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Shoestring Budget Membership Site

Getting Started (Why A Membership Site?)

Paid membership sites are one of the leading business models online today. This is mainly since paid membership sites offer more advantages compared to other types of business. What are these advantages you ask? Well, there are three basic advantages and one is the steady stream of income.

With a paid membership site you can have the steady income of a CEO but without the tedious responsibilities that come with it. You see, subscriptions to paid membership sites are set up for a certain amount of time usually about by month or by year. So for instance you have a hundred people subscribe to your site for $20 a month. That would give you a steady cash flow of $2,000 for months to come, so long as your members remain satisfied and subscribe to your site. In a year you could make $24,000. That is more than the annual income of some people with normal office jobs.

Another advantage to having your own paid membership site is that the start-up cost is considerably low. Compared to other businesses, paid membership sites only require a

low capital. All you need to start up your site is a website design or template, a website host, a content management software or membership software (this includes all that you will need with the exception of the content itself) and of course the content. Most of which, you can do yourself to eliminate cost. As for the cost associated with website hosting services, they are very affordable with some as low as $5 a month.

The third advantage is the combination of the first and second advantage — high profit margin. The profit potential gained from a paid membership site is unlimited. The actual amount of profit you gain would depend on how much time and effort you devote to your site. So, if you are looking for a business that could provide you with steady income at a low startup cost then a paid membership site is the one for you.

What’s great about starting your own paid membership site is that you are in control. You choose what kind of site you want to start up and how much to charge for it. It can either provide mentoring or coaching or contain articles or information about various subjects. You can even offer some sort of specialized service like social networks. It’s all up to you! Just remember that your main goal is charge people before giving them access to your website.

So how would you get people to pay just to gain access to your website? Well, the key here is “specialized”. May it be information, product, coaching, or service it needs to be specialized. Why? Because these are hard to come by and would be too time consuming if it were to be done on your own.

When the Internet first came into being no one thought to charge for access to a website since just about every piece of information can easily be obtained for free. However, times have changed. Not everyone has the time to devote to looking through endless pages of results just to gain a certain piece of information.

So, what do they do? They pay for it!

Consumers nowadays are willing to pay for the information they need without the hassle of going through pages and pages of information. And that is one reason why it is the perfect time to begin your own paid membership site, the demand is high!

Creating A Membership Site On A Shoestring Budget

By now you must have heard many online celebrities talking about how you should setup your own membership site in order to create substantial, automatic profits…month in, year out. Is it all hype or can you really create your own dynamic membership site and get paid $29, $59 or even $97 plus every month?

I’ll show you today that creating your own membership site is something that is highly achievable to practically every internet entrepreneur around – and unlike the old days (when setting up membership sites would set you back potentially hundreds of dollars a month) it’s not going to deflate your PayPal account a bit.

The Benefits Of Creating Your Own Membership Sites

For a start, consider the age that we are living in – “the information age” – today, people are willing to pay good money for a regular stream of targeted, quality information (or software) in areas that are of interest to them. Sure, a lot of information is available free on the internet, but the fact is that places like Google are just jam packed with sites that offer little more than thinly disguised sales pages. It takes forever to find quality information, and with today’s lifestyle time is the one commodity that people simply do not have.

The result? They will PAY you for information that hits the spot as long as they get it NOW! This makes the membership site business model highly potent. Consider these advantages & benefits of setting up your own membership site:

You can exploit your areas of expertise and create a full or part time business simply by disclosing your knowledge/skills into your members site.

A successful & profitable membership site can be started for practically any niche under the sun from rose-gardening to the Mumbai stock market! There are an unlimited number of niches that have markets with prospects that number in the millions.

While members sites used to be for the elite with budgets in excess of thousands of dollars the emergence of quality, mainstream software means that just about anyone can set-up with minimal capital requirements (I mean under $100).

Membership sites enable you to take advantage of residual streams of income – the beauty of this business model is that you can focus on providing tip-top content so that your members continue to deposit monthly subscription fees into your bank account. In effect, you’re creating a monthly salary for yourself without the nuisance of having a pathological liar of a boss hovering over your shoulders every two minutes.

Membership sites only increase in value with each passing month. This means the longer your site is open, the more content/products are inside and the more subscriptions you’ll receive.

Owners of membership sites are able to use their sites to gain an awful lot of leverage & engineer win-win situations for themselves. The great thing about digital information is that they spit out 100% profit-margins – the cost of producing a members site is negligible but you can use your membership site to trade with other product owners – in this way you can actually get webhosting, graphics, software and even opt-in subscribers free.

While stand-alone eBooks & mini-sites will always have their place, membership sites offer something far more valuable – both to the internet business owner as well as the end user.

What Type Of Niches Can You Set-Up A Membership Site In?

Certain types of niches are simply made for a membership style structure, typically niches with a huge number of potential topics.

Below are just some examples of the types of niches that you could set-up membership sites in:

  • Internet marketing related content & products.
  • Finance, money, property & stock market.
  • Health, beauty & fitness.
  • eBay, power-selling & wholesale goods/drop-shippers.
  • Career development.

You have to understand that this is a TINY list of the potential possibilities – the fact is you could turn practically any subject matter into a membership-site.

Are There Any Difficulties In Setting-Up A Membership Site?

The main issue with setting up a content-based membership site used to be the expense involved with running it. For example, one quite famous option that many people still use has an entry pricing plan of $350 – that’s for one single URL with a maximum of 1000 members and 1000 pages.

Not exactly within the budget of the average internet business entrepreneur!

Don’t panic because recently, a couple of classy mainstream membership site creation software packages have been released that allow you to set-up as many members sites with as much content as you want for a tiny fraction of that (more on that later in case you’re interested).

So now that funding is no longer an obstacle let’s look at some other potential stumbling blocks that you will need to consider before diving in head-first into your first membership site project:

Can you install the software?

This may sound like a silly thing to say – after all the software you can buy comes with detailed instructions but some very fresh newbies (i.e. those that struggle with things like setting up payment links) may struggle to install the software. Even where this is the case, they can of course have the software installed for them for a low fee (typically $20 to $50) via online forums or using services such as elance. Those that can set-up webpages comfortably should not really struggle too much with software installation.

Can you commit to providing fresh content, resources & value-adding material that will delight your subscribers? Remember, people will be paying you monthly, so you have to make sure that you have the time, knowledge and ability to provide them with whatever it is that you’re offering.

What Features Should Your Membership Site Have?

Your membership site should function quite smoothly on auto-pilot and you must offer your potential prospects the chance to pay using standard options (in the information field this is typically PayPal).

Here are a few features that you may want to look out for when considering your options RE purchasing membership site software:

  • Ability to accept recurring PayPal payments.
  • Subscriber should be able to automatically set-up an account with ZERO interaction on your account.
  • Once subscriber ends the subscription the members-site should automatically deny them access without any interaction from you (your time is far too valuable for you to be fidgeting with manual things like deleting accounts every few hours).

There should be no limit to the number of websites that you can set-up using the software

– or to the number of content/pages that you can set-up. Once you get the taste of running a membership site you may well want to open another one…and another still – you don’t really want to pay separate fees for each new site you create.

Setting up your first membership site will be your biggest challenge. Once you implement a successful first members-site then you’ll have the skills and experience to create plenty more in the future – all churning out hundreds of $29 monthly payments like clockwork!

Now, how do you start your own paid membership site successfully? Well, the first step is to choose a topic. This is the critical stage, since it will decide the future of your business. So make sure that your topic is either in high demand or at least interesting enough to catch the attention of consumers.

A good place to start is within your own world. Ask your friends and family members for advice. It might also be a good idea to find a topic that you are passionate about and what would interest others. Since you will be spending most of your time working on your site, why not choose a topic that you can enjoy?

The next step is to research a niche. You cannot start a paid membership site for the profits alone. You need to target your market and in order to do that, you need to find a niche that will target those who are looking for what your website is offering. Make sure that your niche is fresh and innovative, but most importantly that it is not being offered for free on the Internet anywhere. This might prove to be a challenge, but it is not an impossible feat.

Once you have your niche, next is you need to find prospects. This one is easier to accomplish and can be done for free. All you have to do is post offers on various message boards or forums. Just make sure that your posts can easily be seen by your target consumers. Interested prospects can easily reach you by simply using the private message feature right on the forum.

The next step is to set up your site. There are many tools available that can help you build and maintain your own paid membership site. You have the option whether to leave the website creation to 3rd party services at a very affordable cost or to simply do it yourself.

Another idea is to invest in of one of those all-in-one membership management software systems. This will get your website started in no time at all, even if you do not have the technical knowledge, since most of its administrative features are automated. These membership software programs will reduce your workload by 75%, it’s easier and faster!

So, you already have your topic, niche, prospects and site. The next step is to decide how much to charge. This will depend on what your site have to offer, whether it’s worth paying for access or if it can be found somewhere else at less cost. Most paid membership sites charge anywhere from $19.95 to $69.95 a month. Whatever you decide remember that your product or service has to be worth its price. Otherwise, your customers will not continue subscribing to your site.

All across the globe, people are enjoying the large amounts of profit gains from their own paid membership sites, all of which come in on a regular basis and earned from the comfort and convenience of their own home. So do not be left behind! Start making money online with your own paid membership site.

Conclusion (Making A Paid Membership Site Work For You)

There was a time when setting up paid membership sites on the Internet — where you have a site only people who pay you an ongoing fee can access — was all the rage.

Lately it seems this isn’t as popular as it was. Mostly because so many of them fail. In fact, in many cases, it seems people drop out of paid membership web sites as soon as they sign up.

Even so, there are a few smart Internet marketers who have been able to make it work well.  And one of those ways to make paid membership sites work is to simply offer content people simply cannot get anywhere else.

In other words, you’re probably not going to get them to pay you an ongoing fee to access your content unless you offer them something that’s just not possible to get online or offline anywhere else but from you and your site.

Yes, that sounds simple, but that’s really what it all boils down to.  The whole key to making paid membership sites work is giving people something unique, valuable, proprietary to you, and that you, and only you, can provide.

For example, there is a marketer named Matt Furey. He has a monthly membership site and he gives away a ton of material to people who sign up for a year. Not material people can download online somewhere else, but real, valuable books, CDs, and even personal assistance with members’ questions.

These are all things you can’t get anywhere else but through him and so his membership deal thrives and grows. You can do the same thing.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of sophistication or technological savvy, either. Just follow the model above with what you’re selling, and you will be fine.

Finally, you can get THE Best Membership Site Software ever created for WordPress right here. I use it on 5 of my websites quite successfully and it has everything needed to manage members, affiliates, and more!