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Membership Sites: Free & Paid Membership Formats

LinkedinfluenceHi Guys,

Whilst reading “Copy This Idea” the following thought came to mind – It is considerably easier to build upon someone else’ idea than to come up with a brand new original idea. Tweaking a working business idea to suit yourself sure beats going through the trial and error that the originator of the idea would have had to go through.

I just thought that I would reiterate some of the reasons for running a membership site. A lot of people are looking for the ultimate way to make money online. Their dream is to be self-reliant, work from home and base all of their business online, which in theory is a great idea and can actually be done.

One of the ways people can achieve the above is by running a membership site. By running a membership site you can obtain a reliable monthly income and a large group of people that look forward to what you have to say and who trust what you do online. For these people you are an expert in your field and a person that can be relied on and that is what every Internet marketer is looking for.

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 It is every internet marketers dream to have a large group of people who know you and trust you. And this is something that you can achieve through running a membership web site. Once you have created a bond with your members, you can market other products owned by you as well as affiliated products to your members. You therefore not only get the residual income from the membership fee charged for access to your site, but you also get to sell other products to your select group of people.

As your membership grows, so will the opportunities that come your way. People will see you as the expert in your field and other people will want to join, this includes other internet marketers who will want to advertise with you and have you promote their products from which in turn you will earn a commission. This interaction with other marketers means you will be given bigger and better business opportunities.

Let’s face it but who wouldn’t want that? Well this is what owning a membership site can do for you. It is said that membership sites have really increased in popularity in the last few years, and a very hot product, believe it or not, is information. You can sell quality content or information to your members and get paid quite nicely to do it.

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There are essentially two types of membership sites; the paid membership site, and the free membership site.

Paid Membership Sites

The paid membership site has a certain limited number of members who pay you a certain amount monthly, bi-monthly, twice a year or yearly to access the information they need. These fees can vary from between $5 to $10 to $200 depending on your industry and what you are selling. The benefits to this type of membership site are obvious in that it produces a residual income and because almost 70% of your members will be recurring members you don’t have to focus that much attention into attracting new clients.

The obvious benefit of a paid membership program is the monetary element; however, setting up a free membership program can be just as rewarding.

Free Membership Sites

So what are the benefits of a Free Membership site? And how does the free membership site work?

Obviously, if you’re not charging a fee then you can’t be making any money from your site. This is not so! Remember when I mentioned before, that a membership site produces one of the most sought after goals of any Internet marketer, and that is trust. You have established yourself as an expert in your field to your membership group. You have done this by offering quality information they can use, and information that members are looking for.

This works to your advantage in that at the same time you offer free information, you also offer other services or products that are related to your industry. This is called affiliate marketing, and the benefit is that you can market any number of products and services.

Your email list will continually grow and you can send all kinds of information about different products to the members who have signed up at your site.

Of course one of the issues with free membership sites is that you always have to be adding fresh content, updating it constantly and finding things that are of interest to your members, but even that is less expensive than running all of those PPC campaigns or advertisements.

If you still feel like you are not making enough revenue from your free membership site, you can always have an option to let your free members to upgrade to a paid membership version where they will receive even more information than they do from the free membership site.

With free memberships, the foundation is usually based on allowing free entry with the intention of selling a membership upgrade. In fact I have personally joined a few membership sites in this way and later upgraded to their paid membership.

Using teaser options like this, you initially attract a customer with a no obligation, no cost offer. In other words, you eliminate the risks involved and instead of forcing a visitor into making a quick decision to join your site or exit your page, you are able to capture their information, add them to your database and follow up at a later date, in the event they failed to upgrade right away.

The free membership module works very well if you have the ability to create quality content on the front end to wet their appetite, and work towards encouraging subscribers to upgrade for access to even more information and/or resources.

Building a subscriber database from free membership accounts may seem less profitable than charging an entry fee on the front end, however by capturing leads you will have an opportunity to communicate with them through follow up emails later on, encouraging them to upgrade their account for full access to your material or resources.

It’s said that the average visitor needs to visit a website up to 3 times before deciding to purchase a product, and by offering them free entry on the front-end, you eliminate lost sales while building a laser targeted mailing list!

It is up to you to decide which format will work best for you, and in my next post we will move onto the next step which is choosing the software that will essentially power your entire membership website.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. I would really love to hear from you.

Until the next time.

Have a great day.


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