Membership WordPress blogs are just one of the many ways to make money online. For some webmasters they are a golden mine, for others they are a big disappointment. While there is no ultimate recipe for success, there are some basic rules to follow in order to stand a better chance. Here are 5 of those essential tips to make your membership WordPress blog profitable.
1. Use Nothing but the Best WordPress Membership Site Plugin
The number of WordPress membership site plugins might not be overwhelming but there are some really good ones. For instance, s2Member is a great plugin that has all the features you need. If you want to see all the options you have, check this review of the available WordPress membership plugins.
2. Have LOTS of Free Content
It might look like a waste to give good content for free when you can charge for it but you do need free content for marketing purposes. Free content is indexed by Google and if it is really good, your site will rank well for your target keywords. This will bring you traffic and most likely many of these targeted visitors will become your subscribers. Additionally, if your free content is really good, it stands a chance to go viral and reach millions of people for free. Free viral content is a great way to promote a site and establish you as an expert.
3. Offer a Free Trial and an Easy Registration
The purpose of free content is to draw visitors to your site. Once they are there, your task is to convert them into subscribers. Since people are cautious to commit directly, give them a free trial. A free trial works better than a money-back guarantee because they have to pay nothing at first.
When you present them with the free trial form, don’t forget to ask them about their credit card number. While people might be resistant to give such information, you need this data – after the free trial expires and they don’t cancel it, you will bill them. Many sites use this model, so your would-be members shouldn’t be shocked. Some payment processors, such as Authorize.net and PayPal Pro offer automated billing, so if you don’t have accounts with them yet, consider opening one.
Credit card number isn’t the only piece of data you need about your members. You also need at least their email and name. Most likely you will also need location, occupation, and interests. These are important to know so that you can serve your members targeted content.
In any case, don’t make the registration form too long because the longer the form, the higher the give-up rate. Multi-step registration forms work well, so if you really need a lot of data, consider gathering it in 2, 3, or more steps.
4. Keep the Good Content Pouring and Gently Remind Non-Payers
Converting visitors to members is only the first step. You need to retain them. The only way to do it is by keeping the good content pouring. When your members are constantly getting useful content and your membership fee is reasonable, they will subscribe month after month. One of the easiest ways to keep the good content pouring is by the so-called drip-feeding.
Drip-feeding works best for sequential content (i.e. a training course or any kind of series), where each item is related to the previous ones and so members need to follow. Almost any WordPress membership site plugin supports drip-feeding but Digital Access Pass is one of the easiest to use.
Your content might be great but there will always be non-payers. Automated billing I mentioned in the previous section works great to collect payments but you also need other ways, such as a series of emails, to gently remind non-payers. Sometimes people just forget to pay, in other cases they aren’t interested in your blog anymore but you need to follow them to see if they will return.
5. Promote Yourself as an Expert in the Niche
In addition to great content, another magnet for your subscribers is your authority. If you are considered an expert in your niche, more people will be willing to pay to learn your secrets. When you are considered an expert, this opens additional earning opportunities, like selling books and other stuff to your subscribers.
These simple tips are just the basics you need to know about running a profitable WordPress membership blog. There is a lot more to know but you need somewhere to start from.
About the Author
Ada is a contributor to WinkPress, which is a web resource about leveraging WordPress, its themes, and plugins to create versatile and unusual websites. Visit the site to learn more about WordPress membership plugins.