So you want to start a membership site. Great!
You’re about to embark on a very profitable venture.
Chances are, you already have some ideas as to how to set up the site, how to market it and so on. And maybe you even have a few ideas as to the topic of your membership site. But you’re always looking for more ideas and more ways to profit, right?
Then you’ve come to the right place! That’s because –
You’re about to discover 27 exciting membership site ideas
you can swipe and put to use right away.
Some of them are related to business and marketing sites, while the rest are for the non-business niche. I’m sure you’ll find a few you never would have thought of on your own!
Before we get started, let me make one note:
- Sometimes when you think of membership site, you think of a site that goes on and on indefinitely.
Example: For some sites, like a PLR (Private Label Rights) membership site or a “book of the month” type club, a membership site that has no end might be the perfect model.
- However, there are some times when a membership site that ends at a specific time would be more suitable.
Example: A training site where you have 12 lessons might then end in three months (assuming you’re delivering one message per week). Customers could simply sign up for the lessons, which you deliver via autoresponder, and their training ends when the last autoresponder message is delivered.
Keep these two models in mind as you read through these membership site ideas. Now let’s get to it…
Affiliate marketing. Search engine optimization. Copywriting. And the list goes on…
When you start rattling off marketing topics, the list is definitely long. Fortunately for those wanting to start a membership site, nearly all of these topics can be turned into fun and profitable sites.
If you’re interested in starting a business or marketing membership site, here are 15 specific ideas to get you started…
Browse around on some of the major marketing forums, and you’ll see JV topics coming up repeatedly.
Everyone wants to know the secrets of creating profitable joint venture deals, finding great partners, and getting those potential partners to say yes.
Truth is, volumes can be written about this topic.
You could create an entire ebook on finding partners, another ebook on getting your foot in the door, another ebook on building relationships, another ebook on creating compelling proposals, another ebook on partner management… and the list goes on.
And because there’s so much to write on this topic, it could very easily be turned into a membership site.
Because the art and science of finding joint venture partners changes very little, this is the sort of training site you may limit to a specific duration.
Example: If you have 16 lessons, then the duration of the membership is 16 weeks.
If you’d rather have a membership site with no clear end in sight, then you can consider offering a joint venture matching service. That is, members get the opportunity to present their joint venture to other members.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another big topic.
And because it’s a topic where the “rules” change from time to time and people are constantly discovering new tips and tricks, you can run either a short-term or long-term membership site.
In addition, you can offer a service alongside your training.
Example: You can set up a system where members with related sites are able to trade links from one another. Ideally, you can set up “triangles” or “webs” where each member gets one-way incoming links (rather than reciprocal links).
If you talk to people who are new to pay per click (PPC) marketing, you’ll often hear horror stories of folks dumping hundreds or even thousands of dollars into AdWords with nothing to show for it.
They don’t gather leads, they don’t make sales. And in some cases, AdWords disables some of their keywords because they’re not performing well enough.
Next thing you know, these struggling marketers are posting on forums, “AdWords doesn’t work.” Of course those that make a profit every day (sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars) know differently. And with a little guidance, the struggling PPC marketers could start turning a profit, too.
Here’s where your new PPC membership site comes in. You can:
- Show people how to choose GOOD keywords.
- Give them the secrets of crafting killer PPC ads.
- Teach them how to create a high-converting landing page.
- Show them step-by-step how to set up a campaign.
- Reveal to them how to test and track their way to success.
- And show them all the other steps, tips and tricks they need to know to start running profitable campaigns.
In addition to this training, you can also give them “real world” results every week or perhaps every month.
Specifically, you run test campaigns, tweak them and share your results and analysis with your members. Your members will thank you for putting theory and words into action to produce real-live results!
There are plenty of people who are eager to learn how to write a good sales letter.
Some of these people want to learn how to become copywriters so that they can start a business writing letters for other marketers. Then there are marketers who want to learn the art and science of copywriting so they can improve their conversion rates.
If you focus on those who want to start copywriting businesses, then you’ll want to add in lessons such as business licensing, where to get clients and other marketing topics.
For both groups, you can offer copywriting lessons such as:
- How to use the AIDA formula (attention, interest, desire, action).
- How to craft a killer headline.
- How to craft compelling bullets.
- How to write a good guarantee.
- How to profile the target market.
- How to write short ads (like classified ads and PPC ads).
- How to test and track your results.
And so on.
In addition, you can offer weekly or monthly critiques of your members’ sales letters. The best way to do this is by offering video critiques, so that members can “look over your shoulder” and listen to you as you critique the letter.
It’s a win-win situation, because members get “free” critiques, and you get training materials and content to use for future and present students.
This idea is similar to the previous membership site idea, except that you’re offering training and critiques for press releases rather than sales letters. Some of the topics and lessons you might consider using include:
- How to write a good press release (the basics).
- How to format a press release.
- What a media editor is looking for in a press release.
- How to get your phone ringing off the hook and your hit counter spinning.
- How and where to submit your press release (includes online distribution sites like PRWeb, the “do it yourself” method, buying updated media contacts, hiring a professional distribution service, etc).
- How to prepare for the flood of traffic after a successful media blitz.
And so on – you get the idea.
Despite the fact that people have been talking about social media marketing for a few years now, it’s really just in its infancy. And that’s because the evolution of the web from an information web to a social web is also just really getting started.
Anyone who grabs the social media wave now stands to profit both in the present and in the long run.
As such, you can start up a membership site that teaches people the best way to use social bookmarking and social networking sites to drive traffic and build backlinks to their site. Some of the topics you might teach include:
- How to create viral content that will take on a life of its own.
- What type of content to bookmark.
- What type of content to put on social networking sites.
- How to build “friends” lists – and how to use these lists.
- How to get a good reputation on these sites.
- How to use these sites to get backlinks.
Alternatively, you can teach people how to profit from this craze by starting their own niche social networking sites. Some of the lessons you might teach include:
- Choosing a niche.
- Choosing the right software for your needs.
- How to attract members.
- And other marketing topics people need to know to run their own social bookmarking or social networking site.
Before we jump into this idea, let me warn you – this one requires you to actively maintain the site.
You see, many of the ideas we’ve talked about so far can more or less run on autopilot. You can create much of the content ahead of time, upload it, and then create an autoresponder series to deliver links to the content.
Not so with this idea.
So if you don’t think you can regularly maintain a site, then skip this idea because it’s not for you.
For those who’re interested, here’s the idea:
You scrounge the niche on a regular basis and compile the best forum and blog posts. You write a short description or summary of each post, include the link and send the compilation to your members.
At the very least, you do this on a weekly basis. Better yet, do it at least twice a week.
Simply put, this is a time saver for busy people. This is for people who want to keep their finger on the pulse of the niche, but don’t have the time to scan the forums and blogs regularly for new products, niche news, developments and so on.
Here’s a fact: People will pay money to save money.
Just look at some of the discount stores that are so prevalent in the U.S., like Costco and Sam’s Club.
These are “members only” stores that charge their members a yearly fee for the privilege of shopping at the store. In return, the shoppers get discounts that you can’t find anywhere else.
You can do the same thing in your niche. Simply start a membership site that’s basically full of product reviews and discount links.
In order to get these discount links, you can do one of two things:
- Ideally, do a joint venture with the merchant/vendor. They agree to provide a discount for your members. In exchange, you agree to take a smaller commission (or depending on the product, you may forgo your commission altogether in order to offer a “loss leader” product for your site).
- Another way to do it is by paying buyer’s “rebates” out of your commission checks. If you go this route, be sure to read the vendor’s affiliate agreement and terms of service first to ensure this is allowed.
Instead of calling your site a “membership site,” you could instead call it a workshop.
The actual mechanics of how you set up and run your site are the same – but you may actually boost the perceived value of your offer, thereby allowing you to charge more per member.
One such idea is to run a product creation workshop. Here you might include weekly lessons that members follow in real time, with the goal of completing their product right as the workshop ends.
Here are a few topics you might include over the course of the workshop:
- How to choose a potential topic.
- How to do market research to determine if the market wants the product.
- How to do competition research and analysis in order to create a better product for the market.
- How to create a unique selling proposition (USP) / how to position your product in the market.
- How to create a video product yourself.
- How to create an ebook product yourself.
- How to create an audio product yourself.
- How to create a software product yourself.
- How to get JV partners to help create a product.
- What format is best.
- What delivery method is best.
- How to boost the perceived value of a product.
- And other similar ideas.
Every marketer has his or own strengths. And everyone has their own part of the product creation and marketing process that they like to focus on.
Think about this – if you’re strength is in finding and researching niches, then you can bet you’ll find people willing to pay you to do this.
It’s a time saver for them. And if you’re good at it, then it’s also very profitable for your members.
Here’s the sort of information you might provide for each niche report:
- Full market research. An analysis of whether there’s a hungry niche and what they’re buying.
- Competition research. Let your members know what sort of products are already selling on the market, what seems popular, etc.
- Product analysis. Here you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular products on the market. Doing so helps your members create better products.
- Keyword research. If you use WordTracker, then provide KEI values so people know which words to attempt to rank for.
- Affiliate programs report. This report lets your members know what types of products they can promote in the niche as affiliates, what commission rates they’ll earn and so on.
- AdSense rates. Here you give people an idea of how much people are paying per click for their AdWords ads, which helps people get an estimate of how much they’ll get for clicks on their AdSense sites.
Instead of offering all of this for one price, you may even consider offering a multi-tier membership site (e.g., bronze, gold and platinum memberships).
Platinum members get all the reports for each niche every month, while gold members get fewer reports, and the bronze members get perhaps one report.
You can run this site one of two ways:
- You can offer general advice, and let members apply this advice to the niche of their choosing. That means that the advice works whether someone wants to buy and flip depression glass or if they want to buy and flip African antiques.
- Alternatively, you can run a site that specializes in one particular category of antiques and collectibles. For example, you can teach people how to buy and sell Civil War collectibles, metal signs, shaving kits, glassware, etc. Basically, you can specialize in antiques of all kinds from a certain era, or specific antiques from all era.
Either way, you may include topics like:
- Where to find antiques below cost (e.g., poorly described or categorized eBay auctions, other online auctions that aren’t as well trafficked, flea markets, estate sales, etc).
- How to take care of the items (e.g., cleaning or even repairing them can quickly and drastically devalue them).
- How to store them.
- What to look for in a “common” antique that will increase its value.
- How to research the item so you know how much to pay (so that you can still make a profit when you sell it).
- How to take good pictures of the item.
- How to write good eBay auction ads.
- How to make money with your existing customer list.
- And everything else folks need to know to find, buy and flip antiques for fun and profit.
For those who don’t want to deal in tangible goods, you can run a membership site that teaches people how to find under-performing websites, how to polish them so they start making some money, and then how to sell them for a profit.
Alternatively, you can create a site just around flipping domain names.
Some of the topics might include:
- Where to find the best deals.
- What to look for when evaluating a site.
- How to avoid getting ripped off.
- How to turn a poor-performing site into a money-making site.
- How to drive traffic to the new and improved site.
- Where and how to sell it for a profit.
- And everything else people need to know to make money flipping websites.
Run a search on Google or browse your favorite business forum, and you’ll find there are plenty of products servicing those who need information about choosing a business model, marketing the business and more.
However, you’ll see relatively scant information about the “drier” topics that touch on the legal aspects of the business.
Perhaps this is because the topics are rather dry. After all, sitting around filling out paperwork to get business licenses and doing one’s taxes certainly don’t put money in the bank (at least not in the way the exciting topic of marketing does). And so people often skip right over some of this stuff – to their detriment.
There are two ways you can ignite people’s interest in this topic:
- By scaring potential members. Let them know how much money they stand to lose if they don’t get the legal side of their business.
- By opening people’s eyes. Here you let prospects know how much money they can keep if they know the right way to do their taxes.
Obviously, you’ll need to be a tax accountant or attorney in order to tackle some of these topics, or you need to hire one to work with you. But you can cover topics like:
- Business licenses.
- How and when to incorporate.
- How to do your taxes.
- How to save money on your taxes.
- What to do if you get sued.
- How to protect your intellectual property.
- And other legal and tax issues.
One idea you may consider is to offer a relatively cheap or even free membership in this site. Then you can make money on the backend by joint venturing with the attorneys and tax accountants whose products and services you recommend to your members.
Many online marketers dabble in if not focus on selling information products.
That’s because they’re cheap and easy to create and distribute. Indeed, you can even offer them as downloadable products to virtually eliminate overhead costs.
But many marketers have ideas about physical products they’d like to create and sell. Problem is, they have no idea where to start. They have an idea for a product, but they don’t know what to do next.
That’s where you come in with a solution. You can offer a membership site that teaches people everything they need to know creating and selling physical products, including:
- Whether a patent is needed, and how to get one.
- How to find someone to create a prototype.
- How to find someone to manufacture the product.
- What to look for before you sign a contract of any kind (e.g., how to avoid getting ripped off).
- How to find people to distribute the product (e.g., how to get your product into an offline store).
- How to market the product yourself.
- And everything else someone needs to know to create and sell physical products.
There are plenty of people who want to start a business, but they think it’s expensive.
Even if they realize it’s not expensive, there are those who are looking to save money by purchasing low cost tools and resources to get up and running. This is especially true during hard economic times, when people are reluctant to spend freely (and credit is tight too).
You can service this niche by creating a membership site that teaches them how to get their business up, running and profitable on a shoestring budget. Then you can teach them how to reinvest some of their profits to grow their business.
Some of the lessons you might teach include things like:
- Where to get a reliable yet inexpensive web host, credit card processor, domain registrar, autoresponder service and so on.
- Where to get good yet relatively inexpensive services such as web design, copywriting, script installation and similar.
- How to save money by learning how to do some of these jobs yourself.
- Step-by-step instructions to do things like setting up an autoresponder or a PayPal button.
- Where to get freebies and coupons (e.g., where to get a coupon offering $50 in free AdSense clicks).
- Cheap or free places to advertise.
- Cheap or free resources to learn other aspects of business and marketing.
- And other cheap or free tools, products and resources people can use to get up and running fast.
There you have it – 15 business-related membership ideas you can steal and start using immediately.
Of course, those 15 are just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, you can simply use the above list of ideas as a springboard to your own profitable ideas.
Either way, I hope you make a fortune with them!
Once you start looking into non-business niches, you’ve opened the door to a nearly endless supply of ideas.
If you can think of a niche, there’s probably a hungry market eager to buy goods and services.
And if they’re already buying goods and services, they’ll probably purchase memberships into your site.
In short: You’re about to discover a dozen non-business membership ideas… but there are thousands upon thousands of ideas you could pursue instead.
That means that while you can take these ideas and put them to use, don’t be afraid to merely use them for inspiration to create an even bigger list of profitable membership site ideas.
Now let’s get on with the list…
In case you’re not familiar with the term (it’s popular in the U.S.), RV is short for “recreational vehicle,” also known as a motor home or travel trailer.
Now, most people use RVs for family vacations for a week or two out of the year. However, there are those who are considered full time “RV’ers” – these are people who’ve sold their houses and live in their RVs. Often they travel to warmer climates in the winter, and back to their home region during the summer.
As you can imagine, the idea of full time RV’ing appeals to some people. But the problem is, it’s also a huge lifestyle change, and these folks are looking for guidance. You can provide that guidance by covering such topics as:
- How to choose the right type of RV.
- How to save money on insurance.
- How to get online while on the road.
- How and where to get your postal mail.
- How to do basic RV maintenance.
- Good RV resorts.
- Cheap RV resorts.
And so on – there are plenty of topics you could include. Just visit RV forums to see what people are asking about.
Here’s a hot niche topic that have made ebook sellers rich – “pick up” secrets for men who’d like to get more dates.
Your membership site may include:
- Health and hygiene tips.
- Fashion tips to look good.
- Boosting self confidence.
- How to catch a woman’s eye.
- How to flirt.
- How to get phone numbers.
- Where to take her on a first date.
And so on.
If you need more ideas, just visit the numerous seduction sites online to see what sort of information they’re offering. Also, use WordTracker to do some keyword research – it may surprise you when you discover what types of information men are seeking.
As you likely already know, weight loss continues to be a hot market. But if you want a piece of this market, you should find a niche to serve.
Here are a few ideas just to get you thinking:
- Future brides who need to lose weight before the wedding.
- People who need to be in shape before joining the military.
- People who need to lose weight or their employers will have them pay more in health insurance.
- New moms who want to lose the baby weight.
- Middle-age people trying to prevent weight gain as they age.
- College students trying to lose the “freshman 15” (the 15 pounds they put on through poor eating habits since leaving home).
Those are just a few ideas – there are plenty of weight-loss niches out there.
As for content, it’s the same type of content you’d see in any weight loss product, including: Diet secrets, information about exercise, motivation and supplements.
Typically we think of weight-loss sites, as that’s a bigger market. But there’s also a decent-size market of people who’re looking to gain weight. This market includes:
- Bodybuilders looking to put on muscle and mass.
- Athletes who need to get bigger (like football players).
- Tall, skinny teenage boys who’d like to get defined.
- People with medical conditions who’ve lost a lot of weight and are struggling to put it back on.
And so on.
You can provide diet tips, workout (bodybuilding) tips, supplement tips, motivational information, etc. You can even put together contests to see who improves the most in six, eight or twelve weeks.
Here’s a neat little membership site you can put together, upload into an autoresponder, and then forget about (save for marketing to get new members). That’s because it’s fairly easy to create an “evergreen” motivation site that could go on for years using the content you create today.
Now, the best idea is to choose a niche and delivery daily or weekly motivational messages and articles to them. Here are just a few niche ideas to get you thinking:
- Motivational messages for people wanting to lose weight.
- Motivation for members of a specific religion (in this case, it might not be motivational messages so much as meditations).
- Motivation for people with cancer.
- Motivation for people starting a business.
- Motivation for people going through a divorce.
- Motivation for athletes.
As you can see, there are plenty of people needing motivation. Just carve out your niche and start delivering daily or weekly messages to boost and inspire them!
Not everyone believes in the “Law of Attraction,” but those who do form a somewhat rabid market. That is, they’re always looking for new information on attracting what they want into their life.
As with most of these membership ideas, you can focus on a particular niche for best results.
Example: You can focus on people who want to attract love into their life, or those who want to attract peace or, perhaps those who want to attract wealth and success.
Regardless of the niche, here are lessons and other ideas to get you started:
- Explanation of what the law of attraction is.
- How it works even if the person isn’t consciously using it.
- How to put emotion behind one’s intentions and desires.
- How to attract anything, effortlessly.
- Daily meditations and visualizations (also, reminders that members should in fact be doing this daily).
- How to use attraction tools like dream boards and gratitude journals.
While you can offer this course through an autoresponder or regular membership site, you may consider offering a support forum (this is true not just of this membership idea, but of several we’ve discussed). This allows members to share their results and motivate one another.
You can create a site for people who’ve recently lost someone close to them, but they’re finding it hard to get over their grief. Again, here’s a site where you may want to offer a support forum, as those in grief will take great comfort in getting support from other members.
The actual content you provide can include daily messages of comfort, along with solid ideas for helping the person get over their grief (while at the same time assuring them that their grief is normal and temporary).
As with all these ideas, you may choose to create a site around a specific niche, such as:
- Those who lost a loved one in an unexpected way, such as a murder or a freak accident.
- For widows or widowers who’ve lost a spouse.
- Parents who’ve lost a child.
- People who lose a loved one after a long illness.
- People who’ve lost a beloved pet.
Again, the possibilities are nearly endless.
Some people want to conserve energy and resources as a way to help the planet, while others want to do it to help their bank accounts.
You can choose to service either of these groups of people (or both) by setting up a “how to go green” membership site.
You can create an all-encompassing site that helps people “go green” in all aspects of their lives.
Or you can choose to focus on one aspect, such as reducing their carbon footprint at home, choosing their transportation wisely, driving tips that save gas, how to “go green” on vacation, “go green” tips for business owners and so on.
The exact content and lessons you provide largely depends on the overall topic you choose. But the basic idea is to teach people how to reduce, reuse, recycle and save.
Have you or someone you know ever wished you could save a few bucks by learning how to change your own car oil? If so, you’re not alone.
Plenty of people are interested in learning how to go basic maintenance and repair so that they can take care of their cars better, save money, and just get that good feeling that comes with being independent.
You can service these people by creating a car maintenance and repair membership site, which may include topics like:
- How to check fluid levels and fill as needed.
- What type of oil and fluids to buy.
- What to avoid (things that are bad for the car).
- How to change the oil.
- How to change belts.
- How to change filters.
- How to change a tire.
- And other car-care tips to increase the life span of the car.
If you’re dealing with fairly basic tasks, you may be able to offer your advice in a fairly general way. Otherwise, you can offer a niche site such as “Car-Care for Chevy Owners.” Or you can get more specific and open a site for a particular model (e.g., Car-Care for Corvette Owners).
As long as we’re talking about cars, here’s another idea: classic car restoration.
Here you choose a specific type of car, such as a 1970 Corvette. Then you show people step by step how to restore the car. Your lessons may include:
- Where to get a good deal on a project car.
- Where to get parts.
- The tools you need.
- How to reupholster the seats.
- How to swap out the motor.
- How to repaint the car.
- How to change the brakes.
And so on.
Basically, you give a step-by-step guide to choosing and restoring a car. If you space the lessons out appropriately, members can complete a lesson per week and restore their car during the duration of the course.
Topics that save people money and make people money are always popular. But have you ever noticed how much money people spend on their hobbies? That’s why you can service a hobby niche and make a bundle.
One such hobby niche you may consider is the fishing market. Of course there are plenty of niches to choose from within this greater market. For example, you can start a site for:
- Trout fishers.
- Fly fishers.
- People who only fish in one region of the world, such as Canada.
- People who fish from freshwater lakes.
- Stream / river fishers.
- Deep-sea fishers.
- Beginners, intermediates or advanced.
And so on.
Depending on who you’re targeting, you may include topics and lessons like:
- Rules, regulations and licensing requirements.
- Choosing your equipment.
- The best tackle and bait (may include reviews of popular tackle and bait products).
- The best time of the year to fish.
- The best time of the day to fish.
- The best rivers, lakes, streams, etc to fish in.
- Where to get good deals on “fishing packages” (e.g., vacation packages to fishing locations).
- And everything else people need to know to start landing big fish.
If you want to give people the full experience, you can even include tips on cleaning and cooking fish.
I just mentioned a moment ago that any time you can help people make or save money, you’ll generally have plenty of customers. That’s why I thought we should with a membership idea that helps people save money.
Here again there are plenty of niches to choose from. And as usual, the content and lessons you deliver will largely be decided by the niche you’re servicing. Here are a few niche ideas you can use:
- How to save money on home heating bills (e.g., how to winterize the house).
- How to save electricity.
- How to save gas.
- How to save money on the monthly grocery bill.
- How to save money when you use your credit card.
- How to invest your money wisely in a 401k or IRA.
- How to save money by investing in the right stocks.
- Tips to creating a budget and saving money every month.
- How to save money by repurposing and reusing products.
- How to save money on your regular bills (e.g., switching cell phone carriers, scaling back on your cable package, etc).
- How to save money by looking for deals (e.g., where to get good deals on vacations, where to get freebies and trial offers, etc).
You can also further target your “save money” site by choosing a particular niche, such as:
- Senior citizens.
- College students.
- Newly divorced people.
- Unemployed people.
- Single mothers (or other one-income families).
So as an example, you may create the “Senior Citizen’s Guide to Saving on Home Heating Bills” or the “Single Mother’s Guide to Saving for Retirement” or “The Retirees Guide to Traveling the World on a Shoestring Budget.”
Now you have a dozen solid non-business membership ideas.
However, I’m guessing that as you were reading these ideas, you thought of another dozen or so off the top of your head.
Write them down right now so you don’t forget them. And then take a few minutes and brainstorm as many other membership ideas as you can, because one of them will make you a fortune!
Now you have a list of 27 membership ideas (15 business and 12 non-business ideas).
And if you followed my advice in the last section, you likely have several more ideas that you thought up while reading this report.
That means you have at least 27 (and likely many more) ideas that could serve as your path to membership site riches.
Any one of these ideas could be made profitable.
And as you noticed, many of them can be run virtually on autopilot.
But even though it’s fairly easy to set up and run these sites, they won’t set themselves up.
That means you need to take action.
You need to choose your niche, sketch out what you’ll offer this niche, set it up, and then attract members.
If you’re already familiar with the niche, you can have your first lesson or two created in a few hours… and then get your site set up within another few hours. You don’t need to create the entire lesson-set before you start accepting money.
In other words, you could be making money with these site ideas by tomorrow. But you need to take action right now by selecting your niche.
Go to it!