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Membership sites are a great way to make recurring income online. If you're thinking of starting your own site or you already have one going, here are a few tips for creating and success with your membership site.

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Membership sites are a great way to make recurring income online. If you’re thinking of starting your own site or you already have one going, here are a few tips for creating and success with your membership site.

Tips Before Starting

Have Two or More Levels of Membership

Creating two levels of membership or more can help you draw in a wider customer base. You can help people join the site who might not be able to if the price is higher, but you still have the opportunity to get a higher monthly fee from those who want the added benefits of being in the top tier. To encourage more sign ups, you can have a free membership level, a silver level and a gold level.

Promote with a Blog

Create and maintain a blog outside the gates of your membership site in order to build traffic and increase your presence within the niche. You can maintain your blog as part of your main website or create it on a completely different domain. Blog about popular topics in the membership site and give teasers about the content that members are receiving. When you give quality content and mix in references to your membership site, you’ll create credibility and get new members for your sites.

Add Video for Major Impact

Video marketing is the next revolutionary step on the Internet. You can be part of this growing movement by adding video to your membership site. Most anything that can be expressed in writing can be made into a video. Whether you use traditional video where you talk in front of the camera or screen capture video technology like Camtasia, you can offer top quality content for your members through this new media.

Setup Your Membership

There are several tools for creating a membership site! If using WordPress, one of the best membership platforms is MemberPress. MemberPress is compatible with a number of other integrations like LearnDash for courses, and cart systems like ThriveCart.

1. Set Up a Membership Plugin

If using WordPress, the first thing you will need is a Membership Plugin. There are many to choose from. WooCommerce has a Membership and Subscription specific plugin, MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and MemberMouse to name a few. Personally, I recommend MemberPress having various experiences with many of these MemberPress delivered on the features and integrations needed.

Consider the features you need for your Membership site. For MemberPress, I recommend because of the long list of features and ease of setup.

  • Easy Setup β€“ Straight forward setup with super tutorials to help get through the process.
  • Content Access Control β€“ Content Access is a core feature of Membership plugins. How this is accomplished and how simple it is to setup is important.
  • Payment Gateways β€“ PayPal and Stripe core integrated payment gateways are super popular and easy to setup.
  • Sell Courses β€“ Offering courses is a great way to utilize a membership site. MemberPress includes a great courses setup making it easy to create and sell online courses.
  • Content Dripping β€“ Content dripping is a method of not providing all content at once but instead “drip” it over time. This is ideal for learning materials, courses, and more.
  • Integrations β€“ MemberPress has a wide array of integrations which is key to make sure all your business apps can talk to each other. Notable integrations include ThriveCart, LearnDash, Easy Digital Downloads (with an additional plugin), and email marketing services like MailChimp, and aWeber.

Closer Look

Once activated, plugin configurations are under MemberPress > Settings. You can set up the main pages for your membership, emails, payments and more.

MemberPress' payment gateway settings.

2. Configure Your Membership Levels

Outline all your membership levels ahead of time to make sure you have everything covered. Decide on prices, recurring time frames, and all of the details before you set it up in MemberPress.

Once you are ready to do this navigate to MemberPress > Membership > Add New to add your first membership. Similar to other WordPress posts, you can add a name for the Membership and description. Additional options on the right include the price, billing type, interval, and more.

Creating a membership level in MemberPress.

You may want to set up multiple membership options or levels. To create multiple levels, repeat the steps for every membership level.

3. Provide Members-Only Content

Ahead of setting up MemberPress, determine what kind of content you will offer your members. Some examples are memberships with courses, memberships with things like downloadable stock photos, or memberships with member-only content to name a few.

In MemberPress, you set up rules for access. You can set up access control based on a post category, specific pages, and more. The key is to determine how you will

You can restrict access to your website’s premium content using MemberPress’ rules and access conditions. For example, you might restrict access to a specific tag, category, or even individual pages and posts. The key is to determine how you will differentiate the content and then create rules based on that information.

To set up the content restriction rules go to MemberPress > Rules > Add New. There are a number of options to choose exactly how things will appear for each membership.

MemberPress' rules and access conditions WordPress menu.

4. Create a Pricing Page

Lastly, in the MemberPress setup process, create a pricing page that highlights the various options and features for each membership option. The pricing page can help potential members compare membership plans and select the one that is right for them. Having the pricing options and features outlined before setting up your pricing page is important.

MemberPress utilizes Groups to set up pricing pages. This way you can group various levels into one price table. Navigate to MemberPress > Groups > Add New, give your group a descriptive name, and setup the levels. Add each of the memberships you want to feature so that they are easily comparable.

MemberPress' pricing plans menu.
A MemberPress pricing page on a WordPress membership website.

The planning and preparation for a membership is an important step to getting a Membership created. Once the planning phase is complete, setting up the MemberPress plugin and Membership infrastructure in WordPress is easily done in four steps:

  1. Set up a membership plugin.
  2. Configure your membership levels.
  3. Provide members-only content.
  4. Create a pricing page.

What will your membership consist of? Comment and let me know! Need extra help setting up your Membership site? Let’s chat.