LESSON #32: How to Build a Membership Website

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 comments on “LESSON #32: How to Build a Membership Website

    1. Mike G

      Hi Micah. Glad to meet you. I think aMember id better dont you think?

    2. Micah

      Yes! You really can’t go wrong with Amember! That’s what Eric uses for his membership websites. It also has great integration with ClickBank, where Eric sells a number of products and memberships.

    3. Rebecca

      Hi Eric, thanks so much for all your helpful input! I bought IPE when it as launched but had some problems with timing and haven’t used it yet, I also wanted to use it from one url and have watched this video about membership sites. Questions arise. Can I use any/all of these on a Squarespace site of my own reation (they are brilliant!) and what do you think of making the site a membership site with info selling IPE products?



    4. Stu

      Hello Eric, Are you still affilliated with ” Instant Product engine”? I think my link to you came via this site.Whilst I am following your lessons I am also receiving instructional material from Naveed @ I. P. E. Am I trying to study two courses simultaneously?

    5. william griffey

      this sounds great cant wait to get started!

    6. Micah

      Hello Stu,

      Yes, Eric is Naveed’s partner for Instant Product Engine.

      This blog mainly consists of free coaching videos from Eric on how to have your own online business.

    7. Nombulelo

      Hi Eric
      My emails to helpdesk@asknaveed.com keep bouncing back. I need Naveed to answer some questions. Am I doing anything wrong?

    8. Micah

      Hello Nombulelo,

      Are you creating tickets at Naveed’s helpdesk, or attempting to send emails to the helpdesk?

      Naveed would be happy to help you, but he needs to be able to see your tickets. Please create a ticket at the following link when contacting Naveed:

    9. Ruth

      I was so very relieved to hear Eric say, in Lesson 3, “Stop buying stuff.” I believe it is a marketer’s job to make the buyer (potential) feel the urgency to buy now, this minute, before it’s gone forever! I now know that if it does go, then something better has taken it’s place. When I am ready, I shall have the know-how to make an informed decision and not waste my hard earned money. Now, even if Eric mentions something I trust him enough to know it’s a good product, but I also hear, in my head, those magic words, “Stop buying stuff.”

    10. Eric

      What do you think about my tutorial?

    11. Micah

      Hello Eric,

      Will you please post a link to the tutorial? It wasn’t included in your comment above.

    12. Ana Danel

      Eric, Thank You very much, this was, like all your videos, very helpful and easy to understand, which is mostly needed for people just starting online but great as well for everybody else. I find your style refreshing and reassuring. Regarding membership sites,
      I wanted to share a resource for those who would like to start a membership site without having to spend on a script. It is called s2Member, and it is becoming pretty popular lately. I use it myself and even its FREE version goes far and integrates with Paypal standard. The paid version -one $69 USD payment- cheaper than the rest I have checked out, also integrates with Payal Pro, Authorize.Net, Clickbank and Google Checkout. They provide surprisingly good support. You can check it out at http://s2memberpro.com
      Again, thank You for all You do!
      Ana Danel

    13. Mark Lewis

      I just got information overloaded. Good lesson, Eric, as usual. I have to watch this one again, should not have watched it while sleepy.



    14. Jill

      Hi, Been looking into this for about a month now, one question, how much REALLY do you need to invest to get up and running, I.E software, hosting aweber etc I dont have much of a budget!! Thanks for any replies Jill

    15. Jill

      PS, just noticed in the Video you show 2008 screen shot for sales, does this still work in 2012?

    16. Lewis Hathorn

      I have done some research on membership sites,
      and I think a combined free and paid is the
      best way to go.Now, as a Newbie, I’m starting
      to think your “The Real Coaching Club” might be
      a good investment. This is particularly true
      from about Lesson 19 going forward. But the
      lessons are well presented, and I feel No Cost
      Income program is something that WILL work.

    17. Micah

      Hello Jill,

      Yes, this is still working great in 2012, and will likely work many years from now!

    18. Micah

      Hello Jill,

      It’s possible to get your business off the ground with little to no money at all.

      You might be interested in Eric’s latest product called the No Cost Income Stream:

      It teaches how to build a business when you don’t have a budget.

    19. Micah

      Hello Lewis,

      The Coaching Club can certainly help you as you move forward.

      There is a trial offer of $17 for the first month, so you can see if it’s right for you:

    20. Lewis Hathorn

      Hello, Eric:
      I just got through reading your lengthly report
      on the “Monthly Income Formula”. I was quite
      impressed with detailed and clear outline of
      what to expect should one decide to buy this
      program. Too, the value is exceptional, $97.00
      makes this one of the greatest buys ever! Will
      I buy it? Well…Why not? I, of course, plan
      to continue with the current lessons

    21. Guillaume

      Hi Eric,

      I feel extremely privileged to be one one of your pupils, thank you.

      I run my website on WordPress and i seem to attract a number of scam in my comments. I filter the porn but other scam still persist. Is there a scam filter you can recommend?
      The address is http://www.whatachoice.net

      I also need a plug-in sign up form, can you please recommend such a plug-in.

      Thank you for excellent blue ribbon training!

    22. Doreen

      Hi Eric
      I have checked out monthly income formula and the link works perfectly so mj has a problem with her browser, on another note it sounds a great oppotunity which I would love to do futher down the line but like you said you can go into information overload so to follow you 105% now is not the time to be studying and course will it still be available at the end of your course? thank you for your assistance with this delema.

    23. Micah

      Hello Doreen,

      Yes, it should still be available then. There aren’t any plans to remove the product in the future.

    24. Linda

      My hats off to you Eric, for your excellent work. I am currently working on rolling out a national multi-tiered website. I am so pleased I have found your site! Perhaps I will be able to launch this business earlier than I thought. Thanks!

    25. Jill

      Thanks for the reply, will start asap!! I will let you know how I get on! Thanks Jill

    26. Keisha

      •Tips for choosing a membership site script:
      – Get one that will install on your own domain.


      in regards to the above statements, this is where I am getting confused. I am in the process of trying to put together a membership website, but how do I know whether or not the script will integrate into my website? I see this (PHP 5.2+
      MySQL 5.0+
      Unix/Linux hosting, or Apache webserver on Windows) and not sure how to find out whether that particular webhost/webdesign site will support these scripts. I know I may be all over the place, but my question to you is how can I find out if the script will integrate with the webdesign/webhost I decide on?

    27. Micah

      Hello Keisha,

      Your host will typically have a support desk or email where they may be reached, if you have any questions like that.

      You might also want to check their FAQ page to see if anything is posted concerning the versions of these tools currently supported.

    28. Bob Tolbert

      Hi Eric,
      Great tips. Having a free membership site is very important part of your success. It can really help you build your brand and create engagement to your site.

    29. Terry


      I love your teaching. I am a member of the coaching club. I bought Monthly Income Formula, and I can’t seem to get the script. Is the script included in the Monthly Income Formula download, or do I have to get it from MemberFire? It seems that Memberfire is no more? Am I right, or am I going about it all wrong? Thanks for all you help.

    30. Micah

      Hello Terry,

      Yes, it’s the 2nd link on your download page. The link is named, “Membership Site Script:”

      The author of the script used to have a support forum available.

      After selling resale rights, they pulled the product, because they found they were providing free support to too many people who didn’t purchase directly from them.

    31. Churchill Lewis

      Thanks Eric, not just for this video but, all your lessons. I consider you my sensei lol and your lessons have been very valuable to me. Because of you I am now able to help other people who are trying to be internet marketers. And I tell them about you. If you see my comment could you email me. This isn’t a jv request lol. I want to ask you some questions about a launch you did recently.

    32. Richard

      Thank you greatly Eric! Have known of you for many years. I am creating a folder and going through all of your videos from #1. You have always had a great reputation, & am looking forward to viewing these.

    33. Bill Graham

      Hi Eric,

      Great series!

      I have question about 10-free-Ebooks. What are they members of? What did they buy?



    34. Eric Post author

      The free members joined to get 10 free ebooks… literally. The paid members initially joined as free members to get the ebooks also, but then purchased the upsell for additional PLR ebooks/materials. You can see how it works if you sign up at http://10-free-ebooks.com/download/signup.php

    35. Joe

      Have you looked at S2 Member. They have a free option that will manage a simple site. http://www.s2member.com/framework/ This is not an affiliate link by the way. Eric thanks for the free information. Great content.

    36. Michael Gorman

      Hi Eric,
      really impressed with the depth of training you and your associates offer, fabulous guys; was wondering what your opinion of “Wishlist” together with ‘Optimizepress’ is for a Membership site-I am planning one.
      Thank you.

    37. Micah

      Hello Michael,

      I haven’t tried OptimizePress, but that does look like it could be a good combo!

    38. alex

      hi Eric,
      thanks a lot for this lesson. your lessons are very useful, they keep me in touch with my project to built a membership website while following your tips… again really thank you

    39. uomolibero

      Hi Eric,Your work and help is very valuable.
      I am interested in the Monthly Income Formula,but I still don’t think It can be that easy as it looks.You still have to create value for the customer somehow and most important you must create traffic to your website.SO the most common IM are still there.

    40. Ralph

      If an online membership business is chosen as a new business venture, is there a source of niches to review from which to select membership areas both of interest to me and which are profitable?

    41. Al

      I am appreciative of the info that you provide but one note that may be of assistance when creating your videos: Every few moments you smack your lips or make a smacking sound. The repetition of this is difficult to tolerate. I mean no harm in saying this; if anything, I hope the info helps you make even better videos later.

    42. Eric Post author

      Thanks for the feedback. I think as the lessons progress, you will find that I got better at recording and editing them 🙂


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