by Danni Rodgers
Membership sites might possibly be the most lucrative and steady source of income available for someone who wants to make a living at home on the internet. Instead of earning your money only once when you sell a product or service, when you set up a membership site you get paid monthly as long as your members remain subscribed.
You do essentially the same work no matter how many members you have signed up to your site but over time get paid more for that effort.
The first step in creating a membership site is to determine your niche or subject matter. One of the easiest ways to do this is to take a look at websites such as Amazon.com to see which books are selling in different non-fiction subject areas. Check out affiliate program websites such as Clickbank.com to find out which information products are selling best.
Once you have located a few potential niches, check around to see if there are already membership sites on those subjects. If there are, then you have a good potential money maker. Don’t worry that there is competition. The existence of competition indicates that there is likely some demand for a membership site in that niche.
There are many possible ways to set up a membership site. The first step is to decide how you want to set up the delivery system for the information you are selling. There are many membership site software solutions you can use. You can even set up a membership site for free using WordPress and protected blog posts.
You can make it even simpler and set up your membership “site” as a series of autoresponder messages, possibly augmented by conducting a webinar for your members every now and then. You are only limited by your imagination.
You must also decide how you are going to set up pricing for your membership site. If you are already a noted authority on the subject matter you might decide to set up a membership site that is all premium content. This means that you charge for all levels of access to the information.
If you are just breaking in to a niche, one really good tactic is to set your site up with a free membership level to give your potential premium subscribers a taste of what they will get when they subscribe. This has the added benefit of helping you build an email list of prospective members. You can offer free members an upgrade for recruiting a certain number of subscribers to your site.
Once you have settled on a pricing structure, collecting payment is easy. PayPal allows you to set up monthly subscription payments. Every month all your members will be automatically billed for their subscription and the payment deducted from their PayPal account. Other payment processors allow payments to be made in this manner as well.
You can actually set up a membership site with as little as a few articles or a couple of webinars as content. Even just one article if you are prepared to produce new content on the appropriate time schedule. Of course, if you want to be successful you must provide your members with great content, but you don’t have to produce all of it at once the way you have to do in order to sell an eBook for example.
Operating a membership site seems at first to be a daunting task and unsuitable for someone just beginning to try to earn a living on the internet. However, if can actually be much simpler than many other ways of making money from home.