A membership website can be a great solution for an online business. The ability to improve the conversion rate and consolidate your community will bring you great benefits.
Yet, there are different types of membership websites. To choose the right one you need to know your options.
Once you understand what a membership site can offer, you can create an effective strategy. Thus, you’ll find the best way to share your content and make a profit from it.
Let’s lay out some ideas, and tips to help you choose the appropriate membership model for your online business.
Membership websites are those that make a profit by offering exclusive content. Thus, all subscribers have access to gated content for a fee through a plugin like Ultimate Membership Pro. Such a strategy allows limitless options. You can offer members-only content in a variety of ways including forums, newsletters, reports, games, online courses, and e-books.
With this approach, you are not only getting recurring revenue but also nurturing your community. By engaging people with content you can create what is a mecca for modern marketing: faithful followers.
Keep in mind that you can provide multiple membership levels. Try offering some content for free to all visitors but advanced features to paying members. You’ll see that getting conversions will be easier as visitors will see the advantages of accessing the “members only” area.
The following section features some successful membership sites that you can use as examples. The first tip of the day is that you need to consider the following:
- Is the membership site mobile responsive?
- Can you offer members-only pages?
- Does the platform allow online payments and credit card payments?
- Can you offer different membership levels?
- Does it provide a slideshow to feature events?
- Does it include pages like ‘join us’ and ‘donate’?
- How easily can you integrate it with your social media profiles?
- Can you include downloadable premium content?
- Do you need an event calendar and an event registration system?
- Can you add a news section?
- Does it include a forum?
- Can you keep a member directory?
- Can you offer your members incentives like achieving goals or getting rewards?
As promised, we’ll discuss a list of membership sites that have shown excellent success rates. Make sure to keep the previous list in mind to analyze which one fits best with your membership model.
Fizzle is the ideal option for an individual entrepreneur or a small online membership site. With this platform, you can offer a free blog to attract new members. Once they subscribe, you can offer them a chat and a forum for them to interact with the rest of the members. The premium content includes coaching sessions and the possibility to launch online courses.
uBloom Membership website
This flower arrangement site has become a success. Now, they do more than sell flowers; they are an educational community.
uBloom offers two types of membership tiers. Members can choose to pay monthly or annually, with a discount if they choose the second option.
A site like this is an excellent example of how a membership website can function successfully. Members have access to online courses dedicated to flower arrangements. During the pandemic, they offered free subscriptions for teachers as well.
Being one of the most popular membership websites for readers and writers, Book Riot offers high-quality membership content. The paid member subscriptions open a world of possibilities. Users can access exclusive interviews, book reviews, giveaways, special deals, and newsletters. Take Book Riot as an example of how to offer content that’s one-of-a-kind.
The Kidexplorer team took an innovative approach when they decided to create their own membership site platform. Having success on YouTube, the next step for them was to expand into their own platform. Now, they can manage and leverage content for their own profit.
If you are looking for a way to monetize your online store or online course, take a look at how Kidexplorer does the work.
A fitness business can benefit greatly from a solid membership website. Take Gymtime PT as an example. You’ll see that they offer tailored solutions for their customers, including access to countless resources.
After choosing from any of the three possible plans, subscribers receive a personalized nutrition plan and workout routine.
The three programs are called “Clean Bulk”, “Tone Up Extreme”, and “Ultimate Weight Loss”. As you can see, they target different customer profiles to offer people exactly what they need. What we learn from this is how beneficial it is to leverage different membership program options.
Freelance Writers Den
Specially created for freelance writers, this membership website invites subscribers to a variety of activities. They can access camps, online courses, and a like-minded community. Freelance Writers Den also offers job application possibilities to subscribers.
Kelbyone is a great example of a membership website targeting a specific niche. In this case, they offer online courses to professional photographers and image editors.
Check out their website and subscribing options to learn from their strategy. Even though maintaining Kelbyone is a titanic task, you can still learn a thing or two. It takes a whole team of managers, coaches, and IT professionals to keep this kind of machinery running.
Food Blogger Pro
This community was created to help people develop their own food blogs. Founded by Bjork and Linsday Ostrom, who run a top food blog themselves, Food Blogger Pro offers exclusive content.
Users have access to a community forum and online courses to get the training they need.
If you want to learn how to leverage free content, go to Training Beta. They make skillful use of their blog which is available for all visitors. The blog itself provides best-in-class articles.
For people that want to take the next step, the gated content unlocks a variety of coaching programs. This includes Steve Bechtel programs, bouldering training, and injury rehab.
Training Beta also stands out because they offer quality information in an approachable writing style. Learn how to make the best of two worlds with this membership website.
The Script Lab
Created mainly for scriptwriters, The Script Lab membership website also offers both free and gated content.
Users can get information from the blog or take part in screenplay competitions. Paid member subscriptions will give you access to a massive script library.
All in all, the Script Lab teaches you how to engage visitors with fine blog content. This is an effective way to turn visitors into members and increase your recurring revenue.
As another great example of mixing free and paid content, we introduce Samurai Carpenter.
They embed their youtube videos into their membership website offering free material. This encourages young people as they can have a peek into what’s awaiting them on the next level.
A membership site is supposed to offer quality content, and this is what Samurai Carpenter does. They don’t only offer quantity but also quality.
Members will find premium content consisting of 28 online sessions and 250 training videos. Projects include wood crafting, building, and assembly, for example, a workbench.
But keeping your customers satisfied is always key. This is why this membership website adds new content every month.
Kresser institute trains health professionals. With their two basic programs, they teach people how to turn the tide of chronic diseases. Thus, they intend to improve people’s health and life quality.
This membership website offers two tiers: The “practitioner” and the “health coach” training programs. Thus, paid memberships unlock a variety of educational resources.
Trainees will learn about interesting topics, like ancestral nutrition, lifestyle, and functional medicine.
This membership website offers a clever approach to membership management. Their motto is that they will help you achieve your fitness goals no matter who you are.
Such a bold strategy can backfire if not managed properly. At first contact with NerdFitness you know the characteristics of their audience; this conveys trust from the very beginning. It ensures that you are joining people that fit your customer model.
They provide a positive impact and increase conversion rates significantly. Such a strategy also makes sure that your content is suitable for your membership model.
Owners of a membership website can learn a lot from Code Academy. Notice that they have free trials to engage the new visitors and show them the quality that they’re capable of providing. This creates a desire to access the exclusive content.
Although the free trials are available for a limited time, they do the work. Code Academy also provides a 14-day money-back guarantee encouraging people to trust them.
Paid membership gives you access to forums and the ability to interact with other members as well as coaches. They can work on their own projects and receive feedback, which makes the subscription plan worth the fee.
Scott’s Bass Lessons
Music teachers can also find effective solutions with a membership website. Scott’s Bass Lessons,provides access to bass courses online.
Those who want to play the bass professionally can pay a subscription and access advanced features. These include over 40 different courses, special seminars, and exclusive interviews.
Pianu Membership website
In line with the previous example, Pianu was created for piano students. With a variety of paid membership options, students can access a gamified piano learning platform.
This membership website allows members to learn from their own devices. They can make use of a variety of educational resources. Members-only content includes piano lessons, learning games, and song tutorials. It encourages members to keep learning thanks to a badge system.
If you are looking for the perfect combination of a travel blog and a membership website, this is it. Nomadic Matt was created to help people travel more while spending less.
The free content is good in and of itself. Yet, members-only content includes giveaways, guidebooks, courses, and special promotions.
My Mindful Movement
Being an excellent example of its kind, My Mindful Movement combines services with community support.
Membership content is created and published for people who want to find both physical fitness and mental well-being. Thus, members can access a wide range of online sessions and live training courses.
Likewise, they can become part of a like-minded community to find the support and help they need. My Mindful Movement offers yoga lessons, but the same principle can be applied to your own business.
If you want another example of a brand that targets a specific niche, let us introduce you to Running Restaurants.
This membership website approach is helpful if you specialize in something very specific. In this case, the site is meant to help restaurant owners or managers.
From tips to articles, checklists, and webinars, paid-member subscriptions give access to a pool of valuable knowledge. Restaurant amateurs can tackle all the issues with Running Restaurant’s support.
This renowned hypnotherapist offers online sessions through his membership website. Users can access gated content for a monthly fee.
Some of Mark’s services can help with anxiety issues, improve self-confidence, encourage positive thinking, and develop creative thinking.
Paid membership provides access to over 85 recorded sessions which can be downloaded in mp3 format. He also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, which is an excellent way to attract new members.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Here we have one of the best membership websites for frequent travelers. As its name indicates, Scott’s Cheap Flights offers low-cost plane tickets.
Unlike other sites on this list, this membership site includes both free subscriptions and paid plans. The free plan has limited deals available but users can unlock all the benefits through paid-member subscriptions.
Magnetic Memory Method
A membership platform must provide value also through its free plan. This is the most effective way to get subscribers. The Magnetic Memory Method team knows this and takes good advantage of this strategy.
Free members have access to a high-quality blog and occasional extra features, like a podcast, videos, and courses.
This website provides a wide array of healthy recipes for the whole family. Its paid-member subscriptions allow you to access the content ad-free and unlock special perks.
The 40 Aprons membership website offers a variety of cooking resources for different types of cuisines and diets.
This site was created by a mother and a daughter who run a yoga training business. The sessions show Judith guiding Lizzie through the different exercises.
Lasater.yoga provides training to all levels from beginners to experts. Also, during business hours, Judith and Lizzie impart training for yoga instructors and individual mentorships.
Rather than a business, Food Tank is a community of people that supports the change in food supplies. The team’s goal is to provide healthy food and food awareness to people who suffer from obesity or hunger.
The proposal intends to provide nutrition in a sustainable way; thus, protecting both the people and the planet.
You may be surprised to know that the community has more than 1 million subscribers, including government officials, journalists, students, scientists, and policymakers.
In conclusion, Food Tank is a perfect example of a way to use a membership website for a greater purpose. The team is able to gather funds from its three different membership levels. Also, members have access to exclusive content relating to the topic of their interest.
This photo editor professional has been teaching her art for 13 years. She found membership websites to be the best approach.
The Jessica Sprague page offers Photoshop courses in video format. The interesting part is that, when a user pays for a course, he or she gets access for life. Also, they are offered a 30-day money-back guarantee. If this doesn’t inspire trust, then we don’t know what does.
The good news is that building a membership site is easier than you think. There are website builders that can help you fulfill this task hassle-free.
WordPress, for example, powers around 40% of membership website builders. The platform comes with its own builder and the ability to add themes or plugins for easier management.
The bottom line is that your platform must allow effective control of the sales funnel and marketing strategies. Another great advantage is the ability to integrate membership management with online sessions, downloadable content, webinars, and events.
Next, we present a guideline for the process of building your website.
- Define your niche.
- Define the type of membership you’ll offer (the usual models are free, paid, and multiple membership levels).
- Choose a domain and buy it. Then choose a hosting provider and establish an SSL certificate.
- Divide your content into multiple sections and subsections.
- Choose a WordPress membership plugin and install it.
- Choose a WordPress theme that reflects your brand properly.
- Launch your membership website.
- Create the content that you’ll offer through your platform.
If you want to receive recurring revenue, the first thing that comes to mind is to charge a fee in exchange for premium content. While this is a good strategy, it’s not the only one.
Many online businesses offer free content to promote goods or services. Also, this is a good way to build a database for your mailing campaigns.
Either way, a membership approach can bring great benefits to your business, if implemented cleverly.
The digital era is full of opportunities. Although the horizon may not feel clear at first, once you get the ball rolling you can obtain major profits.
A membership website is an ideal option to achieve two goals: making money from your content and developing a community. If you believe that this is the right procedure for your business, then these tips and examples will help you get started.