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How to Create a Membership Website to Grow Your Blogging Income

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If you’re no longer earning more than what you’re getting as a blogger, then you must find another way to make more money.

Aside from affiliate marketing and paid ads, you need to consider setting up a membership site.

Creating a membership section on your blog, however, involves different factors you must consider to always attract new members.

In this post, you will get a detailed step-by-step process on how to create a membership website and generate residual income on a consistent basis.

Why set up a membership site?

A membership site is a departure from your blogging days when you just write posts promoting your affiliate links and driving traffic to them.

However, blogging can only get you so far. There will come a point when you’ll exhaust all money-making opportunities for your blog.

Therefore, below are the reasons a membership site is a viable option to pursue once you’ve plateaued from making money through blogging:

  • Turn your expertise into an income stream – A membership site allows you to monetize your content as a subject matter expert. Turn content that answers your audience’s pain points into exclusive courses that people will want to buy.
  • Build an army of devoted followers – Provide members with valuable content regularly. This will cause them to stick around and pay the price of admission because they believe in you.
  • Generate income passively – By developing a subscription-based membership, you can earn money based on how many people are signing up to your site.

Examples of membership sites that grew from being a blog

Nathan Gotch is an SEO freelancer who used his blog to publish case studies to sell his services in search optimization

gotch 2014

Through the years, he turned his knowledge into one of the most popular SEO courses on the planet:

gotch 2018

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger set up his blog in 2005 for the same reason – discuss the latest trends in his space of expertise: blogging.

problogger 2005

While running ProBlogger, he also ran a digital photography blog where he implemented affiliate marketing strategies to earn from his blog posts.

dps 2007

If you can see on the menu, Darren is already offering photography courses on the blog as already as 2007.

Soon enough, he did the same thing on ProBlogger – offer membership and courses to help newbie bloggers set up a blog and make money off it.

problogger 2018

Nathan and Darren are top bloggers and experts in their respective fields who leveraged the power of membership sites to create an additional stream of income.

How to create a membership website

If you want to replicate their success and create a membership website of your own, below are the steps you need to do:

1. Determine your expertise

It is important that you choose a single topic as the focal point of your membership site. You want to create resources for members that allow them to solve problems and issues about that topic.

By zeroing in on that topic, you develop laser-focused content for your members.

Going back to your blog, look at posts you’ve written and have generated lots of traffic and shares. Also, consider how comfortable you are writing these posts.

You then need to qualify the topics to find the best one to use for your site. Brainstorm for problems and issues that people have about each.

To help you break down the topics. use the tools below:

  • AnswerThePublic – find the different questions people are asking related to the topic.
  • Keyword Revealer – Find how many people are searching for the question on search engines. The more average searches, the better!
  • Quora – Find answers from the users of this Q&A site to the questions. Compile and use them as talking points for your membership site.

Once you’ve used the tools on the different topics you have, find the ones with the most questions and search volumes for each. You will then have your topic for your membership site.

2. Develop content based on your expertise

Creating content for your membership site shouldn’t be different from writing a blog post. This time, however, go the extra mile by providing value to your paying members.

Make it as easy-to-read and actionable to them. If you want to share a process that requires people to follow instructions, use screenshots and guide them by the hand to ensure that they get the process right. Better yet, create videos of yourself doing the process to leave nothing to the imagination.

You will also need to create supplementary content to help make your members accountable in following through with the process. Read this article to understand what those types of content are.

3. Use a platform to set up your membership site

When choosing a membership software, consider the following:

  • Makes accepting and adding members easy
  • Manages member payments like a breeze and send them payment receipts
  • Has an event and calendar registration to help keep members in the loop of what’s to come
  • Creates a hub for high-paying members where they can access exclusive content
  • Accepts donations (for non-profit organizations)

There are lots of membership platforms offering different features. In your case, it’s a matter of finding one that caters to your needs. You may undergo a trial-and-error process to find the best platform for you.

4. Prelaunch

To ensure the success of your membership website, you need to create buzz and anticipation for it.

One of the best ways to do this is to find a group of people – your target audience, in particular – and give them free access to your site. Find those who hold a certain level of influencer. i.e. mid-level bloggers, etc. In exchange, request for a testimonial about your membership and how good it is.

Feature their positive reviews on the landing page of your membership site to encourage more sign-ups!

freelance writers den

Here’s an example at Freelance Writers Den.

There are other ways you can proceed with your prelaunch. Read this post for more information.

5. Promote your site

You need to market your site to your target audience to increase member sign-ups. To do this, you must rely on some of the tactics below:

  • SEO – Optimize the landing pages of your membership site for transactional keywords.
  • Content marketing – Use your blog to create posts that will refer visitors to your membership website.
  • Social media – Share your membership site across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
  • Email marketing – Create drip campaigns to warm up your subscribers and convert them into paying members.

Implementing these tactics might be too much for you. You can delegate these task to a service provider like Trafficora so you can delegate them to professionals instead of doing them yourself.

What others tips and advice can you share with others readers of this post on how to create a membership website? Chime in by commenting below!

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Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal.

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How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business with Little to No Money

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, saving minimal funds or none at all. If this sounds familiar, you might feel like it’s impossible to turn your financial situation around. After all, you need to have money to make money, right?

Actually, the truth is a little bit different. There are some lucrative side gigs you can start right now with no funding at all. Eventually, these side gigs can even turn into full-time jobs.

One of those no-money gigs you can start right now is becoming an affiliate marketer.

Wondering how to start an affiliate marketing business? We can help. This guide provides everything you need to get started – keep reading to learn how to make the money you deserve!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the newer and more exciting ways to make money online while working at home.

Basically, you’ll partner up with a business to help them sell their products online. You create a website and add useful content, such as product reviews. But you also put affiliate links in your posts; that way, people reading your posts can use the links to buy the products you mention.

Every time someone makes a purchase using one of your affiliate links, you’ll get paid a commission on it. As you grow your site, add more links, and gain new readers, your profits can increase exponentially.

This is a win-win situation for both you and the brands you’re linking to. They make money because you’re helping them gain exposure to new customers. And, of course, you generate revenue with every sale made through your site.

However, you can’t just create a website, start linking to products, and call it affiliate marketing. You need to use the proper affiliate links to get commissions from the sales.

Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?

There are many things that make affiliate marketing appealing to beginners.

First of all, it doesn’t require any money to get started. You’re not selling products that you carry, so you don’t need to stock up on inventory. The online marketing tactics you’ll use to gain customers don’t require any funds, just some time spent learning how to do them.

You can also choose any niche for your affiliate marketing site. You don’t want to have a general site that features all kinds of random products. Instead, you can choose an area that you’re interested in, such as cooking or fashion, and build your affiliate marketing site around that.

The people who succeed most with affiliate marketing tend to be motivated self-starters. There won’t be anyone watching over your shoulder to make sure you get the work done. But if you’re committed to the idea of making money as an affiliate, you shouldn’t find it too hard to invest the time needed to get off the ground.

How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business: The Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how to start an affiliate marketing business with no funding at all.

1. Get on Social Media

If you already have a thriving social media presence, you’re on your way to affiliate marketing success. No social media presence yet? It’s time to start building.

Social media is another way to put your affiliate links in front of potential customers. You can start making affiliate marketing money on your favorite social media sites before your website or blog is even finished. However, to make money this way, you’ll need to be sure to have a solid following. Famoid is a perfect example of a company that focuses solely on social media, and has helped improve branding and reach for thousands of accounts and social profiles.

You can also use social media to experiment and figure out your niche. Explore your interests and see which products you can create the most buzz about. This might help you decide on the direction for your affiliate marketing site.

2. Select Your Niche

After some preliminary research, you’re now ready to decide on your niche.

Your niche should be both something that you’re interested in – and something that people want to buy. Luckily, there are products you can sell for just about every interest you can think of.

You don’t want your site to be too broad, otherwise, it will be hard to find and connect with the right audience. However, you also don’t want it to be too narrow.

Make sure to pick a niche with a healthy interest so plenty of people will want to read – and buy.

3. Build Your Blog

Now, you can work on building your affiliate site or blog. Of course, if you find lots of success on social media, you can also just stick with that!

Lots of platforms, such as WordPress, offer free, easy-to-use website builders. The site doesn’t need to be too elaborate, but it needs to provide a good home for your content.

In this step, you’ll also need to find the right affiliate program to provide you with links. Major sites like eBay and Amazon have affiliate programs. You can also do a Google search for affiliate programs in your niche.

4. Work on Marketing

Once you have your site up, it’s time to work on marketing that site.

Of course, posting regularly is an important part of marketing. People want to see a site filled with useful, interesting content. Make sure to start building up a body of posts with affiliate links in them.

However, you also need to make your site easy to find. This means learning modern digital marketing tactics, such as SEO.

There’s plenty of information on this online, and it’s all free! Financial experts like Bonsai Finance can also provide you with a source of quick cash while you get your affiliate marketing site off the ground. Not only are they experts in the financial space, they’ve also had their fair share of online and affiliate marketing to grow their brand into what it is today.

Stuck on Affiliate Marketing? We Can Help

Anyone can learn how to start an affiliate marketing business and find success along the way. If you get stuck at some point in your journey, don’t worry. Help is available.

We offer assistance with everything from site development to marketing – check out our site articles and resources to learn more!

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A Guide for Canadian Bloggers to Get Out of Debt Fast

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Canadians owe 1.69 dollars from every dollar of household disposable income. Are you dealing with a mountain of debt?

With blogging on the rise across the world, many Canadians are looking to start a blog of their own to try and push down some of these negative finances, while also getting out of debt in the process. All too often, the dreams of making money with blogging are great at first, but then people start to find themselves working on their blog and not seeing much money come in.

Blogging is definitely a legitimate way to make money online, but it’s also a slow and tedious one if you are looking for success to come through organic search results and free social media traffic. While all of this is going on, you might find yourself getting into even more debt over time.

For Canadians that are currently blogging and trying to work their way out of debt, there are some other considers to achieve your financial freedom you may want to consider.

We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to get out of debt and start your journey toward financial freedom.

Your Personal How to Get Out of Debt Guide to Achieve Financial Freedom

Financial freedom may sound next to impossible for many people. Yet, if you implement the right plan, you can start getting out of debt today.

Don’t know where to start? Here are the must follow steps to regain control over your finances.

1. Make a List of Debts

The first step toward financial freedom is making a list of all your debts. It should include everything from your credit cards to your mortgage.

Don’t forget to list details about your debt, such as the interest rate, amount owed, minimum monthly payments, and months or years left until the repayment for loans kicks in.

If you are running an online business or blog of your own, this is something you should be doing for your side business as well.

Hosting costs, mailing lists, content creation, outsourcing… it can all add up over time.

2. Review Your Monthly Budget

After listing your debt, take a hard look at your monthly budget. How much is your monthly income? What are your typical monthly expenses?

You should balance your budget and eliminate any unnecessary expenses. Consider opening a savings account and depositing the money from unnecessary expenses in that account.

If your budget is too tight, seek ways to make money online or start a side hustle. One of the best ways for bloggers to start seeing immediate financial success from their results, is to freelance and start writing for other sites and clients.

3. Develop a Debt Repayment Plan

Once you figure out how much money you have left after expenses, develop a debt repayment strategy. You may think that paying off your highest balance is the best approach.

Yet, experts recommend paying off your account with the highest interest rate first to become debt-free faster and reduce your interest. Another strategy you may consider is consolidating your debt into one monthly payment.

Keep in mind that achieving financial freedom won’t happen overnight. Develop a plan with a realistic timeframe in mind and commit to it in the long term.

4. Consider Consulting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Most people believe that becoming debt-free is a lonely journey. But you don’t have to do it alone. Consider consulting a licensed insolvency trustee to help you develop the best plan of action.

Your advisor can provide the help you need to achieve financial freedom. Read more now about how they can help you restructure your debt and even avoid bankruptcy.

5. Avoid Taking More Debt

You can make all the right financial decisions and become debt-free. But, if you continue to spend money, you’ll fall into debt once again.

Change your spending habits and cut any expenses that are not really necessary. Discipline is the key.

Again, this goes back to blogging as well. If you have an online business, or any monthly recurring costs (like a gym membership), cancel these asap to avoid more debt build-up over time.

Can You Start Getting Out of Debt Today?

You can start getting out of debt today, but achieving your financial freedom may take some time and commitment. If you follow our how to get out of debt guide and stay disciplined, you’ll take control of your finances and become debt-free soon.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more ideas for paying down debt and making money online, be sure to check out this expert roundup.

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The Anatomy of an Effective Business Continuity Plan for Bloggers and Brands

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In a perfect world, disasters would announce themselves with 3-5 business days before making an appearance. But alas, no such world exists, and crises tend to show up with no warning. For online business, brands, and even bloggers, this can come in many shapes and forms.

Everything from in-home/office issues to computer repair, or even customer data being hacked. When it comes to running a business, everything is up in the air and there is no telling what the next day may hold.

According to the US Bureau of Labor, 93 percent of companies that suffer a significant data loss are out of business within five years.

Nobody likes when that happens, and there’s little you can do to prevent deadlocks unless you can anticipate every scenario in which things could go wrong. But there is something you can do to make your life easier should a crisis emerge. We’re talking about a business continuity plan.

This type of pre-planning and security, is the same type of ‘insurance’ every business should have — which is also for piece of mind as well. You may never need such a plan or policy in place, but it’s often best to ‘be safe, than sorry‘.

It’s not something people like to think, but they should. A good business continuity plan can allow you to power through disasters, make a comeback, and continue your growth journey. And this guide can help you create a great one.

What Sort of Disasters Are We Talking about?

First of all, it’s worth determining what instances call for a business continuity plan. Right off the bat, you should know that it doesn’t apply if your crisis has to do with a public relation blunder or lousy customer service. If this is the disaster you’re facing right now, then you need a new (and better) communication strategy to improve your image.

A business continuity plan, however, can help you through those instances where there’s physical damage that can impair you from functioning Fires, floods, hurricanes, hacking, and other similar events that can put you out of business, at least for a while.

As such, the plan will outline the procedure you or your team will have to take. The idea is that following these steps can keep your business afloat, as well as protect your assets.

The Anatomy of a Good Business Continuity Plan

If you don’t have one already, then it’s time you start thinking of one. The first step would be to analyze your business and identify its processes, vulnerabilities, and estimate the potential losses in case of a disruption.

Then, follow these simple steps to lay out the plan:

Figure out to What Extent You Can Apply the Procedure

This first step brings in a dose of realism into the mix. Think, realistically, what is the true scope of the plan, what you can cover for how long, and which are the areas you have to leave out.

From a blogging perspective… consider the type of content that is created on your site, how are you managing your subscriber list, and what type of commission or revenue generating methods are being used on your site? Without the proper guidance or disclosure in place, these could cause problems down the road.

Identify Your Key Areas

Most businesses run numerous different processes at the same time. You’ll need to separate those which are essential from those you could potentially live without when you create your business continuity plan.

From a blogging perspective… take a step back from your blog or business and see all of the many components in place. You may have forgotten about some of them in the past, but they are still accessible by others. Focus on the core basics of your business and what is generating money, then consider removing the rest.

(Really) Know Your Weaknesses and Set Your Priorities

Look at the areas where you are vulnerable in your business. That will help you understand better the impact any future disaster may have, and what steps you’ll have to take.

Of all of them, which do you consider to be a priority? Think of these as essentials or the ones you’ll need to cater to immediately in case of disruption to stay afloat.

From a blogging perspective… what are you best at, and should you being managing everything you are on a daily basis? Not only can delegating different projects to individuals make your business and data more safe, it can also improve your efficiency as well.

Think of a Recovery Plan

At this point, you’ll have to think of the ways you can reduce the negative impact a disruption may have on your business. In a way, it’s like you are developing a backup plan by covering your assets to protect them.

For instance, if you are hit by floods and your shop is temporarily out of business, what do you have to do? Then, write down everything from “clean-up” to “insurance policy claims” and even “finding alternative locations.” It’s easier to think about these steps now than it would be during the when chaos installs.

From a blogging perspective… always plan for the worst. You don’t know what tomorrow might bring, but if you have a preparation and repair plan in place, it will be that much easier to make a quick come back. Assume your online business and blog disappears tomorrow… then what would you do?

One Final Word

As final advice, you should never create the plan, lock it up, and only bring it back in case of a crisis. Things may change over time, so it’s in your best interest to review the plan at least once a year. Only then you are truly prepared for the worst.

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