WEB & TECH / MAR. 05, 2015
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The Pros and Cons of Membership Websites


Membership websites are becoming an increasingly popular strategy for making money online. These are sites where people pay a fee to get access to exclusive content, products or services. This could be anything from eBooks, software and online courses to video and audio downloads. You can either start a dedicated membership site or create a membership section in your already existing site.

See Also: How to Make Money With Wordpress

The Pros

1. Recurring income

The best thing about membership sites is the potential of earning a recurring income. Unlike selling a product where you are paid a one-time payment, a membership site allows you to get paid every time someone renews their membership. Therefore, as long as your members remain active, you will always be assured of recurring revenue.

2. Predictability of income

As your membership site grows, you will have a good idea of how many new members join every month. In addition, you will also be able to determine your average retention rates. With these statistics, you can safely predict how much money you can generate from your site.

3. Long-term growth

A membership site gives you a great opportunity to grow your income over time. However, this means that the number of new members should exceed the number of people cancelling their membership.

The Cons

1. Most people don’t like the idea of recurring payments

This is one of the main downsides of running a membership site. People generally don’t like the thought of being required to make an annual or monthly payment. Even if there is an option to cancel membership, people are afraid that they might forget and end paying for something they are no longer interested in. It is much easier to sell products and services that only require a one-time payment.

2. High demand for new content

To succeed with a membership site, you will have to find a way of retaining members for as long as possible. This will require investing lots of time and effort in creating new content and resources that offer value to your members. Failing to update your site will result in people canceling their membership.

3. Getting started is not easy

Even if you have a popular blog with a large audience, getting people to sign up as paying members is not easy. You might have to put in a lot of work for several months or even years before you can have a significant number of members. If you don’t have patience, it is very easy to give up along the way.

4. Processing recurring payments can be complicated

Many people running membership websites experience a high rate of failed recurring payments. This could be due to expired credit cards or an insufficient balance in the customer’s account. Being unable to process recurring payments can be very frustrating, especially when the payment gateway is not cooperative.

See Also: How to Turn Your Ideas Into Income

Before starting a membership site, take time to think through the advantages and downsides. Also consider the alternative methods you could use to monetize your blog.

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