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How to Start a Membership Site

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Last editedNov 20212 min read

As businesses move increasingly into the digital space, a number of new opportunities and business models have arisen. One of the most successful tactics is the use of recurring billing for subscription models, where customers can repeatedly access a service or receive a product at regular intervals. It’s a great way to support customer retention as well as secure a steady stream of revenue for your company.

One such example of this is membership sites. These are paid services where like minded people can get together to communicate with each other, access exclusive content and learn or build skills. There are countless examples of membership sites, ranging from cooking clubs to wellness groups, so any kind of business can get involved. If you want to know how to start a paid membership website, read on to find out more.

Choose your niche

The first step of any business venture always involves brainstorming ideas, and this also applies when you want to start a membership site. If this is a new business, then think carefully about not only where your interests lie, but also where there is a gap in the market. It’s helpful to do some market research to figure this out.

For example, if you are selling fresh food and produce, you might want to start a membership site to share recipes and cooking tips. Through market research, you could discover that your customers are short on time and are looking for quick and easy recipes. With this in mind, you could center your membership site around recipes that take less than half an hour to prepare.

If you are looking to grow an existing business,  you will likely already have a topic in mind. However, make sure to evaluate the specific niche that you will be focusing on when establishing how to start a paid membership website. It’s a good idea to look at your competitors and see what they offer, and what you could do that is unique or different.

Create a clear strategy

Once you’ve decided what your focus will be, building a monetization strategy is the next step for those wanting to know how to start a membership website business.

First of all, decide what the membership will include for the customers. Many sites offer exclusive content to paying members, as well as access to a community where they can share and communicate with other members. You might also include the option of add-ons so that you can offer exclusive services and bring in additional revenue.

One of the hardest parts of learning how to start a membership site business is pricing. Consider the price-point and the value that your customers are receiving in exchange for their monthly subscription cost – is it worth it? One good strategy is offering potential customers a free period and then surveying them to ask how much they would be willing to pay for membership.

How to start a membership site using a content engine

Once you’ve decided exactly what you want to offer to your customers and for how much, you’ll come to the technical part of how to start a membership site business. This means figuring out how you can actually deliver the content to your customers.

Luckily, there’s plenty of software available that makes it much easier for you to achieve this. Platforms such as FreshMember, Wishlist Member and Kajabi have made it easy to configure your membership site. Through these platforms, you can create different levels of membership, add content, drip content and more. It’s also a good idea to create a social media presence for your membership site so you can communicate with your customers on multiple platforms.

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