Membership sites are a bit like like the holy grail when it comes to creating an online revenue for your business. Not only are they highly passive as a form of income, but they also mean that you're no longer having to rely on search engines or social media to get traffic/business and they give you a monthly income that is much more predictable than other forms of site monetization, like ads or affiliate promotions.
The one key problem is how you actually get people to sign up to a membership site in the first place. With so much free content all over the web, how do you convince people to pay?
One important strategy here is to give away a fair amount of information for free and then only to charge for a specific section of it. While this might seem counterintuitive, it's actually the only way to be successful with a membership site. Read on and we'll look at why that is…
Why You Need a Taster
If you're charging for a service or content and you don't have some kind of free sample or taste of what's inside, then you're passing up a chance to incentivise them to sign up.
Remember that people can get content for free anywhere. In order for them to want to pay for your content then, it needs to be particularly good or particularly unique – and you need to demonstrate that.
Essentially, this is ‘content marketing' in its most basic form. The way content marketing works is to gradually establish the site owner as an authority and as a trusted resource in a particular niche. By constantly showing your unique view and the kind of value you can deliver, only then will you manage to get people to sign up to pay for more.
The first time they see your content they will read it and find it interesting but they'll likely forget all about you. They might then stumble upon one of your pages again in future and notice it's the same site they saw before that is once again giving away useful information.
If this keeps happening, eventually they'll get to the point where they seek out your site when they're looking for answers to a particular question or information on a particular topic. It's only then when they see that you're offering your very best information for a price, that they might consider paying. Without that free information up-front, they never would have reached the point where they'd consider that.