The Great Ideazine
     June 17, 2009Volume 8   Number 15   Issue 227     
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The Internet Marketing scene is a constantly shifting one. I have been watching how successful entrepreneurs enter niche markets and have noticed that they are frequently using membership sites, so that's my topic for today.

Check out my newest video offering at: Taming the Adwords Mountain

Launching Your Own Membership Site
by Jim Green

Online marketers are always searching for ways to sell products that they hope will be profitable. The most common ways to sell your products other than here it is, please buy it, are to offer varying types of resale rights, affiliate programs, dime sales, fire sales, and giveaway events.

Another way to run your venture at a profit is to create a paid membership site. Most entrepreneurs have not chosen to sell their products this way because until now, paid membership sites have been costly and difficult to build.

This is no longer true. Iím going to give you a few pointers on creating your own paid membership site quickly, easily and almost for free.

First Things First

If you are going to have a paid membership site, the first thing you need to do is decide upon the theme for your site. What type of paid membership site are you going to run? What are you going to sell to your membership?

Successful paid membership sites exist that deliver:

  • information products that can include new ebooks, audio and/or video packages every month. Some are complete packages that include sales pages, headers and other graphics, promotional articles, and keyword lists. While others just deliver the raw product. Some sites deliver product on the same niche every month, whiles others deliver product based on a different niche every month.

  • tutorials to help the novice, intermediate, or even the most experienced marketer improve their business skills. If you can provide the goods, these can be the most profitable sites with monthly membership fees in the thousands of dollars.

  • packages of articles that include resell rights, master resell rights, or even private label rights. To maintain the value of the packages, the site owners limit the number of available memberships.

  • everything that a budding entrepreneur could need. Some not only include sales pages, headers and other graphics, promotional articles, and keyword lists, but also include web hosting, web templates, scripts, and anything else you might need. These sites tend to be unique in that the memberís business depends on continued paid membership. Normally, a member cannot transfer the package to another host and stay in business. Satisfied members tend to stay around for the long term.

The profitability of your paid membership site would depend on your chosen niche and the package you offer. The trick is to find a niche that is under-served, then deliver a product your market desires. Done well, this should ensure a steady stream of paid members.

Profit Possibilities

The trick to a profitable membership site is to allow as many members as possible without diluting your product to the point that it is worthless. Generally speaking, the higher the membership fee, the fewer members you should accept. Make sure that potential members know just exactly how many memberships will be sold. Frequently, the first members to a site get a great deal, and then the price rises for subsequent memberships. Although some experts are able to run huge sites without seeming to devalue their product, you should look at a paid membership of between 100 and 500 members for most niches. This will maintain the value of your site, while still allowing you to earn a decent income from it.

The Website

Although it is possible if you have deep enough pockets to create a custom script to run your site, I have always gone with off-the-shelf scripts. They are much cheaper, in most cases have been well tested, and usually have many features that as a newbie to paid membership sites you might not think to look for. Some scripts will still require that you be an expert with web programming, while others will require only that you know how to upload the files and you are in business. I prefer scripts that fall somewhere in between. Although itís nice to just upload the files and be done with it, I like to be able to use my own graphics and other files.

I want a script that allows me to give specials to new members, integrates with my autoresponder, sign up affiliates, and control access to my membership products. Nothing devalues a membership site like having new members get access to all of your previous content that older members have paid for. You need to have a script that prevents members from signing up for one month a year and downloading all of the products for last year. I like the Simple Member Script which at this writing costs only $9 and does most everything I want in a membership script, and is super simple to install and use. If you want something a little more robust, you might try Simple Member Pro which at the time of writing is selling for $197, and can be used on as many sites as you own.

Give it a try. I'm sure that you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Final Notes
from Your Faithful Editor
Need a script to run your One Time Offer? I really like the $7 Script.

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