Get Free Email Updates | Have an Account?
  • Free email newsletter
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed

Tag: membership website

A membership website is any website that has a member as the minimum information unit. Membership websites require registration, which is either free or paid, depending on the website. In order to access some or all of the membership website's content, a user must sign in with the respective user information.

How Content Gets Profitably Recycled in Multiplatform Publishing

When you recycle a can or plastic bottle, you can wait and listen to the sound of the machine crushing the can. It’s almost as if the nickel it spits back at you came from the can itself.

When you recycle a magazine into apps, blog posts, videos, emails and events it makes sounds too: the sounds of web traffic rushing at you. The sound of social chatter and ultimately, ad or product revenue. It’s a bit more than a nickel, but you’ll take it, right?

4 Things the Best Membership Websites Have in Common

One of the more popular paid subscription website models that Mequoda has identified is the paid membership website. Unlike some of the other models, it’s user-driven and content-based, and its unique minimum information unit (MIU) is content created by a member.

10 Subscription Website Publishing Lessons for Profitable Website Design in 2015

If you publishing any kind of periodical, then you’re no stranger to subscription websites. This year we published more than fifty new posts about subscription website publishing.

Subscription Websites: What’s Your Minimum Information Unit?

How many types of websites are there on the world wide web of sites?

At one time we were watching new ones popping up every day. But in the past few years, we’ve identified a solid nine subscription website archetypes for publishers to consider, depending on their business goals and their content. I’ve posted about all of the six premium (paid) models in the past few months.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts

The subscription website publishing posts below get into subscription website best practices in design and monetization. They also dive into the many different archetypes that we’ve identified.

The Membership Subscription Website Business Model

TheLadders.com, Match.com and SSWUG.org utilize membership subscription websites to properly serve their audiences

The membership subscription website archetype is a very complicated model. It may be structured as a pure-play site, which does not depend on a primary relationship to, or experience with, an online or offline product. Or it may be structured as a companion website, which does relate to an online or offline product.

Redefining the Club Subscription Website Model

How can a club help you make money?
Mequoda has called one of its paid websites a “membership” website for a decade. Unfortunately, not everyone does as we tell them to do (imagine!) and over the years some folks started getting confused, calling any subscription website a “membership” site.

By popular demand, today I’m going to officially

Mequoda Weekly: March 4th, 2013 – March 8th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Membership vs. Retail Subscription Website Information Architecture

Misunderstanding Membership Website information architecture

Misunderstanding the characteristics and attributes of a membership website compared to, say, a subscriber-access-only magazine or newsletter retail subscription website is a common misunderstanding when publishers are launching a paid-access-only website.

A Membership Website is an online medium—a destination—in and of itself.

It may be structured as a “pure-play” site, which does not depend on a primary relationship to, or experience with, an online or offline product. Or it may be structured as a “companion” website, which does relate to an online or offline product. Either way, “members” or “subscribers” register and pay to access information, organized library-style by topic of interest, or research information or find answers to a question.

Website Design Samples of Our 16 Archetypes

Gas stations, supermarkets and bookstores are all retail businesses. They all resell products, yet the specifics of their business models and their physical infrastructures are very different. Optimizing those specifics will support higher revenue, lower operating costs and happier customers.

Mequoda Weekly: February 11th, 2013 – February 15th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

9 Membership Website Mistakes

Membership websites are hot for 2013

All the sudden in 2013 I found myself hip-deep in subscription and membership websites.

Perhaps it’s the tablet market evolving, the publishing market maturing, the continuing problems of advertising models or the renewed interest in the renewable revenue of continuity websites.

Mequoda Weekly: December 24th, 2012 – December 28th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

How to Make a Membership Website

Six membership site ideas all digital publishers must follow

How to make a membership website is a topic many publishers struggle with. Membership and subscription websites can be hugely successful in generating revenue for publishers with evergreen and updated content.

However, understanding how to make a membership website is often overlooked during the planning process. Let’s take a look at six tips publishers must adhere to while making a membership website.

SEO Campaigns Made Easy

Proven methods and a new idea for blockbuster SEO campaigns

A lot of people offer advice about the importance of SEO campaigns and SEO copywriting. And a lot of that advice tells you to start by developing a free report, then research your keywords and finally, write a landing page letter that’s been optimized for search engines using those keywords.

I’m not giving that advice.

Week in Review: December 12th, 2011 – December 16th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Membership Website Mistake #7: Ignoring Legacy Business Model

Legacy magazine publishers are not paying close attention to whether their business is sponsor-driven or commerce driven. They are then going online with a completely different model.

In doing so, publishers disregard the historical print business model. If a publisher monetized his magazine assets in the past by selling advertising, it’s highly likely that the economics favor an ad-driven online publishing strategy. Or, if a publisher operates where circulation is the primary source of revenue, a membership website is a good option.

Week in Review: December 5th, 2011 – December 9th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Membership Website Mistake #5: Charging Too Little

People often overestimate their market. They do this by looking at the number of nuclear engines, bakers or weekend woodworkers and assume they can get a higher penetration than they’ve seen.

Look at the market, profession or hobby and pay close attention to the penetration levels of mature products in the two-five year range.

Membership Website Mistake #3: Lacking Content

Providing too little content to your audience is a major issue, especially if you purport to have a comprehensive collection of informative content.

For instance, if you’re looking to launch a reference model, and you do not have enough content, it’s a deadly sin. A reference website – which is often organized in an encyclopedia-like fashion – is suppose to answer questions on a specific topic and implies that you can answer any question your audience has on the topic.

Week in Review: November 28th, 2011 – December 2nd, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Membership Website Mistake #1 – Choosing the Wrong Format

Choosing the wrong format for your membership website involves mislabeling your membership website and deciding to build it based off customer relationships instead of making it content-based.

The sheer number of content model choices – which totals nine through six premium models and three affinity models – dramatically increases the chances of choosing the wrong model for your membership website.

Membership Website Content Models

Discover the membership website content model that fits your content best

In our new Membership Website Strategy free report, you will discover the nine deadly membership website mistakes and the nine membership website content models, including six premium and three affinity models. Premium membership website content models require registration and payment to access all of the content. Affinity membership website content models require only registration to access all the content. These membership website content models include:

Week in Review: November 7th, 2011 – November 11th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Membership Website Strategy Released

Discover the nine deadly membership website mistakes when you download this new free report from Mequoda Group

Download your free copy of Membership Website Strategy: 9 Deadly Membership Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them now

The membership website can be a lucrative addition to online publishers’ arsenal if they have the ability to create a premium product that meets the expectations of their audience.

Week in Review: October 3rd, 2011 – October 7th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Things to Consider Before Building a Membership Website

Literary perfectionist Gustav Flaubert once said “our ignorance of history makes us slander our own times”. He was right on the money here and not just in his never-ending quest to find “le mot juste” (“the right word”) in a sentence. Finding the perfect word, he believed, would lead to the Nirvana of written quality. Dramatics aside, the main lesson here is one that we all know well: history is important.

4 Readability Tips for Better Landing Page Designs

Which elements make for an easy to read landing page?

No matter how you cut it, you’re going to need to write lengthy sales letter copy for any landing page.

Even a free product requires at least 300 words to get indexed in Google and you’re not going to fill that quota without a little story and feature list. You’re certainly not going to get ranked on any keywords if you don’t have enough copy to sprinkle them in throughout the page.

So with that said, you now have to think about how you’re going to organize all of these words in a way that is easy to skim. Of course you want them to read every word that you write, but more importantly you want them to find everything they want to know about the product:

Week in Review: February 28th, 2011 – March 4th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

How to Make a Membership Website Work

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?

10 WordPress Membership Plugins That Work

Two handfuls of WordPress membership plugins that you can use to turn your free website into a paid membership product

If you’re running a website on WordPress, you probably know that it’s not meant to be run as a membership website. However, being as flexible as WordPress is, you’ll find many publishers who have turned it into a full-fledged membership or subscription site.

WordPress membership plugins are essential in saving both money in time when building a memberhip website. Here are some of the top ten that get a lot of buzz and compliments.

The Non-Scientific Approach to “Giving Away” Paid Content

The conundrum continues: How much should you give away on your membership websites?

There’s no scientific methodology behind subscription websites. Publishers with excellent conversion architecture can get away with giving away a lot of free content and still converting a large percentage of those free users into paid users.

Others still, have such a good reputation and and worth-while free trial that it doesn’t require giving anything away (other than the free trial) in order to get people in the door.

Week in Review: December 27th, 2010 – December 30th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Do You Have Enough Content for a Membership Website?

Lots of content doesn’t always equal valuable, useful content

Every story that a publisher has ever published in its magazine or newsletter or book series is an asset. And the question that every publisher must ask is, “How can we best monetize that asset?” If the publisher monetized the asset in the past by selling advertising, it’s highly likely that the economics favor an ad-driven online publishing strategy.

Therefore, think about the economic history of the existing print publishing business. Regardless of the amount of available content, the way the organization is set up to make money and the economics that have worked in the past are what matter.

Subscription Website Archetype: The Application Website

What is an application website and what makes it a subscription website archetype?

While there is no single model for a Subscription Website, an application website is typically software based and allows users to download the software they desire internally. The Minimum Information Unit is a software application that often requires access to information in a proprietary database.

For most application websites, the majority of their revenue comes from user fees, and they usually accept little or no advertising. To keep fees rolling in, the application website publishers have to continue to provide customers with the information they want in an easily accessible manner.

3 “Impulse Buy” Tactics for Membership Websites to Use in the Holiday Season

Sell more “gift” membership subscriptions by offering a physical reciept, pricing for the gift-giver, and making your website look valuable

It’s the holiday season, and consumers are frantically looking for things to give the people they love. They’re also looking for gifts to give people they don’t love but need to buy gifts for anyway. The good news here is that when you run a membership website, you have the opportunity to capture last-minute buyers with an item that doesn’t need to be shipped.

However, there are plenty of places where membership websites can fail with this method.

Give the customer something to print out, email, or otherwise disribute.

Even more importantly, let them know that they’ll recieve something that they can “give” as the physical gift. This tiny detail can make or break a digita sale.

Week in Review: November 8th, 2010 – November 12th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Three Favorite Email Subject Lines – What Are Yours?

It’s OK to borrow email marketing subject lines when they’re good

The average Internet user is bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of email subject lines every day. Most of us have developed an anti-headline defense and tune out when we sense an email subject line is trying to sell us something.

However, since we are marketers, we have an advantage over the average consumer to be able to identify which subject lines stand out to us amongst the clutter of our own email inboxes.

Don’t Start A Membership Website Until You Count the Cost

Five things you must do before launching a membership website

It would be foolish on the part of anyone to jump into a project without contemplating all aspects to be certain that they could accomplish their goal. Before launching a membership website, be sure you have what it takes to be successful.

Here are solutions to five common mistakes we’ve seen online publishers make when launching a membership website.

Week in Review: October 25th, 2010 – October 29th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

6 Tips To Get More From Affiliate Sales Programs For Subscription Websites

Better guidelines for setting up and running an affiliate sales program

The key to a successful affiliate program is to give your affiliates as much incentive as possible to sell your product. The more free marketing materials you hand out, the less effort your affiliates will need to put in and the more likely they’ll be to promote you.

Here are six tips for making the publisher to affiliate relationship even better:

Communicate regularly. Affiliates are more likely to stay active in your program if they hear from you often. Send out a monthly email with news about your latest products or other offerings.

Membership Website Conversion Tips

Five must-have features for membership website conversion

After reviewing statistics for website visitors, are you wondering why traffic is up and conversion is down? How could so many visitors not become subscribers? What is your membership website missing?

Here are the top five must have features to convert visitors into a subscribers.

Video Landing Page Guidelines

Different ways to incorporate video into your landing pages

Looking for a better way to communicate with visitors? Online companies need a way to improve the “know, like, trust” factor with potential customers. One way to accomplish this is through video.

As my father will tell you, in the good ole days, a customer looking for the latest information on a TV, would visit a retail electronics store and chat with ‘Don’, the knowledgeable salesman. Since Don was a nice guy who seemed to know everything about the TV and maybe even some secrets to improve the picture or sound quality, the customer would buy it.

Week in Review: October 11th, 2010 – October 15th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Want to Increase Sign-ups for Your Membership Website?

How to use paid and earned media to build your membership website

Most publishers continue to rely on paid media to generate traffic for their membership website. For good reason – paid media works. And it’s often easier to buy website traffic than to rely on earned media.

Basic paid media sources for building your membership website:

A Deadly Membership Website Mistake

This free report from Mequoda Group discusses 5 deadly membership website mistakes that should be avoided by online publishers

(Nationwide)—A membership website may appear to be an easy moneymaker for online publishers. Although membership websites can be very profitable, they are websites that require a great deal of forethought and evaluation before they can be created successfully.

Mistakes in membership websites are referred to as ‘deadly’ because they can kill a membership website’s success. However, by taking note of these common mistakes, it can be determined whether or not investing time and money in a membership website is a good idea or not.

Week in Review: September 20th, 2010 – September 24th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Subscription Website Archetype: The Membership Website

What is a membership website and what makes it a subscription website archetype?

A Membership Website is an online destination—in and of itself. It may be structured as a “pure-play” site or as a “companion” website. Either way, members or subscribers register and pay to access information, organized library-style by topic of interest, or research information or find answers to a question.

The Minimum Information Unit is a person or member and all the information that member shares via their member profile, forum posts, file uploads, links and other data. The Ladders, Match.com and SSUG are benchmark sites for the Membership Website Archetype. All three require registration and payment for full access. One-day memberships generally have the highest fee, while annual memberships usually offer the lowest price and the most benefits.

A Membership Website is a subscription website archetype since it generates the majority of its revenues from user access fees. This website business model is similar to a print newsletter or magazine that accepts little or no advertising, relying primarily on user support. Membership websites often sell other branded information products that may include books, events and print periodicals at special member-only rates.

Uses for Subscription Websites

Content from the Mequoda Summit Boston 2010

At last week’s Mequoda Summit Boston 2010, Don Nicholas and Phil Ash hosted an interested session on subscription websites. In today’s digital landscape, it’s easy to see the value in the many subscription website models that exist. As an online publisher, how familiar are you with subscription websites? More information on subscription websites will be added to the blog in the next few weeks since content producers and Internet marketers can greatly benefit from the parameters set for content consumption.

“What is a subscription website?”

That question might be harder to answer than expected, mainly because there are different types of subscription websites. Some subscription websites offer a vast majority of content for free, with only a miniscule amount requiring a subscription for access.

The One Mistake Publishers Make with Video Landing Pages

The newest landing page template – video landing pages

Today I was talking about web video with Patrick Hughes, Production Director of VisualPost and presenter at this weeks Mequoda Summit. While we’re always doing case studies on other publishers and talking to them about their own videos, I thought it would be nice to get a perspective from someone in the field who produces web video for a living.

My big question to him was this: “What is the one biggest mistake that publishers make with video landing pages?”