Running a membership site is a profitable online business, so it is becoming increasingly popular for good reason. A membership website allows you to monetize your content, but not through advertising revenue. Instead, people pay to access your gated content – hosted and organized on a member site.
Usually, the member management software used to create these types of websites is expensive. They have high monthly fees that can cost hundreds of dollars and even charge additional transaction fees for each payment. GrooveMember TM, on the other hand, uses the no-code tools in GrooveFunnels (recently renamed Groove.CM TM) to help you develop and sell a full membership area for free.
A membership page can either be added to your existing business or you can start from scratch and build a loyal community while also building your authority on your domain.
The content of a member’s area can include articles, checklists, videos, infographics, resources, webinars, podcasts, and much more. In principle, any digital product can be made available via a site that is protected by a web portal. In this article, we are going to show you the benefits of having a membership site and how you can create your own for free.
Table of Contents
What is a membership site?
A membership site is an online business that gives customers access to exclusive content for members only. At its core, the membership model is a subscription-based model that allows you to bill your audience a one-time, monthly, or annual fee to get access to exclusive content, communities, services, or benefits.
Each individual member has a username and password that they enter into a web portal that gives them access to your members’ area (as long as their subscription is active).
Whenever you update your site with new content, your subscribers get instant access to it. It’s one of the most lucrative and successful ways to attract, retain, and retain members while saving time and money on administrative tasks.
If you’re unsure of what a membership site can do for you, think about the administrative duties involved in running a personal club:
- Register new members
- Make sure that the event attendees register
- Process monthly payments
- Update member profiles
- Grant access to facilities
- Email members with event invitations and monthly newsletters
- Inform members of any relevant resource or material
- Act as a point of contact when members have questions or need help
A membership site can do all of this and more, but online. When members sign up for your membership page, they enter basic contact and payment information, which is automatically updated in your member database.
In other words, you eliminate repetitive administrative tasks because the process is automated and runs in the background, and you can concentrate fully on creating valuable content. Content can be, for example:
- Written content such as blogs or PDFs
- Online modules and structured courses
- Live and/or evergreen webinars
- Member benefits such as exclusive goods
- A community forum for members to interact with
- Worksheets, templates, and swipe files
- Archive of older content
There are numerous benefits to creating a membership site, and thanks to GrooveMemberTM, you can get one up and running in minutes. To deliver, all you need is a product.
Benefits of Creating a Membership Site
You will significantly reduce the time spent on data entry and administrative tasks once you have made your content available via a member’s site.
The heavy lifting begins when you create and launch your site. From this point on, most of the processes are automated so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
The financial benefits of creating a membership site are enormous. Imagine you are selling a product, maybe something that you are already selling e.g. B. an e-book, and are then paid for by the customer over and over again every month. This type of online business is generally based on a subscription-based model that lends itself to a steady stream of recurring income.
Diversifying your income and creating additional sources of income is also a smart way to absorb losses elsewhere in your business.
When people sign up on your membership page, they automatically get access to all of their email addresses for free traffic. This means you can segment your clients and create customized drip campaigns to promote additional products or services to them.
You can also substantially minimize your IT-related costs depending on the membership-building program you employ. Signing up for a free Groove.cm account, makes setting up a membership site easy and free – saving you hundreds of dollars every month.
Improves customer service
People who pay to access your content expect a certain level of customer service and after-sales service. With a members area, you can seamlessly add a live chat or help desk for questions or create an interactive forum for updates.
Members can also access their individual profiles and change their membership plans or payment details with self-service settings.
Membership sites have the potential and ability for exponential growth or scalability, making them one of the most profitable business models to trade online. There is no limit to the number of members you can attract, and its core business will remain largely untouched by its rapid growth.
Create loyal fans
As opposed to selling a one-time product, a customer who becomes a member may actively choose to receive new information from you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This makes it easier to gain brand loyalty and build a relationship with your audience, which ultimately makes it easier to sell new products or new services to the same people.
Building a community is an important part of building a membership site. Members are usually committed to their niche and are more likely to be interested in discussions with other members about relevant tools and resources. This information can also serve as an opportunity to observe and learn about the needs and wants of your members.
Not a physical product
Practically all member sites offer digital information products. Providing this information does not require shipping or inventory to purchase. Once you’ve covered your initial cost of creating the product, you can keep 100% of the profits.
Managing a physical product inventory is challenging, and even print-on-demand and dropshipping options have their own set of issues. Having a virtual business means that the offer (your content) is always there for your consumer to consume as needed.
How to create a membership site with GrooveMember ™
The first and most important step in creating a membership website is choosing the right platform for it. While there are a wide variety of website builders in the market, it requires software that is specifically designed to meet the needs of a membership website.
GrooveMember has powerful features that make it simple to create different membership levels, limit product access, accept payments, and more.
In addition to the Membership Builder, you need a domain name. A domain name is the URL web address of your site. You can get a domain name for less than $ 10 a year.
Step 1: plan your content
If you’re new to this field and don’t know what the finished membership page should look like, sign up for free trials on other membership sites and get inspiration for your page’s vision.
By planning what your site will include, you can write down your thoughts and get the details right. Creating your content without a plan leads to a waste of time and effort. Use these five questions to guide your planning:
- For whom is that?
- What is it doing?
- How is it monetized?
- Why should people become members?
- Where will people find out about it?
Step Two: Choose a budget-friendly “no-code” member builder
There are plenty of tools out there, but none can rival GrooveMember ™ when it comes to building your membership page. By simply using the intuitive builder, you can create, customize and publish your site without coding or struggling with add-ons and plugins.
That said, if you’re a “non-tech-savvy” person looking to get started on your membership site on even the smallest budget, you can sign up for a free Groove.CM ™ account and start hosting digital products and online courses, and member sites.
- Create an engaging, mobile-responsive membership site with different levels and content access levels,
- Provide free and paid access to your content in a password-protected member area,
- Schedule an automated drip to send content to selected dates
- On the free plan, you can create a membership site and register up to 100 members.
Step 3: Built-in GrooveMember ™
Now it’s time to build! With a seamless user interface and pre-made templates, you can set up your first member area in minutes. Of course, you can always optimize your pages and adapt them to your brand.
From your Groove.CM dashboard:
- Go to Apps and navigate to GrooveMember
- Click on “Content Memberships”> “New Membership”.
- Follow the step-by-step setup wizard
Once you’re in the Content Builder, it’s as simple as click and drag. You can easily add and edit categories or sub-categories using the left sidebar.
You can find step-by-step instructions in this YouTube video.
Membership Setup Wizard
When you create a new membership website there is a setup wizard that will walk you through 6 steps to create a course or membership.
The 6 steps are as follows:
- Basic Information: Details on the course or membership page
- Design: Here you can add instructor details and customize your member area with your logo and featured image
- Builder: In the Builder, you add content for your course lessons
- Comments: Enable or disable comments for each lesson and set the approval of comments
- Access Level: Configure your membership access levels or levels
- Welcome: Send your members a standard welcome email with their login credentials
- Finish: The setup of your membership page is complete
Step 1: Basic Membership Information
- Your member name, the description, is preinstalled under Name and Description.
- Under Sales Page, enter the URL of your sales page preceded by HTTPS.
- Click on “Save & Next”.
Step 2: design
- Under Instructor, create an instructor by clicking on “Create new instructor”.
- Enter the Instructor Name, Instructor Description, and Instructor Picture
- After you have filled in your details, click on “Create”.
- To upload a logo, on the Customize tab, click Select Image, then select or upload an image of your logo.
- Select a photo again from your media library for the featured image.
- Below is the “Show Progress Bar”, you can toggle it from left to right to show the progress.
- Then click on “Save & Continue”.
Step 3: the builder
- Drag-and-drop elements like buttons, text, images, and embedding films from Vimeo or YouTube, or utilize GrooveVideo to host your private content, to further customize each course.
- Upload PDF files and various media content to your membership page for easy access for members.
- After you have formatted your course, click on “Save & Exit” in the top bar.
Step 4: comments
- Under “Activate Comments” you can activate comments for each lesson by toggling them to the right.
- To turn off comments, toggle them to the left.
- Under “Comment moderation”, the default is “Automatically approve all comments” or you can select “Comments must be approved by an administrator”.
- Then click on “Save & Next”.
Step 5: access levels
- Assume you have a Silver, Gold, and Platinum plan under Membership Access.
- Under Layer 1, click the pencil icon to rename it “Silver” and press “Save”.
- Click the “+” button on the right to add the second level.
- For the second level, we call it “Gold” and press “Save”.
- Repeat the process to create the third level “Platinum Plan”.
- Now that there are three levels, you can switch each lesson to the right and decide which lessons you want to give access to, depending on which level the person is on.
- For example, suppose that for level one you only want access to the first two lessons.
- For Level 2, which is the Gold Plan, you may want to give them access to four lessons.
- Then that person will have access to all of the lessons for a platinum plan.
- You would have more lessons than me and add more products to your membership.
If you click on the pencil symbol next to “Instant Access”, you have the option:
- Grant instant access
- “Drip Feed” of the content after a few days or
- Grant “access to the content after a certain date”.
- Or you select “Access from a certain date” and when you click on the date, a calendar opens and you can set the date to which this person should have access.
- I will cancel this and just give “Instant Access” and then press Update.
Step 6: welcome message
- Leave it at “Send standard welcome email” as you would like a Groove member to automatically send our members an email with their username and password.
- Click on “Save & Next”.
- Okay, you’re done …
Tips to get people to join your membership site
Method 1: offer a free trial
Of course, people will be less reluctant to try something for free first before actually paying for it. Set up a payment option that gives new subscribers a trial period, after which they are automatically billed and their paid membership begins (unless they cancel before the trial period ends).
Method 2: offer a free tier of membership
Creating a free membership level is the best approach to drive visitors to your membership site. The registration process should be convenient and the content should be of high quality.
By creating different membership levels, you can set up a membership website that grants access to certain information based on membership status and also denies access to paid content. Not only does this allow you to offer different membership levels and charge different amounts accordingly, it also acts as a tempting teaser for the lower level members – and hopefully get them to upgrade.
If you’re an online business owner with a membership site, your overall goal should be to provide accurate and valuable information in exchange for a membership subscription – free or paid. Once a customer is disappointed, they will look elsewhere for that information. Conversely, those who can trust you will deliver as promised will continue to pay to access your content.
Building a membership page is a profitable business model and it gives you (along with the added benefits) the freedom to grow your business from anywhere in the world.
To your success.