The membership site phenomenon seems to be dying off. The get-rich-quick folks tried it (half-assed, as expected),and failed miserably. But there are many people making large sums of passive monthly income with them.
And that’s the appeal. That’s why it attracts so many people. But they quickly realize it’s more work than the imaginary Clickbank push-button software that they buy day in and day out. And THAT’S why membership sites are so lucrative… low competition.
Getting Your Membership Site Setup
The two biggest excuses I hear as to why a membership site is not doable for the average internet marketer are… it’s too “technical” to set up and it costs too much to create. I’m about to solve both of those excuses with the use of two FREE tools.
They are WordPress and S2Member.
WordPress is a content management system that provides a nice user interface for designing a website or blog. And S2Member is a membership site plugin that allows you to protect specific areas of your website.
It’s a VERY easy-to-use plugin. If you run into any problems installing it or setting it up, take a look at their Video Tutorials. Don’t just give up and move on to the next shiny object.
I could probably do a video on how to use it and set it up but I just think it’s so easy to figure out on your own, plus… they’ve got a great set of videos you can watch on their site.
This is where I like to shine. This is also where most people fail. You need to come up with something that people WANT to pay for every month. Just writing a blog post or two every month probably isn’t enough (unless you’re writing about something REALLY cool and unique that provides a tremendous value to your customers EVERY MONTH).
Think about what you pay for every month… cable, phone, internet, the gym. These are all things that you like and are happy to pay for. You need to come up with the same thing for your customers.
Online tools are another great membership site idea. I can think of three right off the top of my head that I pay for each every month without even thinking about it… Email Marketing, Graphics Creator and Hosting. These are VERY lucrative membership sites. Providing a valuable tool for someone that they can’t get anywhere else.
Packing It Full of Paying Members
There’s no secret here… the idea is to get as many people in front of your offer as possible. There are a few strategies that I feel work the best, in the shortest amount of time.
The first is ezine advertising. As “1998” as that sounds, it still works. The trick is finding the right ezine. You want one that consistently delivers great content to their readers and has a good following so you can be sure your offer is seen.
The best resource available for locating these types of ezines is The Directory of Ezines. There’s no other resource I know of that allows you to sort thousands of ezines by subject, number of subscribers, price of advertising and more. I recently purchased lifetime membership and it has already more than paid for itself!
Another strategy I highly recommend is using forums. The results may not be as quick as ezine advertising but the possibility for success is definitely there. You want to start interacting on the forum. Reply to posts with good, quality answers and be sure to include a call-to-action in your signature.
For both of the strategies above, I suggest sending the traffic to a squeeze page where you offer something for free. Once they’ve opted-in, show them an offer for your membership site. Lower price points will work better for people who may have just met you.