Membership Site Tips

Membership site tips covered in the first section of this report are as follows. There are a further two more sections covering all aspects of what you need to have a successful membership site business.

1. 5 Secrets of Successful Membership Sites.

2. Harness The Power of Membership Websites.

3. The Secret To Membership Site Success.

4. Secret Strategies to Get Your Membership Site Noticed Fast.

5. Don’t Miss Out – 3 Membership Marketing Profit Plans.

6. 3 More Ways to Make Mega Money With Your Membership Site.

7. Managing Membership Fees for Maximum Results.

8. Building Your Brand 5 Keys to Membership Site Recognition.

9. Attracting Affiliates And Helping Them Sell Your Site.

10. Perfect Partners Equal Profound Profits.

Tip #1
5 Secrets of Successful Membership Sites

Being the best means taking cues from the best. When it comes to membership sites, the best include such big shots as Monster.com, classmates.com, YouTube, MySpace and more. Here are 5 secrets of the big boys and how you can use them to launch your membership site.

1. Successful membership sites have a specific niche with a demand for their products and information. Think about classmates.com. What a fantastic niche! Imagine fitting the need of millions of people that want to connect to their old classmates, or are simply curious to see what everybody is up to. What is your niche? Even if it isn’t a niche that will reach millions, the tighter your niche, the more money there is to be made.

2. Successful membership sites know the value of maximizing their revenue by offering multiple revenue streams including:

• Affiliate Programs
• Advertising
• Information products

Monster.com is a website that makes fantastic use of their market’s needs by offering relocation services, job counseling, resume and cover letter services, education tools, and even money management tools. They also make money with advertisers and partner/affiliate programs. Follow the same money making strategies and you’ll be sitting pretty.

3. Successful membership sites realize the importance of building your brand and increasing exposure to your site

• Logo
• Slogan
• Repetitive design elements

YouTube has to be one of the most recognizable membership site logos around. Whether you see it from a distance on the side of a bus or at the top of a webpage, it’s instantly recognizable because it is simple, clear, and consistent. Three easy rules to follow when you’re designing your own logo and slogan.

4. Successful membership sites are successful at generating traffic via various techniques including:

• SEO
• Content
• Linking
• Careful choice of keywords
• Press releases

Weight Watchers and Elance are two membership sites that have capitalized on the power of keywords, word of mouth advertising, and valuable content. Whether you’re searching for recipes, success stories, or even fitness advice, Weight Watchers has content on the subject. Elance operates a little bit differently, they’ve harnessed the power of the keyword “freelance” to make millions.
Use these strategies to drive traffic to your membership site and success is virtually guaranteed.

5. Successful membership sites realize the value of keeping your members happy by offering:

• Articles
• Training
• Product reviews
• Guest interviews
• Content from other sites
• Free products to download
• Active forums.
• Regular e-mail contact
• Polls and surveys.

Pick any major membership website and take a look at the benefits they provide to their members. Monster offers a full range of services from education to relocation. Weight Watchers offers recipes, menu planning, and support for people with weight loss goals. EHarmony offers a bookstore, advice, and even parenting tips that’s really jumping the gun but it works for them.

Give your members what they want and then go the extra step, give them what they don’t know they want – yet.

Tip #2
Harness The Power of Membership Websites Look through the eyes of your members.

Look through the eyes of your members and you might be surprised. You might find new ways to meet their needs. You might find new ways to offer benefit. Heck, you might even be able to anticipate there needs – there’s no better money maker than that!

What do members want?

The best way to answer that question is to ask yourself. What do you want from a membership site?

Take a moment and write down 10 things that you want from the membership sites that you belong to.

Go ahead… we’ll wait.

Okay, you have your list? Let’s see if it matches any of the items that we came up with.

Presumably you want:

• A trusted source of information, products, and resources.
• A wide variety of resources that meet your needs with multiple price points
• Easy to use website
• Easy to process transactions
• Membership policies that make sense
• Subscriptions that are worth their price
• Subscriptions that are easy to renew or cancel
• Updated content
• Updated resources
• A way, or many ways, to communicate with members and website staff
• An efficient customer relations protocol
• An easy way to return products
• Clearly established terms of use
• A website that protects your privacy and doesn’t sell your information
• Communications, via email or newsletter, that are frequent enough to keep you in the loop but not
so frequent that you feel hassled.
• A website that is fitted specifically to meet your needs

Does that cover it? Not likely. That’s just a short list of the things you probably want from a membership site that you belong to. You may also want to be able to use the site, products, and contacts that you make to generate profits. You certainly want to belong to a membership site that you can be proud of and that is recognizable – this means you’ll more likely be a loyal and frequent visitor if not a frequent purchaser.

Now comes the second question.

What can you do to make your membership site meet the needs listed above, and any others that you came up with?

Many of the needs are fairly easy to fill. Customer relations can be automated. Billing, renewals, and auto responder thank you messages can be automated. Content, much of it anyway, can be outsourced. Terms of use and policies can be posted on your website and handed out in the form of a report when members subscribe. Affiliate programs and other wealth building tools can be automated. That leaves a few things: making sure that your customers know that you’re an upstanding site with their best interests at heart, keeping the quality content, resources, and products
up to date and quality, and tying all of their needs together into a cohesive website. Not too hard, right?

Tip #3

How To Find A Profitable Membership Marketing niche

Membership marketing is an extremely profitable business – if you do it right. Use your membership site to bring in multiple streams of income but only if you target the right market, the market that will be happy to pay for your content, products, and resources. Here are three steps to ensure you hit your target!

1 – Identify Your Money Making Market

You may already have a market in mind. If you do – fantastic! There are a few steps that you’ll want to take to make sure that it is a market that will make money. There’s no point in building a membership website if it isn’t going to put cash in your wallet.

So, maybe you have a passion for nutrition and are interested in a membership site that sells information and products related to nutrition. If this is the case, there are a few things that you will want to do to narrow your niche or create a sub-niche. The more targeted your niche, the more money you’ll make.

A sub niche doesn’t necessarily mean a highly targeted topic, make it a highly targeted demographic too. Speak to friends, family, and associated to help brainstorm a possibility of sub niches. Explore forums, chat rooms, and other membership sites on relevant topics.

If you do not have a topic or niche identified then use your resources, this again means family friends and business associates for guidance. Ask them what topics they’re interested in. Search hobbies, passions, and areas that you are interested in learning more about. For example, rock climbing may be something that you’ve always aspired to learn. Use this desire to learn to launch a rock climbing membership site.

2 – Determine Demand

To examine whether there is a demand for this information you have a wealth of options.

Check out online bookstores or visit your local bookstore and check out what’s on the bestseller’s list. These may be topics with an abundance of membership sites already but chances are you will find a profitable sub-niche or specialty market.

keyword research seems to be where people often go next, keyword research is a valuable tool. Consider repeating the process several times. The first time keyword research may actually help you determine a sub-niche. By searching for a general keyword like nutrition, you may find several sub niche possibilities.

However we’re talking about what to do with keyword research once you’ve determined your niche, keyword research to help you identify demand. For example, you’ve decided to create a membership site for the senior athlete, athletes over 50. keyword research will help you learn what topics senior athletes are interested in and which topics receive the most demand.

3 – Dig Deep

It takes more than just a little keyword research to make sure you’re hitting the right target market. Remember if your aim is off, your profits will be too.

Dig deep in forums and chat rooms. Forums and chat rooms are a fantastic way to research your market anonymously. Behind the scenes research so to speak. When you learn what other people are looking for, then determine if your sub niche is specific enough to provide it, and if there are enough people interested in the type of information and products you’d be offering.

Feeling bold? Register for the forum and ask questions. Don’t give away the bank, there are many people that would gladly take your idea and run with it but asking questions and taking notes will definitely help you understand your market and their needs.

Dig deep by visiting relevant websites. Once you’re done digging through the forums and chat rooms, take a peek at the websites that are currently available and relevant to your topic. For example, visit sports nutrition websites and websites for senior athletes. Take a look at the products that they’re selling. Don’t forget to take a look at the advertisers on their websites too! Visit the sponsored websites to examine their sites and products and study their marketing strategy and audience.

Dig in the back of magazines related to your topic. There is a magazine on just about every topic under the sun. Grab an issue or two and flip to the back. Check out the advertisers. Why? It will give you a list of proven products to promote on your membership site. Magazines are expensive to advertise in, if these companies can afford to pay for an ad, chances are they’re doing well and their products are in demand.

Dig deep in article directories. Visit your favorite article directory, like Ezine Articles and search for information on your niche topic. This will give you a quick glance on the current demand for information. It will also give you a list of websites already established in your field. Visit the sites and examine what they’re doing right and wrong and what you can take from them and make better.

Tip #4
Secret Strategies to Get Your Membership Site Noticed Fast

If you want to make money with your membership site, you have to get it noticed. The faster the word gets out, the faster you’ll begin making money. Here are five strategies to get you noticed faster than a streaker at a soccer game.

Provide Free Information. This is a superior strategy to get folks to your web site, however you have a fine line to walk. Too much free info and there’s no benefit to joining your site. Not enough and you don’t give potential members enough of a complimentary preview.

Of course, if you don’t offer quality information then you’ll lose potential members anyway. So make sure that the information you offer is fantastic. You want your free information to be so good that visitors pass it along to others.

Give folks a peek inside with a free trial membership. Trial memberships hook readers! Not only do they instill confidence, once customers get an inside look at all that you have to offer they will want to sign up immediately. Consider also, making certain items on your website available only to permanent subscribers.’ This type of feature works as a tease. Of course, don’t overdo it. You want trial members to be able to access a lot of your site.

Viral Marketing Miracles. Give free reports and even ebooks to affiliates to give away. This report will include the affiliate’s unique ID and any sales made through that report will be credited to the affiliate. It’s a great way to get people to spread the word about your membership site.

Remember that if you want to drive traffic to your site, the ebooks and reports that you give away MUST be excellent.

Article Marketing Mania. Article directories are a wonderful way to drive traffic to your membership site. They help to establish your credibility and they give potential subscribers a peek inside the offerings at your site. Also use article marketing to help build a top notch opt-in list. Always include a link back to your website or sales page.

Fabulous Forums, blogs, and chat rooms. Forums, chat rooms, and blog posts are a good way to get the word out quickly about your membership site. Most forums, chat rooms, and even blogs will allow you to place a link back to your website in your signature link. Consider that many of the people you speak to in these venues may not be ready to purchase but they will be a good resource in the future if you collect their information.

Tip #5
Don’t Miss Out – 3 Membership Marketing Profit Plans

Presumably, you have a membership website to make money or your thinking about starting a membership site to
make money. Either way if you’re not taking advantage of these three profit plans, you’re missing out.

Profit Plan #1 – Thriving Affiliate Programs – Affiliate marketing is a great way to make ongoing extra income
from your membership site with very little effort. It’s also important to note that your members do want to learn from
you so you’ll want to balance affiliate promotions with your own products too. You won’t be an expert in every subject
and so complimentary products are a great way to increase income; just make sure the products aren’t directly
competing with what you have to offer.

Really make affiliate programs work for you:

1. Select affiliate programs that are relevant to your niche subject to retain the credibility of your site and entice your members into purchasing the products they need. Find affiliate products which are complimentary to your own, not competitive.

2. Pre sell the product to your members. This will make it much more likely that they will buy when they reach the merchant’s site. Write a personal review or interview the product owner.

3. We have affiliate links into your content on your site. Simply writing product reviews or blogging about why you like the product from a personal standpoint is often enough for your members to trust your recommendation and want to buy from you.

Profit Plan #2 Advertising Aces – AdSense is a simple way to make money from your free membership site.
Every time someone clicks on the Ads you’ll get paid a certain amount per click. The amount will vary from niche to niche but overtime particularly if you have a large membership base will be very profitable.

1. To really make advertising pay on your membership site you must have a very large membership base. Consider having low subscription fees or completely free membership if you plan to make advertising your main revenue stream.

2. Make sure your AdSense links really are relevant to your niche topic and add valuable content to your site to retain credibility with your members. For more control, select default advertisements to use instead.

Profit Plan #3 Selling Superior Information – Want a great, and inexpensive way to increase membership site revenue and value? Sell information products. Ebooks, reports, online classes, workshops, tutorials, audio files, videos, and even software can be created for a relatively low cost and sold for a tremendous profit.

The great thing about many of these products is that they are instantly downloadable by your members. This means that they get instant gratification and you don’t have to deal with the cost of production. Once your product is complete, it’s ready to go and can be distributed an unlimited number of times.

Make maximum revenue!

• Superior products result in superior profits. Make your e-book superior with a high level of research, writing , and graphics and illustrations.

• Promote early. Promote the e-book on your site and in your members’ forum. Put extracts from the book onto your site to get members excited about reading more.

• Offer incentives. Use your e-book as an incentive to subscribe to your site. If you give your e-book to members for free when they sign up consider offering them the book in installments or chapters to integrate them into your community.

• Weave affiliate links into your information products to ensure that they carry on producing revenue for you even after they have been sold.

Tip #6
3 More Ways to Make Mega Money With Your Membership Site.

Superior serialized information products are an excellent source of revenue because they can be released in installments, which generate interest in your membership site and products over an extended period of time. (it also gives you multiple opportunities to contact the media and send announcements to your list)

Possibly even better is the fact that serialized products sell for more money. Courses, tutorials, and even books work wonderfully as serial products. Audio interviews and training videos work well too.

If you already offer information products on your site, consider breaking one of them into several small parts and selling them as reports. This gives members the option to purchase just one report at a time or they may be enticed into buying the whole package, and if a member chooses to buy just one report and is happy with it, there is a good chance they will buy several more, making you a reasonable amount of income.

Selling Profitable PLR Content. Any membership site, no matter what your topic, can offer PLR content and make great money. When you sell PLR content, you’re selling content about a particular topic for people to use for their own purposes. The PLR content is sold to a number of people so it’s not exclusive content.

Having a regular number of articles or information products to sell to an exclusive group of members of your site will provide you with another income stream. Consider having an upgraded’ membership that includes access to this PLR material, only open to an exclusive number of members.

Making Your Product Sales Skyrocket – Your most profitable market will always be customers who have already bought from you. This means it will be easier to concentrate on making money from back-end sales rather than trying to get new customers.

Back-End Sales

The principle of back-end sales is that when a member buys one product from you, you tailor your marketing specifically for them to encourage them to buy something else, usually of higher value.

Upselling

Do you want fries with that? Upselling is a straightforward concept. Use it to increase the revenue you produce from individual product sales on your membership site. When a member buys one product, you simply offer them additional products to complement it, possibly at a reduced cost.

Cross selling

Cross selling is a process where you refer a customer to a relevant product on another website after they have bought one on your membership site. The other person in turn will do the same for you. Direct the person to another product or membership site offer owned by you.

Tip #7
Managing Membership Fees for Maximum Results

How you set up your site has a tremendous amount on the money that you will make. Free membership sites do very well with Adsense revenue and product revenue. However fee based sites stand to make money in a variety of ways.

Here are your subscription options and how to make the most of them: Standard Monthly Subscriptions are the normal course of action for a membership site. They work well for a well maintained website where the content is always fresh and you’re always providing value. (If it isn’t, members won’t renew.)

The standard monthly membership site looks like this:

• Members have access to a large amount of quality information about your niche subject, whether that is in the form of interviews, audio course or articles.

• Members are able to access to a forum where they discuss aspects of your niche subject, ask advice, and network with people who are also interested in that niche subject.

• Members have access to some free downloadable products such as e-books, seminars and audio files.

Upgraded subscriptions, like silver, gold, and platinum, are a profitable alternative to the standard monthly subscription model. It is one way of initially wetting the appetites of your members and to get them involved in the site so that they spend more money in the future.

Don’t forget to lure your subscribers into upgrading their membership by offering benefits and making upgrades available often.

A one-time fee joining fee model works well if you plan on continually offering content, valued added resources, and multiple streams of revenue. You may also charge a one-time fee to join as well as a monthly subscription. This model creates an impression of esteem and a high level of credibility. Additionally, it will only attract members that are truly interested in your site.

How much will you charge?

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to charge subscribers what you’re worth even if you consider it to be fairly high. People know that they have to pay for quality and they’re willing to do it. Additionally, you know that your members are serious about belonging to your website.

Make your site worth the money. If you charge a high monthly subscription, make sure that you continually offer high quality products. One low quality product will cost you a member and years and years of profits. If you’re offering a one time subscription, say of $1000, then you want to make sure that you have multiple streams of income in place so that you continue to make money.

Tip #8
Building Your Brand – 5 Keys to Membership Site Recognition

Imagine how fantastic it would be to have people all around the see your logo and instantly recall your business. We’re talking immediate and permanent brand recognition. Here are three keys to get you where you want to be.

Key #1 – Your Logo

Think about YouTube and Monster.com. Both of those websites have a tremendous presence on the internet and both have an outstanding logo. You see it anywhere, on a pen or the side of a bus and you instantly recognize the company.

Think of the benefit your website would receive with such a powerful tool. A memorable, eye catching logo will do more to promote your brand than pages and pages of sales copy. Here’s what to do to make yours stand out.

1. Simple shapes and strong colors work best in logo design.

2. Choose something that is significant and individual for your site. You are unlikely to create the perfect logo using clipart.

3. You don’t want your logo to look too much like someone else’s or you may face legal action for trademark violation.

4. Check that any symbols you use in your logo aren’t going to be seen as offensive by other cultures. The internet is a worldwide market and you don’t want to upset your potential customers.

5. Incorporate a slogan or statement. Place your USP right in front of them, where it won’t be ignored.

6. Don’t forget to use your logo everywhere.

Key #2 – Find a style and stick to it. Repetitive design elements are crucial to building your brand. This means if your logo and website are orange and blue, your newsletter will repeat those elements, your information products will repeat those elements. This holds true for fonts, shapes, colors, everything that goes into the look and feel of your website.

Key #3 – Newsletters. Brand awareness is about communication. Newsletters are an excellent way to connect with your audience, and beyond, on a regular basis. Remember to continue your design throughout your newsletter and make sure that the content rocks so people will forward it and thus increase your readership and subscription list.

Key #4 – Articles. Downloadable articles will be shared. Published articles demonstrate a higher level of credibility and reach a broader audience. Free article websites draw traffic. There’s no two ways about it, articles are an outstanding marketing and branding tool. Define your look, define your voice and you’ll define and brand your business.

Key #5 – Your everlasting About Us’ section. Who is on your team, enquiring minds want to know. It’s true, people like to know a little bit about who they’re dealing with and your about us page is the best way to tell them. Not only that, it helps to establish your brand by giving folks an inside look. Information like credentials, personal interests, passions, and anything relevant to the site help to establish your business

Tip #9
Attracting Affiliates And Helping Them Sell Your Site.

No doubt about it, how you promote your affiliate program and who you get to sell your site is the key to your program’s success.

So who makes a good affiliate marketer? Who do you want selling your website?

There is no one better than your own members. Who knows your website better? Who knows the ins and outs and the total benefit of membership? Okay, so your own members are a great place to start but who else?

How about?

• Business owners with related but not competitive businesses.
• Join affiliate marketing or related forums.
• Promote your membership and affiliate program through article marketing.
• Seek joint venture partners and contact them individually.
• Get current affiliates to recruit new ones by offering a two tier affiliate recruitment incentive.

Here’s what to expect from a great affiliate partner:

Affiliate marketing partners use affiliate programs to make additional revenue from their websites, and each site will likely feature a number of affiliate programs. They use the basic tools you provide for them, but may not put a lot of work into promoting your product.

Super affiliates build a website around your affiliate program and really promote your product. They use all the marketing material you provide them to pre-sell your membership site to their customers before they follow the link to your site. They may even have a customer list to promote your product to. Using this type of affiliate results in more sales, but may also require paying them a higher commission.

JV partners provide targeted marketing to their own customer list. You may work with your JV partner to come up with specific offers that will appeal to their particular audience. This customized marketing results in a higher conversion rate often requiring a higher commission.

What tools do you need to provide for your affiliates to succeed beyond your wildest dreams?

A link back to your site and some form of advertising such as banner or side bar.

Detailed information about your product, including selling points, what makes it different from other products, and its value.

Ad copy, free reprint articles, email promos, free brandable reports (which affiliates will brand with their own link), and even a free ebook.

The more tools you give your affiliates the better. Stay in touch with your affiliates and give them tips on how they can improve their sales conversions.

How to keep your affiliates selling and selling and selling…

Let’s face it, interest wanes. The initial enthusiasm an affiliate may feel about promoting your product is likely to decline as they find new affiliate programs to join and new exciting products to sell. They may not want to keep on repetitively pushing your membership site to their customers and so their sales performance will inevitably drop.

One way to keep your affiliates selling is to regularly send them new material. Different advertisements, articles to reprint, and new graphics will all add valuable content to an affiliate’s website, or give them a reason to promote your product again in their newsletters.

Another way to motivate your affiliates is to:

• Run contests.
• Pay them well.
• Provide them with an abundance of marketing and promotional material.
• Get them involved in the community.

Tip #10
Perfect Partners Equal Profound Profits

How to find the perfect JV partner

When you establish your membership site, it is possible to do absolutely everything yourself. It is possible to design the site, produce all of the content, articles and products for sale, and spend a long time putting together a mailing list of prospective members to try to sell the site to.

Why would you want to do that?

Team up with joint venture partners and establish a mutually beneficial relationship, (and start making a profit form your project in less time than you ever thought possible.)

What sort of people make great JV partners?

Anybody involved in the internet marketing industry or your specific niche can be a joint venture partner. One of the most common joint ventures occurs when one partner has a new product to sell and another partner has an existing mailing list to promote that product to.

Although this is the most common setup, joint ventures can be arranged between any of the following partners:

• Membership sites
• Promoters
• Customer mailing list owners
• Trainers
• Copywriters
• AdSense marketers
• Subject matter experts
• Consultants

So how do you find good JV partners?

Step 1 – Decide what you need from your joint venture partner.

What expertise or resources do they need to posses to contribute to your project?

If you are looking for someone to promote your membership site it may be tempting to approach the internet marketers that own the largest mailing lists. However, it may be more productive to look for individuals that are experts in your niche subject, whose customer lists will be more targeted to your project even if they are not as extensive.

Step 2 – Networking is the key to finding a great joint venture partnership.

If you identify someone you would like to partner with, be careful about how you approach them. If you think they would make a good JV partner, the chances are many other internet marketers will have the same idea and they will get asked on a regular basis.

The following tips may help you when contacting your prospective JV partner:

• Find out everything about what they do beforehand. Read any reports or e-books they have written.

• If they have a membership site, sign up for it and get to know their subscribers. Is the project you want to involve this person in, or the product you want to sell really appropriate for their customers?

• Marketing Seminars offer a multitude of networking possibilities. Many great joint ventures have been conceived over a drink in the hotel bar, or over dinner at one of these seminars.

Step 3 – Contacting a potential partner with your proposal.

• Try to get hold of their telephone number if possible rather than sending an e-mail.

• If you must send an e-mail, make it a personal one and not a standard request, or the chances are they will simply delete it.

• You need to try to build a relationship with this person. If they are going to enter a project with you, and potentially promote your product to their customers, they will want to know something about you and the way you work.

• Don’t give them a sales pitch. A more straightforward approach will be appreciated.

• Don’t assume they are only interested in the amount of money they can make from your project. They may be more concerned about the quality of your membership site and their credibility with their existing customer list.

Tips Covered in this section.

1. The Most Profitable Exposure Your Membership Site Will Get

2. The Importance of Quality Web Content – And How To Get It

3. 12 Tips To Optimize Your Membership Site For Search Engines

4. 3 Simple Steps to Profitable Press Releases

5. 3 Great Ways to Generate Tons of Traffic

6. Is a Pay Per Click Campaign In Your Future?

7. Web 2.0 Concepts to Keep Your Members Coming Back Again and Again and Again

8. Get Your PhD in Newsletter Marketing

9. The Secret to Providing Superior Customer Support

10. 2 Must Haves for Customer Friendly Membership Sites

Tip #1
The Most Profitable Exposure Your Membership Site Will Get
Word of mouth publicity is probably the most profitable exposure your membership site will get.

Word of mouth recommendation is more valuable to you than any affiliate program for one very simple reason. If a
marketer says that your site is great, that is seen as marketing. If a member says that your site is great, that is seen
as fact. Word of mouth is significantly more powerful than the strategic marketing you pay for.

Word of mouth marketing means more than one person speaking with another to discuss or promote your website.
Email, forward to a friend, forums and chat rooms, and blogging are fantastic word of mouth means of promoting your
site as are testimonials and reviews.

What are the key to successful word of mouth promotion?

First and foremost…you must offer a valuable membership site.

Your members will only promote your site if they feel they are getting good value for their subscription. Increase the
value of your membership by:

Providing quality, up-to-date content and make sure you post new content and articles on a regular basis.

Offering your members free downloads, such as e-books and seminars, and make sure they know what they are
worth.

Send out newsletters telling your members when new material is going to be available on the site and what it will be.
Make sure that the release date for the new material is after they have to renew their subscription so they keep their
membership for another month.

Provide free, downloadable content.

Operate a successful forum that offers multiple benefits like problem solving, announcements, shared experiences,
lively discussion and special offers for members only.

Secondly, embrace and support your relationships with other businesses and internet marketers.

If you form good relationships with other internet marketers, businesses, and even your mentors and coaches, there is
a good chance they will mention your name and your membership site in their newsletters and other communications
without charging you a commission.

Of course, for a successful mentor to recommend your site to their customers they have to like it and you have to
make use of their methods. They will not risk their credibility by referring their mailing list to your membership site if
they do not consider it to be of high quality.

Here are some tips for increasing your word of mouth exposure:

• Make your site interesting; nobody will want to talk about a dull site however useful they find it.

• Earn the trust and respect of your members. They will not recommend you if you have let them
down or made promises you haven’t kept.

• Give bonuses for referrals or increase the value of their membership.

• Make it easy for them to talk about you. Bear in mind that any e-mail or newsletter you send may be
forwarded to a friend or colleague as a recommendation to your site. Make sure you include a link to
your site.

• Give them something specific to talk about such as a special offer or promotion.

• Respond to what they say about you. If you find people are talking about your site on a blog join in
and thank them.

Tip #2
The Importance of Quality Web Content – And How To Get It

Search engine optimization is crucial to get traffic to your membership site. You likely already know this because it’s
difficult to avoid. Everyone and their brother has an idea about how to best go about getting your membership site
listed high on the search engines. The truth is actually much simpler. The truth is that content always has been and is
still the key to search engine optimization.

Good content is the best way to keep the search engines happy

What type of content must you have? The best, of course!

Okay, here’s what you really need:

• Articles
• Product reviews
• How-to guides
• Reports
• Seminars / Training courses
• Discussion Forums
• Blogs

Use unique content everywhere, or at least everywhere that you can.

The duplicate content issues have gotten a little bit out of hand and overall you can still use reprint articles and PLR
content as a good way to get traffic to your site. However, try to include your own unique content as well. To be
classed as unique, your webpage text needs to be at least 30% different to any other webpage on the internet.

Similarly, if you use PLR (Private Label Rights) material, alter this to make it unique content. Although less people will
have access to this material, many of them will use the material as it is without making any changes. You’ll definitely
want to change the Title Tag and perhaps the first few sentences of the article.

Ideally you want to create content for your membership site from scratch, to make it targeted and relevant to your
audience. If you do not want to produce the content yourself, hire a ghostwriter.

Add new content constantly!

To maintain a high page rank with the search engines, webmasters need to regularly add new content to their
websites.

This won’t be an issue for membership site owners, who will have to add new content frequently just to ensure their
members continue to pay their subscription.

A blog is a great way to add content to your site on a regular basis. Post something on your blog at least once a week,
but more often if possible. Encouraging your members to comment on your blog may give you ideas for follow up blog
posts, and will also increase your search engine ranking as you will see below.

Encourage, entice, and even bribe your members to submit content.

Having other people submit content for your site will help to increase your traffic flow. Get your members to add
content to your site in the following ways:

1. Discussion forums

Encourage them to post on discussion forums. You will need software that allows forum posts to be
picked up by search engines to make this effective.

2. Blog comments

Allow them to add comments to your blog. Preventing blog spam may require specific software and
give your members a code to enable them to post comments.

3. Product reviews

You could ask members to review your products after they purchase. Of course you need to make
sure you have quality products to avoid negative reviews.

4. Articles and ideas

Ask your members to submit relevant articles and ideas to you site. Always give them credit for any
material you use. Perhaps you could run a members’ contest and give a suitable prize or monetary
reward each month for the best article or tip submitted.

Tip #3
12 Tips To Optimize Your Membership Site For Search Engines

1. Use unique content wherever possible

PLR and free reprints can be modified to look original to the search engines. To be classed as unique, the copy must
be at least 30% different to any other webpage on the internet. In addition to free reprints and PLR, it pays to also
create content for your membership site from scratch. Outsource this task to a ghostwriter to save time.

2. Add new content regularly

To maintain a high page rank with the search engines, and a quality membership site, webmasters need to regularly
add new content to their websites. A blog is a great way to add content to your site on a regular basis. Encouraging
your members to comment on your blog may give you ideas for follow up blog posts, and will also increase your
search engine ranking.

3. Choose the perfect keywords

• Select specific keyword phrases that are relevant to the webpage you are optimizing rather than
general terms. Although general terms draw more searches, there is a lot of competition for them
and it will be difficult to get your page a high ranking.
• Specific keyword phrases will get typed in less often, but you will get more targeted traffic and a
higher page ranking for these phrases.
• Look at what your competition is doing. Check out at least the top ten results for your keyword
phrases on various search engines. Look at the source html codes and meta-tags on your
competitors web pages to get some ideas.

4. Don’t jam in the keywords but consider your keyword density

The optimal keyword density is unclear, but many recommend aiming for 3% and 7% to get the most traffic without
being penalized by the search engines. Keep in mind that both search engines and your readers prefer quality content
that flows over keyword stuffed articles.

5. Put them where they count – keyword prominence

Prominence refers to where you place your keyword phrases on your webpage. Search engines will put a higher value
on keywords near the top of the page, so make sure your first paragraph is keyword optimized as well as all your Title
and H1 tags.

6. Keep them together – keyword proximity

While you do not have to keep all the words in your keyword phrase together for search engine optimization, keeping
them close together will add search engine value.

7. Don’t forget to vary your keywords – LSI

In addition to keywords, search engines look for phrases that they expect to see relating to that keyword on the
webpage. The presence of these phrases increases your search engine ranking.

LSI is designed to make sure keywords are used in context and that irrelevant content that is stuffed with keywords is
penalized.

8. Dynamic Linking

To achieve a high search engine ranking it is important to get other sites to link to your membership site. These will be
one way links, or reciprocal links, where you link to another site in return for them linking to you.

9. Don’t make them stop to ask for directions.

Structure your site so it’s easy to navigate. If a person can easily find their way, then the search engine spiders will
also have an easier time getting around your web pages.

Make sure your membership site has a site map and that all major pages of your site are easily accessible from your
members’ home page.

10. Captivate with attention grabbing headlines.

Use informative headlines throughout your webpage content, including your keyword phrases where appropriate.

11. Tag, you’re it.

Include descriptive Alt tags on your graphics. These need to make sense and explain what the graphic is, but you’ll
want to also include your keywords if possible.

12. Tag, you’re it again…

Use descriptive title tags on all of your web pages to show what the page is about. Limit these to 59 characters. Add
descriptive description tags to all web pages, and limited to 150 characters.

Tip #4
3 Simple Steps to Profitable Press Releases

Step #1 – Newsworthy Websites Generate Great Press

A successful publicity campaign using a press release requires a good story. You need to come up with something
original about your site that will be interesting to the general public and not just to people involved in your niche
subject.

Two ways to get interest in your press release are:

1. Relate your press release to a topical issue that has recently had a lot of media coverage. Tie it to
anything – as long as it has relevance to your membership site.

2. Tie your press release into a particular event, exhibition or tradeshow that somehow relates to your
niche subject.

Step #2 – Follow the Format

Title

Cover the most interesting aspect of your press release in as few words as possible. Make it punchy and attention
grabbing, with maximum impact.

Subheading

This is your chance to add some detail about what your press release is about without spoiling the effect of your
forceful heading.

Lead paragraph

This will be a factual paragraph giving all the details of your story. It will answer the questions who, what, where, when
and how. If the editor has read further that your title, this paragraph will make up his or her mind about whether to use
your press release.

Main body of text

The rest of your text will give information to support the story you told in the lead paragraph. Including quotes from
your members is often an effective technique in this section, but remember to respect their privacy.

Boilerplate

The final paragraph, known as the boilerplate, will be a few sentences about your membership site, what it is about
and what you offer.

End your press release with the word End, add your contact information after so the editor can contact you easily to
clarify information.

Essential tips for writing your next great press release:

1. Always write in the third person.

2. Keep your press release as short as possible. Edit ruthlessly and get rid of any unnecessary words
and phrases.

3. Avoid hype phrases to describe your membership site such as one of a kind’ or out of this world’.
Your press release is not a sales pitch.

Step #3 – The path to profitable publication.

If you want to get your press release published offline, here are a few pointers:

Research your publication

Choose a publication that is suitable for your niche subject, and which will be read by your target audience. Read that
publication regularly, and get an idea of the kind of articles they print as well as the tone used. Find out who the most
appropriate journalist or editor would be for you to approach with your press release.

Make the call

When contacting the editor, your approach will be polite and professional. Always call before you send them your
press release; busy people tend to delete unsolicited e-mail.

If you get their voicemail, don’t be afraid to leave a concise message with the main angle of your story and your
contact details. Call again if you don’t get a response for a couple of days.

If you speak to them in person, introduce yourself briefly and then check if you are calling at a good time. Offer to call
back at a more convenient time if necessary.

Don’t launch into a sales pitch about your membership site. Briefly give the editor the details of your story in a
straightforward way.

Follow up – quickly

Have a press pack ready before you contact the editor and send this as soon as possible after you have spoken to
them. This will consist of your press release and any appropriate photos etc.

Give the editor a couple of days and call again to follow up.

Tip #5
3 Great Ways to Generate Tons of Traffic

For that extra little push your membership website needs to get the traffic that you desire and deserve, take
advantage of these dynamic traffic generating tools:

1. High Acclaims for Advertising on Third Party Sites. Advertising has and always will be a powerful traffic
generating strategy however as consumers evolve so too will your advertising methods. Take a look at the following
ad types to determine which will best meet your needs.

Banner Advertisements

Banner ads are placed across the top of a webpage. They are a fairly cheap form of advertising, but often get ignored
as web users have got so used to seeing them. To get a higher click-through rate, banners have been designed that
grow to fill the whole screen and then shrink back down to their original size.

Sidebar Advertisements

These are placed down the side of a webpage and have a higher click-through rate than banners as they will still be
seen when the user scrolls down the page. This makes them more expensive than banners.

Pop-up Advertisements

These appear in a separate browser window in front of the webpage. They can be annoying to the web user, but they
do have a fairly high click-through rate as the user can’t really ignore them. They have to do something with the ad,
i.e. close it, move it or read it.

Floating Advertisements

These are similar to pop-ups in that they appear in a separate browser window. They aren’t static however, but move
around the screen. They can’t be closed down by the user, but are displayed for a set period of time, after which they
disappear. When they were first introduced they were seen as incredibly annoying, but as web users have got more
used to them they have achieved a higher click-through rate than pop-ups.

Unicast Advertisements

A further development of the pop-up ad, unicast ads are similar to short television commercials. They play in a
separate browser window for a few seconds and have an extremely high click-through rate. They are very expensive
however, and may not be appropriate for your membership site depending on your niche subject.

Text Links

Text links are a very effective form of advertising on a third party site. The text link is integrated into the website’s
content so that it looks like a link to another part of the same site. When the user clicks on the link, they will be taken
to your site, or an advertisement for your site.

2. Co-Registration, getting your foot in the door.

Co-Registration can be a very cost effective way of generating quality sales leads for your membership site.

The principle is simple. When a potential member is filling in an opt-in form for a third party, they are given the option
to request more information on various other sites or products. If they request further information on your membership
site, you will be provided with their contact details to add to your mailing list.

On a co-registration form you display your logo and a short description of your membership site. This type of
advertisement works best if you place your offer on a website that is related to your niche subject, but that is not a
direct competitor.

Submit your offer to a co-registration company, who will find appropriate sites to display it on. Also ask other sites to
put it on the thank you page their customers see after they have opted into that site. A final option is to team up with
other relevant sites and create your own third party information site where you can all display co-registration adverts.

What are the advantages of co-registration?

• Co-registration usually works on a pay per name or pay per lead basis, meaning that you only pay
when someone actually requests more information on your site.

• Co-reg is a very targeted form of advertising. Somebody requesting information about your site is a
much stronger lead than an unsolicited sales pitch.

• In addition to the standard contact information on the opt-in form, you can take it a step further and
request other information from your potential customer, which may help you target your sales pitch
more effectively.

3. Social networking isn’t just for the teenagers anymore.

Social networking has grown up! Of course for social networking to effectively promote your membership site you
have to choose the right network. The network needs to be aimed at the same audience as your membership site.
Find a network that suits your niche subject. This may have a smaller member base than a more general site, with
less networking opportunities, but your audience will be more targeted, and the network will have more staying power.

Tip #6
Is a Pay Per Click Campaign In Your Future?

Calculating the costs and benefits of PPC and Membership Marketing
Pay Per Click

You have no doubt noticed the abundance of PPC ads when you’re online. And when you perform a search on most
search engines, there are tons of links at the top or side of the results list that are different from the rest. What
differentiates these ads from each other? What costs more? What offers the best results? The answers my friend are
in the testing of your particular ad. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t let anyone else fool you.

You bid to have your site link displayed on the results page for that particular keyword search. Depending on the
search engine you use, either the highest bid or the best performing link will be displayed first on the page.

You pay the amount of your bid every time someone is directed to your website by clicking on the advertised link. It
doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

The cost of Pay per Click advertising

Depending on the search engine you use, you may have an initial deposit when you open your Pay per Click account
of around $50, and a minimum monthly spend of around $20. Your bid amounts will depend on your chosen
keywords.

The bidding system means that the more popular keywords will end up being very expensive. Keep a careful record of
what you are spending on PPC advertising as the costs can quickly mount up and you can end up paying more than
you are making.

The following simple calculation will help you decide what you can afford to pay for Pay per Click advertising.

PPC Revenue
——————- = Revenue
PPC Visitors

To get the most out of Pay per Click advertising, bid on as many keyword phrases as you want to afford. Consider
less popular keywords that are more targeted to your potential members, and which will command a lower price per
click-through.

Monitor and analyze your Pay per Click results carefully. Look both at which keywords are getting you visitors and
which of these visitors are actually signing up to your membership site, or buying a product from you. Focus on the
keywords that are getting you the most sales rather than the most visitors.

If you are using PPC advertising extensively it may be worth using a bid management system, or even employing a
bid management company to manage your advertising campaign. This will ensure you are not spending more than
you are making, and will help you to focus on the keywords that are generating valuable, targeted traffic to your site.

While the description text you use for general SEO is designed to get as much traffic to your site as possible, your
description text for PPC advertising has a different purpose. Because you are paying for each visitor, you want to
make sure that only people who are likely to join your membership site actually click on the link. Your description will
make it very clear what your site is about to attract the visitors that are most likely to generate revenue for you.

Test, track, and reevaluate. One campaign may not generate the results that you like, but another may. Keep track of
not only the clicks that you receive but the actual purchases from those clicks, that is where the real power is.

Tip #7
Web 2.0 Concepts to Keep Your Members Coming Back Again and Again and Again

Web 2.0 may be the most overused, and misunderstood, term of the decade. What it means, in a nutshell is providing
a user driven website. Basically membership marketing websites are Web 2.0. The users determine the content in the
form of forums, blogs, article posting, reviews and so on. To further enhance the usability of your website and thus the
benefit to your members, provide a few interactive extras or member benefits.

Training courses are an excellent tool to provide benefit to your members.

E-mail training courses Getting your members to sign up for an e-mail training course that takes place over perhaps
eight weeks, is a great way of keeping your members engaged with your site over a period of time.

Video tutorials This is a very effective form of training as it is much easier to show your members what you are
doing, rather than trying to explain it. It prevents your students becoming frustrated when they can’t understand what
you are explaining, and reduces misunderstanding.

Teleclasses Teleclasses are similar to conference calls and are conducted over the telephone. They are an excellent
way for your members to take part in live learning, as well as having personal interaction with you and other members
of your site.

Product reviews posted by other members is a fantastic interactive medium. It will also engage heated discussions!

Guest interviews Guest interviews with a well known personality who is connected with your niche subject will add
huge credibility to your site. Promote guest interviews on your website and in your newsletter.

Forums. Forums are a type of virtual community and provide the opportunity for people with similar interests to talk to
each other. Your members will already have a shared interest in your niche subject, so creating active discussion
forums won’t be too challenging.

Competitions Encourage your members to post on the forum or blog by running a competition. Award a prize each
month to someone who has posted on your forum, and each individual posting would be an additional entry into the
prize draw.

Involving your members in polls and surveys

Member polls Asking your members to answer a simple question relating to your niche subject is a simple and
effective way to get them involved in the site. Have a regular monthly poll and publish the results of the previous
month’s poll above the question for the current month.

Surveys Some niche subjects lend themselves well to surveys. If yours does not you could conduct a survey about
your membership site itself. This gives your members the chance to express their views and let you know what
changes they would like to see.

Newsletters may be used to highlight forum posts, questions that people have asked, blog posts and even case
studies, survey results, success stories and more. Get your community involved in the content both online and in your
newsletter. They’ll be invested in the results.

Tip #8
Get Your PhD in Newsletter Marketing

In a previous article we discussed the power of newsletter marketing to strengthen your community. Newsletters will
also help to build your membership because they are easy to forward. Additionally, they help you communicate
regularly with your members, giving you a consistent medium to promote new products, forum discussions, case
studies, success stories, special offers and more. Encourage membership contribution by asking members to write in
questions for a column, or provide success stories or other information that they may feel is relevant to the site.

Regular e-mail contact makes your members feel involved

What will you include in your newsletter?

Here are a few ideas to get started.

1. Mention the new content you have added to your membership site that week. Give a brief summary
of any articles to wet the reader’s appetite and leave them wanting to read the whole article.

2. Give an overview of any interesting discussions on your forum that week. Invite them to log in and
join the discussion.

3. Discuss your blog posts for the last week, but also make sure you tell your members what you are
going to be talking about in your blog for the following week. This will give them a reason to log in
during the week.

4. Use your newsletter to promote any new products you are selling on your site that week, or any
affiliate programs you are entering into.

5. It is up to you how much personal information you include in your newsletter, if any. Some
membership site owners often include a short update on what they and their family have been up to
that week, to connect on a more personal level with their readers. Others stay completely focused
on business but are still friendly. You’ll need to decide what works best for you.

When and how often will you contact your subscriber?

That, along with what you put in your subject line, seems to be the question of the millennia. Consider testing a few
options to find the one that offers the best results. A lot of it truly depends on your market. 9-5 business people have a
different schedule than students and a different schedule than moms. Moms, whether they’re working or not, may not
have time during the weekend to open an email but Wednesday afternoons are relatively free. 9-5 business folks may
be more than happy to open an email from you every Monday afternoon for the rest of their lives. The answerconsider
who you’re marketing to and then test a few options.

As far as your subject line goesagain, testing is important however many have found that cute and clever gets the
trashcan every time. Keep it simple, straightforward, and benefit driven.

Terrific tips for effective newsletters.

• Don’t rely too much on graphics; many of your members’ e-mails will have graphics disabled on html
e-mail by default. Make sure you use Alt tags if you do have graphics so your readers will know
what the pictures should be.

• Look at your newsletter in the preview panel of Outlook to get an idea what it will look like to your
members.

• Make sure you include links directly to your site, preferably to different areas of the site in the
relevant sections of the newsletter.

• Use tables for structure. This ensures your newsletter retains its format on most e-mail systems.

Tip #9
The Secret to Providing Superior Customer Support

Once a member has joined your site, the level of customer support they receive can be the deciding factor in whether
they continue their subscription. The secretautomate or outsource as much as you can so that someone is always
available when your customer needs them.

Why automate your customer support function?

The purpose of automating your customer service function is to deliver great support to more of your customers in less
time. For example, deal with all queries quickly and effectively by keeping all your customer details and records in an
easily accessible database.

Automating your customer support dramatically increases your organization, which creates a much better impression
when dealing with your members. Gaining the confidence of your members is a great way to ensure continual
renewals.

Automating contact with your members will make them feel like you really value their membership. Using an
autoresponder to e-mail them after they initially subscribe to the site, after they purchase a product from you, or even
after they post on the forum, will give let them know that you are interested in their activity on your site.

Autoresponder e-mails can also be used to generate profit for your site. For example if a customer buys a product
from you, e-mail them to say thank you, and to offer them an up sell.

Outsourcing your customer support saves time and money- and who couldn’t use a little of both?

Outsourcing your customer support functions is a great alternative to handling customer support yourself, or hiring a
dedicated employee to do this for you.

A third party customer support company will respond to e-mail or telephone queries, deal with payments and offer
technical support with your website.

Let’s talk money…

Using a third party customer support service offers you economies of scale. Because the third party will be providing
the services for many companies, they will provide them more cost effectively than you could for just your own
company.

As you will only usually pay per query or transaction, your overheads will be very low and you will not be paying for
services you do not use. You may have to pay a minimum monthly fee, but this will still be relatively low.

The time you save by outsourcing, instead of taking on customer support yourself, can be used to generate more
income from your membership site.

Here are some things to look for in your customer support service

• The company needs to have an in depth understanding of how your business and your website
work. They also need to have an understanding of your niche subject.

• You need to feel confident and comfortable with your account manager as they will be your day to
day contact with the company.

• Make sure the company has examples of the services they have provided for other similar
businesses.

• Find out what kind of reporting the company can offer you. You might not want to deal with your
members’ issues directly but you will still want to know what they are.

In addition to saving you time and money, research has shown that outsourcing functions such as customer support
will improve your business processes and stability.

The improvements you might see when you outsource your customer support include increased ability to plan, quicker
and more uniform response to your customers’ queries, and rapid implementation of new strategies and initiatives.

Tip #10
2 Must Haves for Customer Friendly Membership Sites

The best membership sites make their members feel welcome. The best membership sites make their members feel
safe, and valued, and respected. Here are two must haves if you want to be among the best.

1. Respect and value your members with a Terms of use.

To establish a good relationship between yourself and your members, make them aware of your terms of use when
they subscribe. Each membership site has slightly different rules, and if these are made clear to your members
upfront, there is less room for misunderstanding later on.

Your terms of use will depend very much on the type of site you offer, but here are a few suggestions on topics you
might want to clarify.

Advertising

You need to let your members know whether they are allowed to advertise, or promote their own products on your
site. It may be worth having a dedicated area or forum for advertising, and making it clear to your members that this is
the only place they are allowed to promote their own businesses.

Content Use

Ensure you have clear rules about what your members can do with the content on your site. If reprinting is not allowed
they need to be made aware of this. If you allow reprinting of articles as long as they include a back link to your site,
this also needs to be stated.

Forum Etiquette

Let your members know how you expect them to behave on your forum. Issues to cover may include the use of
shouting (capital letters), the use of profanity and obscenity, and the use of abusive or insulting language towards
other members.

Also make it clear that all content in forum posts becomes your property, and you have the right to use it in any way
you wish, including promotion of your site.

2. Inform your members with a dynamic and member driven FAQs page

FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions, are a list of the most common queries your members will have about their day
to day use of your membership site, along with pre-prepared answers.

No matter how user friendly you make your site, there will always be some confusion as to how it works and you want
your members to have as simple an experience as possible when they want answers to their questions.

Every website is different and so your FAQs will be very specific to your membership site. Here are a few suggestions
to help you put together your FAQs list.

• Make a list of any questions you think of while you are testing your site.

• Ask your members to make any contributions to the FAQ list. This is another way to get them
involved in the site.

• Add questions that your members ask regularly via e-mail once the site is up and running.

• Your FAQs list will be constantly evolving, so make sure you review it on a regular basis and add
new questions if necessary. Make sure the answers are up to date, particularly if you have made
any alterations to your site. Remove any questions that are no longer relevant to avoid confusion.

Always have a contact us’ link on your FAQs page, inviting your members to e-mail you a question directly if their
query is not covered. Being able to e-mail you easily reduces frustration they may feel if they’re not able to find the
answer to their question quickly.
Tips Covered in this Report

1. Is your membership site sticky enough?

2. Which Membership Model Makes the Most Sense?

3. What Is Your Lifetime Member Value?

4. Solutions To Overcome the Headaches of Membership Site Payment Processing

5. Tips For Keeping Your Website On The Up And Up

6. 3 Vital Membership Site Legal Questions Answered

7. Make Tons Of Money By Using Your Existing Membership Site To Launch Another

8. Automating Your Site For A Stress Free, and more profitable, Life

9. Sell Your Site?

10. 10 Membership Site Must Haves

Tip #1
Is Your Membership Site Sticky Enough?
10 Tips to keep members glued to your site…

The more times your customers visit your site, the more time they will have invested in your relationship and the more
they will come to trust and rely on you. By building up their loyalty in this way, there is more chance that they will buy
from you, follow your advice and buy your affiliate products, or click on ads that you recommend.

Put simply, a sticky site equals customer loyalty. Customer loyalty equals revenue.

1. Content – We can’t stress the importance of content enough. Keep the content up to date, and ‘time sensitive’.
Remove out of date content so that it doesn’t affect the credibility of your site.

2. Give your site a personality – There is a huge amount of information on the internet, and you can be sure your
members could find what you are providing elsewhere. What your members are really paying for is the way you
present that information.

3. Remain focused on your niche – Don’t forget that your members joined your site because they had an interest
in your niche. While it is fine to include content on a slightly different subject if you are sure it will be relevant and
interesting. Never lose sight of your original subject. Wander too far off the subject and your may find your customers
wandering off your member list.

4. Make information easy to find – Ensure the content on your membership site is organized in such a way that
your members will find what they want easily. If your members view your site as a valuable information resource rather
than just another website, they will want to us it again and again.

5. Provide what your customers want – Encourage your customers to ask for an article or information on a
certain subject if they can’t find it. Writing an article specifically for one customer may seem like a lot of work, but if you
think long term, that customer may then stay with you for the lifetime of your membership site.

6. Keep in touch with your members – Contacting your members via e-mail is essential to keep them engaged
with your site. Send your members updates, informative newsletters, and reminders, and ask them for their feedback.

7. Ask them to take part in surveys – Ask your members to complete a survey about your membership site and
then make sure you act on their feedback and let them know you have done so. Send out a special edition of your
newsletter showing some of the results of your survey and detailing how you have responded and any changes you
have made. Feeling that they have had a hand in shaping your site will really make your members feel engaged in
your online community.

8. Allow customization of your homepage – Having some functions that your members personalize on your site
will really make them feel involved. Even a simple message at the top of the home page saying ‘Welcome back
[member name]’ will have a huge impact on making your members feel valued.

9. Build a sense of community – Being part of an online community is one of the main reasons your members will
renew their membership. Here are a few additional tips on creating that sense of community.

10. Promote an active forum – This provides a place for your members to get to know each other and begin to
care about each other. Stopping their membership once they have become involved in your forum would be like losing
a whole group of friends. Provide a function that allows your members to send private messages between each other.

If you run competitions, or encourage your members to submit content, make sure you acknowledge the winners or
contributors. Nothing makes a member feel a part of your site like seeing their name in the latest newsletter.

Tip #2
Which Membership Model Makes the Most Sense?

The membership model you choose makes a huge difference on the profits that you will see today and in the future.
Of course, which membership pricing model is right for you depends largely on the type of site you have. Here are a
few guidelines and tips to help you keep your subscription list growing.

Pricing model, which one is right for you…

Weekly subscriptions?

Weekly subscription models are not used very frequently for membership sites. They require a rapid turnover of
content, as members need a reason to renew their subscription each week. They tend to rely quite heavily on forums
and blogs to keep members engaged.

If you are using a weekly subscription model you can make more revenue than with other models. Your members will
feel that they are paying small amounts, but because they are paying so regularly, the revenue soon mounts up.
However, you will have to work hard for the extra revenue with frequent updates.

One of the main problems with weekly subscription sites is members that just join for one week, download all the
available content, and then cancel their membership.

Monthly subscriptions?

This is the most popular pricing model for membership sites. It still requires a lot of effort to provide fresh content each
month, but the pressure is a little less than with the weekly subscription model. Again, these sites tend to rely quite
heavily on forums and blogs to keep their members engaged.

Quarterly subscriptions?

Quarterly subscription membership sites make a little less subscription revenue overall, but you have the advantage
that you have more capital upfront from your members to invest in your site.

You also have a guaranteed member for three months to sell additional products to. You do need to keep in regular
contact with your members, however, as they don’t have a regular monthly or weekly payment going off their credit
card to remind them about the site.

This model is better suited to a site that has time consuming content. One example of this type of content would be
training courses that take place over a period of several weeks.

Annual subscriptions?

The annual subscription model is ideal for sites with very high content value. To convince your members to pay a full
year’s membership fees up front, you will have to prove that your site is worth the investment. You might consider a
short trial period with limited access, or a money back guarantee within the first month if they are not satisfied.

This model will usually generate less subscription income overall than the previous models, but again you will have
the capital sooner to invest in your site. You will have guaranteed members for a year, but you will need to remind
them to visit the site regularly with targeted marketing and newsletters.

One-off subscription?

The one-off subscription model, also known as lifetime membership, is ideal for membership sites that are designed to
gain more revenue from selling products, affiliate programs, and advertising, than from membership subscriptions.

Although you will need to update your site regularly to retain your members’ interest, and keep them buying from you,
there is less pressure to provide fresh content to hold onto regular subscriptions.

When you are deciding on a price for your one-off subscription, you will want to determine your lifetime membership
value.

Here are a few ideas to consider.

• Offer a free or reduced fee trial period. You could invite your members to join your site for a trial
period of between a week and a month, to get them involved in the site.

• Some of the membership site software packages available enable you to upgrade your members to
fully paid membership automatically when the trial period is over.

• Most membership sites that offer this trial period take the credit card details of their members up
front, and then charge for the continued membership automatically, unless the member cancels.

• Have different access levels. Have various categories of member who have access to different
content and parts of the site, depending on which subscription level they choose. Tantalize your
members with limited access with the premium content they could find in the more expensive
member areas.

• Many membership software packages allow up to five subscription levels, including one free level.

• Change your subscription model. You could offer your members monthly subscriptions when they
initially join your site. After three months you could ask them if they would like to change to a
quarterly subscription for a slightly reduced rate. You could even offer to take the amount that they
would have saved if they had taken quarterly subscription from the start, away from their next
quarter’s subscription.

• While this does mean that the subscription revenue you get from that customer decreases, it also
means you keep that customer for a longer period, during which you can sell them other products.
You also have more capital up front to spend on advertising and optimizing your site, so your
revenue will increase in other ways.

Tip #3
What Is Your Lifetime Member Value?
And how does it affect your business decisions?

The concept of lifetime customer value is an important factor in determining what your subscription prices are. You will
not be able to accurately determine your lifetime member value until your site has been up and running for some time,
but using educated assumptions to work out a potential lifetime customer value can be a very beneficial part of your
business plan.

What is lifetime value?

In simple terms each member’s lifetime value is the average profit they will generate for you during the time they are a
member of your site.

Each of your members can create revenue for you in a number of ways:

• Initial subscription fee
• Repeat subscription fees
• Product purchases
• Affiliate purchases
• AdSense links

The more complex your site, the more factors there are to take into account.

To calculate the lifetime value of a member you need to take the average initial subscription, plus the average
revenue from further purchases (these include repeat subscriptions, purchases, click-throughs etc.), multiplied by the
average number of repeat purchases in one time period (a month, a year etc.), multiplied by the average number of
time periods a customer remains a member.

Here is a simple example:

• Your members pay $50 for their one time subscription.
• They spend on average $20 twice a month on purchasing further products etc.
• Your average customer remains a member for 6 months.
• Your lifetime member value = 50 + 20 x 2 x 6 = $290

Knowing your lifetime member value will steer your business decisions

Knowing how much your average customer is worth enables you to determine how much resource you can afford to
put into attracting new members.

You can use the lifetime member value to create a budget for promoting and developing your site that ensures you
aren’t spending more than you are making.

Keeping a database with detailed records of your members’ purchases will allow you to determine a more accurate
lifetime member value over time.

This can help you to adjust your prices and strategies to maximize your profit without losing your customers. You can
monitor the effect that changes to your site have on your lifetime member value.

As subscription businesses, membership sites rely on recurring business. Once your membership site is fully
functioning, about 75% of your sales will come from your current subscriber base, so you will want to give a great deal
of thought to your rebilling strategies.

There are two main models to consider when determining your rebilling strategy:

1. Optional renewal

If you use optional renewal, your members will be notified that their membership is due to expire, and will be given the
option to renew it.

If you use this method, you will want to make it as easy as possible for your members to renew, and send them at
least two reminders.

2. Automatic renewal

Automatic renewal is also known as continuous service. If you choose to use this method, your members will receive a
notification that a subscription payment has been debited from their account.

This has the obvious advantage over optional renewal in that your members do not have to make any effort to renew
their membership. On the contrary, they have to make an effort not to renew it.

Don’t forget the power of loyalty.

A loyalty scheme will encourage your customers to maintain their membership. Recognizing and rewarding your
members’ loyalty is a great way to keep them subscribing to your site. If you choose to follow a loyalty scheme, you
can publish details on your site, and you can enable your members to track their progress through your scheme in the
same way as they can access their personal details.

Tip #4
Simple Solutions To Overcome the Headaches
of Membership Site Payment Processing

Payment processing for membership sites can be a headache. Every member has a different renewal date, there
products to pay for, subscriptions to upgrade, security to consider and of course you want it to be easy for your
customers. Here are a few simple solutions to make your life easier, and more profitable too!

Practical Payment Processing

Credit Cards

By far the most common method of paying a membership site subscription is by credit card. To accept and process
credit card payments, you need open a particular type of account known as a merchant account.

The advantages of having your own merchant account include quick payment processing so you receive funds without
delay, and not having to pay any processing fees.

However, you may not be able to open your own merchant account for the following reasons;

• Having a poor credit history
• Living in a area where merchant accounts are not issued
• Not having enough transactions initially to justify the account

In any of the above cases you could consider using a third party merchant account processor. These take two forms.

1. Using online billing solutions such as Click Bank and the PayPal shopping cart can be one
alternative to opening your own merchant account.

2. A number of hosting services such as BizHosting and Hostway offer free merchant accounts.

PayPal

Many online businesses now feel the need to offer the option of paying through PayPal. It is thought to increase sales
as customers see it as more secure than paying by credit card and it is a quick and easy way to subscribe for the
millions of internet users who already have a PayPal account set up.

Checks

You might think that anybody considering joining a membership site would be comfortable with using online payment
methods. However, there will always be a number of people who are worried about the security of paying over the
internet, and with high profile cases of credit card fraud recently in the news.

For this reason, it may be worth it to offer an alternative method of payment, such as paying by check.

You could provide an address for potential members to send a check to, and ask them to include their personal details
and an e-mail address. Once their check has cleared you can activate their account and e-mail them with their log in details.

This does create more work and it’s not the right option for everyone, but for some membership sites it’s a good option
to offer. Make your payment process as simple as possible. If your customer has to jump through hurdles to pay you, they may
very likely change their mind.

Tip #5
Tips For Keeping Your Website On The Up And up

The last thing you want to think about are the legal ramifications of owning and operating a membership site. A quick
and easy way to make sure that everyone knows what to expect is to craft a ‘Terms and Conditions statement for your
site. Here’s how…

Creating your terms and conditions

Before your start to write your membership site’s terms and conditions, think about what you really want to achieve
with them. There are a few items that you really want to cover, but otherwise what you include in your terms and
conditions is up to you.

1. Disclaimer of liability

The disclaimer of liability is perhaps the most important part of your terms and conditions. It is advisable to state that
the use of the site is entirely at the member’s own risk, and that you are not responsible for any damages to the
member whether they be directly or indirectly linked to the use of your site.

You may also want to state that you will not take responsibility for the content of other sites that your membership site
is linked to, and your are not liable for damages caused by the use of those sites, for example any viruses that are
transmitted via downloads on those sites.

2. Membership term

You could use your terms and conditions to state the initial term of your membership, and the process for renewing
membership. You might also outline the method for canceling membership.

If you have a trial membership period, you could state what the members will have access to during that trial period,
and the process for subscribing to full membership at the end of the trial period.

3. Membership access

You could detail what your members will have access to as part of their membership. If you have different levels of
membership with varying subscription levels, you can include information about these in your terms and conditions.

You could also include your rules about sharing membership accounts. If sharing is prohibited and the site can only be
accessed from one computer at a time with a particular membership account, you want to state this in your terms and
conditions.

4. Pricing and payment

You could state whether price changes will apply to existing or returning members, or whether they will always be
entitled to the same subscription price as when they joined. You might indicate how any changes in pricing will be
communicated to your members.

You will probably want to tell your members which payment processing company or software you are using, and
outline the measures you are taking to ensure payment security.

5. Site etiquette

This can include the tone and language of forum postings and blog comments, and the advertising or promotion of
members’ businesses on the site.

State that you reserve the right to cancel the membership of any member who does not comply with your site etiquette
policy at your own discretion.

You might also state that you reserve the right to remove any comments or posts from the site that you do not believe
to be appropriate. In addition, you may want to write that the views and opinions expressed in your member forums do
not necessarily represent your own views and opinions.

6. Data protection and privacy

You can refer your members to the data notice we discussed earlier, or you can incorporate the data notice itself into
your terms and conditions.

Let your members know what information is being stored about them and what it is being used for. Also let them know
what security measures, such as encryption, you are using to keep that information safe.

You might also tell your members what will happen to their personal details if they cancel their membership.

7. Copyright

Let your members know that the content on the membership site is your property and that it is protected by copyright
where relevant.

Make it clear to your members what they are allowed to do with the content of your site. If there are articles that they
are permitted to reprint on their own sites as long as they include a link back to your site, state this.

8. Customer service

You could use your terms and conditions to state how you will deal with customer queries; whether this will be via
e-mail or over the telephone. You might also state the timeframe within which they can expect a response to their
query.

9. Local laws

Finally you might state which country or state’s laws your membership site is subject to.

Tip #6
3 Vital Membership Site Legal Questions Answered

Question #1 Is my membership site protected by copyright?

In theory web pages are protected by copyright as soon as they are created. However, in the U.S. your website will
need to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office within three months of publication for you to bring a case against
someone that copies it.

Once you have registered your web pages, you are legally protected if someone should decide to copy your page
word for word.

It is a good idea to post a copyright notification on each of your web pages. This is not necessary to bring a copyright
law suit, but it will help your case if you show the person that copied your work was aware it was protected by
copyright. It may also scare some people into not using your working.

There are some limits to web page copyright

Copyright only protects the exact expression of your web pages. It does not protect the facts or ideas you use. If
someone copies your ideas, but expresses them in a different way, they are not breaking copyright law.

If a piece of work is created independently, but by coincidence happens to be similar to or the same as another
previously created piece of work, it is not seen to be breaking copyright law. This can be difficult to prove for the
author accused of copyright infringement, but equally difficult to disprove for the copyright owner.

Two concepts that make content exempt from copyright law are ‘fair use’ and ‘implied permission’. It is useful to be
aware of these exemptions.

Fair use

The concept of ‘fair use’ is a rather unclear limit to copyright protection. If you use another person’s work, but
acknowledge that it is their work, this is allowed under ‘fair use’.

If you use another person’s work but do not make any commercial gain from it you may not be breaking copyright law
under ‘fair use’. Also, if your use of their work does not negatively impact their income, this may be covered by ‘fair
use’.

Implied Permission

This is a particularly relevant concept for membership site owners. When one of your members posts a thread on your
forum, or a comment on your blog, they are the author of the work, but they are giving you ‘implied permission’ to use
it as you wish.

This also applies to any e-mail that your customers send to you. Unless they specify otherwise, their words are not
protected by copyright law.

Question #2 What is covered by data protection policies?

Privacy and Data Protection

Any information you store about your customers comes under data protection. If you store information about your
customers or members, you are legally obliged to tell them what you are using it for. Your site must include a data
notice, which explains which data you store and how you use it. Make your data notice easily accessible on your site,
preferably with a link from the page where your members input personal details.

Use a method of encrypting your members’ personal details, especially their payment details. It is reassuring for your
members to know that you do this, so you could either mention it on the page where they input their details, or have it
as one of the questions on your FAQs page.

When your customers enter their personal details, you must give them the option of stating if they do not want you to
pass these onto third parties, or use them for marketing purposes. The standard format for this is an ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’
tick box underneath the form the customer has to fill out. Many sites try to hide these tick boxes in an area of small
print, so they are complying with data protection law, but their customers do not opt out.

Data protection policies state that you should store your customer’s details for the shortest possible time. This means
that you do not want to store information about customers that you don’t need at the current time. For membership
sites, this should mean deleting personal information when your members cancel their subscription.

Privacy and data protection laws give your customers the right to know what information is being stored about them
and how you are using it. This means that if they request that information, you have to provide it, but you can charge
for this. If the customer believes you do not have a good reason for storing the data you have about them, they can
request that it is deleted.

Question #3 How do I deal with the issue of spam?

The flood of unsolicited e-mail arriving in inboxes worldwide has led to the introduction of harsh measures to combat
spam. Even newsletters that your customers have requested are likely to be treated as spam unless you take
preventative action. Ask your members to whitelist you and follow the guidelines as set out by the Can Spam Act ,
‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act’, passed in 2003.

Tip #7
Make Tons Of Money By Using Your Existing
Membership Site To Launch Another

If you already have an up and running membership site, you have a significant head start on launching a second one.
Here are a few of the ways you can use your original site to launch a new one:

1. Find out what your customers want

You can use the forum and blog on your first site to discuss the possibilities for the new site and find out what sort of
additional site your customers would like to join.

You will have gained a lot of information about your customers buying habits, and the type of advertising that works
for them, from running your original site. Use this information and experience when you are setting up your new site.

2. Promote your new site to your original members

As well as more usual forms of advertising, such as a banner or sidebar linking to your new site, you can actively
promote the new membership site in your blog and forum.

You could consider offering all of your existing members free access to your new site for a limited period of time. After
this period is up, you might want to offer them a discounted subscription for being members of both sites.

3. Choose your niche with your audience in mind

To be able to sell your new site to your existing members, choose a niche subject that complements your original site.

The next site could be a logical follow on from the original site, for example if your original site was on the subject of
property investment, your nest site might be focused on property renovation. Another example might be if your original
site was about building websites, your second site might be a PLR membership site to provide content for those
websites.

4. Don’t reinvent the wheel

With your original site you will have gained an enormous amount of experience. You will have found SEO strategies
that work, while others have been less successful. You will have found products and affiliate programs that produced
a good amount of revenue, while others did little to increase your profits.

You will have found out how to get your forum active, and the type of blog posts that attract a lot of comments and
attention. When it comes to starting up your next site, use this experience and use the methods that have previously
worked for you. If you have a successful business model, there is no reason why you can’t use it over and over again.

More sites = more profits. Creating a network of sites.

There are numerous advantages to having a network of membership sites, and when the time comes to sell up,
having a network rather than a single site can ensure that your business fetches a high price.

Assuming that your sites are related to one another, at least in terms of subject area, having a network of quality sites
can make you the leading authority in that area, and enable you to dominate the market. This is very attractive to a potential buyer.

If you make the sites dependent on each other, this can make your network very profitable. If we use the example
mentioned earlier of having a web design site and a PLR site, you can tailor their content to make sure that the
material provided on your PLR site is the perfect match for the websites being created by the members of your web
design site.

Having two sites does not necessarily mean double the cost. You can use the same back office and billing system for
both, giving you economies of scale. If you outsource your customer support, you may only have to pay one regular
fee for both sites, and then you will be charged on a per transaction basis.

We mentioned earlier that you can give your members a discount for belonging to more than one of your sites. This
may decrease the subscription revenue that you get from each site, but it increases your overall revenue, and gives
your members more exposure to products, affiliate links, and advertising. Having customers that are members of more
than one site also allows you to build up more detailed information on your customers and their buying habits. This
can lead to very effective targeted marketing.

Other benefits of a network of sites are that you can cross sell products between sites, and that you can link the sites
together for more effective search engine optimization.

Tip #8
Automating Your Site For A Stress Free, and more profitable, Life

Automating the running of your membership site at an early stage will mean you have more time to spend on starting
up other sites, and will make it easier to sell your site with minimum disruption.

Having a site that runs almost on autopilot is a great way to generate a passive income while you concentrate on
something else. Not only that but it enables you to spend time living the life that you want to live AND it gives your
members a smooth and well oiled site to visit.

Here are the best functions to automate early:

1. Customer Communication

Using an autoresponder to communicate with your customers saves you a lot of effort. When one of
your customers subscribes to your site, or buys a product from you, you can start sending them a
customized series of autoresponder messages, thanking them for their business and introducing
them to various other aspects of your site.

You can even have your newsletter on an autoresponder. This means that when a new member
joins, they are sent the first newsletter, with the date changed to the current date. They will then
receive your newsletters in sequence each week.

For this to work, you will need to produce a new batch of newsletters from time to time, as you will
eventually run out and you need to keep the information time sensitive. If you are including forum
news and special offers in your newsletter, you can have a section that displays the latest posts and
offers, no matter what issue of the newsletter your members are receiving.

The main advantage of this system is that you do not have the pressure to write a new newsletter
every week, but can have a backlog of newsletters produced.

2. Billing

If you are using PayPal, or a credit card gateway with a recurring billing function, automating your
billing process is very simple.

Reminders will automatically be sent to your customers, either telling them that they need to renew
their subscription, or telling them that the payment will be taken on a certain date.

3. Customer Support

If you can maintain an up to date customer information database, automating and outsourcing your
customer support functions means that you can deal with more customer queries, in less time,
without having to put in too much work yourself.

4. Search Engine Optimization

Some of these methods are suitable for automation, while others require a little more time and manual work.

One example of a method that can be automated is submitting articles to directories with back links
to your site. Submitting a set number of articles on a monthly basis will ensure automatic traffic
generation, while you concentrate on your next business move.

5. Writing

If you do all of the writing for your site yourself, you will have no time for anything else, and the site
will be worth very little without you. If you are looking to disengage yourself from the site, you might
consider hiring ghostwriters to write for your site on a regular basis.

If you have the same writer or writers producing your content, autoresponder e-mails, blog posts
and even newsletters, this will give a consistency to your site, without you having to spend a lot of
time writing yourself.

If you have an ongoing contract with your ghostwriters, their services can be sold as part of the
package when you come to sell your membership site.

Tip #9
Sell Your Site? – 5 steps to plan for profits

Step #1 Get Ready To Say Goodbye Before You Say Hello

Assuming you are intending to make a profit from your membership site, an exit plan will be an integral part of your
business plan right from the beginning. Every step you take to develop your business will take you a little closer to
selling your membership site.

There are three elements that make up your exit plan;

1. Timescale for exit.

2. Exit option. For most membership sites this will be a simple trade sale. For offline businesses, other
options may be a family succession or a sole trader merger, but these are not common with online
businesses.

3. The identification of potential obstacles to selling your site and how you intend to deal with these.

Step #2 Structure your business to make it easy to sell

If you know from the start that you will eventually sell your membership site, you can structure it to make this a simple
and profitable process for you.

Tax relief

Tax laws vary greatly by country, so it is advisable to check tax relief legislation locally when you start your business.
The length of time you own your membership site, as well as the type of ownership, and the type of products and
services you offer can impact whether you are entitled to tax relief on the profit you make from your site.

Co-owners

If you are the sole owner of your membership site, selling it will be a relatively simple matter. If however you have
co-owners, no matter how small their share, you need to give some thought to them when you put together your exit
strategy. In this case your exit plan will have a shareholder strategy detailing the following points:

• Agreement on how each co-owner’s share will be valued on sale.

• Agreement as to whether any co-owner must offer the other co-owners the option to buy their share
before they sell it to a third party.

• Agreement on what will happen to smaller shareowners if the majority owner decides to sell.

Having a business structure in place that makes your site ready to sell will ensure a smooth and speedy sale. If you
spend time trying to sort out tax affairs and obtain co-owner agreement at the time of the sale, you may well deter
your potential buyers from completing the transaction.

Step #3 Time really is everything

Your site will be of the most value when business is booming. If your membership numbers are growing, your profits
are increasing and your subject is gaining in popularity, it might be the perfect time to sell. It is a good idea to set
ourselves targets that will determine a good time to sell.

The targets you set for your membership could include the following:

• A certain yearly revenue
• A fixed number of members
• A particular rate of growth

Step #4 Determine how much your site is worth?

Method 1) Price to earnings ratio

This is a reasonably simple way to come up with an indicative value for your membership site. Calculate the future
maintainable profits of your membership site. Once you know the maintainable profits of your business you need to
decide how many years’ profits your membership site is worth

Method 2) Cost to rebuild

This method values your site based on what it would cost you to build it from scratch at the time of sale. Some of the
factors to include are:

• Cost of actually creating the site, hiring a programmer, buying the domain name etc.
• Cost of hiring a ghostwriter to write all the content
• Cost for the working hours you have put into the site
• Cost of any software you have used
• Cost of advertising
• Cost of hosting the site
• Cost for your customer list

Other factors to consider when valuing your site include:

• Your target audience
• Your revenue streams
• Your site traffic
• Age and reputation of your site
• Your domain name
• Customer loyalty
• Customer list

Step #5 Preparing to sell your membership site, successfully.

Before you put your site on the market, it is worth spending some time drawing up a detailed memorandum of sale.
This may take some time and effort, but it prepares you for the selling process and answers many of the questions
your potential buyers are going to ask.

Here are some of the elements that you might include in your memorandum of sale:

• Business description
• What is included
• Requirements for business
• Breakdown of profits
• Asking price
• Statistics

It may be difficult to consider selling your site before it’s even begun but consider this… YouTube was launched in
2005, and within two years was bought by Google for an alleged $1.65 billion. I bet they had an exit plan in place!

Tip #10
10 Membership Site Must Haves

#1 A niche. Marketing your website to the world is just a little too broad. However, marketing it to too small of a
crowd will mean that you won’t be very profitable. Your niche must be targeted and have a demand for your
information. A tricky line to balance? Not too tricky, let your passions or interests be your guide. Chances are if you’re
interested in it, others will be too.

#2 Multiple Streams of Revenue . Subscriptions are only the beginning. There are numerous ways to generate
profits from your membership site. From advertising, to information products, to affiliate programs, the sky is the limit.
Take a look at how your competition does it. Take a look at how major players like Monster.com and YouTube make
money. Uses what you learn and reach for the sky.

#3 A successful subscription model. Free membership or weekly membership? Monthly subscription or annual.
No decision is more difficult for the membership site owner than this. You want to make sure that you price yourself
fairly and continue to make profits. Decide first what kind of site you want to offer and the ideal subscription model will
follow. YouTube is free, Elance costs plenty both are successful and profitable.

#4 A solid brand. Brand recognition means traffic and it means you can charge tons of money for advertising
space. Brand recognition also means more leverage in the market. 9 times out of ten people will by a Coke over a no
name knock off. The same holds true for membership sites. People will pay significantly more for a membership with a
well known website than they will for one they’ve never heard of.

#5 Traffic. If no one knows about your site how will you make money? You won’t. That is why traffic generation
techniques are vital. That doesn’t mean that you want to employ every single traffic generating technique available.
Some will be significantly more powerful for you than others. For example, article marketing may be the ticket to
thousands of subscriptions and PPC campaigns may result in a net loss. It all depends on your market. Research
techniques, try them out, find the strategies that are successful for you.

#6 Content. Content is one place that you cannot skimp. Content is vital for search engine ranking but maybe more
importantly it is vital for your members. Content has to be quality or you’ll lose members. Content has to be regular or
you lose search engine ranking, and members. If nothing else, invest your time and money in providing your members
excellent content.

#7 Happy members. How do you make your members happy? Several ways, provide them an easy to use website,
provide them with an abundance of content, resources, and products, and provide them with multiple ways to interact
and influence the direction of the website. Employ Website 2.0 concepts and embrace your members as an integral
part of your website’s development and future.

#8 An Efficient payment process. There’s nothing worse than struggling to pay for something. In fact, 9 times out
of 10 if you have to jump through hurdles to pay, you’ll change your mind. Payment, whether it is for a membership or
for a product, must be quick, easy, and painless for your members. If that means that you have to do a little extra work
on your end to find the ideal payment process then do it, otherwise you’ll lose members before you ever have them.

#9 A website that is legal and tells you so. With so many charlatans online today, it pays to go the extra mile to
inform your members, and potential members, that you have their best interests at heart. Post a terms of service
statement on your website. Post your privacy policy too. Encourage your members to read these documents. Make
sure that they know you’re on the up and up!

#10 An exit strategy. YouTube was launched in 2005, and within two years was bought by Google for an alleged
$1.65 billion. Hmm…I wonder if they had an exit strategy in mind when they founded the site? Of course they did and
they timed it perfectly. Plan your goodbye before you say hello and you too could profit from the sale of your site.