If you hadn’t realised it by now, one of the best types of online businesses is a membership website. The subscription model is a fantastic business because not only do you get paid a recurring income each month (for as long as a person is subscribing to your website) but you can create content once and sell it over and over again to many people.
Membership sites are not hard to set up, using the simple to use WordPress system to build your website you can use plugins like S2 Member to lock your content away behind a registration page with a PayPal subscribe button. It is a great plugin, we Minion’s recommend it because we use it ourselves.
Membership sites can be built around any topic that you can think of, if you promote and market it well there will always be people willing to pay to access your site and enjoy your content.
Spotify and Netflix are technically membership sites as people pay a monthly subscription to access the content and then when they cancel their subscription they lose that access. Both Spotify and Netflix offer exceptional value for what you pay but they are also in a very huge market dominated by big companies like Sky TV, Amazon and many other TV/music companies.
However there are many MANY other niches and topics where you can start a membership website with paying subscribers. The adult business has shown this to be true, there are big porn companies that sell monthly subscriptions for users to access their adult videos and websites and there are smaller home run adult membership sites which are generating money via paying subscribers. (Click the above link or image below to read the article)
Anyone can run a membership site as long as you can produce the content that keeps people subscribing. This can be easy if you love the niche that you build your membership website around or if you turn your website into one where the subscribers add the content for you. I remember many years ago reading about a membership site which was set up by a couple of gardening lovers, at one point they had over 70,000 members paying either a quarterly fee of $5 or an annual fee of $15.
These were people paying to access a website with a forum about gardening…. if there was one subject that you can find loads of information for free all over the place it is gardening. Since I can remember there has always been magazines, papers, TV shows and books focusing on gardening, and yet here were people paying to access a website about it.
Gardening might be too broad a subject today to have as a membership site, you might need to niche down a bit and focus on a specific area of gardening like growing vegetables, growing bonsai trees, indoor plants etc. These are topics that will have a keen group of fans looking for information.
If you are not sure how powerful membership websites can be think of them this way, a membership website is a kind of online magazine. People will happily pay for magazines that are published around the hobbies and topics that they love. Do you regularly buy magazines? If so then you have a great source of information for your membership website/online magazine. 🙂
The one thing that will keep people subscribing is to deliver quality content and when I say deliver quality content I do mean OVER delivering quality content. A successful business will always deliver more in value than what it takes in payment. This might sound harsh for anyone wanting to make money but the truth is when people feel like they are getting value for money especially if the value worth is greater than what they are paying for it they will keep paying and coming back for more.
With a membership website you can deliver more value than what you take in payment and still make a lot of money because you offer the content to many people. For example, if people paid £$20 a month and had access to a series of videos and that series was grown each month by five more videos which they thought was value for money… you only need to make five new videos each month even though you could have one hundred and thirty people paying for those videos.
It’s all about the numbers, to over deliver in content is actually very small when you have a lot of paying customers… you are not making new content for hundreds of subscribers… you are making content for one subscriber… which is enjoyed by hundreds of subscribers.
To end this article I shall list a few (and I mean a few) of the thousands if not millions of niches that you could possibly build a membership website around.
- Football (Specific team fan club, football tutorials)
- Line dancing
- Cooking (Specific styles like Chinese, Thai & Indian)
- Music (Specific genres & bands, music & instrument tutorials)
- Writing (Specific genre, writing tutorials)
- Travel (Location specific)
- Singing training
- Acting lessons
- Stocks & Shares
- Gambling Tips
- Horror and zombies
- And the list goes on
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