best online assets you can have!
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  • Profile picture of the author Antony Micheal
    i think you can build a member site
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  • Profile picture of the author blitz20
    Try using paid traffic to scale and you should look i to doing a membership site. Its always a good idea to build recurring revenue.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nish Prasad
    You can learn how to build good sites by referring to Chris Farrell's membership site or Wealthy Affiliate's membership site. These two are good examples of membership sites pertaining to Internet Marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
    I think a membership site works well if your niche is one where the idea is always expanding. You need to be able to provide fresh content every month and keep people wanting more.
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