5 Myths About Membership Websites


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This is a guest post by Peter Almeida. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

There are some myths about membership websites that just don’t seem to go away. Most of these myths serve as an excuse to laziness but there’s also a lot of people that truly believe in them and view them as real obstacles. That’s why I want to talk about them today.

First of all I would like to say that I’m not trying to make people believe that creating membership websites is dead simple and anyone can do it. Thank god it is not otherwise there wouldn’t be any affiliates! Joking aside, the reality is that most people that have an interest in doing it, don’t have the dedication or persistence needed to maintain a successful membership website.

Also bear in mind that throughout this post I’m only going to refer to membership websites that sell access to information, such as training programs, video courses, premium articles or other form of content.

Myth #1 – I Have To Be An Expert In What I Sell

This is one of the most common myths. People think that they won’t sell anything because they are not experts on what they sell and they think that nobody will care about what they say.

The above is simple not true and it’s very simple to find out the reason why. Think about books, DVDs or other information products you’ve bought before, did you ever stop to think if they were the work of an expert? Did you care at all? Of course you didn’t. The thing is, most people just care about if they will benefit from what they’re buying, they just care about if it’ll improve their life in some way or not.

You can even create a membership website about a topic you don’t anything about. You can learn about it, simplify it and then teach it to people in your own unique way.

Myth #2 – I Have To Create Too Much Content

This is one is shared by two main groups of people, the extremely lazy and the ones that want to have everything. There’s no solution for the first group but for the second group the solution is very simple. It is to always keep in mind that you create as much content as you purpose your product to have and that your product’s quality doesn’t depend on your content’s quantity.

If you don’t want to create a lot of content, don’t try to offer everything and then some more on your membership website.

Focus on one small aspect of your topic or niche, such as a beginners perspective. Create just enough content for that but make sure it’s really useful because that’s what’s really important.

Myth #3 – I Need To Create Content Forever

There are two main models of membership websites, the fixed-term ones and unlimited content ones. The fixed-term type is where you have a limited amount of content, such as in a course or a training program that has a start date and an end date. This means that you can create all the content once and then re-use it again and again, revamping only the front-end as necessary.

These websites are actually the most popular type of membership website nowadays. They close their membership doors most part of the year and then use marketing techniques to get interested prospects on their lists and build their brand so that when they open the membership they already have members.

The unlimited content model is best used when there’s an infinite need for content about a topic. In these cases, you really have to keep providing content on a regular basis but still you can even automate this. For example, you can spend one month creating content and then have it automatically delivered to your members for the next 6 months.

Myth #4 – The Technology Is Complicated

This used to be the case a few years ago but it is not true, anymore. Nowadays, it is as hard to create a regular website as it is to create a membership website. There are plenty of easy to use hosted solutions for non-techie people built especially with ease of use in sight.

Also, it’s very cheap to start a membership website because it doesn’t require any big investments, just time and creativity.

Everybody can start a membership website with extremely low overhead costs. Actually, selling information is one of the businesses with the lowest overhead.

Myth #5 – There Is Too Much Competition Already

This is another mind numbing myth that has the power to freeze anyone. The truth is, there will always be competition in every worthwhile niche. That’s completely normal and expectable because if there isn’t any competition on a given niche it most likely means that there isn’t any money to be made there.

You don’t have to keep away from a niche you’re passionate about just because it has some competition. The best strategy is to position yourself inside that niche and find your unique perspective, your unique way to deliver your content.
There is one exception to the rule though, a niche that you really should stay away from, especially if it’s not your passion. It’s the “how to make money online” or “internet marketing” niche. The problem with this niche is not even the super high competition, it’s that people have lost their confidence in its products due to scams.

I would love to know if any of these myths has ever stopped you from carrying on with an idea. Tell me about in the comments!

About the Author: Peter Almeida is the founder of Buzzrain, the Membership Website Builder. Learn about the best way to make a living online in his free 48 page e-book on How To Build A Profitable Membership Website.

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7 Responses to “5 Myths About Membership Websites”

  • Web Marketing Tips

    This one is certainly helpful to motivate those people who are in the position of confusion to create website.

    We would love to see you covering affiliates and adsense topic as well.

  • Peter Almeida

    @Graham Lutz – As long as it as value, it doesn’t have to be a lot. But again, it doesn’t have to be an ongoing membership.

    You could go for a fixed-term and one-time fee if you don’t like the ongoing idea or your topic doesn’t fit.

    @Harrison Li – …and traffic! 🙂

    @Megan – Exactly. Value is genuinely helping members and making sure they get a benefit from your membership.

    And also another very important thing is to avoid lying or exaggerating about what and how a membership will help members.

    If there’s a mismatch between the sales pitch and your actual product, people will be unsatisfied. Maybe that’s what happened with you.

    @Ranjith – Yes and the solution is plain marketing: a combination of content marketing, e-mail marketing, social media and PPC (optional).

    @Tom – People pay for skills and benefits, not the information itself.

  • Tom

    Why pay for a membership when so much information is available for free?

  • Ranjith (SR) | A light hearted talk

    After reading this, I feel like creating a membership based site. It is easy to create content, design and program.

    The greatest difficulty lies in getting members. The trick stated in the article might work.

    – Ranjith

  • Megan

    I have paid for content on one or two sites and in one case I am quite disappointed with what i have received in return. These days, we are all carefully watching what we spend and to waste money in this way is really disappointing.

    If I was to create an ongoing product which would be of value to people and one which they want to subscribe, I would absolutely ensure it is worth the money i expect them to pay. Of course that is subjective, but for me value has to be the top priority.

    getting an maintaining readership is so important and selling nothing for something is just insulting.

    That being said, a membership only forum is often a good idea, but only if you can encourage enough people to be members.

  • Harrison Li

    Well, it’s all about exclusivity and quality.

  • Graham Lutz

    It definitely is daunting to think about creating enough content for people to be willing to pay a monthly fee for it.

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