Continuity Business

Membership Articles

Should You Make it a Paid Site or a Free One?

The first thing you need to decide is if you will set up a free membership site or a paid membership site. There are some good points for each.

Benefits of a Free Membership Site

• Can help you build a list
• Entice people into the full membership
• To protect your sensitive content
• Build a sense of community among members

Benefits of a paid membership site

• Make more money internet marketing
• Develop a loyal customer base
• Have a steady stream of passive income
• Build a sense of community among members

Those lists are by no means complete. However, it is a good list to help you decide if you want to take their money or not.

Keep in mind that one membership site can have a free and a paid version.

The free version can help you build your list and also be used as a teaser to get people into the full membership.

Content options for your site

At some point, you’ll need to decide on what kind of content you will offer your customers in the membership site.

You can basically do whatever you want but your choices need to be a perfect balance of making your customers happy and not making your life too complicated.

Types of content to put on your site

If you’ve ever been part of a membership site then you probably have an idea of what to expect.

You may want to become a member of a site or two so you can get a feel for how they work.

With that said, here’s a list of some of the types of content you can have on it.

• Articles
• Blog posts
• Downloads (software, ebooks, special reports, etc)
• Forum posts
• Videos

Bear in mind that the most complicated membership site isn’t always the best.

If you keep it simple and you’re consistent, customers will still be very pleased as long as your content provides value to them.

Deciding on the content

Before you start creating your membership site, you need to give it some thought as to what kind of content you want to put on it.

You can make things simple or incredibly complex. In fact, there are so many choices as to what you put on the site that it can be overwhelming.

Use these suggestions to help you decide.

Get to Know Your Customers

Think about the niche market your membership site will cover. Get to know your customers and what they want.

If you’ve already been selling products in your niche, think about what has worked and what hasn’t.

The more you get to know your future customers, the easier it will be to provide them with content.

What kind of content is standard in your niche?

Another way to approach the content issue is to think about what kind of content is standard in your niche.

For example, if a lot of people seem to be selling videos and eBooks, you may want to provide your customers the same thing. Or not.

It will all depend on if what you offer will add value to the market and will win customers over to your product.

Which Kind of Membership Should You Create?

There are actually several different kinds of membership sites you can create. Some are difficult to create, others are quite simple.

But how do you know which kind suits your site?

There are several ways to arrive at your decision. You can decide based on

• How much work you want to put in creating the site.
• Whether or not you want a simple format or one that has a lot of bells and whistles.
• How much time you plan on spending updating the site and providing content.
• Whether or not you want to create a community setting.
• Whether or not you want to outsource to set the site up or if you have the skills to do it yourself

That list is by no means complete but it can get you started as you think about what components you want on the site.

Here is a short list of the types of membership sites out there.

Autoresponder based site

Just collect the payments and the content gets sent to their email. This is the easiest to implement.

Regular website

You can set up your membership site as if you would a regular website. The only difference is that a login is required.

These sites can have articles, a forum, a blog, etc. It will all depend on what is right for the niche.

If you give these points some thought based on the subject your membership site will be on, you’ll be more successful.

Why Every Internet Marketer Needs at Least One Membership Site?

It is a good idea to start a membership site if you want to increase your profits. Here’s a list of the benefits to owning one.

Dominate the competition in your niche

If you have a membership site, you’ll stand out amongst the people who have a score of e-books but nothing else to offer their customers.

Get more money out of your list

You may have heard that “the money is in the list”. And, you’ll want to get as much money from your list members as you can.

A membership site is the perfect way to do this.

• Increase customer loyalty

If your site has great content and you respond promptly to all queries, a membership site will increase customer loyalty a lot better than selling individual products.

This is because the customer will feel as if you’re more accessible.

• Develops a sense of community

Membership sites that have a forum help encourage a sense of community. So not only do the members interact with you, but they can interact with each other.

This is a good selling point and a benefit for the owner of the site because it is another thing that will help increase your customer’s loyalty.

• Great way to build a list

If you want to start a free membership site, or offer portions of your membership site for no cost, it can present an effective way to build a list.

• Develop passive income

Although internet marketing is a great career, the money can be a little unstable. A membership site is a good way to not only make more money, but to make the income you do bring in a lot steadier.

• They don’t need to be complicated

A lot of people assume that a membership site is complicated. Not necessarily.

There are plenty of options that are simple, such as exclusive content delivered via autoresponder.

Let’s look at the math. say you have a membership site that offers exclusive content related to your niche.

If you charge $19.95 a month and have 100 subscribers, that translates to nearly $2000 profit and all you needed to do was refresh the content and make sure the site is running properly.

Tips for Making the Membership Site Lucrative

Having a successful site means that you will provide great content and also find ways to increase your earnings. Here are some ideas.

• Promote affiliate programs

Are there certain products or services that you use all the time and recommend in your site? If this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with promoting the affiliate link.

If customers trust that you won’t just promote anything and respect your opinion, this will increase your sales.

• Don’t get overwhelmed

This is as much a tip for making more money as it is a case for simplicity. Customers don’t necessarily want a site that has a lot on it.

They just want content that serves to teach them about the topic they are interested in. A membership site is a good way to boost your income.

However, it won’t be worth your energy if you make it too complicated. The easier it is to run, the better off you’ll be.

• Make them want more

At the point when your site debuts, you’ll want to have enough content on there to satisfy your new customers.

However, you also shouldn’t put all the content up there at first.

Making them want more is a great way to give them a reason to come back which means they’ll be willing to renew their membership.

• Get feedback

A great way to get your customers coming back for more is to have them give you feedback. This is an easy way to make sure all of their needs are being met as well.

If you ask them their opinion and then implement their suggestions, they’ll feel as if they are a valued customer.

• Great customer service

As with any business, providing your customers with excellent customer service is a big part of making your site successful.

If you have great content and your rates are more than affordable but you don’t have excellent customer service, you may find that you don’t convert the one time customers into constant, paying members.

Answer people’s emails. Try to help them solve their problems. If you don’t have the time to take care of this yourself, at least hire someone who does.

Starting a membership site is easy. However, to keep it running, you need to focus on things like customer service in order to make it successful.

• Don’t give up

This may sound obvious but if you aren’t seeing the results you want at first, don’t give up.

There may be a part of your strategy that needs honing, but giving up may not be the best option. Sometimes, membership sites can take a little while to get going.

If you give up too quickly you may never see the success you want.

What About Technical Skills?

When a member pays you money, they are then allowed access into the site.

But since there are several different formats you can use, the technical aspects of setting up and running a membership site will differ.

You can choose to take the easy route and set it up via autoresponder.

Or, you can have a site with multiple bells and whistles including forum, blog, videos, and other content.

You’ll need to assess your customer base and determine what they’ll want.

For example, if your in the health and fitness niche and you have a weight loss membership site, your customers may require different tools than if you had a membership site on how to make money blogging.

If you decide to open up a free membership site, all your members will need is the right membership information.

You may be wondering about the technical aspect of starting a membership site. How do you do it exactly? Well, there are a lot of different options.

Here are some technologies to consider:

• PHP based membership site

If you know PHP you understand that you can set the site up to require a username and password. When customers pay you they’ll get the login information.

• Autoresponder based site

Once the customers pay you they’re information will be added to the autoresponder. Their content will be delivered via email.

• Use a membership creator package

There are some software packages out there that are designed to help you create a membership site. You may want to ask around to see which are best.

If you don’t have the technical skills or the time to handle the technical details you can always outsource.

How to Get More Membership Ideas

Lucky for you, there is also a simple process that you can follow to get ideas for your next membership site.

If you’re unsure how to begin and are stuck for ideas, try out these tips. Your next membership site may not be that far away.

– Get personal.

Begin by brainstorming your own life. Creating your membership site is going to be much easier if you know a little bit about the market.

That’s why it’s a great idea to start your ideas list with hobbies, interests and activities from your own life.

Write down everything that you and your family members are passionate about or interested in. This list could be a goldmine for your membership site.

– New product launches.

eBook and video course creators have done a lot of niche market research in order to create their products.

You can piggyback on this research specifically by keeping an eye on “product launches”.

For example, if you see a lot of products being produced on article marketing you can safely assume that a membership site on the same topic would do well.

Subscribe to email lists in your potential market to watch for product launches and get ideas for your site.

– Examine in detail.

If you want a comprehensive list of existing electronic products that are selling well, is the place to go.

Search through the marketplace to find out what topics your market is interested in learning about.

You’ll be able to find new market ideas, content to fill your site as well as affiliate offers to create some backend sales.

– Popular topics.

Visit’s best-seller list. Amazon is the top bookseller online so it makes sense to search their marketplace for membership site ideas.

The bestseller lists in various categories will help you see what topics are popular. You can easily gather membership site ideas from these lists.

Hint: Go with the topics that are popular.

– Keep your finger on the pulse.

Forums are the pulse of your market. You can be sure that a market has members that would be willing to pay if there is an active forum dedicated to that topic.

Track down some popular forums in your potential market and spend some time browsing through the topics. See what the market is talking about.

Pay close attention to the FAQs section and the threads that have a lot of activity.

These are indicators of the kinds of topics which might serve as a topic for your next membership site.

– Check out the magazines.

You should go to!

This website is full of membership site ideas. If a market has a buying audience, there is probably a magazine out there dedicated to it.

Magazines don’t get started without advertising dollars to back them up.

If advertisers are paying to get to a market, it’s a safe bet that you can create a membership site for the same market.

On you can search by category to find membership site ideas. I love this place!

– Look for problems.

The final stop I want to mention is Yahoo groups. These free e-mail discussion lists cover a wide variety of topics.

Subscribe to a few groups in your potential market to look for ideas.

The benefit of using groups like these is that you’ll often be able to see problems in the market that aren’t currently being met by other products.

By going through these simple outlets you are sure to find a great idea for your next membership site.

Analyze the Competition

Before you truly get started in setting up your membership site, you’ll need to analyze the competition.

If you fail to do this, you may have difficulty getting people to sign up for your site. To start with, examine your direct competitors.

These are the people who have a membership site in the same subject as yours.

To get started, you’ll want to go out and find membership sites in your niche.

If there aren’t any, this could mean one of two things – there could be a need for your membership site or people in your niche aren’t willing to spend money for a membership.

Bear in mind that an effective marketer can get people to fork over the money for a membership so the second scenario may not even be an issue.

Assuming that there is at least one membership site pertaining to your niche, a good first step is to sign up for a membership.

After that, observe the following things:

• How the site is designed. Is it easy to navigate?

• How much the membership cost and what their different pricing options are.

• If there is a community, do people readily participate?

• Determine if something is missing from the site that you feel the members need. This could be information, videos, a forum, a blog, etc. Be the one to provide it for them.

• Think really hard about what will set you apart from your competition.

When it comes to being different, you have several choices as to how you can go about doing that. Here is a list of ideas.

Keep in mind that you can always build on these ideas. You can also choose one from the list or utilize a combination of these tactics.

• Under-pricing

Charge less than your competition. This will attract people who want the content but don’t want to pay the prices.

• Better quality

Establish your site as something that is of a higher quality. You can do this by getting killer testimonials from people.

• Modify your niche

For example, if your niche is weight loss, you may want to modify it slightly to target an even smaller portion of the market.

An example of a modified weight loss niche would be “weight loss for women”.

Spend as much time on analyzing your competition as you need because it will be time well spent.

Your research can help you come up with an idea that will have an even greater profit potential.

If you gloss over this part thinking you don’t need it, your site may not be as successful as you want it. Yes, it is possible to achieve success if you skip this step.

But it may not be worth it to take that chance.

Decide on Pricing

Another key decision you’ll need to make is figuring out a pricing schedule for the site.

Of course, you can choose to make it free but that should only be done for a specific purpose such as building your list or getting people interested in the full membership.

In general, you’ll want to choose a price your future customers will want to pay for. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge until you set a price and see what happens.

If it’s too low, people may suspect that the content is lacking. If it’s too high, you may have a hard time getting people to sign up, depending on the niche.

Either way, choose a price that you think makes sense and then give it at least a month. If membership isn’t quite what you expect, alter it accordingly.

There are also different things you can do in terms of when the customers get billed for the site. Here are the choices

• One time fee

On this kind of site, users pay only once. The membership could expire after a certain point which often happens with things like courses or if the content is limited.

• Lifetime membership

This is a variation of the one time fee. The difference is that the site membership will never expire and you’ll have access as long as the site is running.

• Charge them monthly

This is probably the most common. A monthly membership fee also gives you a steady income to rely on each month provided you have a steady rate of memberships.

• Yearly rate

Some membership sites charge a yearly fee. This is a good idea if you aren’t sure when you’ll update the content or if the site is well established and easy to run.

Keep in mind that you can offer your customers a number of membership options. For example, some sites charge a monthly rate and also a yearly rate.

If you do the math, the yearly rate is usually a better bargain if you can find the cash.

Running the numbers – how much can you really make?

Once you decide on a pricing schedule, the next step is to run the numbers. Figure out exactly how many sign ups you need to meet your financial goals.

For example, if you know you want to charge $19.95 a month and want to make around $2000 dollars, you’ll need to entice around 100 people to sign up.

If you want to charge around $10 a month, you’ll need 200 people, etc.

In the beginning, it will be easier to keep track if you just choose one pricing structure and stick with it. So, choose a monthly pricing structure or a yearly one.

Once your site is more established, you can be creative with the pricing.

Getting People to Sign Up

There are several ways you can entice people to sign up and it is a good idea to try each of these methods to maximize your signup rate.

• Sell to your list

If you have a list, hopefully they are already accustomed to buying things from you.

That’s because the list is a very powerful thing when it comes to selling your own products.

• Create a list

If you don’t have a list set up yet – work to create one. You can offer a free teaser membership to the site by having people sign up for the list.

Or, you can give something else away such as an eBook in your niche.

• Sales page

You’ll definitely need to create a sales page (also called a landing page) to direct traffic to.

If the sales page is highly effective then all you need to do is direct more traffic to the page to get signups. To determine if it’s effective, you’ll need to test it.

• Market the sales page

This may seem obvious but once the sales page is up and running, you’ll want to market it using any means you can think of.

You can put a link for it on your blog or website, use social networking, do article marketing, etc. Basically, employ any means you’d use to market a standard website.

• Start an affiliate program

This one is really fun. Once you get the affiliate program up and running, just start an affiliate program.

That means that other people will promote your landing page to their lists and you’ll reach a wider range of people.

Granted, it will cut out into your profits but this is an easy way to get people coming to your site.

This list of ways to get people to sign up for the site is by no means complete. If you can think of other methods, by all means use them.

Especially since each niche may require a different tactic.

8 Proven Tips to Promote Your Membership Site

It is a simple fact that you can build the best membership site in the world but if you don’t promote it, you won’t make any money from your best laid plans.

The following tips will keep the traffic flowing to your website and your income growing by leaps and bounds.

No matter what type of membership site you have, you’ll be sure to find some inspiration in these tips:

– Recruit affiliates.

When you’re running a membership site, affiliates can be your best allies in getting new members.

An affiliate program that pays well and that offers affiliates tools like articles, solo ads and e-mail messages will attract top affiliates and bring you new customers.

Register your membership site with Clickbank to reach a wide pool of affiliates.

– Find JV partners.

Unlike affiliates, JV partners get a special level of commission by promoting your membership site.

They’ll run special promotions for your membership site when it launches and get you some of your first members to your site.

Use pay per click advertising.

Running a successful pay per click campaign can bring you a lot of targeted traffic to your sales page.

Choose the right keywords, craft an attractive ad and you’ll have lots of new members.

– Use Social marketing.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter can offer you lots of opportunities to connect with your niche market and get new potential members.

Start a profile for your membership site and search for friends who are interested in your niche.

– Use Forum marketing.

If you already participate in a forum related to your niche, this will be an easy way to promote your site.

Add a link to your membership site in your forum signature file. Each time you post, your sales page link will be promoted.

– Use viral reports.

Write a short report on a popular topic within your niche.

Solve a major problem or provide a plan of action for your niche. Include lots of links back to your site within the report.

Allow others to distribute it for free and your membership site link will get in front of thousands of potential subscribers.

– Barter for reviews.

Contact bloggers and other product creators to give them free access to your membership site in exchange for a review.

They’ll offer their opinion of the site to their readers and you’ll get lots of new traffic into the site.

You can also find paid reviews sites that put you in connection with bloggers who will review your site for a small fee.

– Post blog comments.

Search for blogs in your niche and post insightful comments from time to time.

Use your membership site link in your blog comment and you’ll get some new visitors to your site.

Flip Your Site for Profits

As you know a membership site is a great way to get consistent monthly income but did you know that it can bring you even more money if you sell it after it’s been established for several months?

By doing all the groundwork for a membership site, you can sell your website to someone who wants to take it to the next level.

When you follow these simple steps, you can be ready to sell your first website within a matter of months.

– Start with a profitable idea.

The future buyer of your membership site will do a lot of market research to make sure the site will be profitable. You need to do the same.

Start by looking for a profitable market using Clickbank, Amazon’s best sellers list and other niche market research techniques. 

Be sure to check out the existing competition and pick a membership site topic where you can quickly gain dominance.

– Register a new PayPal address.

Your future site transfer will go a whole lot easier if you have a separate PayPal address to collect memberships.

If you have the new memberships go to your existing address, you’ll have to have all the subscribers unsubscribe and then re-subscribe to the new owner’s Paypal address.

By setting up a separate PayPal address, you’ll increase the likelihood of keeping subscribers with the new owner.

– Install Google analytics

Google analytics is a free tracking program that will tell potential buyers all about the traffic that your website is receiving.

Register for the service and install the code onto your web pages from the first day you start the site.

You’ll have a nice history of your site’s traffic to show the buyers as well as proof that you’re receiving the daily visits that you claim you are.

– Create a few months of content.

Get your membership started with a month of content and have a second month ready to add.

If you want to add more money to your bottom line, add a few additional months of content and include them with your sales price.

This will give the new owner plenty to work with once the site transfer takes place.

– Drive traffic to the site

Use article marketing, pay per click campaigns and viral reports to start building traffic to the website.

With a great sales letter, you’ll have your first subscribers in no time. Continue the traffic building techniques for the entire time the site is under your control.

– Prepare your site to sell.

Once you’ve gotten a good amount of members into the website and feel you’re ready to sell, gather together your traffic data and post an ad.

Webmaster forums like Sitepoint and Digital Point Marketplace are some of the best places to sell your site.

Browse through the existing listings to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.

Pay attention to the starting prices for auctions and price your site accordingly.

Be sure to answer all buyer questions and be prepared to collect a big payout for your hard work!

7 Membership Site Mistakes

Did you know that every month dozens of people start membership  sites only to shut them down just a few months later.

Often the failed site ruins their reputation because they didn’t deliver what they promised to members.

In other cases, they didn’t pick the right topic to begin with. Here are the top seven mistakes that you can make with a membership site and how to avoid them.

– Picking the wrong topic.

A membership site needs a wide customer base. Your topic should be specialized but not so narrow that you can’t attract new members on a consistent basis.

Unlike a short report or niche site, your membership site topic has to be large enough that you can produce fresh content month after month.

Pick a topic that a lot of people are interested in but that also has the potential for evergreen content.

– Not actively contributing content.

Members of your site are looking for fresh content every month. You need to give this to them or they’ll unsubscribe in droves.

You should develop an editorial schedule so you know exactly what you’ll deliver each month. This will help you stay on track.

Base your editorial schedule on the benefits that you promised in your sales letter and you’ll have happy, satisfied customers that will stick around for month after month.

– Not taking the time to craft a good sales letter.

Your sales letter is your 24/7 sales person. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to your membership site if your sales letter isn’t doing its job.

If you don’t trust your own copywriting skills, hire a professional writer.

The investment will be well worth it as you see higher conversions and more members in your site.

– Not marketing for new customers.

You should always have new members coming into your membership site, but the only way you can do that is to market your site continually. 

You should be conducting pay per click campaigns, distributing article marketing articles and doing social networking to drive more traffic to your site.

Work this into your weekly plans so that you can keep the flow of new members consistent.

– Not being accessible.

When you start a membership site, your members are looking for a lot of attention and care.

Most of this will come in the form of an easy to use site with quality content.

But you should also make it a point to be accessible through e-mail or a help desk function.

There’s a high level of trust involved in a membership site, so make sure you’re there for your members.

– Not looking for opportunities for backend sales.

Opportunities for backend sales exist in many different places in your membership site.

You can sell advertising space within the site or create a platinum level of membership with special coaching.

Just because the members are paying a monthly fee doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to pay for extra information on the site’s topic.

– Not taking steps to increase retention.

If you’re concentrating on getting members but aren’t worried about keeping them, you have a recipe for disaster on your hands.

It takes much more effort to get a new member than it does to keep one that you’ve already got.

By posting consistent content, offering polls, running contests and getting involved the community in your membership site, you’ll be able to hold onto the members you’ve got.

If you want to get secrets to Continuity Mastery, click on the Banner below:

Recurring Revenue