How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Resources

In this tutorial, we provide a list of useful tools and resources for your membership site.

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership ResourcesThis is Part 8 of our tutorial series on building a membership site with WordPress.

In Part 7, we provided many useful tips to ensure that your membership site can continue to grow and is able to service its members.

In this tutorial, we provide a list of useful membership site tools and resources.

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How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Tools & Resources

Like any other website, you will need webhosting and a domain name for your membership site.

If you need help choosing a webhosting provider, see the tutorial below:

If you need help registering a domain name, see the tutorial below:

Here are some useful tips regarding choosing domain names and webhosting for your membership site:

  • When it comes to choosing a hosting provider for your membership site, select a company or hosting package that allows for easy account upgrades. This way, as your membership site grows you can expand your hosting account to accommodate additional space or bandwidth.
  • When registering a domain name for your membership site, pay attention to its brandable elements. Is it memorable? Does it represent your membership topic or theme appropriately? Is it easy to spell? Does it contain a keyword related to your niche?

When creating an autoresponder-based membership site, or to simply integrate a mailing list into your subscription process, you should consider choosing a remotely hosted option. This way, in the event that your membership site or hosting provider experiences problems, you will still have an easy way of contacting your members and notifying them of any potential problems.

To learn more about using autoresponders, see the tutorial below:

Adding Graphic Images

Most likely, your membership site will require graphic images for your membership pages, and your content.

You can outsource the creation of all graphic images to professionals, or use image creation software.

Photoshop

Photoshop

Photoshop is the world’s leading image editing application. Photoshop lets you enhance, retouch, and manipulate photographs and images.

You can learn Photoshop if you plan to use images extensively on your site, or outsource the work to others.

For more information about Photoshop, visit the site below:

GIMP

GIMP

GIMP is a FREE alternative image editing program to Photoshop.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

GIMP can be used as a simple paint program, an expert-quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

For more information about GIMP, visit the site below:

For tutorials on learning how to use GIMP, visit the site below:

Graphic Icons

Graphic Icons

There are many sources of graphic images and icons available online where you can download collections of icons, and image packages for use in your membership pages and content.

To find FREE graphics and icons, just search online for “free icons”,”free icon sets”, etc. For FREE images, see the next section below.

If you plan to use graphic images and icons extensively, you can also purchase graphic image bundles from various design companies.

For a great collection of graphic images with PSD source files, visit the site below:

Stock Images / Royalty-Free Images

Stock Images

There are thousands of royalty-free images you can use to help grab your members’ attention, convey your message more effectively, and make your site content stand out.

To learn more about finding Royalty-Free images, see the tutorial below:

Creating Video Based Products

When creating video clips, Camtasia is one of the easiest video creation tools to use and one of the most popular.

Camtasia

CamtasiaCamtasia lets you easily capture your entire screen, or sections of your screen, record powerpoint presentations, import media, and add live audio narrations, callouts, transitions, annotations, and zoom and pan features.

With Camtasia, you can easily create high quality, professional video presentations that can be produced in various video formats, and published to your website, or uploaded to a server or YouTube account.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

If you are on a Mac, Camtasia has yet to release a version exclusively for Mac users, so you might find the following resources useful.

iMovie

iMovie

iMovie for Mac comes built-in with most Mac Computers.

iMovie lets you organize your clips into video recordings, allowing you to create training videos use live footage.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

Keynote

Keynote

Keynote lets you create stunning visual presentations and slideshows on your Mac with easy-to-use visual tools. You can easily drop in photos or video, add reflections, picture frames and interactive charts.

Keynote also lets you add cinema-quality transitions, preview your presentation live, and combine elements created using different.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

iShowU

iShowU

With iShowU, you can record anything on your screen instantly – both audio and video. As soon as you stop recording, your video is instantly available.

iShowU is easy to use and comes with many built-in presets. You can even set up a recording timer, and publish your screen capture video to your website with one-click publishing.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

ScreenFlow

Screenflow

Screenflow is a popular screen recording and editing software for Mac users. It provides high-quality screen recordings – even for Retina displays.

Screenflow provides many powerful features, including auto-timer, pause-screen recording, nested clips, video annotations, attractive titling options and sophisticated 2D and 3D transitions.

A free trial of the software is available.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

Snapz Pro

Snapz Pro

Snapz Pro X allows you to effortlessly record anything on your screen, saving it as a QuickTime® movie or screenshot that can be e-mailed, or published and shared online.

Snapz Pro X captures full motion video on your screen, with digital audio and an optional microphone voiceover. Additional features include Retina display support, transparency masks, and “Live Preview,” which shows you how your screenshot will look before you save it to disk.

A free demo version of the software is available.

To learn more about this application, visit the site below:

To learn more about WordPress membership plugins, go here:

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership Resources

Back To Overview Of Membership Sites

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How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Site Tips

In this tutorial, we provide useful tips to ensure that your membership site can continue to grow and service its members.

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership TipsThis is Part 7 of our tutorial series on building a membership site with WordPress.

In Part 6, we looked at membership pricing and explored different pricing models for your membership site.

In this tutorial, we provide useful tips to ensure that your membership site can continue to grow and service its members.

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How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Site Tips

Regardless of your membership’s format or overall focus, there are a number of things that you need to focus on in order to ensure that your community continues to grow, and that your membership site is able to retain its momentum.

Let’s go through these:

Provide Outstanding Customer Service

Customer service is the cornerstone of a successful membership-based site. Respond quickly to customer concerns, announce any issues or changes that will occur to the membership ASAP so as to avoid surprises for your customers, and continually ask for customer feedback.

Keep Content Fresh

Unless your membership is based on a fixed term format, where your subscription ends after a specific time, you will want to ensure that your membership site always offers fresh content that is updated on a scheduled basis.

It’s critical that you design an update schedule and content management system so that your subscribers know when to expect updates, and that you are able to effectively manage your entire community.

Break Content Down

Consider breaking up longer e-books into mini-reports, or a series of action plans. Not only will this add more content to your website but your subscribers will find it easier to digest. Besides, it will also make your content inventory appear to be more extensive.

Strive For Originality

You want your own proprietary content and products. If you are planning to use private label, resell rights or master resell rights content, try to use it as filler material, or as bonuses rather than your primary content. You don’t want your subscribers to be able to easily find the same content anywhere else.

Manage Your Community Efficiently

You need to be able to stay in constant communication with your subscribers, and to be able to develop and grow your community on a regular basis.

Create A Scalable Community

Don’t become fixated only one on topic, but instead, focus on scalable markets where you can create additional modules, updates and upgrades that are available only to subscribers. Consider offering your material in various different formats as well.

For example, if your primary product line consists of e-book products, consider creating video tutorials that compliment your product line. Offer them as upgrades or enhancements to a subscriber’s regular package.

Ask For Feedback

Don’t be afraid to ask your community what they are interested in or how you can improve your site. Ask for honest feedback and take all customer feedback you receive seriously. Make them feel a part of your community by surveying them, allowing them to control the type of content and updates that you create, and focusing on what your subscribers are truly interested in as well as their varying levels and skills.

You want to do your best to accommodate all of the different subscribers you will encounter, from new ones to seasoned ones. Inventorying your subscribers will provide you with the insight you need to ensure your website is a success.

Adding survey forms to your member’s area is a great way to collect customer feedback.

To learn how to add a survey form to WordPress, see the tutorial below:

Membership Sites

Maximizing Your Profits

There are a number of different ways to maximize your overall profits and enhance your subscribers experience, as being part of your community.

Here are the top methods that are used by successful membership webmasters:

Charter Memberships

Give your subscribers a reason to promote your website by offering joint venture partners a Charter membership to your website. Offer them special bonuses, downloads – just to jump-start your website.

It will provide immediate relief of that initial start up phase and allow you to determine what your members think about your content, with a soft launch before you go all out.

This is also a great way to beta test the system for bugs, errors, broken links or problems with navigation or downloading products and content.

Annual Memberships

If you offer them a special deal if they join annually you want to make sure that they are receiving a significant discount.

You want to focus on yearly memberships because that way your members are locked in. The only downfall is that people tend to forget that they joined and when you rebill them yearly, they may end up challenging the charge with their credit card companies, simply because they may not remember where or when they signed up.

Low Up Front Cost With Higher Recurring

Certain membership sites will charge their customers a one time access fee, and then a monthly fee thereafter.

For example, offer them the opportunity to pay $97 to join, with $29.95 every month thereafter.

If going with this kind of set up, you’ll need to provide at least three times the value of the initial payment, in this case $97.00 – and then update your content regularly enough to justify an ongoing fee of $29.95 monthly.

A huge benefit to charging a registration fee is it will lot longer retention rate for your members. Your cancellation rate will be much lower since people don’t want to have to pay the initial registration fee again.

Types Of Products To Offer

Here are a few of the product types that you can offer within your membership site, as well as backend and upsell offers:

  • Teleseminars & Webinars
  • Audio and Video
  • Interviews (exclusive)
  • Book Compilations
  • Training/Coaching
  • Software
  • Physical Products such as printed books, CDs, DVDs

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: “Repurposing” your content allows you to multiply and expand your product offering with minimum effort involved.

Essentially, repurposing means taking content created in one format and reformatting it into completely different products.

To learn more about repurposing content, see the tutorial series below:

Also, be sure to record everything you do.

If you give an interview, host a conference call, conduct a workshop, training, whatever it is – always record it. This material can then be used as bonus products, or featured as an upsell or backend upgrade.

Overdelivering is the key to forming solid, profitable relationships with your subscribers.

Membership Sites

Additional Membership Profit Tips – PLR Membership Sites

Membership sites are one of the most popular and profitable business models online. There are various types of membership sites, and membership sites on many different niches, but one of the most common are those that offer products with private label rights (also known as PLR).

When a product has private label rights, the user usually has more control over these. There may still be restrictions imposed by the original seller (such as users not being able to resell the private label rights, only the product). Despite such restrictions, many PLR products can be modified quite considerably, and most will allow you to put your name on these as the author.

So, how can you create a great PLR membership site? First of all, you need to provide a “complete” turnkey package. Your members will want everything to be as easy and as automated as possible. That means giving them all the products, tools, techniques, and guidance they need; the only thing they have to do is follow the simple instructions you will provide to help them set everything up and start making money.

Here are some useful ideas on what you could offer your members to keep them satisfied, and remain loyal subscribers:

The Main Products

Typical PLR products sold in membership sites are reports or e-books. Including media files, such as audios or videos are great, as these types of products have a higher perceived value. You could even offer a combination of e-books, audios, and videos (plus transcripts and graphic images) to make your PLR products stand out even more.

Before you create anything, make sure that the products you plan to create are in high demand or saleable in the marketplace. That’s why it’s vital to do your market research beforehand, so you can provide your members with quality products that they can make money with.

Sales Letter

Most copywriters charge thousands of dollars for a quality sales letter. So, providing members with great sales copy for the products (along with all the other benefits they get), in exchange for the low price of their monthly membership fee, is a great deal.

Graphics

The sales letter must be accompanied by eye-catching graphics. We recommend giving members the PSD files, so they can make changes to the graphics themselves. The graphic pack could include the product cover, header, footer, order button and background graphics.

Promotional Tools

There are many tools you can provide to help your members promote the products. For example, you could give them articles to post on their site or blog (or rewrite to post on content-sharing sites); these articles would warm up and presell the main products to their prospects.

You can also create promo videos for the products and include the source code and transcripts (so they can add their own branded cover image, and re-record the video in their own voice).

Additionally, you can research the most profitable keywords your members could use to promote the products via Google Adwords or PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising). These keywords can then be inserted into the title and content of articles they will write, helping them rank higher in the search engines for these highly searched keywords.

Finally, you should also consider providing them with promotional email messages, banners, classified ads, and sample signature lines so your members can instantly promote the products – or have their affiliates use them for promotion.

Be aware that you don’t have to create everything. In fact, you may want to outsource aspects of your product creation process, so you can focus more of your time on marketing your membership site.

A Step-By-Step Guide

Since some members may not know how to start, they need a guide to show them how to set up and sell your PLR products.

You could create step-by-step instruction guides in PDF format, or provide instructional videos on how to choose a domain name, set up a hosting account, upload the files, and how to promote and make money from the products.

Products With Master Resale Rights

Master Resale Rights (MRR) products are different from PLR products. MRR products typically allow you to legally sell the product plus the resell rights to others. Your customers can then also sell the product to others if you choose to let them have resell rights, as long as they agree to follow the rules, which may include a minimum price products can be sold for, or a policy where they can’t change the content.

There are many products with master resale rights that you can buy and resell on your membership site. Just type “master resale rights” (or “master resell rights”) into Google and go through the search results.

Research Affiliate Programs

As well as the products being offered by your membership site, your members might want to promote other products related to your niche.

You can research various Affiliate Programs that are proven to sell well and recommend these to your members.

Huge Discounts

You can also give your members discount on other merchants’ products as their membership privilege. Simply contact other vendors and ask them to give your members a discount – the bigger, the better. Most of them will agree to your request, as this means free promotion and permanent exposure for their products.

Contests or Draws

Set up a periodic contest or draw. Give cash prizes, free products or even one-on-one coaching to the winner. This can incentivize members to continue their membership.

Interviews

You can provide even more unique and valuable content to your members by interviewing experts in your niche, then posting these exclusive interviews inside the membership area.

For example, go to a site like http://rtir.com and you will find experts that you can contact for a potential interview. The interview could be recorded and transcribed, and then posted or given to members. The experts you interview benefit from the additional exposure they receive through you, and by having their products or services promoted during the interview.

Hopefully, the above has given you plenty of useful tips and ideas for starting or growing your membership site. In our next tutorial, we look at useful membership site tools and resources.

To view the next tutorial in this series, go here:

To learn more about WordPress membership plugins, go here:

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership Site Tips

Back To Overview Of Membership Sites

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How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Pricing

In this tutorial, we explore different pricing models for your membership site.

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership PricingThis is Part 6 of our tutorial series on building a membership site with WordPress.

In Part 5, we looked at different software options for setting up and managing your membership site.

In this tutorial, we look at deciding on pricing models for your membership site.

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How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress – Membership Pricing

When choosing your membership pricing structure, you will want to survey existing competitors to determine what they are offering and for how much.

You want to price your membership offer competitively so you can attract as much attention and “steal” subscribers from competing sites. However, you also want to make sure that you are able to generate as much profit as possible at the same time.

Membership Pricing

You will need to take the following into consideration when determining how to price your membership:

  • How specialized or unique is your content?
  • How often are you intending on updating your site?
  • Are you offering higher priced upgrades?

If so, your base price could be lowered as a way of creating a larger community that you can sell higher priced back end products and services to.

Pricing And Perceived Value

Are you established within your niche market?

If you are considered an authority on your subject matter, you can charge more for your packages, even if the content is similar to others.

If people know that you are trustworthy and experienced with the topic you choose, your content will be considered far more valuable, since you are known as a leading source.

If you are new to the industry, you will want to do your best to first build your brand by starting off with a lower priced membership site and increasing your prices as your community grows.

Are you able to offer coupons or promotional items to external sites?

Can you secure exclusive deals for your customers that they cannot get anywhere else?

The type of service or membership site also plays a factor in setting your price structure.

For example, if you are offering coaching, private consultations or direct access to training, your prices are likely to be higher than if you are just offering downloadable products.

The scarcity of your information will be critical in regards to what you can charge, so you always want to focus on securing original material, such as:

  • Exclusive interviews with experts
  • Video tutorials with transcripts
  • Exclusive e-books, reports, articles

You could also consider adding physical products to your membership site to increase its overall perceived value. Creating physical products shouldn’t be an intimidating process. These days it’s extremely easy and affordable to create DVD’s or CD’s and by doing this you will increase the perceived value of your product, even though it is exactly the same thing as if they downloaded it online.

When people join a site where they are receiving something tangible, instantly the product is viewed to be worth more. This is basic human nature. Doing this will give your program an edge especially if no one else in your niche is doing it this way.

Pricing And Subscriptions

There is no specific price structure for every website, as the perceived value will depend on the niche, the existing competition, and the scarcity of your information itself.

You can choose to price your membership in various ways. For example:

One-Time Payment

You can offer access to your membership site for a one-time payment (also called a “Lifetime” offer). This is useful if you:

  • Want to create a small barrier to entry (i.e. to keep out spammers and freebie seekers).
  • Have backend offers, upsells, upgrades, etc.

Depending on the one-time price, you can also offer installment payments. For example, a $567 membership fee could be presented as 3 installments of $197, making the total cost of paying by installments slightly higher than paying in full to accommodate administrative costs.

Pay-Per-View

Many WordPress membership plugins allow you to set up a “pay-per-post” price. This is useful if you want to make most of your content freely available and only charge for accessing sections of your content (e.g. a video tutorial), or create “teaser” posts, where payment gives the user access to continue reading your content.

Monthly – Recurring/Expiring

If you provide a continuous service or monthly content, you can charge a recurring monthly fee. This fee can continue running indefinitely (i.e. until the user cancels their subscription) or for a fixed period (e.g. 36 months).

Monthly fees give users better control of their membership subscription (i.e. they don’t feel ‘locked in’ and can cancel anytime) and provide you with continuous cashflow. The downside is that users can cancel anytime and this can also affect your cashflow.

Yearly

A yearly fee is useful if you provide an essential service plus support and maintenance, upgrades, etc.

If charging a yearly fee makes more sense, then charge a yearly fee. Many WordPress membership plugins allow you to charge yearly recurring and also send out email notifications to members when their subscription is due.

If charging a yearly fee makes more sense, then set up a yearly fee. Many WordPress membership plugins allow you to charge yearly recurring and also send out notifications to members when their subscription is due.

Note: Sometimes the perceived cost of charging a yearly fee can appear significantly larger than charging monthly. For example, charging a $497 yearly membership fee can be sold as being less than $42 per month, or just a little over $1.30 per day.

Free Trials

Many WordPress membership plugins allow you to set up a free trial which then automatically upgrades the user to the full paid membership subscription after the free trial period expires unless the user cancels their membership. This allows you to set up 7-day free trials, 30-day trials (first month free), etc.

As you can see, your pricing model is closely connected to your marketing strategy. Testing different price points will allow you to determine what the market is willing to pay and price your membership offer accordingly.

Keep in mind that you are not permanently locked into a price point, so if you start off at a lower, introductory rate and find that your membership site is in demand, you can increase the price as your community, and overall content inventory grows.

Just make sure that if you do choose to modify your price structure that you apply it only to new subscribers NOT to existing ones. You want to encourage existing members to retain their memberships and if you change their subscription pricing, they are likely to opt-out of your membership site, simply because it’s not the original deal or offer that they agreed to subscribe to.

Practical Tip

Always email your members with any price changes as well, especially if you lower your membership cost so that existing subscribers can gain access to the lower-priced deal, and don’t feel as though they were left out of your special offers.

In our next tutorial, we provide useful tips to ensure that your membership site can continue to grow and is able to service its member community.

To view the next tutorial in this series, go here:

To learn more about WordPress membership plugins, go here:

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - Membership Pricing

Back To Overview Of Membership Sites

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