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    7 Epic Membership Site Ideas to Build a Profitable Community

    logopoppin Updated: February 27, 2024 14 min read

    Discover How to Use Popular Membership Website Ideas to Build a Great Business

    Today, different types of content has seen a rise. From videos to articles, images, and more, this content available on different websites is building communities. And that is where the idea for a new type of business occurred – membership businesses. Today, we can see examples of various membership site ideas all around us, from fun content creators to training and e-learning websites.

    Look at many of the popular content creators online, from Youtubers to online comic artists. Many of them have been uploading and sharing their content online, using the concept of monetization of content to earn passively from their large communities. However, recently, many of them have simultaneously started a membership format as well, where their members or “patrons” are given access to exclusive content.

    And considering that so many of these online content creators are doing it, it must be profitable. So, the question is, how can you too create a website that can be considered a great addition to the top membership site examples?

    Let’s dive in and take a look at the top membership website ideas you can emulate to build a successful business, and see how you can utilize the help of professional web design services to ensure its success.

    Elements That Define the Top Membership Site Examples

    Tony Robbins website

    Membership websites can be from a number of different niches, ranging from personal/professional coaching like Tony Robbins’ site above, to specific subscription communities, and much more. So considering that there is such a diverse range of these sites, how can we judge the success of a membership website? What are the elements that define the potential for success for such websites?

    Well, the answer may surprise you.

    The success of a membership website is predicated on just four primary elements, no matter what its niche. If the membership site ideas you come up with incorporate these elements, then you can rest assured that they will be a success.

    But what are these elements, and where do they come from?

    The four elements that dictate the success of membership websites are:

    • Offer clear benefit for the subscribers. At the end of the day, if you want someone to pay for something, you would assume that it would be against some kind of benefit. If your website offers no benefit to the consumers, then why would they pay you for it?
    • Portrays its message clearly and successfully. Let’s say you offer your members some sort of benefit. But, then again, so are your competitors. So why you? Why should consumers choose you instead of them? That’s where your message comes in, showing how you are different. This is where both your branding as well as adherence to common web design principles come into play.
    • Delivers exactly what was promised. So you promised your members exclusive video published weekly. Are you honoring that commitment? Remember, you are operating on a recurring membership model. That means you need to keep your consumers engaged constantly, otherwise they will leave you for your competitors.
    • Avoid being overly salesy. Concentrate on appeasing your audience, instead of pushing them to spend on a membership subscription. The key is to keep your audience hooked and wanting more. That would automatically increase your subscription, without running the risk of the audience getting frustrated with repeated asks for a subscription.

    Now, if you look at these elements, you will see there is nothing technical about them. All of them are derived from basic marketing and branding basics, centered solely on satisfying your consumers in order to get the memberships flowing. In fact, most of these can be witnessed in some form if you look at some of the evergreen eCommerce web design trends.

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    Membership Website Ideas – It This Business Model Still Worth Investing In?

    One of the most common queries from business owners thinking about going for a subscription-based business model is whether its still a viable source of income to invest in today. They believe that the sheer number of people creating and disseminating content today makes this a very difficult business to establish a foothold in, making it less viable.

    Now, we won’t deny that it is difficult today. The level of competition out there can be certainly daunting, especially for those who are not sure if this is the right choice for them. But that’s where all the fun is.

    First, rest assured that membership-based business isn’t just viable, its actually booming. According to a recent report by The Business Research Company, membership/subscription eCommerce market grew from $119.4 billion in 2022 to $196.35 billion in 2023 across the globe. That shows a CAGR of 64.45%, which is massive.

    In fact, reports suggest that subscription business was one of the very few business niches that suffered no downturn during the COVID pandemic, instead showing growth. Plus, looking at the large number of membership site examples on the internet, we can confidently that this is a viable business model to invest in.

    Seven Epic Membership Site Ideas to Build a Profitable Community-Based Business

    So far, we have seen the elements that tell you whether your membership site ideas are a success, and discussed the viability of investing and starting out in the subscription-based eCommerce business. So now that you are sufficiently convinced that this is the right direction for you, you are now ready to start the journey to creating your own membership website.

    But wait!

    Do you know what type of membership website you should pursue? As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous types of websites in the membership/subscription business. Which one do you feel best fits you and your specific skills?

    If you haven’t thought that far ahead, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Looking at various popular membership site niches, we have compiled a list at some of the most profitable niches. That means there is a high chance that membership website examples from one of these niches will be successful.

    So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at what these niches are, and see which one suits your skills the best.

    Premium Content Membership Websites

    VLDL Patreon website

    Premium content membership websites are one of the most common types of membership websites out there. Nearly every digital creator has set up this type of business for exclusive, member-only content.

    You have got Youtubers with their own sites or via Patreon, offering exclusive, members-only content, such as that by popular New Zealand content producers called Viva La Dirt League. Similarly, sites like HBO Max or Disney+ can also be considered as part of the premium content membership sites, as these sites have developed an hosted content exclusively for their platforms.

    This ensures that people who want to see them, need to get a subscription. For small-time content creators, this type of membership website ideas can be a source of passive income alongside monetization, brand deals, and more. However, for larger, established businesses, this can become big enough to be a sizable source of income, seeing as how Netflix’s only source of income is through members subscribing to its platform.

    In fact, recent years have shown a rising trend in some form of membership features being incorporated within many popular web design trends. This shows that this is a viable source of income stream for nearly all types of businesses.

    Ad-Free Content Membership Websites

    YouTube premium

    Now this one is interesting. These types of membership site ideas capitalize on finding and addressing a pain point for consumers. Take YouTube for example. Many people often complain about advertisements showing up in the middle of their videos, often ruining the viewing experience. This can frustrate some users into abandoning the platform altogether.

    So, to counter it, YouTube came up with a paid subscription, so that users could have an ad-free viewing experience. Now, considering that the problem was more of a nuisance than an actual problem, this type of website ideas need a subtle hand. Rather than making this an expensive subscription, YouTube made it downright inexpensive, thus retaining their consumers, and open up a passive source of income.

    So, if your business is producing content, and you have to rely on showing ads through your content, then a great way to address that is by offering an ad-free subscription service for those clients. So that rather than subscribing to a platform to see your content ad-free, they pay you for it on your website.

    Coaching/Consultancy Membership Websites

    Jim Stoppani website

    The next type of membership site ideas we are going to discuss is coaching or consultancy sites. These sites can be made for a wide variety of niches, from personal and professional development coaching, physical and nutritional coaching, financial/investment coaching and consulting, and much more.

    Some great examples for this includes Jim Stoppani’s physical fitness membership website, and Tony Robbin’s mentorship and coaching site. In both of these cases, they offer their prospective clients a little taste of their services, and then lure them into getting a membership to learn more. This can be quite an effective business, especially if you have the expertise and the experience necessary to coach others.

    The best part is that it doesn’t even matter if what you coach or consult about is something rare or unique. In fact, the rarer the topic you are centering your business on, the greater the chance of your success. So, the coaching/consultancy type of membership website ideas are a highly successful option if you can pull it off.

    Educational Content Subscription Websites

    edX website

    Membership sites with educational content on them are a great source of business. People today are looking to keep themselves sharp and up to date on a variety of topics. Some like to keep on learning more about their industry, while others are trying to upskill or branch out into other fields, and want a self-paced learning regimen to follow.

    Depending on the level or types of courses you want to offer, you can partner up with an educational institute, using their curriculum as a basis for your course. Moreover, you can even sweeten the deal with the educational institute, by giving them a portion of your revenue in return for offering certificates of completion to successful students.

    This model of subscription business has been successfully followed by many platforms, most prominent among them being edX, Coursera, and Udemy. And while it is one of the more technically challenging membership site ideas, in some scenarios at least, this is also one that is sure to bring in a steady stream of revenue.

    Digital Asset Compendiums Membership Websites

     iStock website

    While teaching or mentoring may not be suitable for many, especially those who are still somewhat new to their fields, there are other ways to take advantage of your skills and talent. If you are a graphic designer, web developer, sound artist, or something similar, you can build a digital assets site with a membership model, such as iStock Photo.

    Using your skills, you can easily fill up such a site with digital content, offering a subscription model for people who want to download and use your digital assets. Common example of this type of websites include iStock, Freepik, and many other such websites.

    This is one of the few specifically niche kinds of membership site ideas, and as such, its easy to understand that this type may not be for everyone.

    Job Boards Subscription Websites

    Monster job site

    Many people believe that with the popularity of websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, job boards are something of an antiquity. However, they are completely wrong about it. In many scenarios, job boards like Monster are still highly sought after, offering employment opportunities to millions of people across the globe.

    Now, maintaining such a large compendium of jobs and prospective candidates can be a difficult venture, one that requires both time and effort to do. So, once you have a large enough community of people, you can introduce an economical subscription pricing model. It would start off low enough so that those within the community without the means can still use your services, while offering higher tiers for additional benefits to those who desire.

    Not only would that help you filter out the riff raff, it would also give you an opportunity and drive to maintain and improve your services, thereby keeping the majority of your community loyal. Moreover, you can also charge the job posters a small per use free, or an attractive membership deal for long-term commitments.

    In any case, it is one of the membership website ideas that those experienced in community building can accomplish successfully.

    Clubs and Societies Membership Websites

    Dollar Shave Club website

    It isn’t just personal development or professional services that makes people spend their money on subscriptions. There are many sites dedicated to clubs or societies that require a membership for them to access their benefits.

    One of the most popular examples is that of the Dollar Shave Club. Starting out in 2011, they aimed their services towards men who were frustrated with the high cost of razor blades. Launching their website in March 2011, they initially just sold economical razor blades. But a year later, they introduced a tiered membership scheme, that allowed people to get the type of razors they desired, for a much cheaper cost. And the best part was that they came right to your home, every month until your subscription ended.

    Similarly, as a far smaller scale, we have food companies that offer such membership offers. You might have heard of terms like “Sausage of the Month” or “Steak of the Month”, where all of the members are sent their usual order of sausages or steaks, along with a special, surprise package.

    So, if you have a society or club that your wish to monetize, these types of membership site ideas would be a great choice.

    How to Ensure That You Are Choosing the Right Membership Site Ideas?

    Now that we are coming to the end of this article, we can assuredly say that you have enough of a grounding on this topic to be able to come up with some great membership site ideas. However, before you get started, there is one thing you need to know.

    And that is – how to ensure that the membership website ideas you are looking to pursue, are right for you. That is because considering the size of the competition, only a website idea perfect for you can ensure a chance of success.

    So how can you check if the idea and niche is perfect for you, and can ensure success? Well, what you need to do is ask yourself these questions. Their answers will help you understand if this is the right niche for you.

    • What niche are you passionate about?
    • What are your skills and expertise related to this niche?
    • What topics do people come to you for advice on?
    • What type of content are you comfortable with producing?
    • Are you passionate enough about this niche to consistently engage and attract your members?

    If the answers to these questions are in favor of your chosen niche of membership website ideas, then that’s perfect. You are ready to proceed, full steam ahead. All you need is a good web design guide to help you get started.

    Conclusion

    Summing up, you can find membership site ideas easily, considering that they are a dime a dozen nowadays. However, finding the truly successful ones, the ones who perfectly leveraged their potential, now that can be a hard trick.

    Nevertheless, if you follow the guide above, you will find that the process is easier and far more enjoyable, especially with the right guidance to help you along.

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