In the last few years, I have seen membership subscription websites take the
Internet by storm. Most subscription sites offer their subscriptions for a fee;
however, a handful offer their information for free to anyone who will provide
an email address and name.
The focus of this article will be on the fee-based membership subscription
websites. Back in the Internet dark ages in 1997 or so, everyone expected
everything online to be free of charge. For a few years, as more and more people
purchased computers and chose to be online, that philosophy worked quite well.
Around the year 2000, however, that philosophy began to change. The dot-com bust
was beginning, and many companies realized that continuing to provide their
services or content free of charge wasn’t going to work in the new Internet
marketplace. The fee-for-content phase was beginning, and many were skeptical,
saying the people would never pay for something that was once free.
Now, paying for information online has become the rule, rather than the
exception. Newspapers charge to access their article archives; membership
associations charge to access their membership lists; and membership
subscription websites charge to access the "insider" information that a
particular industry or niche finds vital for success.
I am amazed at the number of membership websites out there that cater to all
interests. Here are some examples:
There are a number of companies providing membership subscription
software and services in the marketplace, and the prices are all over the
board. Two that come highly recommended are
MemberGate, which is a membership
website development company that will host and help you develop your
website, and aMember Professional,
which is software that you purchase and install to help you manage your
Integrating a membership website as a key part of your marketing funnel will
be a time-consuming endeavor, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile. Here
are some tips to keep in mind, as you think about launching your own
membership subscription website:
A membership subscription website can be a phenomenal way to leverage
your expertise and can grow to become a lucrative multiple profit center
for your business. Create your business plan for your site and do the
research up front to determine if this strategy will be a viable profit
center for your business and how you will integrate it into your current
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