LESSON #32: How to Build a Membership Website

By | February 7, 2009

Within the past several lessons, I’ve covered a handful of different ways to build a website.

Today I’m going to talk about building a membership website…

(Watch this video…)

Join my coaching club

Main points:

  • Membership website = a website that contains a member area.

  • Memberships can be free, paid, or both.

  • Free membership sites: Often used for building a database of members, which can then be monetized in other ways. (Ex. facebook.com)

  • Remember, “the money is in the list”.

  • Paid membership sites: A membership fee is charged. It could be a one-time fee or a recurring membership fee.

  • Using recurring membership fees is a great way to add continuity to your business model.

  • Continuity = Cash Flow = Financial Freedom

  • Membership area is an ideal way to provide ongoing products/services.

  • (see video for behind-the-scenes of one of my 6-figure paid membership sites)

  • Multi-tiered membership sites: can give you the best benefits of both free and paid membership sites. (Grow a big list while generating income)

  • (see video for behind-the-scenes of one of my multi-tiered membership sites with over 30,000 members)

  • Tips for choosing a membership site script:

    – Get one that will install on your own domain.

    – Get one that is popular… there’s safety in numbers.

    – Make sure it will support your payment processing method.

    Possible choices:

    Membergate – high end solution with a great reputation. Runs about $4k-$30k.

    Amember – this is what I use for my paid membership sites.

    Butterfly Marketing – this is what I use for my multi-tier membership sites.

    Marketing Website Generator – This is a souped up version of Butterfly, made by my friend and programmer Nick Temple. Highly recommended.

    WordPress Wishlist – a membership plugin for WordPress (not shown on the video).

    Monthly Income Formula – A complete step-by-step home study course for setting up a membership site, including the script, ALL for much less cost than any of the scripts above.

    Action steps:

    1) Decide if you’re going to create a membership site.

    2) If yes, choose a script to run your site, and buy it.

    3) Install the script, or pay someone to install it for you. You can post projects and get scripts installed as cheap as $10 at Rent A Coder

    In the next lesson I’ll be covering WordPress!

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 325 thoughts on “LESSON #32: How to Build a Membership Website

    1. johnny

      Great lesson on memberships. Searching for memberships, I found a more to the point article where you can build a paid membership using SocialEngine and AVChat for the video-chat part. It will guide you step by step so, it’s accessible to everyone.

    2. Elvis

      Hi Eric,
      These are great lessons and I want to build my own membership website that have several areas like Tuturial Area, Discussion Area, Old Exam papers and answers, An area where I post picture of my Gold ash for sale, and so on.
      Can you help me build this site, I have a name that I want to use. I will pay for costs.


      1. Eric Post author

        I do not personally offer site building services, but it is certainly something that you could outsource. I do talk about outsourcing in this lesson series. Also, if you’re interested we can give you more personal direction in my group coaching club.

    3. Jay Bergers III

      What about building it with OP 2.0 ?
      Do you still need to purchase member software that integrates with Optimize Press 2.0 ?
      If yes, could you comment briefly re: how to proceed? I am currently a $97 month subscriber.

      1. Eric Post author

        You do not need to purchase additional membership software if you’re using OP to run your membership site. You can use their OptimizeMember add-on, which is included. Alternatively, you could purchase and use an additional membership plugin such as WishList in conjunction with the OP theme. But if the OP membership features are sufficient for what you need, then you don’t need to buy anything additional.

    4. reb

      do you know of any programs or addons that will auto refund a customer instead of having to do it manually?

      1. Micah

        Hello Reb,

        If a customer contacts you, you would need to manually refund them. But, if you use ClickBank or PayPal, the customer could always go directly to the payment processor for a refund.

        If you are looking for ways to automate your business, you might want to check out this:

    5. Janet

      Hi Micah,
      Thanks kindly for letting me know about Lesson 32 — membership websites. I had already went ahead and made my website. The problem I am encountering is how to market it, and drive traffic to it. I bought Bing Ad Words, and set up the SEO optimization on the site. It has been a real learning experience. Yet, I do not have any memberships yet.

      Also, I am trying to set up another site so that I can be a professional listener. I just have to add on Paypal Express to it. Again, I’m hung up on how to attract clients. I also have three fan pages on Facebook (Janet.com, The Woman Inside Me, and Rose Listens to You!) and am wondering how I can attract people to all of that as well. The traffic is the big hang up. Can you help?

      Many Kind Thanks,

    6. Mike Woron

      I bought your monthly income formula but had to get my money back because I couldn’t even open the manual or the videos.

      1. Micah

        Hello Mike,

        The materials are packaged in ZIP files, so you will need an unzipper to open them, before they will work properly. Your computer probably already has one, but if you need a Zip program, you can download a free one at http://www.7-zip.org

        Eric explains how to use ZIP progams 7 minutes and 40 seconds into the following video lesson. You may simply click the progress bar below the video display to locate the spot 7 minutes and 40 seconds from the start of the video:
        http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson9/Warmest Regards,

    7. Philomena Henry

      Hi Eric, I didnt get any videos with Lesson #31 n 32..It did say to watch the video but no video to click on.

    8. Marc M. Demers

      Hi Eric,

      It’s amazing to see all the income you can generate so easily. Congrats for your great Business.

      I hope one day to get only 10% of all you can do.

      I’m interesting in Membership Site too but prefer to way till the end of the course to decide my Membership Niche.



    9. Khalid Yusuf Khan

      Hi Eric,
      Your lessons are professional but after being for some time in to this glittering market,as buyer only,my view is that the new entrants should learn HTML,JAVA or at least Photoshop otherwise it remains a wild dream.
      I am a retired senior citizen from old lot and learned mouse handling very recently . I can write on paper faster than on machine. I can’t make a landing page . I can’t upload a down loaded text or video on to my site ( I have taken a ready made site ) I often wonder what to do when by mistake some button is pressed and the scene changes on the screen.

      By the way ! If I take your coaching program what chances are there for running my membership site in 15 -20 days ?
      Khalid Yusuf Kha

      1. Eric Post author

        You bring up a good point. I don’t think any of those things are prerequisites for building an online business, but they can certainly give you an advantage. I’m pretty good with HTML and photoshop and I do use them frequently. I’ve also seen people with zero of those skills build highly successful businesses, and the way they do it is outsourcing or hiring a team. So if you have no skills, basically you need some money to invest in the business. I think having a membership up and running in 15-20 days is reasonable. But it likely will take longer to get members into that site.

    10. RUOW

      I know I am getting into this late but I am interested in doing a membership site. I am in the healthcare world and work with individuals at my office and through FaceTime. I earn my income that way……..much like coaching. I am in the process of doing lessons much like yours but in my niche. I sell some nutrition also out of my office and would consider adding those products to membership site. I guess I need to know if your monthly income formula would still be relevant for me since it is 2018 and that your Amember pro membership script would still be relevant for me today or do I let Amember install it for me. Thanks in advance

    11. lili

      H e l l o ,
      I have done B.Tech. (IT). And i am having 3+ year of experience in Software Testing,Coding,and IT Managment Services. i having knowladge of QTP,load runner,Quality Center and some open source tools. i am interested in freelance software testing Project.Please let me know if you offer freelancing services for projects in line. If so, do contact me through e-mail for further details.

    12. Douglas

      Is the monthly income formula currently updated? I realize these lessons are several years old (yet still highly relevant. Principles always are!). Just wondering if the monthly income formula is still relevant.

      You also mentioned the name of the script As membership fire (I think). On the sales page it is Amember. I’m assuming the sales page was updated with the most current offer. Am I correct?


      1. Eric Post author

        Relevant yes, but that product is not updated. Currently the most up to date info, training and tools are in my Inner Profit Circle. Thanks!


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