Membership sites are one of the most tried-and-true online monetization methods. Entrepreneurs will tell you there are many ways to make money online if you’re determined and tech-savvy. Monetizing through a membership site is a way you can generate lots of revenue if you can come up with a business model that appeals to a broad audience.
We’ve included some of our best tips if you’re ready to give the whole membership site thing a try. Just remember to be persistent since few of these sites are instant successes.
Provide New Content Frequently
If you’re going to create a membership site, you need to develop what marketers call a value proposition. That’s a term that means offering the would-be customer something they feel is worth paying for, particularly via a monthly subscription service.
That’s definitely not the easiest thing in the world. Not only do you have to convince someone they want what’s behind your paywall, but you also must make them feel like they should keep paying every billing period.
The only way to do that is to keep providing what the client feels is valuable, refreshing what’s behind the paywall every few days, if not more frequently than that. You can’t just set up a membership site and rest on your laurels when you get a few subscribers. You need to keep giving the customer what they want, and you must make sure that it’s unique to the site as well as valuable.
You Can Provide a Tantalizing Sneak Preview
You will probably attract customers from all kinds of different places, particularly if you use a varied and well-designed marketing strategy. When your prospective customer gets to your website and starts looking around for the first time, they’re probably not going to immediately whip out their credit card unless they feel confident you will provide them something they want.
You’ll need to give them a little taste of what’s behind the paywall. The trick is making the sneak preview entice them without giving away very much.
It helps if you use language in your copy that lets the would-be customer feel like there’s something behind that paywall that they can’t afford to miss. You might need to locate a professional copywriter for that if you don’t think you can handle the copy yourself.
Create a Sales Funnel
You should set up a sales funnel that will bring as many people to your website as possible. The more people you can get, the more likely that some of them will convert, even though you’ll never be able to get all of them.
You can read books and articles about how to set up sales funnels. You might also hire someone to help you if you feel like this is too large or confusing of a project.
Make Sure You Have Excellent UX
Once someone comes to your site, regardless of whether they’re behind the paywall or in front of it, you need to make sure that you have flawless, intuitive UX. UX means user experience or how easy or challenging it is for someone to find their way around a site.
Everyone has had the experience at some point of getting to a website and not liking the layout, the functionality, or both. That can be enough of a turnoff for someone to leave your site almost immediately. That raises your bounce rate, which means Google will penalize you by dropping your site down in the search rankings.
UX doesn’t just mean how a site looks but also how it functions. If you’re not sure whether you have suitable UX or not, pay for some user testing. Users can try out the site and critique it. You should do this before you take the website live.
Set Up Automatic Billing
Setting up automatic billing is also helpful. Once you get the customer’s credit card number for the first time, make sure to mention at that point that this is an automatically-billed service. Every week, month, quarter, or however often you charge the person, you have their card number now, and you can do it automatically.
If you make it necessary for them to take action to stop paying, it’s more likely they’ll forget about the subscription and keep allowing you to charge their card. As long as you stated when they signed up with you that this was a repeating payment service, this strategy is perfectly legal and acceptable.