Category Archives: Pay Sites

Membership Sites 101

I’ve been having this discussions a lot lately with people looking to start celebrity membership websites. While the niche really doesn’t matter, from adult, to celeb, to anime, podcasting, doesn’t really matter. The dedication does.

If you do your updates daily/weekly, and know anything about SEO, and promotion angles. You should be able to easily knock back XX,XXX a year or more.

Contrary to popular belief. Few people, even in adult, are knocking back a mint off a single site. Most have a program of 10-100 niche sites, and sure… with that many WHO COULDN’T make millions.?!?!? Especially with affiliates!

You are not reinventing the wheel, nor are you going to be as popular as MySpace. So those are the first misconceptions. Is it possible? Sure. Realistic? No. So stop sweating it and make some money.

Why do I prefer membership sites over all other forms of revenue? Because to some degree (once large enough) you are on auto pilot. I have a site I haven’t updated in TWO YEARS and it still make me $2700 in 2007!!

Also, when you have a down week on new sales, or you are on vacation, busy, whatever…. who cares! You have recurring memberships billing. So you still make your money. There are no 0.00 weeks because you couldn’t run your adwords campaign, or were out of town, whatever.

Membership sites are not as hit and miss as some of the other avenues. Plus you can always mix in link trades sales, affiliate upsells, and a like. You can work it six ways from Sunday!

Over yen years I have tried many different ways to make money. However, I started with a celebrity membership site, and built more along the way. Mainstream, and adult. People really fail to think like a surfer (i.e. laziness).

That is one of the hardest things for people to grasp. Everyone thinks like a webmaster when you are in this business. You start thinking of how YOU do things, or would. Not how some Joe Blow who’s on the net an hour a day to check mail, and MySpace does. Better yet, some AOL user.

It isn’t that difficult. You need some content. Preferrably a nice CMS script to get started with an export for spin off sites later. Then you need a processors. While you could do PayPal. I do not recommend it. You do not need to pay the $750 VISA fee either, or have a merchant account.

There are so many misconceptions when it comes to membership sites that it’s unbelievable. But if you want to get into the online business full time. You want to be able to live, and make some nice money. MEMBERSHIP is where you want to be.

While I could go on and on what I’ve learned over the years. I will give you some basics.

1. Content and lots of it. You do not need to open a site with all of it.

2. CMS script (content management). Ease of updates, and navigation.

3. Solid web hosting. Enough with these $9 host plans. Get at min. semi dedi.

4. Payment processor. Not paypal. Many out there. I recommend Verotel.

You obviously want to set your CMS the best for SEO. Fairly simple, but many forget to do it right. I would also recommend something that lets you do it in advance. So you can schedule a few days, week, month in advance if you like. You may have to have a custom one done (approx $1500) but worth it. The most important things are navigation, and speed. Period.

5. Stop thinking like a webmaster. Talk to your friends outside of this business on how they use, and surf the web. It’s much different. Stop ASSuming people’s behavior.

6. Stop believing that because someone else was out there doing it before you, that you can’t compete.

7. Use creative ways to work your membership site (advertising) into your other ventures. Banner placements, links, SEO, and so on. It’s not that difficult, and you’d be surprised at some of the results.

Those the tips of the iceberg. I am not going to give you the keys to the castle, but hopefully for those interested. It will show you the door.

I do online full time. I have for over 4 years now. I did it part time for years while working in telco after college. It was a nice source of extra spending money then.

If you know the fundamentals. You can make some nice money. Stop trying to break the house on red and black playing the adsense game. Who wants to work for crumbs? Put your efforts into something that will REALLY pay off in the long run.