Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me
There is an infinite number of ways to build an online business and earn a great income on the internet. However, some ways are more lucrative than others.
Membership websites are still among the best opportunities to build a profitable business in the long run. Not only can you use such a website to make a stable income but a membership site can also be a great foundation for launching your products and services later on.
Still, building a membership website is not as easy as it may seem. Especially if you are building your first website, you want to be careful and apply only the best practices.
Below you will find some of the most effective tips for building a membership website for the first time.
Learn from the Best
The first step on your journey should be to conduct thorough research. If you want to achieve success in this business, then you need to study successful examples.
You can do this by merely observing the best membership websites in your chosen industry but you can also go a step further – subscribe to them and see what you can learn from them.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the website easy to navigate? Am I logically guided from one page to another?
- How does the website use content (images, videos, blog)?
- Does the website have a community and how is it organized?
- How do they present their brand?
Once you study the best websites, explore also some of those that don’t work. Ask yourself why that is the case and how you can make sure you avoid those mistakes.
Master Website Navigation and Ease of Use
Once you have seen what works and what doesn’t, it is time to apply the best parts on your own website. In general, each website should be easy to navigate, but this is all the more true for membership sites.
As you add more and more content (blogs, videos, articles, webinars, products, services, etc.), your members will probably get confused. You definitely don’t want that to happen, as it will make your visitors leave.
Make sure that they can easily find the way from one section of the website to another, no matter how far away in the website hierarchy they are. Use clear categories and navigation to enable your members to find every type of content in a matter of seconds.
Also, if you run an ecommerce website, make sure that you use an advanced platform such as CS-Cart. This will facilitate your visitors to interact with your website effortlessly.
Offer a Perfect User Experience
Membership websites are all about user experience, so this is another core area you want to focus on. You don’t want to be one of those sites that offer terrible experience to their users, right?
To provide the best user experience, make sure you:
- optimize your website speed
- find and fix any broken links
- compress images that are too large (but keep their quality high)
- make your website mobile responsive
When you do these things, you will keep your visitors and members on your website. Not only will this keep the existing users but it will also send a signal to search engines that your site is worth checking out and thus attract new visitors.
Another thing you could do is to use knowledge base software to offer great front-end experience to your members, focusing on top-level categories on the main page, including article call-outs, and so on.
Never Underestimate Scammers
The world wide web provides everyone with an opportunity to succeed in business. However, the internet is also full of scammers, product theft members, and members who abuse terms and conditions.
At some point in your journey, you may get members who use fake credit card credentials to steal material from your website in order to sell it somewhere else on the internet. Also, there are occasions when a member buys a single membership and then shares it with other people.
Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent or minimize this kind of behavior:
- First, you can use software products that help you track someone’s IP address and prevent more than one user from being logged into your system at the same time.
- Moreover, you can blacklist and ban your members based on the IP address they use to access your website.