How to Build a Membership Site

One of the biggest problems with any business is cash flow. The amount of money that you have coming is always going to go up and down. Unfortunately, your expenses generally insist on being paid consistently, and this tension can cause problems. This is one of the reasons that membership sites have become so popular.

Online businesses can be volatile. If a piece of your content gets picked up by a major blog or goes viral, you can get a huge influx of traffic and sales. On the other hand, a site closing or Google reshuffling their search algorithm can mean that your sales go away, usually temporarily.

How to Build a Membership Site

Membership Site

One way to get around this is a membership site or continuity program, which are basically the same thing. People pay you a fee, automatically, in return for new content and other perks. This gives you a constant flow of cash each month, which can a long way to smoothing out the bumps in the internet business road. The problem for a lot of people when it comes to starting a membership site is that they think too big. Now, generally, thinking big isn’t a bad thing when it comes to starting a business, but you don’t want to aim so high that you talk yourself out of getting started before you even begin.

How to Build a Membership Site

The truth is, you can start a membership site close to instantly. You don’t need a big, elaborate site to get started. All you really need is a domain name, hosting, a nice WordPress theme and an autoresponder like Imnica Mail or Aweber. All of which, I’m willing to bet, you already have.

The first thing you need to do is decide what your membership site is going to be about. This is going to depend on what you know and what you’re good at. If you can write, offering PLR and bonus materials is always a good idea. Or you can offer SEO tips or niche resources.

Once you’ve decided, you need to grab a domain name with the relevant words in it and set up hosting. Most hosting plans (like those offered on HostGator) have Fantastico built in, which means you can put up a WordPress blog with a couple of clicks. Alternatively you may sign up to ViralHosts and use our proprietary hosting panel: SimplePanel, which allows you to install WordPress with the push of a buttion. What you need to do is set up a basic sales page with a subscribe button.

The idea here isn’t to set up an elaborate forum. You can do that later if you want to get fancy, but we’re focusing on here is getting your site up and running as fast as we can. So the subscription link will take your potential customers to Paypal, where you set up an automatic monthly bill.

You can sweeten the pot by getting some relevant PLR guides and ebooks and offering them as a bonus, and giving them the first month at a large discount, maybe even for as little as a buck for that first month.

Once they pay, your future members will be taken to a page where they can sign up for a private list. This list is going to be your delivery method. You can either include the content in the body of your posts to your list, or you can include a download link within, or a mix of both.

How to Build a Membership Site

All of that is the easy part. The hard part, which isn’t all that hard, is getting the content. If you’ve picked an area you know a lot about, you shouldn’t have too much trouble providing your members with enough value that they won’t mind paying the monthly fee.

There are a lot of benefits to this method. Not only can you make a lot of money from the method, you’re also creating a list that is actually paying to hear from you. These are people that will buy from you consistently, so treat them like the asset they are and you can build a huge business from an extremely basic site.

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