Create Online Community using WordPress Membership Site

It is easier now than ever before to reach a large audience and create a massive impact using your own knowledge by online community building in WordPress.

The best way to monetize your passions and knowledge is membership sites to build strong network among people with similar interest.

To create this membership website in WordPress we should know the pro’s and con’s of membership model, and what should you know before you get started?

In this article you are going to learn all about create membership community, but more importantly I’ll share with you at the end the smart way to combine Passion and Income with a commitment.

What is a Membership Site?

A membership site can come in many forms, but I’ll give it an overall definition as:

“A Dynamic Protected Network for a Mission”

By connecting passionate people of similar interests we achieve a goal this will be the thought behind the creation this membership model.

Online Community

The keywords here are

Dynamic: membership sites should be continuously evolving, with new content every day, week, or month to continue to feed its members valuable content. And the content is often created by multiple people, whether that is multiple experts in the industry, the community members themselves, or other guests.

Protected: It is Protected Area and the Access is temporarily granted for the members who are subscribed with payment or Trust.

Network: Connecting passionate people having similar interests. The community aspect of a thriving membership site is huge. People may sign up for the membership for the initial education, but then often stay because of the relationships they’ve built inside the community.

Mission: The Purpose of uniting people within the protected area is to achieve a massive goal for the benefit of the society.

Main Aspects of a Membership Site

Usually a membership site will include most or all of the following features:

  1. It’s a Protected Area and the Access is temporarily granted for payment or Trust: For example, you might pay a monthly or annual fee to be part of a site or by provide your loyal value.
  2. No set endpoint: Your membership continues forever until you decide to cancel your membership.
  3. There’s a community: Although not necessary, a big draw for membership sites is often the community. There may be a forum or discussion board available for all members or perhaps a weekly live mastermind where members can share all of their tips and secrets with each other. Creating community can be a huge asset to your online business.
  4. Regular content: A membership site usually not a static resource. It’s constantly being updated with the latest information on the topic, and new content is regularly released. This provides an incentive for people to pay an ongoing membership fee.

Most membership sites will allow you to join at any time and work through their material at your own pace. Although as of recently there has been an increase in courses that close membership and only allow people to join during a certain time frame each year.

Mostly this is used to create a sense of urgency for signing up and to give the site more exclusivity, but it can also be a way to work through a program with a specific group of students all at the same time.

Let’s move a bit deeper into a few of these points.

Membership Site Features

At the core of a membership site is the ability to lock and unlock certain areas of the site.

Let’s take a very simple example of a premium forum community. There might be 2 levels to the membership: Free, and Paid.

Free Members would likely have access to read some blog posts, and might have the ability to read certain areas of the forum.

But in order to post to the forums and access the members only premium content, they would need to pay some $s per month.

Here are some common use cases for membership site model:

  • Monthly Newsletters around a specific topic / industry
  • Social platforms where members can discuss in real time and create sub-groups and communities
  • Group Coaching with weekly or monthly access to a members only webinar for Q&A and industry developments
  • Premium content that is released on a regular basis like music tracks, photos, templates, downloads, etc
  • And many more…

As you can see, membership platforms can vary greatly in what exactly they offer, but there are a few common themes in each aspect:

  • Continuous Content
  • Community & Support
Cteate Membership Site

Membership Site Pricing

Membership sites generally run on the subscription pricing model, like the example below:

Free Basic Membership
Bronze Membership: $9 per month or $90 annually
Silver Membership: $29 per month or $290 annually
Gold Membership: $49 per month or $490 annually

In this example, there are 4 different price points of the membership.

The free plan would likely have much of its content restricted from the users, but it would serve as a great taste test to help the visitor decide if they want to enroll.

The bronze membership would unlock a portion of the site, but there would still be areas that are locked down.

The silver membership might open up the remainder of the site as long as you maintain your subscription.

And lastly, the Gold Membership would open up everything to the members and would likely have some additional perks and features for those who are willing to invest the maximum.

Continuous Pricing for Continuous Value

In the examples above, there is a continuous stream of additional value provided:

  • Every month you get more time with the expert
  • Every day you can connect with the community
  • Every week you would get a new resource

With this model, it makes the most sense to subscribe on an ongoing basis.

With membership models the biggest struggle for the creator is keeping users long enough in the community to the point that they feel like they belong and are family.

So offering annual discounts is a smart practice to help users commit to a full year so they get to know and like the community, increasing their chances of staying on for life.

Membership Site Pro’s

  1. Great for big projects

If you’ve got a hugely ambitious idea that doesn’t seem possible to fit into an online course, a membership site would be perfect for you.

  1. Lower price point

In some ways a lower price might seem like it would earn you less money. But a lower price tag can be a strong motivator for customers to buy access to your membership site. Over the lifetime of a membership, you might even gain more money than you would have from a one-off course sale, but having a lower price point can make it easier for people to just join and see what you have to offer.

  1. Easier to estimate revenue growth

It’s easier to see how your course is growing, stagnating, or declining over time. Any decrease in membership will happen gradually unless you make a huge mistake, giving time to correct it.

  1. Easier to engage your audience

Having a forum, discussion board, private Facebook group or some other kind of built-in community makes it easy to communicate with your audience and to make them feel as if they’re able to connect with you personally.

This is especially important for internet personalities and brands. Being in touch with your community gives you a better idea of what their preferences and wants are and allow you to tailor your membership site and future products to that. A membership site also has a sense of exclusivity associated with it and creates an “us” group.

Membership sites are also better at creating more loyal followers.

Pros and Cons of Membership site

Membership Site Con’s

1. Takes longer to build income

Since membership sites are usually sold at a lower price point than an online course, it can take longer to start building consistent monthly revenue.

2. More time commitment

Running a membership site takes a lot more time and effort. Like 10x more commitment. You need to be constantly providing new content and proving to members that it’s worth their while to not cancel their membership. Producing enough content to mitigate membership churn can be difficult.

3.You need authority to run one

Nobody wants to join some random guy’s membership site if they’ve never heard of him before. You either need to have a proven track record of success or be a well-known authority figure, such as someone with a big Youtube following. People will expect you to be an expert in your field.

How to Decide to Create Membership Site

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re having trouble decide to create membership site as a business model.

Can you create ongoing content on the topic?

Think about all the possible items you want to cover. Do you have enough that you could add a new module to your site each month for a year or more? Are there always new learnings to share or will your audience need a lot of long term ongoing support? Then you might want to make a membership site.

Do you want to commit to an ongoing site?

A membership site is much more of a commitment than a course. It might be worth the extra effort as it generally also comes with a higher income, but you’ll be expected to regularly make new content for your members or else they’ll just cancel their subscription.

To sustain you will need to deal with any customer queries and, of course, continue to generate new customers.

Do you want an online community?

Creating and maintaining a strong online community is a big part of a membership site. If you have one, your members will expect you to regularly participate and reply to their questions and comments. Although you may enjoy helping people, it can add a significant amount of extra work each week.

Online communities also require moderation and keeping a set of rules and expectations from members, so that’s another thing you’ll need to watch over as well.

With a membership site you’ll be a big part of how the community is run and your members will look to you a lot for inspiration and ongoing learning.

Do you want a recurring income?

Membership sites can provide a more steady income as you’ll receive monthly or yearly recurring income. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your churn rate though, which is the rate at which members cancel relative to new members joining. If people don’t feel they’re getting enough ongoing value then they’ll soon cancel.

Assuming you’re doing a good job or keeping members happy and adding lots of new content, then can start to build your recurring revenue pretty fast.

Conclusion

Membership Site a protected business model and it is all about Passion and Time Commitment with Benefit.

Because memberships are all about continuous delivery of value, there is much less initial time up front to create valuable content for your members.

You can essentially set up your membership area in a day, and open it for sale the next day.

As members trickle in, you would start the process of delivering value to them in your specific way.

So a big win to membership sites for being easy to get started. But remember that the effort continues for as long as you have members, so you will never be “done” servicing your members.

I hope this article has helped you understand the pro’s and con’s of the membership site for business decision.

 

Get the Free Updates and Access

If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators .

View all contributions by

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.