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Quick Tips on How to Start a WordPress Membership Site

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Starting a membership site is an excellent way to explode your earnings, while also bringing in a monthly or annual source of income in the process. However, starting a membership site isn’t as easy as throwing up a new WordPress site, installing a few plugins and calling it a day. Actually, millions of membership sites are started every year, but only a small fraction of them will find success. This is mainly due to the fact that membership sites need paying customers to keep them alive — and this is where most site owners and marketers go wrong.

The good news is that there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you with the pre-planning and setup process before you get started — all of which I will be providing for you below.

Create a Membership Site

Quick Tips, Tools, and Resources for Building Your First Membership Site

If you’ve ever wanted to start a membership site of your own, you will know there is are lot of options to choose from. Everything from what type of content you will be offering, how much you will charge for access, and also how you will build your site so you can store and lock content for members only. I’m going to cover most of these topics and questions in detail for you below.

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1 – Why should/shouldn’t you build a membership site?

The most common reason to start a membership site is because you have some form of premium content to offer and also want to make money from it. At the same time, a membership or community-based site can bring a lot of loyal to your brand following. If this is something you already have in place, the overall success of your membership site is much more likely to happen.

However, before jumping the gun and going live with your site right away, there are many things you should be thinking about — such as;

  • Do you have the time, resources, and focus to make a membership site work?
  • Is there enough value offered through your program for an audience to pay?
  • How large of a niche audience can your membership site attract and is there a market for it?
  • What is the end goal for your membership, and how can you scale it over time?

Another thing to consider is why you are creating your membership site in the first place. If you are simply going after the money, this might be an immediate cause for concern. It’s extremely hard to convert a free content/blogging audience into a paying audience. Be sure to consider all options (and split test where possible), before actually going live with a membership site.

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2 – Tools and Resources to Build a Membership Site

Having considered launching a few membership sites over the years, I’ve spent hundreds of hours considering all of the different options out there. Since I already use WordPress for most of my sites, this is something I wanted to stay consistent with — yet there are still many alternatives, options and WordPress plugins to choose from. MemberPress, Memberium, WooCommerce Memberships, S2Member and MemberMouse are some of the most popular solutions on the market today. I recommend taking a look at this article on top membership plugins for a full review on each.

But don’t forget… each of these solutions are just one component to your membership site and how your content is set up. You will also need to look at different options and solutions for payment methods, engagement, tracking, content creation and much more. Here are some top solutions on the market today.

  • Paypal / Stripe – These are two of the best payment processors out there. Nearly everyone already has access to Paypal, but not all solutions are compatible with it, or provide enough options for customer payment. When Paypal isn’t your best option, don’t forget about Stripe, which makes accepting credit cards and online payments easy — while also now being more compatible with most membership platforms.
  • GetResponse / Aweber – Don’t even think about launching your membership site without an email platform in place as well. While people will be paying to access your membership site, it will be important to keep them updated with any news, changes and notifications you may want to send out to all members.
  • YouTube / Vimeo – A great majority of membership sites are now focus on video content. When choosing your video hosting platform, be sure to choose one that offers premium video hosting, tracking capabilities and the option to remove ads and embed video. YouTube and Vimeo are two of the top names out there when it comes to video hosting for membership sites.

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3 – Content Creation and Audience Engagement

As mentioned earlier, the end goal of your membership site should be to provide extreme value over whatever else it is you are currently offering. In most cases, when you see a private community or membership online in the blogging or online marketing space, it’s because they are providing step-by-step tutorials and guides on how to accomplish something — in much more detail than what they might be offering to their general site or social media audience. This is also something we have been seeing lately with many gurus and experts within their own space, mainly because it’s a lot easier to set up a membership site than ever before. Names like James Wedmore and Chalene Johnson have launched their own membership sites and online courses through a solution like Kajabi, which is an all-in-one solution for creating and selling content online.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to consider your options and how you want to provide value to your audience. A perfect example of this would be to offer individual modules and courses within your membership area — both through written content and online video. An added bonus to paying members only should be a weekly or monthly video chat session. It’s also a great idea to offer some type of Facebook Group engagement where everyone can chat and meet on another platform outside of just your individual membership site.

As your audience and member base continues to grow, always ask what type of content or improvements they would like to see. After all, your members are the most important component of your membership site.

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4 – Promotion of Your Membership Site

Once you’ve created your membership site and done a soft launch to bring in a few members, it’s important that you have an outreach and marketing plan in place. Membership sites are extremely tough to grow in size, as you need to actively convert free audiences into paying customers. At the same time, if you have a slow growing membership and an audience that isn’t participating, this in itself can be enough to bring the downfall of your precious community.

Here are a few ideas to bring some life and promotion to your membership site.

  • Email – Always take advantage of the power of email marketing and those who may already be subscribed to your mailing list. If someone already gave their email address to subscribe to your content, there is a good chance they would pay for your premium content as well.
  • Content Block – If you already have a website or blog, be sure to make different areas of your site more exclusive than others. Not only will this provide more content for your premium members, it will also draw a lot of interest from your free users as well.
  • Affiliate Program – Depending on the niche market you are in and they type of community you are trying to grow, launching an affiliate program might be a great idea for your membership site. With an affiliate program of your own, you can partner up with other sites in your industry and offering them a commission for each new member they send to your site.
  • Podcasts and Interviews – Participate in podcasts and expert interviews on other sites. This will allow you to show off your expertise and reach new audiences — thus further growing your reach and membership base.

No matter how big or small your membership site may be, implementing each of these methods can result in a huge member increase over the life of your community and marketing efforts.

How to Build a Membership Site Infographic

Special thanks to Become a Blogger for their infographic below. I always like to break down the steps of how something is accomplished, while also including visuals at the same time. Leslie over at Become a Blogger has done an excellent job at covering all of the components of a successful membership site through the infographic below.

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now

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Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.

You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.

Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.

1. Generate Traffic

Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.

This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.

2. Boost SEO

When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.

There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.

Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.

3. Create a Brand Voice

There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.

But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.

Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.

4. Showcase Your Services

When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!

Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.

It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.  

5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve

When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.

It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.

Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.

Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now

Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.

Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.

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Blogging

Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Going on Right Now!

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Black Friday is always a great time to take advantage of the huge holiday sales rush. Not only is this true with retail locations, it’s also MASSIVE for online businesses and shopping as well.

To provide our audience with a selection of the best Black Friday offers on the market today, we’ve hand selected a few of the best out there. Not only are these tools that are trusted and used by thousands, they are also tools and solutions that we love and personally use daily.

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Discover how to start a profitable online business by mastering affiliate marketing, content creation, social media, paid search & more.

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In these video sessions, industry expert Zac Johnson, will walk students through everything they need to know to create a successful and profitable blog online. Such topics include finding that perfect niche market, creating a site from scratch, how to make money with affiliate marketing, and much more!

And of course, all students get lifetime access to all course content, videos, and updates.

Online Coaching with Industry Expert Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is the Founder of Blogging.org, and has been making money online with content and affiliate marketing for over 20 years now. Having first started making money online back in the mid-to-late 90s, Zac first found affiliate marketing success with Amazon.com, then started building out his own sites and ad campaigns.

Over the past two decade, Zac Johnson has lunched hundreds of websites, thousands of ad campaigns and has also taught his students how to make millions of dollars in the process.

The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” is simply one of the best courses for learning how to create a legitimate and profitable business on the internet, while also being 100% taught through lessons created by Zac Johnson himself.

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Blogging

Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog

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Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.

There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.

Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.

Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly

With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.

Use an Effective Caching Plugin

If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.

Use CDN (content delivery network)

We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.

Improve Your Hosting Plan

If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.

Use Optimized Images

Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.

Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests

How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.

Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging

When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.

Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.

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