4 Misconceptions About Membership Sites and How to Overcome Them

4 Misconceptions About Membership Sites and How to Overcome Them

4 Misconceptions About Membership Sites and How to Overcome Them

Membership websites have been a popular online income generation tool for a long time and a lot has changed since they were first introduced. As with all facets of online marketing there are a number of misconceptions to contend with. Some of these myths were never true but many of them are simply based on outdated advice. It is essential for anyone starting a new membership site or adding a membership site to their current online lineup to identify current misconceptions and create a plan to overcome them.

Membership Sites Are Guaranteed Money

Just like every “next big thing”, membership websites were once billed as easy, passive income. They nearly guaranteed a profit. As with all business models, this misconception was never accurate. It is true that when membership sites were fairly new within a niche they were more likely to succeed than to fail, but as with all business models they required a thoughtful approach and dedicated effort.

Membership sites are still a great way to generate income but they are far from guaranteed. Membership Sites Require More Technological Know-How Than Traditional Websites The idea of recurring billing, protecting content, and setting up user permission tiers can seem daunting, especially when compared to a traditional static website. At the same time, using a WordPress membership plugin eliminates most of the complicated setup and maintenance. WordPress has proven to be one of the most user friendly platforms for webmasters and the membership plugins make it easier than ever to get everything setup and ready to launch without requiring a lot of custom coding.

All of the Website Content Must Be Created Prior to Launch

If there is one concept that nearly guarantees a membership site will never be launched, it is the idea of creating all of the content up front. In theory, having all of your membership content ready to go prior to launch is a great idea. In practice, however, it is a nearly impossible goal. Even drip-feeding content will require fresh content to be created at some point. This is especially true in niches where content is not static. Plus, if you create all of your content up front and realize it is not what your members want, then you are going to have to create additional content anyway. It is much more efficient to create the minimum amount of content needed to launch and then plan future content around what your members really want.

New Members Generation is the Top Priority

Attracting new members is critical to the success of any membership website, especially in the early stages. A common misconception is that new member generation will be a top priority forever. While it is true that website owners should always be attracting new members, once the site is established, it is even more important to keep current members satisfied. Placing a greater emphasis on customer retention not only yields higher margins but also decreases the importance of focusing solely on new member generation.

Simply overcoming these four fundamental membership site misconceptions will create a solid foundation for membership site development, deployment, and expansion. It also ensures the membership site will be on solid footing from the outset and minimize unnecessary and expensive tasks in the long run.

1 Comment
  • I agree there are a lot of misconceptions about membership websites. I think the myth about website content that you talk about is especially true. I have launched several websites with very little content initially available for members, although depending on the price point I’ve had to quickly increase the amount of content available to keep members happy. For people who do not like making content and easy tip is to set up a membership site that has a forum. This allows members to create content for you by asking and answering questions. It also gives you a better idea of what your members want to talk about which can be inspiration for new content.
    Membership websites definitely are not guaranteed money but once they get going they are a great opportunity for passive income generation. Since I didn’t want to continually make new content I have opted for continuity membership sites for most of my projects because they stop after a set period. This also has made it easy for me to lead members into new memberships with other websites. The downside of continuity membership sites is the recurring income isn’t as high because members do leave after the set time frame is up.

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