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
Through the years, he turned his knowledge into one of the most popular SEO courses on the planet:
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger set up his blog in 2005 for the same reason – discuss the latest trends in his space of expertise: blogging.
While running ProBlogger, he also ran a digital photography blog where he implemented affiliate marketing strategies to earn from his blog posts.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Here’s an example at Freelance Writers Den.
There are other ways you can proceed with your prelaunch.
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 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!