One of the "hot" strategies in Internet Marketing lately is to use Membership Sites. So what is a membership site? A membership site are basically any kind of website where someone must "join" the site in order to benefit from the information, products or or services offered by that site. Such sites typically require members to pay a fee - often monthly - that can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. To you, as a membership site owner, such fees provide regular, ongoing income. This can be invaluable in terms of ensuring continued cash flow for your business.
A membership site can be relatively quick and easy to set up and the cost minimal. Basically, your main challenges will be to continue attracting new members, whilst keeping your existing members happy (and paying!). The good news is that people are willing to pay for useful information and/or services. The "pay for content" business model has been successfully used by large and small companies alike, and is particularly effective in such niches as entertainment, business content and dating.
There are, of course, a few things you need to do and know before starting a membership site! The first thing to do is to pinpoint the right market. In general, you want to find out what field or type of content people are passionate about. And, importantly, what they are willing to pay for. You'll get clues by looking at what other membership sites are doing, and what niches they operate in.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want to be involved in a niche where you will realistically be able to generate enough members to make the site worthwhile. There's no point putting a lot of time, effort and money into a membership site that is only likely to appeal to a handful of people (unless each of those people is willing to pay a lot of money in membership fees!) Also, it's crucial to make your membership site unique. At a minimum, potential members should not be able to find the content you offer anywhere else for free.
When it comes to attracting members to your website, all the usual Internet marketing methods apply, including search engine marketing, online newsletters, viral marketing and affiliate programs.
Finally, it cannot be emphasized enough that the success of your membership site ultimately rests on the value delivered to your members. You need to be able to deliver the information or services expected by your members each and every month if you are to keep them as members. Also, be aware of what it takes to set up and manage one of these sites. Automated sign-ups, automated cancellations and even credit card processing are all essentials when it comes to starting and maintaining a membership site.
No question, membership sites can be a great way to make money online. If you can continue attracting new members, whilst providing the content - information and/or services - expected by your existing members, you are likely to generate good money each and every month.