The ultimate membership site checklist

If you’ve heard that membership sites are really profitable, you’ve heard right. But maybe you’re not sure how to start, run and grow one. That’s where this checklist comes in. This is your crash-course checklist guide to hit the ground running…

Click for the easiest way to create a membership site!


Step 1: Pick a Niche Topic

There’s no use in setting up a membership site if no one is interested in what you’re offering. So find out what your market wants by:

  • Researching to find out what they’re already buying.
  • Surveying them to find out what they want and need.
  • Checking keyword tools to see what sort of information they’re looking for in the search engines.

Hint: Finding out what people are already buying is the BEST indicator of what they’ll buy in the future. So focus on the first step above when doing market research to find out what’s popular in your niche. For example, search to see what topics are bestsellers in your niche.



Step 2: Choose a Membership Site Model

Next, you need to decide how you’re going to deliver the information. For example:

  • Ongoing monthly membership site, which goes on indefinitely.
  • Fixed-term membership site, which ends after a specific duration (such as six months).
  • One-off membership site, which is where the member pays once to gain access to a “vault” of related information that’s designed to solve a specific problem.



Step 3: Develop a Plan

Now that you know your membership model and topic, take time to develop an overall business plan. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they want?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your business strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you bring traffic to your site?
  • How will you convert this traffic into paying customers?
  • What types of content will you give to members?
  • How will you make money on the backend?
  • How will you retain members?

Note: you’ll figure how to answer most of these questions using the information below, as well as using the other checklists in this bundle.


Step 4: Craft Your USP

Your prospects have a lot of options when it comes to solving their problems, so when they land on your membership site they’re going to have this question: “Why should I choose you over your competitors?”

You answer this question by forming a USP (unique selling proposition), which tells prospect how your site is different from (and better than) the competitors. For example:

  • You offer personal coaching.
  • You offer an exceptional guarantee.
  • You have special qualifications to teach this information.
  • Your membership charges a low price.
  • You charge a high price (for high quality).
  • You offer a private support forum.
  • You offer live events.
  • You bring in guest experts.
  • You have the biggest membership.
  • You’re the first to teach some specific strategy.

And so on.

Just be sure your unique sales proposition is something that your prospects and customers value.

Step 4: Price Your Membership

Next, you need to determine how much you’ll charge. Ask yourself:

  • Is it a one-off payment or is it a monthly membership?
  • How much are your competitors charging for similar content?
  • What are your overall income goals?
  • How many members will you need to achieve these goals?

HINT: Keep in mind that up to 75% of your income will come in on the backend of your site. So if you want to make $100,000 with your site, as little as $25,000 may come in the form of frontend membership site fees.


Step 6: Select Your Platform

Next, you need to decide how you’ll set up your membership site, and what sort of tools you’ll use to automate it. Specifically:

  • Set up a membership site using a well-known script such as
  • Set up a membership site using WordPress and a membership plugin.
  • Set up a membership site on a password-protected forum or a secret Facebook group.
  • Set up a membership site by having customers sign up for your autoresponder.

You’ll also need to choose a payment processor, such as,,, or a similar processor that meets your needs.


Step 7: Create Content

If you’ve done your market research, then you know what your market wants – now you need to create content that solves their problems and meets their needs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much content do you need? For example, are you creating one set of content, or do you need ongoing content for an indefinite amount of time?
  • How will you format the content? E.G., reports, videos, tools, etc.?
  • How will you create the content so it builds on previous pieces? (This continuity is what keeps people engaged and reading.)
  • How will you add value to the content? (E.G., Mind maps, checklists, infographics, swipes, templates, etc.)


Be sure to create at least a few weeks’ worth of content before you launch the site. Next…


Step 8: Drive and Convert Traffic

You need to develop a traffic plan and then start implementing this plan by focusing on one method at a time. These methods may include:

  • Installing an affiliate program.
  • Recruiting other marketing partners for co-promotions.
  • Blogging as a guest author.
  • Blogging on your own site.
  • Engaging on social media.
  • Purchasing advertising on Facebook and other sites.
  • Producing viral content.
  • Building your list.
  • Running contests.

And similar advertising activities.



Step 9: Sell On The Backend

As mentioned, most of your income will likely come in the backend through the recommendations of related products and services. Here are ways to promote offers on the backend:

  • Order form upsells.
  • Thank you page recommendations.
  • Thank you email.
  • Via any and all other emails you send to customers.
  • Links in products.
  • Links in bonus offers.
  • Links within the membership site.
  • Links within private forums or groups.
  • Recommendations during webinars or coaching sessions.




Step 10: Retain Members

A big key to making money with your site is to retain your members. To that end, consider these ideas:

  • Pick a membership model that has higher retention rates, such as a fixed-term membership site.
  • Offer regular, ongoing bonuses to those who remain members.
  • Surprise members with bonuses and features, such as free webinars.
  • Focus on giving members something they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Make members feel like they’re part of something bigger.

In short, create a high-quality site where members feel special and get solutions to their problems.



So there you have it – the ten steps of starting, running and growing a membership site. Be sure to check out the other checklist guides in this package to get more details about these steps!

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