How can you make your blog more profitable? This is a question that most of us are looking for an answer to. And while advertising and affiliate links make some cash, what if you could generate more?
If you have a loyal following and are producing great content, you can create a membership page to offer exclusive content and perks to your audience while increasing your profits.
What is a membership site?
A member’s page offers exclusive content, products or other discounts for target groups that can only be accessed through a member registration. Member sites can be free or paid and offer discounts. Payments can be set from monthly to semi-annual or yearly. The content and products offered may include videos, one-on-one calls, merchandise, and online courses.
Membership pages can be customized in a variety of ways. However, here are some of the most common models you will come across.
Types of membership models
- All in one
If you read the news online frequently, you are likely to come across a paywall. A paywall blocks content until a reader is logged into their account and has a paid membership to access the content.
You can offer some of your premium content behind a paywall to make more money and create better engagement with your most loyal viewers. After all, they pay for access to exclusive perks, which means they are likely to be invested in what you offer.
Most of us love to find a group of people with common interests or goals online. If your audience is always engaged in your content and in the comments, consider creating a community membership model where users can profile and have a platform to interact with each other.
This could mean access to an exclusive app, Facebook group, or forum on your website.
If your target audience can’t get enough of your content, they may also have an interest in hearing about your expertise directly from you. By creating membership courses, you can offer some of your knowledge for a fee.
You can offer courses for a one-time upfront payment or an ongoing subscription to access a course library that generates a steady stream of profits from your membership page.
Outside of knowledge, what do you have the talent to create and sell on your website? Perhaps you can create WordPress plugins or blog templates, or you can offer social media graphic templates or unique budgeting tables.
Whatever creation you’ve chosen, you can make money for your creativity and hard work. You can sell products individually to members or offer them through a subscription model where users can access the product as long as they have an active paid subscription.
The all-in-one model is exactly what it sounds like. This means that your membership page has most, if not all, of the standard membership model options.
While this can mean multiple sources of income for subscribers to different parts of your website, it can also add up to a lot of extra work for you.
Creating exclusive content and perks for different memberships can be difficult, which means you may have to spend more money hiring others to help you. It can also be daunting when a user visits your website and sees that they have to sign up and pay to access almost everything on your website.
Benefits of starting a membership site
By starting a membership page, you can create a safe and steady source of income for your blog. If your audience already likes your content, a logical next step is to offer them more for a fee.
Once they start investing money in accessing your content, you may also target them more.
Disadvantages of starting a membership site
Because memberships are so customizable, there aren’t many downsides to starting one. However, if you already have time to create your normal content and manage your website, you may find it difficult to create exclusive content as well. This will also add another component to your site to be serviced.
Once you’ve decided to convert your blog into a membership site, you can follow these simple steps to get started.
How to start a paid membership site with a blog
- Choose your model.
- Find a membership plugin.
- Set up payments, levels, and rules.
- Create content to get started.
- Add a membership page to your site.
1. Choose your model.
From the list above, choose the model that works best for your site. With an active and engaged audience, a community model could be the perfect solution. If users are always asking for advice, you can create products or courses with a subscription.
Or your content increases page views so you want to create more detailed content that is offered behind a paywall. Weigh these options carefully to find the right fit for your brand.
2. Find a membership plugin.
If your blog is powered by WordPress, you can add a membership plugin to make your job easier. There are many options available, and you’ll want to find one that works with the model you choose. Some of the top tips from bloggers are MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and Teachable.
Once your plugin has been downloaded, you can configure it by going to your WordPress dashboard menu, selecting your plugin, selecting “Options” and adjusting the settings as needed.
3. Set up payments, levels, and rules.
Go to the menu in your WordPress dashboard and select your plugin. From there you will find settings for payment, levels and rules. Set up the payment amounts and types (e.g. credit cards and PayPal) for each membership level under “Options”> “Payments”.
To set levels, go to the plugin, select “Memberships” and then “Add new” for each level. You can name each level and define prices and restrictions.
Finally, it’s time to set the rules. Go to the plugin in the WordPress menu and select “Rules” and “Add New”. This is how you protect your exclusive content from non-paying members. Just make sure to mark your exclusive content as “paid” in WordPress when you create it.
Save all of your settings before proceeding to the next step.
4. Create content to get started.
Your paid subscribers are likely to expect instant access to some exclusive content immediately after signing up. Make sure you prepare any written content, videos, audiobooks, templates, or other perks that you offer before launching your membership page to avoid frustrated subscribers.
5. Add a membership page to your site.
This can also be easily done via the plugin settings in your dashboard. However, you need to create a page where your website users can view pricing and membership models, sign in, and sign in to access the content.
Once this page is ready you can launch it and users can log in through your blog and access your content or products.
Increase blog sales by adding a membership page
A membership page can be tailored to your needs and generate more money for your blog. Once you’ve assessed whether a membership site is right for your brand, you can review the different models to see which path is best for your blog.
Plus, it allows you to develop your creativity and provide the best possible content to your most loyal and dedicated followers.