What’s better than getting a customer to hand over cash for something you’ve created?
The answer is… getting a customer to hand over cash every single month on autopilot for something you’ve created.
If you create something of value and consistently add new value over time, you can make money by running a membership site.
This is exciting for your customers because they feel part of something that really means something to them and that really helps them. This is exciting for you because you can potentially scale your income up to reach your goals with a fraction of the work of always trying to woo new customers and come up with new product ideas.
That’s not to say that creating and running a membership site is always easy. It can take a lot of effort to set one up and keep one running, especially in the beginning. It takes a lot of effort to brainstorm and implement a long-term path for the site and do all the work that goes into it.
With that said, there are some membership site models that are easier and less time consuming than others. It all depends on the type of membership site you choose to create, what your customers need and want, and by how much you want your income to grow.
I’ve been running membership sites for many years. The most well known of these is Earn 1K A Day and now IMIT. I really enjoy the sense of community that comes from getting to know site members over the months and years. I also really like the consistent, high-level income I’ve been able to achieve as a result of running membership sites.
I definitely think running a membership site might be a great path for you as far as passive income goes. Yes, you will have to put an effort into running the site monthly. You’ll have to do the work that comes with finding and managing customers and growing the site over time. But, that money will come in on autopilot. Depending on how you set the site up, you could leave it hands-off for days or weeks at a time and still earn money.
Different Types Of Membership Sites
There are several different membership sites you can choose from. You can also mix and match different models and really make this whatever you want to make it.
There are forum based membership sites like Earn 1K A Day. The site is almost entirely run on the forum. It’s where members interact with one another, share success stories and strategies, and more.
It’s also where I place the downloads for members. I make an incredible number of products and how-to guides available for members every month.
This type of membership site is designed to be never-ending. For as long as my lifetime and maybe beyond, new content will be added, new members will join, and it will keep up with all trends and changes in Internet marketing.
There are other membership sites that are set up more like IMIT, in a blog-like/magazine-like format. There’s new content added all the time, a podcast component, and more. People pay a very low amount for the content, the goal being to reach whoever needs help, strategies, and inspiration in Internet marketing.
There are other membership sites that are more like courses. They run in a fixed-term format. So someone might sign up for a membership site that has content that lasts for a year. They’ll pay every month and then not anymore after 12 months, or 6 months, or whatever the fixed-term is. The membership site owner might choose to add additional content after that, or not. The 6 in 6 coaching run by Rapid Crush Inc. is an example of this.
There are still other membership styles. Another is an email-based autoresponder membership. Those who sign up will receive emailed lessons straight to their inbox.
Membership sites come in all forms. Take a look in your niche to see what’s popular and what’s working for the authorities in your niche. Get some ideas, and then come up with something that will catch people’s attention.
What Does Your Audience Want Out Of A Membership Site?
Think about what your audience wants out of a membership site that they might not be able to get anywhere else or at least not in the same way you deliver.
What are their pressing questions? You might develop a very focused membership site or you might make it more general. Both Earn 1K A Day and IMIT are more generally focused on everything that has to do with Internet marketing.
But, there are plenty of membership sites in the IM space that have a narrower focus. They might focus on freelance writing, blogging, affiliate marketing, self-publishing, etc. Some take an even narrower focus within those narrow focuses.
Really take some time to do some market research to figure out what you want to do and what your audience wants and will be willing to pay for.
Getting Started Creating Your Membership Site
After you’ve done your brainstorming and market research, it’s time to take the plunge and create your membership site. Figure out what you need ahead of time. Do the work and hire others to help you get started if you need to. Take action on this—it’s well worth it for the passive, automated income that can come as a result.
Standing Out From Other Membership Sites
One trap you have to make sure you don’t fall into is creating a membership site that’s the same as everything else out there. It can’t be too generic. It should fall in line with your branding and stand out in some way.
What complaints does your audience have about existing membership sites? Where do you see a need you can fill? How can you offer unbeatable value that will really shock people? How can you keep them coming back for more?
Brainstorm ideas about how you can stand out and truly make your membership site your own.
An Easy Model To Get Started With
If you want to start a membership site but the thought of it really stresses you out, then you might really like the model I’m going to share with you.
You can get started with as little as an article/lesson and a sales page! Come up with a membership idea that you can deliver in bite-sized chunks. It has to be something people are willing to learn over time.
Get that first lesson ready and plan the rest (you don’t have to create those quite yet—you can create one a day or whatever, as long as you stick with it).
Get your sales page ready. Come up with a great hook or angle for your membership, which you’ll deliver via autoresponder. When someone signs up, they’ll be added to your autoresponder email list. They’ll receive the lessons at the interval you set- one a day or one a week or whatever.
It’s easy because you don’t have to create a full website and you can get started with just the one article! You’ll charge a relatively low fee for membership and even consider making it a fixed-term model.
Start advertising your membership site, get people signed up, and see that money coming in. In the meantime, load the autoresponder up with more content—it helps if you pre-load it just in case you don’t have time in the future. You want to keep your members happy.
You can honestly get started with your membership site in an hour or two, if you put your mind to it and have a solid plan for it.
Ways To Earn Even More With Your Membership Site
You’ll earn with the monthly fee people pay you, but there are ways to earn more.
For example, you can create an upsell for the membership. Maybe a higher-level membership would include personal one-on-one help from you.
You can also create a special section like I have on IMIT where members get a special deal on other products of yours. Having a marketplace and links where people can buy things you refer can be a great way to earn more from members and customers who already know, like, and trust you.
This should go without saying, but make sure you get members on an email list. That way, you can email them with promotions, membership upgrades, tips, freebies, relationship building content, updates, and more. That will help you earn more and get more out of your membership.
Earning more with your membership also means getting people to stick around month after month. One way I do that is by sending a weekly update email to my members that shows them everything that was added and talked about during that week. This puts the value front and center on a regular basis so people see that they’re getting a lot for their membership.
Start Your Membership Site Today
Hopefully, the wheels are really turning for you right now and you’re excited to start your membership site. I don’t know where I’d be in my business if it weren’t for the membership sites I’ve created.
I like to think that they’ve been life changing for me and for my members—and many people have told me as such.
Get started with your membership site today—it could be life changing for you, too.