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How to Create a Membership Site that Generates Passive Income Part I

People ask me all the time how I got started with Internet Marketing and  I tell them that there were two things. One, I wanted a way to take my knowledge and expand it using the web and second, it fulfilled a way for me to create passive income.

Simple Membership SystemThe response that I usually get from people after  I tell them this, is that they want to start a membership site and want to know how to get started. So, I decided t write a short series of posts describing to you how to get your own membership site up and running.

So you want to start a membership site.

The first thing you need to think about is your niche and your topic.

Now think about this for a moment…

Your goal is to get members to happily pay you month after month for content. Obviously, that means you need to:

  • Over-deliver with quality content. You want your members to feel like they’re getting a steal for the price.
  • Give your members what they want. If you’re just starting your site, then look to the top-selling products in your niche to see what your target market is already paying for.

But here’s something else…

In order to get your members paying month after month, you need to be able to make them look forward to each upcoming lesson. And the best way to do that is by creating a membership site around a step-by-step process. That is, your lessons teach your members how to achieve a specific result.

You see, if you just provide tips and tricks for your members, there’s no sense of continuity. Your members don’t develop as strong of a psychological commitment to staying a member, because they won’t have a need to see the course through until the end.

Now imagine having numbered steps and lessons instead. When someone is receiving lesson 10 of a step-by-step process, they’ve made an investment of time and money into learning the process – so they are less likely to “bail” before they’ve received all the steps.

Let me give you a few examples of sites that teach a specific achievement or result using a step-by-step process:

  • How to start an online business.
  • How to write a sales letter.
  • How to choose, train and raise a puppy.
  • How to adopt a child.
  • How to homeschool your child.

Now let me give you an example of what a 12-week online marketing course might look like:

Step 1: Choose a niche.

Step 2: Market research.

Step 3: Plan your sales funnel.

Step 4: Get a domain and hosting.

Step 5: Get an autoresponder.

Step 6: Write your autoresponder messages.

Step 7: Create a squeeze page.

Step 8: DIY product creation – research and outline.

Step 9: DIY product creation – creating and polishing the product.

Step 10: Create a sales letter.

Step 11: Drive traffic – free methods

Step 12: Drive traffic – paid methods.

Notice how each step builds on the previous step.

It starts with a member not even having an idea for a niche… and ends with the member driving traffic to a sales letter and making money.

In other words, if the member completes the steps as the course progresses, he or she should be able to enjoy a specific achievement or result by the end of the course.

 Note: The above example is a 12-week course. Naturally, you could easily stretch this out to a year or more by creating more steps and more in-depth steps. You could go on indefinitely as long as you kept providing more advanced info as the course progressed.

One final tip…

To keep your customers happy, make sure that they are progressing and enjoying results right from the beginning.

Example: If you create a yearlong course, don’t stretch out the process for a year. Instead, give the step-by-step instructions your customers need to experience some type of results immediately (within a few weeks or month after joining) and then provide more in-depth instructions as the course progresses.

In short: Satisfy your customers’ needs for instant gratification while still providing the continuity that will keep them as a member. You’ll learn more about that in Part 2 of this series.

Dave