Everyone has dreams of being able to work from anywhere that they want, to be able to run a business while on vacation in another country, or on an island, while not having to worry much about and still making money. It’s the dream of every startup founder and management maverick the world over. That’s the great thing about membership sites. They don’t require anyone to be physically present for them to work and make money, and require a small amount of upkeep to maintain a recurring income stream. When membership sites are successful, it is because they combine the right technology with the right content and a sales funnel that consistently converts leads into sales.

Let’s start from the beginning, what even is a membership site? A membership site is a website that people join in order to gain exclusive access to information or special offers, but require payment in order to receive anything above introductory content or benefits. Some examples of successful membership sites include fan sites like Emerald City Supporters, coaching sites like greatvoice.com, community sites like Giant Schnauzer Club of America and business support sites like runningrestaurants.com. Those are just to name a few, but the idea is that people will pay you for the rights to access the content that you create and continuously add. Having a membership site comes with some benefits other than earning a recurring revenue, like being able to create a space for user interaction, the ability to instantly update your programs, have the ability to easily publish your content in one place, and have the opportunity to make a difference for others.

Is a Membership Site Right for Me?

All of those above mentioned benefits are pretty great, but how do you figure out if a membership site is the right move for you, before you begin investing time into designing your site? There are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you will benefit from having a membership site and discover the amount of value that you will be providing to your members.

Ask yourself: Am I genuinely an expert about this topic? Am I even passionate about this subject? What am I offering and what’s my market? How’s the existing market for my audience? Going in depth and asking yourself questions like that will have you hone in on what exactly you want to be providing for others, and if you are ready for a membership site, will help a lot when it comes to creating your site.

The Next Steps

So, you decided a membership site is right for you? That’s great, you should be excited about what you have to offer others. Now that you’ve decided to do this, you need to figure out what is in it for the member, what kind of content are you planning to offer them? Content types can be divided into several categories. Interactive content, standalone content, and a combination of the two, it’s up to you to choose the best option for you and your site. The key to a successful membership site is that you are giving people a reason to continue being members and return to your site for more. With that, you have to structure your content and how it is going to be released to members, so they aren’t bombarded information and get overwhelmed.

Once the basics are uncovered, it’s time to figure out the most optimal pricing model for your membership site, and try to create a budget solution to undercut other options and become the no-brainer option for your member prospects. Consider the quality of your content, and the value of it against competitor offers, and extras you are offering that other sites aren’t. One last thing before you go ahead and dive into building your membership site, how do you plan to let people know that your great content is waiting for them? Decide which distribution and promotion plans are best for you and bringing traffic to your site.

Membership sites require that your work is front-loaded, but then give you the chance to sit back and get paid with minimal effort while members access your information. They are one way that you can begin to create a lifestyle business and engage with as many people as you can draw into your funnel! What are you waiting for? Get started now.