Adding a Forum to Your Membership Site
Using a forum to engage members in a membership site has long been a popular and effective option.
With so many different types of platforms, including social media, which can be used to engage an audience it is important to make sure a forum is the best way to provide additional value to your members. There can be multiple variables to consider when selecting how to implement a forum, but before this step it is critical to answer three fundamental questions about your membership site.
Does Adding a Forum Serve a Purpose?
One of the worst mistakes you can make is adding a forum to your membership site simply to add one. The key is to ensure it will add additional value to the content you are delivering in an effective way. If a forum does not have any true underlying purpose there are a multitude of complications that will actually push members away. The most common problem with forums is when they are not used by members. An empty forum is visible for everyone to see and if there are no ongoing conversations it lowers the perceived value of the membership.
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5 Key Factors to Drive WordPress Membership Software Purchase Decisions
Choosing the right WordPress membership software can be a tricky, murky, and complicated decision. This has led many people to waste time and money testing out multiple solutions only to end up looking for another one. Fortunately, there is a simple strategy that can be used to ensure website owners always choose a WordPress membership software plugin that will be a great match for their needs.
Relying on Decision Drivers
The big mistake most people make is they start looking at and comparing available solutions without identifying the key factors which are most important. It doesn’t matter if plugin A has one or two really cool features if the overall framework of the plugin doesn’t fit the needs of the website. Instead of trying to identify the one perfect WordPress membership software plugin the better strategy is identify the key features/factors that it must possess in order to qualify as a potential solution.
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5 Steps to Releasing Content Consistently on Your Membership Site
The most common aspect of membership site management that owners struggle with, to the detriment of their site, is the ability to release content consistently. The process of the creating content varies from one membership site to the next depending upon the type of content they create and how it is delivered but that should have no impact on the ability to release content to members on a consistent basis. Similar to creating content the key to releasing content consistently is developing and implementing an effective, repeatable process.
1. Determine a Release Schedule
The first step to releasing content consistently is making it is priority. A simple way to do this is by setting up a release schedule. Depending on how mature the membership site is this schedule can vary a great deal. Creating a release schedule serves the same purpose as any other development schedule. It creates a trackable, manageable way to release content. It also provides visual motivation for making content a priority. Plus, a lot of people think they are releasing content consistently because it “feels” they are consistent. A release schedule provides a visual way to make sure content is actually released on a consistent basis.
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8 Steps to Creating Quality Content for Your Membership Site
Anyone can launch a profitable membership site in the short term but if they do deliver quality content that justifies the entry price then the site won’t be around for long. For online membership websites the core value provided is often content related. As a result, creating quality content should be one of the top priorities for any membership site owner. Fortunately, creating quality content on a consistent basis doesn’t have to be difficult as long as a proven, reliable system for content creation is in place.
1. Research Your Target Audience
The first step to creating quality content is learning about what your target audience really wants. There are three key variables to focus on: topic, media, and presentation. It doesn’t matter how great the content is if it isn’t a topic that your members are interested in. This makes topic selection critical. The second variable is media. It is often surprising for membership site owners which media offers the best way to communicate with their members. In the end, a combination of multiple media types is often the best choice. The final variable is presentation. While presentation is partially dictated by topic and media choices the overall tone and style of the presentation is equally important.
2. Decide What Type of Content to Create
While researching your target market is an ongoing process, you should be able to draw to baseline conclusions fairly quickly. From this information you must decide what type of content to create. Even if you have decided to test out multiple types of content, you need to develop a concrete strategy as when you will create each type.
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How to Create a Video Membership Site
Creating a video membership site is largely similar to any other type of membership site with one big exception – the complete reliance on video. Serving video content to members is a great way to increase the value and digestibility of content – especially if it is tutorials or how-to type content. The big hurdle membership site builders must overcome is how to modify their decision making process to place a larger emphasis on video.
1. Decide How to Host and Deliver Video Content
If there is one decision which will largely dictate every other decision it is how the video content with be stored and delivered to members. There are two fundamental options to choose from: relying on a 3rd party hosting solution and self-hosting videos. Each option has a unique set of benefits and limitations to consider.
A Brief Summary of 3rd Party Hosting
When most people think about hosted video solutions there are a few key options that come to mind. They are YouTube, Vimeo, and Screencast. YouTube offers excellent overall video quality, visibility, and speed. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to secure the content entirely because URLs can be shared. Vimeo features excellent functionality but can impact website speed because of the large amount of java script which must load. On the plus side, Vimeo makes it easy to rebrand the video play to match your membership site’s brand. Vimeo also makes it easy to protect and secure videos. Screencast is generally easy to use but suffers from many of the same drawbacks as relying on YouTube without the visibility benefits YouTube offers.
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