5 Compelling Membership Site Ideas

Do you want to start a membership site but don’t have any ideas on what you want to do?

Well, it’s never been easier! If you have a WordPress self-hosted website and a WordPress Membership Plugin like MemberPress, you can get up and running with very little time and expense.

But if you’ve been looking for some inspiration on what type of membership site you want to launch, we’ve got a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1. The “Evergreen” Membership Site

evergreen

This type of membership is perhaps the most common. We call it evergreen because the content is relevant for a long period of time.

Typically this type of membership site will utilize your WordPress membership plugin’s “drip” feature. Drip features are when users don’t get access to your content at once, but rather have the information leaked out to them over a set period of time.

An evergreen site is great if you are sharing articles or information that don’t require constant upkeep. You can upload and schedule all of your content well in advance and just let it roll out automatically.

The other advantage to dripping out your information is that it keeps your members coming back every day, week, or month and gives you more opportunities to sell them into higher level packages or products.

2. The “Community” Membership Site

community

What better way to keep your members engaged than by helping them engage and connect with each other. Protected forums and communities can breed some of the most loyal members of any of these membership site ideas.

When using a WordPress Membership Plugin like MemberPress it can be very straight forward to setup a community by using it in conjunction with a forum plugin like BBPress or BuddyPress.

Community forums are a great place for your members to interact with one another, discuss your products, get their questions answered, and share other relevant information with one another. However, we don’t recommend setting up a community membership site until you’ve gathered a substantial fan base, or the point will be moot.

3. The “Courses” Membership Site

courses

If you have suitable material, you can use a WordPress Membership Plugin like MemberPress to lock down courses you create with a WordPress Learning Management Plugin like WPCourseware or just WordPress itself with a plugin like Custom Post Types UI.

Protect your course materials and the privacy of your students by creating members-only areas within your site. Share your password with those participating in your course, upload the content, and you’re good to go! By keeping all of your course materials in one place, you eliminate having to send workbooks, videos, and important updates out individually. Pop in a community forum too and give your students a safe, confidential space to interact with one another!

4. The “Buffet” Membership Site

buffet

Ever heard of Lynda.com? This and other premium websites like it give users access to a whole set of content available all at once for a recurring fee.

This is similar to the evergreen model, but without the drip, and usually works best for protected, embedded video content. If you use a third party video hosting service along with your WordPress Membership Plugin, you can safe-house your valuable video content much better.

The key with this type of system is to ensure that your content stays relevant and that new material is added regularly to keep members engaged. With this type of system, we also recommend getting feedback from your members to determine how often you should be releasing new content.

5. The “Content Mill” Membership Site

Water Mill

The Content Mill membership site can be the most lucrative but most labor intensive type of membership site. Starting a content mill will require you to setup a system for delivering relevant content on a regular basis.

A good example of this type of membership site could be anything from a podcast to a full-scale periodical. Some other examples of this could be more time-sensitive content such as daily stock picks or sports.

You can make it happen

Think about your domain of expertise and see which of these ideas makes the most sense. These applications of membership software have been tried and tested, so adding your unique voice to one of them could help you turn your expertise into a solid business for you!

About Blair Williams

Blair is the creator of MemberPress. He is an experienced Software Developer who has created large scale web apps for scores of businesses. He now focuses on WordPress and Ruby development -- in particular the WordPress plugins and services he has created: MemberPress, Pretty Link Pro, Affiliate Royale and Buy Now for Stripe. You can read his blog by visiting BlairWilliams.com.