A membership website is a set of pages with protected content that require a user to login to access. A membership site will often house content that is available to only those individuals who have paid a membership fee. This membership fee could be a one-time fee for lifetime access or a recurring subscription that charges a set dollar amount each month or year.
One of the beautiful things about owning an online membership site is that you can automate many of the regular tasks you need to perform to run and grow your site. With the right tools you can create content, deliver content, market your site, and manage your members much faster and easier than if you did it manually. And a good place to start is this automation checklist, which shows you the best way to take advantage of today’s technology to grow your site!
To help you reduce the risk of investing your time and energy in something nobody wants, we’ve created a guide to validating your membership site idea. Some of the things you can try include producing a mini version of your membership program to see if you can generate any signups before creating the whole course, as well as promoting a prelaunch offer, again, to see if you can find members willing to register, perhaps at a reduced rate, before you get started.
^ Bergs, J; Hellings, J; Cleemput, I; Zurel, Ö; De Troyer, V; Van Hiel, M; Demeere, JL; Claeys, D; Vandijck, D (Feb 2014). "Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist on postoperative complications". The British Journal of Surgery. 101 (3): 150–8. doi:10.1002/bjs.9381. PMID 24469615.
Now that you’ve created your site and have taken into account the feedback of your first set of members, it’s time to start promoting to a wider audience. We’ve published lots of useful content covering this topic, including some simple SEO strategies for membership sites, as well as a guide to creating a buzz around your program. Then there’s social media marketing to consider, not to mention starting a blog to attract more of your target audience.
With time, you might consider using an affiliate marketing program, in which other sites get paid a percentage of each sale they send you. But it’s questionable whether a brand new site will benefit from an affiliate program. Although some new sites have profited, many new sites has yet to build the name recognition that makes using affiliates profitable.
Athlete Protection Training: All non-athlete members must complete the online Athlete Protection Training course annually. The core course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and is offered at no charge. The renewal course, offered in alternate years, is about 45 minutes long. Go to www.usaswimming.org/apt for additional information and to access the course. When the course has been completed, the membership database is updated and the LSC is notified automatically.
The last option you can try is signing up for free trials for the different builders. Ensure that at this stage, you have filtered off your options and only have a handful to try. Signing up for trials might take some time. You don’t have to sign up for platforms that don’t even have the features you were looking for. Set aside some time to scroll through the different platforms and features and fast as possible before making your mind.
Make a list of the features you want on your website. This could range from a blog, a membership organization plan to the ability to sell services or products on your new website. Once you have these features, you can start looking for builder platforms that will offer you what you. Sometimes, you might have to make tradeoffs since it could be hard to meet all your needs with a single membership builder without augmenting its capabilities.
Google Sheets beat Microsoft to the punch and introduced a Checkbox as one of the Data Validation options. You can go to Insert > Checkbox to quickly create one, and you can customize it by going to Data > Data Validation. I've updated most of the Google Sheets versions of my checklists to use that feature. I hope Excel gets smart and introduces a similar feature some day.