I ask (you) that question because a lot of people these days are asking me to build one for them (i..e, a membership website). “Bart, I need a membership website.” Those are the exact words they use. While some people know what they want, others don’t. Recently, a person asked me, “What IS a membership website?” So, it’s on that very question in which I’ll kick off this special report.
WHAT IS A MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE?
A membership website is a website that you can have built for you that charges members a fee (i.e., small, large, one-time, on-going, etc.) to access (your) protected content. That content can be in the form of training videos, audios, PDFs, special reports and downloadables.
Prospects pay to gain access to such a website. They register to become a member after paying your fee and then once logged in, they can navigate to the treasured goods that await them (i.e., your protected content). In a nutshell, that’s what a membership website is.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY WITH A MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE?
Depending on what you want to protect (and sell) within those membership walls, how valuable the information is you’re protecting, you 1) would set up either one level, also known as an ALL-ACCESS pass, allowing members access to all your content or 2) you’d set up multiple levels of access, such as Silver, Gold, Platinum.
You decide how much you want to charge. For example, if you look at the big membership websites out there today, they charge anywhere between $29.95 per month (cancel anytime) or $97 per year (one-time access, and ask you to renew your account if you want to gain access again.
If you have multiple levels of membership, $29.95/month (Silver), $39.95/month (Gold) and $49.95/month (Platinum), some sites may charge upwards of $97 per course. They still might offer ALL ACCESS to all their courses for an annual payment of $180, which breaks down to $15 per month.
To answer the question, “How much can you make?” Simply multiple 30 members, for example, that potentially join your membership website times a per month rate of $29.95 per (access fee) and you just made a nice little extra $898.50 that month. Think about that. That’s only one member joining per day. Not bad.
If those same 30 members don’t cancel their account, next month, you can look forward to another $898.50 dropping into your bank account if you’re charging $29.95 per month to access your data. NICE, huh?
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE A MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE?
You work hard. You know a lot. Why not take your knowledge and place it inside a membership website, and sell access to your brain online! That’s what I’m doing at MyTrainingCenter.com and a few other membership websites I own. My goal is simple — one new member joins per day and I’m on my way to generating an extra $898.50 per month income. Who wouldn’t want that?
So, to answer the question, why should you have a membership website? First, the money you could possibly earn. Second, stop wasting your time talking to people one-on-one when you can serve them online via tutorials, videos, downloadables, audios, etc.
People who don’t have a membership website are leaving money on the table. Even if you just made $100-$300 a month extra income from a membership website, it would totally be worth it. Those monies could knock out some utility bills if you know what I’m talking about, right?
HOW DO YOU GET A MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE?
You have two choices:
(OPTION #1) Use a company like WildApricot.com that provides you already built-for-you membership pages, modules, functionality and membership charging capabilities in place for you to build your membership website. While some people, groups and companies take that route, others choose to go with the next option (i.e., WordPress).
(OPTION #2) Have your membership website built for you using WordPress, which gives you more flexibility and benefits that don’t come with the membership-in-a-box systems provided to you by companies like WildAprocot. I’ve build membership websites in both systems and know the ups/downs of each. I prefer WordPress because of the flexibility, cost factors (lower) and other page design capabilities and a multitude of other reasons.
Some folks don’t have any knowledge of WordPress and may choose option #1. You never know what you need until you get into the pool and swim around. Working with an expert, such as myself, I would be able to assess your situation and help you come to the conclusion as to what system might best work for you just as could any other professional designer out there who has any knowledge of building membership websites. I’m not the only guy in town who knows this stuff.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE/BUILD A MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE?
No matter what system you choose to go with, whether it’s a WildApricot type system or a WordPress membership website, you’ll have to hire someone to build out all the membership related pages, including protected content pages and work to organize your protected content inside your membership website — unless you have the website design skills and determination to work with WordPress to build your own membership website yourself, like I do. Depending on what you have to protect, how much you want to protect, and how many levels you want to set up, all that must factor into to the cost of hiring someone to build your membership website.
Typically, membership websites can be built for as low as $500 to $5,000 or more. For example, if I hired someone (or a team) to build MyTrainingCenter.com, over the years, I would have spent about $500,000+ in labor costs to build this website. BUT, since I know how to do it myself, I can build it myself. For a client who’s website I built in 2 days, it ran about $500. I was also working quickly, had templates and she didn’t have much to protect. She only wanted 2 levels and had all her files ready for me to work with. I was in and out in 2 days for $500. The client, on the other hand, has has increased her revenue, which more than covered what she paid me.
One note to keep in mind — while systems like WildApricot charge a monthly fee to host your membership site with them, a WordPress membership website is typically free to host, because you’re already paying ($100 or so) per year for hosting. So, your only costs then would be membership software, a shopping cart, and a few other things that you would normally need to run a standard eCommerce website. Hey, you gotta spend money to make money, right?
SAMPLE VIDEO TUTORIALS
Below, you’ll find 3 sample videos that show you what it’s like to own your own membership website. Watch the videos and get excited about maybe one day owning your own membership website and understanding how they’re built and maintained.
VIDEO #1: Adding/Deleting Members
VIDEO #2: Creating Membership Levels & Protecting Content
VIDEO #3: Getting Paid From Members
How did you like those video tutorials? Pretty cool, huh? It’s not that hard to maintain your own membership website, as you can see.
These are just some of the basic questions people ask about membership websites. Did you find these examples helpful? While there’s a lot that goes into building a membership website, once it’s built, you can pretty much set it and forget it. Well, don’t forget to market it, but then I’m talking about the design work. That’s what’s nice about these sites. Picture membership websites being just like vending machines. Sure, you have to visit it now and then to deposit new inventory/content so members see growth and value for their membership, but for the most part, it’s supposed to make money for you as a stand-alone website “vending machine!” That’s what I appreciate about it.
Let me know if you’d like my help creating a membership website for you. Let’s have a discussion about your membership website dreams. Until then, I hope this special report helped.