Membership sites offer a great way to build your passive and recurring income. They’re helpful and valuable to your customers and you get the security that comes from having people pay you month after month.
One thing many people concern themselves with when it comes to membership sites is retention. How are you going to stop people from cancelling? How can you ensure that you get the most money for the time you put into your site?
And, no matter how much you love and enjoy your membership site and appreciate the income it brings you month after month, it’s easy to get burned out. That might seem impossible right now if you’ve never run a membership site before, but it happens to the best of us.
There are some people who also balk at the thought of paying a membership fee month after month. They’d really rather not pay one, even if they’ve found the membership to be very valuable. Honestly, I have no problem paying a monthly fee myself if I’m getting a lot of value from something, but I understand that people have a budget and they really have to pick and choose what they pay for.
That can leave a sort of dilemma for you. You love the idea of earning a recurring income with membership sites, but you don’t want to have people drop off the map and quit your membership right away or refuse to join because it exists in their mind as a never-ending payment
Starting a Fixed-Term Membership Site Might Be Your Solution
What’s the solution? One solution might be to start a fixed-term membership site. These are fairly unique and are really underutilized, in my opinion.
You’ll choose a very specific topic within your niche to focus your membership site on. You’ll then decide how long you want your fixed-term membership site to run. It might run for 3 months, 6 months, a year, or whatever works for you. I recommend a number that seems within reach for people so they’ll be more likely to stick around.
Once people have paid throughout the fixed-term and received their content, they’re done with the membership.
Think of it this way—if you have a membership site that isn’t fixed-term and someone pays for 9 months but then decides they might want to cut down on their memberships, they’ll be pretty likely to cancel your membership. They’re likely to cancel even if you’re doing a good job and over delivering for your members. That’s just the nature of membership sites.
But, if you’re running a fixed-term membership that’s due to be paid off and/or completed after 12 months, they’ll be a lot more likely to stick around. After all, they’ll just have a few months left before they’re a lifetime member or before they complete the course, right? That’s really enticing for people.
The basic idea is that you’ll probably end up with some of your members paying you for longer than they would have otherwise. That can put more money in your pocket.
Sure, you would have had some members who would have continued to pay you beyond that first year even if you were running a typical membership site, but statistically many or most of them would have stopped by that point.
This is a way to keep things going. I’d also like to point out that there can be a lot less effort put forth for a fixed-term membership site. You create the content once. Once people are done going through the membership, they’re done. You can continue to add things from there… or not. It depends on how you choose to set things up.
You could have some members on month 6 and others just starting out. But you’ll have front loaded the work of creating the membership. So, those members who join a month from now or a year from now are taken care of—that content’s already there for them to enjoy because you already created it.
In that way, creating a fixed-term membership site can allow you to be more hands-off and passive with your earnings. As long as you continue to drive traffic and get new members consistently, you can earn from work you did months ago.
How You Can Structure Your Content
Spend some time thinking about how you’re going to structure your content before you get started.
Are you going to keep your membership going and growing even after people have “graduated” from their payments? You can choose to do so, or not. There are valid reasons to choose either option.
Consider the type of content you’ll deliver.
Will it be in a course format? Will it be written, video, audio, or a combination of all of the above? Will it include your personal, hands-on help?
Figure out what you’re comfortable with as far as content and what your audience might need from you.
How You Can Deliver Your Content
There are so many different ways you can deliver content. As long as people can access the content they paid for in a way that works for them, you can choose any method you’d like.
Some fixed-term memberships are simple enough that you can deliver the content via email. People often enjoy getting content delivered straight to their inbox where they don’t really have to log in to access anything.
Or, maybe you’d rather put the content behind a more standard membership site format.
Perhaps you’ll deliver content both ways—you’ll put links to membership pages within an email. This can be a nice way to alert members when content is ready for them to access.
Think about the type of content you’ll be delivering. You can certainly deliver text based content via email but you’ll need a website if you plan to deliver video content, for example
Get Started With Your Fixed-term Membership Site
Hopefully, you’re inspired to get started with this right away. There are so many great opportunities available for fixed-term membership sites.
You could, eventually, create several different fixed-term membership sites that people in your audience can really get addicted to. Once they graduate from one of your fixed-term memberships, they can subscribe to a new one.
You can turn past content of yours into fixed-term membership site based content. I’m always telling people to think of ways they can use “old” content in new ways. This is one of those ways!
You can deliver content in a really easily digestible way with this format. You can keep people in your membership funnel longer. There are so many pluses to this format and it’s honestly pretty easy to get started with, depending on how you structure it.
If you’re looking to earn passive, recurring income (and who isn’t?), then this is a really smart option for you.