Three quick tips on how to make a membership website work by letting your users define the content
The main revenue source for a membership website comes from its users, which means that 9 times out of 10, membership websites accept no advertising. What this means is that any membership website that’s going to be successful will need to focus solely on the user-experience.
So how can you get better at convincing people to join your paid community?
Connect members to each other
People join a membership subscription website to connect with other people and build relationships. Possibly the quintessential example on the consumer side would be a dating website where the registered member—along with all the information shared through that member’s profiles, forum posts, file uploads, links, and other data—is the the source of content. On the B-to-B side, a good example is a job website, where employers and potential employees find each other and connect.
How to make a membership website work: The more ways that you provide users a platform to connect with each other and source from each other, the less work you’ll need to do. If you can find new ways to”introduce” new members to old members, even better.
Let users generate the content while you moderate
Membership Websites are relatively expensive to build compared to other website models. Once set up with a good content management system, however, they can become an excellent revenue opportunity for a competent online publisher.
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The best membership websites include thousands of pages of valuable content, along with forums that foster a dedicated and committed community of members—a place where like-minded people come together online to find out what’s new, do research, and communicate with each other, whenever they wish, on topics of mutual interest.
How to make a membership website work: In the beginning of a membership website launch, you may be the one who’s sparking conversations and drawing people into existing discussions. Once the conversation starts rolling, you can be more hands-off.
Also, the more comfortable people are contacting one another, the more likely they’ll participate. If your membership website has discussion forums, make sure you moderate conversations for Internet “trolls” who intimidate other users.
An inactive membership website is a dead membership website
The less people that use your membership website, the less likely you will be to attract and retain new users.
How to make a membership website work: If it means that you need to have “free weekends” like dating websites often do, or a “free week”, then this is what you have to do. A membership website that is focused entirely on the users means that it needs users in order to be successful. Besides, giving away free access doesn’t cost you a dime.