If you've already got a popular website or blog, you probably provide some great content for free. It might be blog posts, podcasts, videos, or something else. Maybe you're already selling some advertising, or maybe you're not monetizing your website at all.
Adding memberships to your site gives your community an easy outlet for supporting your work. You can slowly start adding some extra member benefits as you go. Below are three membership website ideas :
1. Members only content
This is the most obvious way to offer something special to your members. The first, value content, appeals to your audience from a learning and business perspective, while the second, insider content, appeals to your audience from a more curious angle. Either approach can be effective. Ideally you find a way to use them both.
Value content is content that will help your readers make money or do something they're really interested in. If you're writing great content about DIY home improvement, one idea would be to write a weekly post with a special members only do it yourself project.
Insider content gives your audience some insight into you and your work routine or life. Humans are naturally curious and interested in people we admire. Entire TV shows and magazines are dedicated to documenting celebrity life. How you can you turn this curiosity into an idea for your membership site? find it.
2. Discussion forums
Add a members only discussion forum to your website where paid members can discuss ideas and trade tips. The biggest benefit you're selling is trust. It's a safe place to communicate with like minded individuals who share some of the same interests. Paying for the privilege creates a feeling of privacy and community that otherwise wouldn't exist.
If you're going to add a discussion forum, it's important that you're committed to participating in the discussion. Members will really appreciate the special access they're getting to your time and ideas. You don't have to participate in every discussion, but it's important for the community to know you're involved. You stopping by to share some thoughts can make all the difference.
If you already have discussion forums that are free, try adding a new "Members only" forum. This is a good way to leverage the power of freemium with your discussion forums. Free participants might be enticed to buy a membership to be part of the private forum.
3. Live video, voice, or text chat
If you create most of the content on your site, it's likely your audience looks up to you. They would be absolutely thrilled to get some real life time to ask questions and hang out with you. Unfortunately, hanging out with everyone individually doesn't really scale. Luckily, the internet makes it easier to scale your time. If you have just one hour a week to spare, you can make it work.
Set up a time each week where you're available live to chat via video, voice, or even text with your members. Tell your members you'll be available for them in real time. Members can ask questions, or you can make things more structured. The key is to foster some communication and collaboration between you and your members.
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