WordPress is one handy CMS platform for creating and developing blog sites, for sure. However, like many other bloggers, you can find ways to monetize your blogs, too! There are many options to do that. You can resort to means like PPC advertising and affiliate marketing. Or, you may also opt for shifting the blog from free to a WordPress membership site.

Will a WordPress Membership Site Work?

As a matter of fact, not everyone browsing the web for content will like the concept of using a membership site and accessing paid content. However, by setting up a WP membership site with paid content, you target a niche section of users. These can be technology whiz kids who want to polish their skills by using online guides, tutorials, and resources. This can also include corporate users who want access to tried and tested management concepts and ideologies.

In short, you have to target people who do not mind paying for quality content that they won’t get elsewhere easily. Then there are discounts and early-bird signup offers to sweeten the deal. If you are still skeptical, just think of the popularity and user base of web-based paid content services like Netflix and Hulu.

The Benefits of Having a Paid WordPress Membership Site

There are some obvious benefits of having a paid WordPress membership site:

  • First of all, you get the means to target a niche section of users. They can hail from different age groups, professional circles, and socio-economic profiles. However, they know the value of content offered by your site. So, you do not have to spend much or keep enough time for converting the viewers into buyers. They know what they want and once they are convinced your site has that kind of content, they will subscribe readily.
  • You are likely to get online references from the members using your paid WP site. Their social media contacts with similar mindsets and needs are likely to browse your site and you may get some members that way.
  • If you keep offering quality and relevant content to the members of your WP site, retaining them will not be tedious. So, later you will need to spend less after promotions and the loyal users will not have to be convinced for renewals. So, in the long run, you can be assured of getting a steady stream of revenue.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Making Your WP Membership Site

If you already have a WP blog site, turning it into a membership-based one is possible. It is also possible to develop a membership site from scratch. When you master the process, it is neither tedious nor heavy on the wallet.

1. Analyze and Set Up the Membership Packages/Plans

You need to figure out what the members will get for their membership fees. You can offer the members useful online resources like webinars and video tutorials, for example. In some such sites, the members get exclusive access to a private community. You may have to decide the pricing after thoughtful analysis. Many brands offer free trials and discounts on yearly packages. You may keep three different packages to suit the needs of varying types of users.

2. Assess the Site Viewers and Email Subscribers

Before you launch your paid WordPress membership site, it would be worthwhile to evaluate the liking and mindset of the target viewers/users. You may use Google Forms to develop an online survey form. This will help you understand if your target viewers are okay with the concept and what sort of membership plan they will be okay with. Keep options for the survey participants to give their feedback, both for supporting and not supporting the idea. Send this survey form to at least 100 participants.

3. Presell Products

After the survey is wrapped and you get a basic understanding of the minute of your target viewers, it is time to pre-sell your services or products. This can be done in many ways, actually. The best option is creating a landing page with your offers. You may use software like Mailchimp or Unbounce for this page. The early signup members should be given lucrative discounts. Of course, you need to set tenure for the initial discount.

4. Choose the Right Plugin

You have to use the right membership plugin to deal with the members and payments in a streamlined manner. The popular plug-ins include Restrict Content Pro and MemberPress. These plug-ins are handy and using these you can safeguard site content and deploy payment modes like Stripe or PayPal.

However, for structuring your content, you will need LMS plug-ins like LifterLMS and LearnDash. LifterLMS comes with embedded membership functionality. Take your time to assess and compare these plug-ins before taking the final call. Based on your expertise in WP and plug-ins, you may set things up personally. If you want extensive customization, hire a suitable and ace WP developer to set things up.

5. Develop the Content

Once the WordPress membership site functionality is accomplished, it is time to upload the content.  However, upload the content gradually so that you can get a view of user response. At the first, you may upload a few video tutorials or guides and check the viewer response.

6.  Enroll Members

Now that you have come up with content for your WP membership site, start selling. You had compiled an email list at the pre-sell phase and it is time to utilize that! Send an email to those people and inform them about site launching. The readers have to be informed about membership availability as well.

7. Get Feedback

After you manage to get a handful of members for your paid WP site, try getting their feedback and some testimonials. After the members have used your services/products for some time, ask them for feedback. You can use a chat-based service for that. Their feedback will help you understand the areas for improvement. It would be great if you manage some positive testimonials. It will help in viewer conversion in the long run.

8. Keep Growing Site Traffic and Membership

By now, you have a membership model and try to get people who would be willing to pay for the services and products. You have to deploy SEO tactics and relevant social media tools to automate these processes. The fact is you will have to offer valuable content to the members in a consistent way. This will ensure the early members renew their plans readily and the new ones feel motivated to sign up.

Summing It Up

As you can see, setting up a paid WordPress membership site is not very difficult. You do not have to spend a whopping amount for it either. However, this is something you can’t accomplish in a hurry! It is necessary that you analyze the needs of your target viewers and know their priorities for content. You also need to use a suitable WP plug-in for setting up a membership site. Based on your knowledge and expertise, you may seek the assistance of a veteran WP developer. Overall, it is a time-intensive process and with consistency and dedication, you will taste success and reap long term benefits. 

Subscribe to the Small Business Bonfire Newsletter
And get your free one-page marketing plan template.