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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.

A Few Quick Tips for Clearly Differentiating Paid Content from Free Content

The strategy of the ConsumerReports.org homepage is very clear in differentiating Paid Content from Free Content. Here are some tips to adopt from their successful membership website:

Three Website Design Tips from CooksIllustrated.com Membership Website

Mequoda has previously covered the Boston Common Press’s media network in America’s Test Kitchen Media Network Case Study by Jane E. Zarem. The membership website (and print magazine) Cook’s Illustrated is an important part of the business strategy. With 80,000 paid online subscribers, this site’s recipe is worth a try.

ConsumerReports.org Website Design Review

With A’s in Strategic Intent, Relationship Building and Brand Preference, it’s Hardly Surprising that this Non-Profit is an Online Leader in the Paid Membership Website Category.

Consumer Reports’ successful membership website strategy has earned them over two million online subscribers (as of November, 2005). Averaging well over 20,000 new online subscribers per month, it’s obvious this site is doing something right.

CooksIllustrated.com Website Design Review

CooksIllustrated.com has Earned High Marks in Relationship Building and Readability. Other Areas Such as Community Building Display a Good Infrastructure that Could Really be Impressive with a Little More Promotion.
Mequoda has previously covered the Boston Common Press’s media network in America’s Test Kitchen Media Network Case Study by Jane E. Zarem. The membership website (and print magazine) Cook’s Illustrated is an important part of the business strategy. Here we’ll review the design and usability of the membership website CooksIllustrated.com. With 120,000 paid online subscribers, this site’s recipe is worth a try.

Five Website Design Tips from The Hub for Internal Communicators

The Hub for Internal Communicators is a membership website with research, information and tools for communication professionals. The product and the audience are identified in the tagline: The most comprehensive resource available for employee communication professionals.

Produced by Melcrum, an information and research company with offices in the UK, North America and Australia, The Hub for Internal Communicators (The Hub) has been online as a UK site since 2005 and launched a North American version shortly after.

The Hub for Internal Communicators Website Design Review

An Online-Only Membership Website is a Good Idea for Melcrum, and The Hub is Taking the Right Steps to Bring the Promised Value to Both the Company and to the Audience.

The Hub for Internal Communicators is a membership website with research, information and tools for communication professionals. The product and the audience are identified in the tagline: The most comprehensive resource available for employee communication professionals.

Produced by Melcrum, an information and research company with offices in the UK, North America and Australia, The Hub for Internal Communicators (The Hub) has been online as a UK site since 2005 and launched a North American version shortly after.

Seven Rules About Writing for a Membership Website

Brevity is the soul of wit, according to the Bard. And all the more so online. So of course, someone created rules for you to follow when writing for the Web. OK, so maybe they are more like guidelines than hard and fast laws of cyber language. That said, here is what you want to strive for in most of your content.

Try to follow these seven guidelines when writing for the Web.

Three Integrated Media Strategy Lessons from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports revenues top $190M in 2005 by pursuing a simple integrated media strategy driven by three simple concepts and the world’s largest membership website.John Sateja is a happy guy. The man in charge of information products for what may be the most trusted media brand in America is on a roll.

Twelve Ideas for An Effective Affiliate Marketing Program

The idea behind affiliate marketing is simple.

The concept is basic “pay for performance.” You recruit other Internet marketers to help you sell your website’s products or services in return for a portion of the gross.

When an affiliate enrolls in your program, you give her an affiliate identification (name or number) that she uses in the links and banners for your site that appear on her website. When visitors to her site click through to your site and make a purchase or join, you pay her a commission for bringing you the new member.

NicheADay.com Landing Page Review

The fundamental mistake made by many entrepreneurs is the classic chicken-and-egg scenario in which the inventor first creates a new product and then seeks a market for it.

Experienced product developers do the opposite. They anticipate the changes in society. They assess the evolving problems, requirements and desires of consumers, and look for opportunities that have not yet been addressed by the market. Then they forecast demand and create new products that fill the gap.

Analyze Successful Subscription Websites for Clues on Designing and Marketing Your Own

Here’s a shortcut to membership website success: find online businesses that are working for other people and model them. Study what they are doing correctly and do likewise. To help build and maintain your own successful site, make a habit of analyzing other sites for form, function and design.

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Subscription Websites

Why do all the top websites seem to use the same four colors?

There is a really good reason—one that can affect your membership website success if you don’t follow their lead. If you take a close look at the most visited sites on the Internet, you’ll see an interesting phenomenon. Almost all use the same basic color scheme with slight variations.

You might think that this is just a coincidence, or that perhaps their designers all graduated from the same graphics arts school. But the truth is, these sites all use the same color scheme because they’ve found which colors work best on the Internet for attracting visitors and keeping people interested.

WritersMarket.com Website Design Review

WritersMarket.com is a Pay-For-Access, Online Database of Incalculable Value to Freelance Writers that Cross-Sells Print Publications and other Products Owned by its Publisher as it Helps Build a Priceless Customer List
Online databases sold by subscription are big business for LexisNexis, R.R. Bowker, Thomson and other traditional publishers of directories.

The idea makes a lot of sense. An online directory is easier to update and keep current, and the costs for manufacturing and delivery are minuscule compared to those of a printed volume. Major directory publishers generally offer both print and online versions and these can be very pricey.

RealSimple.com Website Design Review

RealSimple.com Epitomizes Great Website Graphic Design and is a Perfect Partner to Real Simple Magazine. So is it a Brand Site or a Membership Website? Is its Objective Lead Generation or Customer Service?

The Big Lie of the 1950s was the forecast that life in the future would be easier—even effortless—leaving us with lots of free time. Futurists in the 50s looked at all the labor-saving devices that were being invented and predicted that Americans would have so much time on their hands—owing to machines doing all the chores—that we would have to find more leisure activities to fill up the hours.

JeanChatzky.com Website Design Review

Is Jean Chatzky, the Latest Pop Personal Financial Adviser, Well Served by a Website that Confuses Visitors with Too Many Options and Stale Content? Jean Chatzky is the latest in a series of popular, photogenic (and telegenic) female financial advisors that includes Jane Bryant Quinn, Suze Orman and the late Sylvia Porter. Ms. Chatzky writes regular personal finance columns for United Features syndicate, Time, Money and USA Weekend, and is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show.

MediaBistro Media Network Makeover Case Study

Laurel Touby started MediaBistro in 1997 in the dot-com heyday with the goal of creating a community for journalists. “We weren’t really sure how we were going to make money,” she confesses, “we just wanted to bring media people together.” While this may not sound like an auspicious mission for a profitable business, MediaBistro has developed some very profitable income streams, all of which flow from this community, and all of which provide content models easily adopted by traditional publishers.

Introduction to the Mequoda System™ 2006

The Mequoda System™ is an internet business model comprised of seven organizational habits

The Mequoda System is a collection of media management behaviors that when operated as a repeating cycle, create an audience-driven, continuous improvement media management system. To discover and document the Mequoda System, the Mequoda Research Team has studied the management strategies and habits of hundreds of successful (and not-so-successful) media organizations to arrive at seven best practices, or organizational habits, that comprise the most current version of the Mequoda System.

Sudbury, MA – November 22, 2005—Don Nicholas and Mequoda Café Daily Release Complimentary eBook: 5 Deady Membership Website Mistakes

Mequoda Founder and Membership Website Expert Don Nicholas announced today the release of 5 Deady Membership Website Mistakes, a free eBook available at the Mequoda Daily, a free website and newsletter about best practices for Internet marketers, publishers and designers.

How to Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates Using Direct Mail

Discover how one publisher was able to increase landing page conversion rates 23 and 27 percent by re-purposing his direct mail sales letter copy.

Website Design Guideline #1: Improving the User Experience with Clear Strategic Intent

Strategic Intent is Perhaps the Most Important of the 14 Guidelines. If Users Can’t Figure Out Your Website, They Not Only Leave Quickly—They Won’t Come Back.

CookingClub.com Landing Page Review

Cooking Club of America is an efficient, user friendly membership site. We found this site by typing “Cooking Club of America” into Google, and this is the first page that showed up in the organic listings.

While this page serves as the home page of this membership website, it also serves as a rapid conversion landing page, as it immediately offers a free issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine in exchange for a free trial membership to Cooking Club of America.

IMR and SWEPA Merge to Create the New Mequoda Library, The Interactive Resource for Building Better Websites

Two of the publishing industry’s leading membership websites, Internet Media Review and SWEPA (Subscription Website Publishers Association), have merged to create the Mequoda Library, the interactive resource for building better websites. The Mequoda Library (www.Mequoda.com) went live on June 3, 2005. (Jump to FAQs)

BLR.com Website Design Review

With a final score of B, BLR.com is a site, or a “network” of sites, that is already far better than average, but could be truly outstanding if only they implemented a few simple changes. Creating an editorial hub alone would be enough to spiral more opportunities for traffic, revenues and happier users.

Interview with Larry Pike, who with his wife, Holly, discovered an under-addressed niche market and responded by building a very successful business around a subscription website

Over the years, Holly and Larry Pike have each had numerous careers, but they eventually quit their jobs to become full-time online entrepreneurs. Today, as husband and wife, they own and operate a subscription website for needlework hobbyists that ought to be the envy of every membership website publisher.

TheAccountsPayableNetwork.com Website Design Review

The Accounts Payable Network serves its members very well. There is an enormous amount of content here, creating an invaluable resource. It’s hard to imagine an AP professional not wanting to join this member site or objecting to its $695 initial one-year membership fee.

WineSpectator.com Website Design Review

Winespectator.com is a great example of a successful Mequoda Membership Website Publishing Model™. The website, while similar to the print magazine, offers more functionality and added features than their print counterpart. Wine ratings and tasting notes on the website are sortable by score, price and vintage and there is web-exclusive content and commentary. A website user can also create a personal cellar, where they can save the wines reviewed by winespectator.com to a personalized list.

Interview with Dave Debs, the mastermind behind MemberScript Content Publisher, a new product for managing a membership website

Member sites are hot! As more subject matter experts and information entrepreneurs begin online publishing ventures, the demand for automated content management software continues to grow. For the second time in a month, a Mequoda member has introduced a product to help membership website publishers manage their online content.

eDiets.com Website Design Review

eDiets Doesn’t Feed You Enough Reasons to Join Their Program. I had mixed feelings when Don Nicholas asked me to take a look at eDiets.com as my first website review for the Mequoda Library.
The reason is my weight. You know those height/weight charts you see in the doctor’s office? Well, according to that chart, I am 7-feet, 8-inches!

A Membership Community for Embroidery Enthusiasts

This membership website is an online community for embroidery enthusiasts to meet and exchange ideas, discuss new design and software releases, chat about life and make new friends.
According to the National Needlework Association (TNNA), the actual term “needleart” refers to any form of hand technique utilizing a needle and some type of fiber, yarn or

A member site that matches vacation property owners with prospective renters is an enviable business model

This is an online matchmaking service with unlimited profit potential. It enables you to advertise your rental home to more than one million annual visitors to its website for a mere $148, and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information.
At Vacation Rentals by Owner (vrbo.com) you are responsible for conducting your own investigation

A website portal for the African American community in Los Angeles serves as a member site business model that could be cloned in other cities

Do you worry about memory loss? A membership website is devoted to keeping your mind fit.

I admit it. I’m beginning to have “senior” moments when I momentarily forget well-known things. The experts say not to worry, it happens to everyone from time to time. I prefer to worry.

Finding a sponsor for your expensive motocross hobby using a membership website

Motocross, if you are not familiar with it, is a cross-country motorcycle race over a closed course of rough terrain with steep hills and sharp curves.

A professional association of martial arts teachers boasts a subscription website that helps its members succeed in all aspects of running their schools

John Graden is the epitome of a successful martial artist and businessman. He is an author, athlete, publisher and pioneering martial arts visionary and widely acknowledged as the most important martial arts leader to emerge in the past decade.

An online community for members of the book publishing industry to track deals, sales, reviews, agents, editors and news

PublisherMarketplace.com is a membership website that is beneficial for anyone in the publishing industry

This membership website calls itself a dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals to find critical information and unique databases, to find each other, and to do business better electronically.

Freelance writers, designers, computer programmers and others can find assignments at a website that uses the fee-for-access business model

Membership website based on helping people find employment or career advancement
The Freelance Work Exchange offers its members career advice and strategies as well as hot freelance job opportunities. Its freelance and work-at-home jobs database includes opportunities in:

Need sales leads? You can buy, sell and trade business cards at this membership website.

Membership website meets social networking site

Imagine a collaborative website for exchanging business contacts that is basically a cross between the online marketplace of eBay and the social networking site of Friendster.com.

The career path of this photographer took him from teenage hobbyist, to professional, to teacher, to membership website publisher

This excellent resource for photographers of all skill levels charges members less than $50 annually and despite competition from similar websites, gets upwards of 700,000 page views per month.

A membership website enterprise that enables disabled people to travel more freely

For most of us past the age of 25, business travel has long lost its glamour. And while traveling for a holiday may hold the promise of an exciting destination, getting there is no longer half the fun. The security measures in place at airports are only part of the challenge. Most airline seats are smaller than ever and configured three across. Airline food, the butt of jokes ever since Orville Wright packed a sandwich at Kitty Hawk, is now worse than ever or non-existent.

Home swapping for vacations is a definite trend, not just a fad. But is it a worthwhile membership website niche? You decide.

Home exchange websites are popping up everywhere. Ostensibly, they offer affordable vacation housing without the hassles of owning a time share.

Most have extensive computer databases of homes available for rental or swapping. That’s a smart use of the Internet. But because home exchange businesses generally do not screen their members, making contact via e-mail with other members is essential to establishing a trusting relationship.

Interview with David and Jill Stowell who provide online advice for tutors and learning center owners at a membership website

David and Jill Stowell took their experience as special education teachers and created a training and coaching program for others in educational private practice. In this exclusive Mequoda interview, they explain how they also created a membership website around their special expertise.

Interview: Steve Yankee of VideoBusinessAdvisor.com

In this exclusive Mequoda interview, this former advertising executive, nee journalist, tells us how he draws on a lifetime of experience in marketing to create an online community for independent videographers and others in the video production business.

Interview: Sam Knoll of MyVitaminGuide.com

Sam Knoll knows his way around the business world. He has had a number of successful careers including in manufacturing, mail order, and retail. His latest enterprise is an online newsletter devoted to health and dietary supplements.

Interview: Reg Hardy of BilliardsCrossing.com

Reg Hardy brings a background as a print journalist, editor and publisher to his paid subscription online newsletter and uses his Palm Pilot to create volumes of content for four websites. In this exclusive Mequoda interview, he reveals how he gets it all done and reminds us of the importance of customer service.

Interview: Dan McCormick of photographytips.com

Interview with Dan McCormick, publisher of a subscription website for photographers. A Canadian with a diversified business background, Dan McCormick has taken his love for photography and turned it into a popular membership website for both amateurs and professionals.

Interview: Peter Hapgood of PublicPensionsOnline.com

Interview with Peter Hapgood, whose membership website capitalizes on his years of professional experience in the public employee retirement industry. In this exclusive Mequoda interview, Peter Hapgood explains how he and his business partner, Thomas R. Lussier, took nearly 50 years of combined professional experience in the public employee retirement industry and launched PublicPensionsOnline.

Interview: LeaRae Keyes of The Nurse Entrepreneur Network

Interview with LeaRae Keyes, RN, publisher of a membership website designed to help nurse entrepreneurs develop and expand their businesses.

The Nurse Entrepreneur Network exists to help nurses who are or want to be entrepreneurs succeed. Its founder, LeaRae Keyes, has more than 25 years of experience coaching people to make life-style changes, alleviate their caregiving stresses, have more fulfilling lives, explore career alternatives, and achieve their goals.

Interview: Stanley Roberts, Review Membership Website Publisher

Interview with Stanley Roberts, a television videographer whose membership website publishes restaurant and lodging reviews.

When we first reported on We8There.com last month, we were in envy of this website and its business model, so we decided to ask its publisher for more details. His answers are candid, informative and entertaining.

Seven rules about writing for a membership website

Brevity is the soul of wit, according to the Bard. And all the more so online. So, of course, someone created rules for you to follow when writing for the web. Okay, so maybe they are more like guidelines than hard and fast laws of cyber language. That said, here is what you want to

How to test the viability of your idea for a pay-for-access online newsletter before developing it

In this scenario, inspired by Frank Kern, you send up a trial balloon and let your potential subscribers tell you what they want, if anything, from your proposed information product.