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5 Tips to Run a Successful Membership Site

You’ve probably considered starting or turning your existing website into a membership site. There are a lot of advantages when running a membership site, especially if the service/product you sell is content.

Not all online membership sites have to only grant access to ‘something’ digital, if you’re a small business then you could link your website membership to a physical product or service such as a gym contract, mystery box or book club.

#1 Offer a Free Membership / Trial Period

Offering a free membership or trial period for a premium membership that will give your new users a glimpse into what they could expect to get when they sign-up for a premium membership is a great way to convert your users into paying customers. A great example of this is Treehouse (an online e-learning site for developers and designers).

#2 Offer a Variety of Membership Options

Having more than one membership option is great for your users. Some people may ask “how many membership options should I have on my site?” and this is depending on your business model and what you can offer. On our site, we offer two membership options: Free or Premium. This comes back to point number one mentioned in the article to let user’s try your membership before committing to a premium model. It is good to have various options to match your target audience needs and will give them a choice, not only to match their needs but their budget. For an average membership site, I would recommend having between 2 – 3 membership options.

#3 Find a Niche and Crush it

This may be general business feedback here, but find what you do great at and crush it! Do not overcomplicate your online membership site trying to offer everything you can think of to try and reach a large target audience. If your membership site is for enthusiasts for vintage cars, focus that. Sure, you could break-off into a relatable audience topic such as vintage motorcycles as people that are into vintage cars are probably into vintage motorcycles – but find what works for you and run with that. Not only will your membership build a community to support you, it will give you credibility within that target market.

#4 Reward Loyal Members

Any business should reward their loyal customers with exclusive offers/rewards. Not only is it nice to receive when you use a product/service regular – but it would also promote user’s to upgrade to a specific membership level to receive these incentives. Some methods of rewarding you may be interested in exploring:

  • Give members a special discount.
  • Offer exclusive access for being a member.
  • Gift a certificate / badge of recognition.
  • Have affiliate rewards in place for referring new members.
  • Reward members for taking part in your community.

#5 Gather Feedback From Your Audience

Membership sites are driven by the community built around them. A lot of time it’s trial and error until you find that ‘sweet’ spot for your members and go with that and always add content to your site that your members will find useful to keep their interest. Some ways you could collect feedback from your members would be:

  • Ask members to fill out a survey.
  • Take members suggestions/complaints to heart.
  • See what members are saying about your community through social platforms

Conclusion for Running a Membership Site

Membership sites are great, it brings like-minded people together. They’re a great way to generate recurring revenue for your business or blog. Maybe some of these tips may seem obvious to some, but it’s often overlooked by many and I know I often overlook really simple tips when working on a new project and then it makes sense again.

If you’re looking for a WordPress membership theme template be sure to check out our WordPress themes.


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