Starting a membership site and affiliate program

29 replies
Hey Warriors,

I've been at this IM thing for about 1 yr now and I'm in the process of starting a membership site. I also want an affiliate program to go along with it.

I'm currently having the site built through scriptlance and the designer is including the membership stuff. Will the designers work be enough or should I look into buying some membership software like "Amember"?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions about the affiliate program process. What management software to use? etc. etc. etc.?

If my planned traffic method works, I could have a LOT of members.
#affiliate #membership #program #site #starting
  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    Rapid Action Profits Member Plus can handle an affiliate program for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    Amember or instant member are scripts where you can add your design, set up your affiliate system for paypal clickbank and others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Originally Posted by redness44 View Post

    Will the designers work be enough or should I look into buying some membership software like "Amember"?
    It's funny that you are asking this here instead of clarifying it with your designer/coder.

    What exactly is the "membership stuff" that the designer is building? Get an answer from him first and after that some knowledgeable WF members will be able to give you the right answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author redness44
    You're right Istvan, it is kind of funny. The thing is, I'm not sure what a membership site should have for good, solid functionality. So I'm not sure what to ask.

    If I could get some WF members in the know to give me some ideas I would appreciate it.

    Thanks James & Sean
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    • Profile picture of the author letsgetitstarted
      Unless you're outsourcing overseas on the cheap, it will probably work out cheaper to just go with an established member script like amember. Just get your designer to do the integration for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Starter
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      • Profile picture of the author redness44
        Originally Posted by AJ Silvers View Post

        Okay, I am confused, how can you get someone to build something when you are not sure what the site should have?

        I agree with the earlier posters, why re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of simple, cheap and effective membership solutions with price points from free (SiteManPro or Wordpress) all the way up to bl**dy expensive but very good like Membergate.

        I hope you have not wasted your money with the designer....
        Somewhat true AJ. I have to say that I'm willing to accept the consequences of ignorance in the pursuit of learning by taking quick action.

        I had an idea, put some thoughts together, asked a couple questions and then posted a project on scriptlance. Now that the developer is sending me drafts to approve I'm gaining knowledge of a few things to cover next time I submit a project.

        Additionally, as I start to recognize some of the missing pieces, I find myself on the WF looking for answers. Of course this opens me up to ridicule. But hey.....I gotta learn somehow.

        If I'm gonna fail, I want to do it fast so I can move on to something else with what I've learned.
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    There is an "All-In-One" thread that goes into every aspect of Membership sites, you'll find a lot of your answers there:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...hip-sites.html

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author kay12345
    honestly, invest in a script like amember or RAP, it's gonna save you the hassle, and you shoud be using the time that you gained to drive more traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    I would agree you should know what you want before even posting such a job... But also what stikes me is you said a webdesigner was building the site. Is this a website designer or a coder ???

    Trust me there is a world of a difference...

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    redness44,

    Having ideas is good. However, between having an idea and taking action there should be a few steps to make your life easier down the road.

    I posted a(n incomplete) list of tasks you should go through when planning to set up a website - you can read it here.
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  • Profile picture of the author redness44
    Thanks for the list Istvan. It will be very useful. Learning, learning, learning.

    James, Thanks for the reply. I actually chose a company instead of an individual to do this work. I tried to use my years worth of knowledge to make the best selection even though it was not the cheapest. I'm a believer in getting what you paid for (I know it doesn't always work out that way).

    If anyone care to read it, here's the outsourcer description:
    I started to remove the outsourcers name - but then I thought "why? - maybe someone knows something about them they can share"

    Hello,

    We are a team of professional Web Developers with experience in web design and development.

    Avantegrate is an India based leading Web design and Development company.Have 10 members team of experienced designers and
    developers.We are expert in Flash,Photo shop,Dream weaver, Coreldraw,Illustrator,php,ASP,JavaScript, AJAX ,and html.
    We provide Website Design, Banner Design,Logo Design,Template Design,Visiting Card Design,Flash Intro,Flash Slide show,E commerce solution
    CMS Solutions, Real estates, Job Portals etc...Our mission is to provide best solution to our client.

    We are committed to deliver 100% client satisfaction and return on their investment.


    We can do following types of projects :

    1. Name of the job: Ecommerce Website
    Job Details: Shopping cart with registration details and payment integration.Also can use Os commerce.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql


    2. Name of the job: Job portal
    Job Details: It is a Job portal that has a Fully Featured Admin panel, and also a very Flexible features for the Employers
    as well as Job Seekers, They can upload Resumes, and can search for the jobs, in unlimited categories etc.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql

    3. Name of the job: Auction Portal
    Details: It is an Auction Portal which is developed for buying and selling of Racing Junk materials, User can have store
    like EBay Store, and also can buy Subscription to sell ads on the website.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql


    4. Name of the job: Property Portal
    Job Details: It is a Property Portal which has FLASH as a front-end and the PHP is used as a scripting for the
    functionality which stores and manages the whole data for the website.
    Language used: PHP, AJAX and FLASH


    5. Name of the job: Content Management System (CMS)
    Job Details: It is a CMS which is used to manage various welding and assembly automation systems.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql


    6. Name of the job: Content Management System (CMS)
    Job Details: It is a Content Management System (CMS) which has collection of the paintings and various creations of the renowned artist from allover the world. It has an Admin Panel where the admin can add Artists creations, their paintings etc.
    Language used: PHP and AJAX


    7. Name of the job: Content Management System (CMS)
    Job Details: It is a CMS which is used to manage various networking consultancy services.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql

    8. Name of the job: Affiliates Management
    Job Details: we can provide service to the website which are using affiliates programm.
    Language used: PHP, Mysql



    The above list is for category wise indication only of our expertise. We also take up challenging development jobs in new
    technologies.

    Thanks and Regards,
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by redness44 View Post

      Thanks for the list Istvan. It will be very useful. Learning, learning, learning.

      James, Thanks for the reply. I actually chose a company instead of an individual to do this work. I tried to use my years worth of knowledge to make the best selection even though it was not the cheapest. I'm a believer in getting what you paid for (I know it doesn't always work out that way).

      If anyone care to read it, here's the outsourcer description:
      I started to remove the outsourcers name - but then I thought "why? - maybe someone knows something about them they can share"
      No offense to anyone but I would have ran the other way.. A webdeveloper and I mean a "real" webdveloper does not deal with pre-coded systems and open source code. I can tell from his descriptions that they are nothing more than copy and paste coders that use open source code system.

      A "real" webdeveloper is someone that is able to create and build a site 100% from scratch, no open source code, no CMS (joomla, wp, and etc), and no code from other sites.

      You say this is a company and I know that is probably what you was told but I can almost promise you that it is nothing more than 1 person that knows nothing about how to code and he/she hires a few friends to actually do the job.

      This is the problem with hire out people you know nothing about. I think it is far more usefull to find someone "off a freelance site" and build a relationship up with them and get to know them.

      But this is all just my opinion but I have been a website developer for over 15 years.

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    To be honest, what they say about themselves doesn't really help me in giving you a more accurate answer...

    The missing point is what you ordered from them, how did you described your project.
    (I can appreciate if you don't want to share that here publicly, so I am not asking for it.)

    Look, I have a son, who is a very good programmer, developer, degree in computer science etc. He also taught me a lot about the web and internet, and occasionally he does small programming jobs for me. (And for others, if anyone is interested...)

    However, I always have to tell him what do I want from the gizmo/code that I am ordering: how does it fit in the bigger picture, what it is supposed to do, what I am aiming for. Otherwise all his knowledge and expertize is useless
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Having 7 posts... he cannot PM you
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  • Profile picture of the author redness44
    To everyone again, I say a big Thank You.

    James - All I can do now is hope that it turns out well. Coming from a web developer, your comments carry weight with me. I'd like to think that open source and copy/paste style development can still yeild good sites. Or should I expect problems somewhere down the road?

    Istvan - My project description was EXTREMELY vague now that I look back at it. Like I said earlier, I've learned a lot already about listing the details of a project. I'll definitely do better next time I outsource a site.

    AJ - I'm certain things are harder (and more expensive) than they should be. Unfortunately, that's the path of the newbie. It's difficult to gain complete knowledge without trying and failing (IMHO). I'll definitely take you up on your SKYPE offer. My skype ID is Bryan.Adair1 (BOLO)
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by redness44 View Post

      To everyone again, I say a big Thank You.

      James - All I can do now is hope that it turns out well. Coming from a web developer, your comments carry weight with me. I'd like to think that open source and copy/paste style development can still yeild good sites. Or should I expect problems somewhere down the road?
      Well again no offense is meant to anyone but it is a well known fact in the freelance industry and the website development industry that many in the country you hired from are scams. It is marked the highest fraud country in the world for a reason.

      I do not take on clients any longer as I work for myself so I have nothing to gain by telling you any of this. I have had many many clients that hired so-called developers from that country just to be ripped off, get stolen scripts, scripts and sites that did not work and etc..

      Not trying to scare you but facts are facts. I have seen these clients pay out $thousands$ and then wait 6 months and still nothing done. These clients would come to me and hire me and fire those wannabe coders. The big difference is when I took on clients, those client had full access to the development server and they could actually watch in real time their sites being built.

      I wish you luck and hope you really do get what you have paid for...

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    Hi,

    I've put together a free eBook, The Membership Website Jumpstart Guide, which answers many of the questions people have when planning a membership site. Hopefully you'll find some valuable pointers in there.

    Here's a quick breakdown of what i've included:

    - 101 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Membership Website

    - The Most Important Things to Consider When Starting a Membership Website

    - The Top 10 Reasons Why Membership Websites Fail . . . and What You Can Do to Avoid These Mistakes

    - The 12 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Subject for Your Membership Website

    - The Top 12 Proven Tactics for Selling Content in a Free Content World

    Hopefully you'll find it useful.

    You can download here: http://www.subhub.com/downloads/20090706/download

    NB. This is a direct download link - no registration required. It's free with no catch.

    All the best

    Mark
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    Mark Ramskill, SubHub
    Create Your Free Website in Minutes. Now With Added Membership Goodness!

    Visit www.subhub.com to Get Started
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    • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
      A lot of the membership sites that the gurus put out there are nothing more than Wordpress blogs, a little custom coding, a fancy design and amember or WL Member to manage memberships.

      I prefer to use an all in one solution for processing and affiliates. 1shoppingcart, and Nanacast.com are great examples.
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      • Profile picture of the author michaelvaliant
        Originally Posted by SeanyG View Post

        A lot of the membership sites that the gurus put out there are nothing more than Wordpress blogs, a little custom coding, a fancy design and amember or WL Member to manage memberships.

        I prefer to use an all in one solution for processing and affiliates. 1shoppingcart, and Nanacast.com are great examples.
        And 1Shoppingcart has an aMember integration for membership sites.

        aMember is easily the most recommended membership program we hear about (which is why we created an integration).

        If you're looking for an all in one membership module, (and can afford the price tag) Membergate is a great product.

        Other membership software that people have recommended to me in the past, include:

        extrememember.com
        Wild Apricot - affordable

        and finally, a recent addition that I've heard alot about recently, especially in the IM circles, is:

        Wishlist Member - a made for WP membership solution
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeHughes
    Hi, I see subhub mark has replied. i use their software and it's very easy to use. The support are very quick and helpful. It is probably a lot cheaper than you are paying, I would check it out before it's too late.
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    Thanks Joe!

    Very kind of you to say so

    Mark
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    Mark Ramskill, SubHub
    Create Your Free Website in Minutes. Now With Added Membership Goodness!

    Visit www.subhub.com to Get Started
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by redness44 View Post

      You're right Istvan, it is kind of funny. The thing is, I'm not sure what a membership site should have for good, solid functionality. So I'm not sure what to ask.

      If I could get some WF members in the know to give me some ideas I would appreciate it.

      Thanks James & Sean
      How many membership sites have you joined? I would have joined some just to get a peek, or made a list based on clues from the source code. Or emailed the owners to see where they got their work done.

      Personally, I would not have worried so much about the look of it until after the fact.

      You need to make a list of what you need it to do. I can give you ideas on several scripts - but each one is differently priced, each one has different options. I'd take up a few days having to go into it all.

      Are you going to need a forum? Is the site just for content delivery? Do you need to do videos? Are you looking for an easy CMS that you can easily control and load things up to? If not, is someone else going to be required to regularly maintain the site for you?

      Looks like you're getting pot luck for dinner.
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      "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    You can do it all without hiring a progammer or installing a single script with our platform.

    Here is our features list:

    Nanacast Features List

    The main thing I want to point out is about your affiliate management question... this part of the equation really matters because if your affiliate management system sucks or if it only tracks by cookie and is unreliable you are going to loose affiliates which can be the most valuable asset to your business.

    On the bottom of our features page I list what makes our affiliate management system the best and most accurate in the industry.

    We also provide an API so you can integrate our front end with your script if you wish but its not necessary since we provide the membership management and content delivery systems too.

    You also asked:

    Will the designers work be enough
    It's never enough. Most people who outsource their own custom development find that because they do not have years of experience to anticipate all the things they will want to do in the future and all the features that their clients and affiliates will demand of them.

    It becomes a never ending IT development and management process. Then most end up trying to hack together other solutions with theirs to make them do what they want...

    You will find that duct taped together development like that usually leaves much to be desired.

    That is why its often better to use an established ecommerce and affiliate management platform with an api if you need to plugin your own membership solution.

    The hardest part of development process for that kind of model and the one that requires the most experience, feedback, testing, and knowledge is ecommerce and affiliate management systems.

    You are far better off going with a platform like ours that takes care of the hard stuff for you so that you can spend your time marketing and publishing (doing those things that make you money) rather than being a IT developer and managing programmers which takes years of experience via trial and error to learn how to do well.
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    • Profile picture of the author chukwuma
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
        Originally Posted by chukwuma View Post

        Good one . Have you use it before?
        Yes, since 2006. Of course we developed it
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    The best thing to do is take a few solutions for a spin, if you're able - this way at least you'll be able to compare features and ease of use.

    You can try SubHub for free for 14 days (no credit card needed) - click here to try us

    It's also worth comparing the support you'll get. Are there help guides, inline help within the control panel, a community, articles on building your business? etc etc -all things you should consider.

    Hope this helps

    Mark
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    Mark Ramskill, SubHub
    Create Your Free Website in Minutes. Now With Added Membership Goodness!

    Visit www.subhub.com to Get Started
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Arrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! please DO NOT try and reinvent the wheel.

      I created a software app 4 years ago and it sold like crazy, but also gave me insane customer service issues. Just keep in mind that any bugs are your responsibility, and that means you fix or you pay someone to do that for you.

      Assuming that the person is still around to help you!

      Been there, done that and got the triple by=pass to prove it.

      Bluntly, a dumb ass idea given all the great scripts available.

      Amembers and even wishlist and RAP will do most or all of what you want. Wichlist does not have an affiliate program but you can manage this seperately.

      As someone stated, just buy a tested script and pay for someone to integrate it for you... unless you just enjoy doing things the hard way.

      Respectfully,

      Sal

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      Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Amazing .. Just amazing ... Is all I got say ...

    James
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