How Membership Sites Work

by Jason James - Date: 2006-11-09 - Word Count: 408 Share This!

Popular membership websites generate regular good content for members and recurring income for publishing companies. Basic guidelines to make sure both member and publisher needs are met follow.

Due Diligence

Roll up your sleeves and conduct preliminary research and testing to make sure your membership site focuses on a targeted niche and offers content people need. Make the niche too narrow, and you will need to charge more for your membership fees and / or get more out of backend sales and cross promotions in order to help cover maintenance and publishing costs.

You can use a free tool like Good Keywords to help research what people are looking for on the Internet. Then head to industry-related forums to find out what "needs" people are posting about and searching for – -then fill them.

Site Components & Functionality

Then make sure the membership site offers a variety of components that are compatible and navigable for your members. People don't want to sign up, then get lost in a maze, encountering broken links, downloads with corrupted files, etc.

Map out your site first, then seek membership software or a website designer who can help you turn your design into a feasible plan. Main components usually include a: news area, forum, download area, member profile area to update account information, help desk to submit support tickets and good menu to reach all areas.

Super Systems

Then set up systems for both your members and your publishing team so that both parties get what they want: good content and income. You basically need two super systems in place and rarely can one person can do it all – -at least long term for a growing business:

(1)Creating Systems to Create Products & Content – Hire help or delegate product and content creation to team members on a continual basis. You want good, fresh information; for example, interview members and industry experts, conduct surveys and write up reports and articles on the results, write up case studies, etc.

(2)Creating Systems to Market Products and Generate Leads – Products are great but you need to market, get your presence known out there constantly. Make sure to set up several campaigns like: pay-per-clicks, article writing and marketing, quality link exchanges, press releases, participation in workshops and networking events, email and phone call follow ups, forum posts, set up an affiliate program, host paid teleseminars and webinars and check with the Small Business Administration ( for many more ways.

Jason James is a 10 year internet marketing veteran and runs several successful membership websites whos customer base numbers in the 1,000's. To learn how to start your own membership website register for a free 14 day crash course. Learn more at Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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