Just a few short years ago, it was almost unheard of to charge for access to a website and almost no one was doing it. Today, however, it is the norm and not the exception. |
Whatever you call them - member only, membership, subscription, or mentor websites, they all have one thing in common. They are bringing in steady and constant cash flow for their owners, month after month, from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The array of topics of these websites cover is endless.
Some of these paid membership sites provide mentoring or coaching; others publish useful articles or information in a particular field or product. Still others publish the results of tests and studies or product reviews. Some membership sites provide specialized service or act as a meeting place for people with a common interest. And, then there are those that provide step-by-step instructions for such things as painting or music.
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Business content, personals/match making, and entertainment are the hottest niches. But even smaller niches, like DVD authoring, sports coaching, marketing services, and dieting are producing profits.
All these sites have one thing in common: to access the website (or the best information on the site) you have to pay for it! Which begs the question...why would anybody pay for information on the Internet?
The answer is simple. People buy information that they could probably find for themselves if they looked long enough and hard enough. If that is the case, why would people pay for the same information? Because they want to save time; they think the information will be better or more specialized; or the information just isn't available to them unless they pay for it.
One of the great things about starting a membership site is you can take your hobby, specialized knowledge or profession and turn it into a profitable business. Your challenge will be finding exclusive content. You can start it part time, but it will likely develop into a full time business.
Planning for and setting your site up for auto-responders, automated sign-ups, credit card processing, automated cancellations, etc is all part of a successful membership website. Starting and running a membership site can be a lot of fun and very exciting, however you need to know what's involved in setting one up, and then managing it effectively.
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