Membership Geeks

What Is A Membership Website?

What is a Membership Website?

Have you heard the term ‘membership website’ but aren’t exactly sure what that is?

‘Membership’ is a broad word that can mean various things to different people…

In many cases, it’s used incorrectly, so it can be confusing to say the least…

For example, some people may consider themselves to be a member of a dating app or social club…

But, in online business terms those aren't classed as a membership.

So, what exactly is a membership website, and how can you easily recognize what one looks like?…

In this article, you’ll discover the key features of a membership website and some online examples.

What is a membership website?

In the context of online business, a membership website delivers gated access to one or more of what we call the 3 C’s – content, coaching, and/or community, normally on a subscription payment basis.

This subscription based payment tends to be on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, with B2C (business-to-customer) memberships priced around $15 to $40 dollars…

And B2B (business-to-business) memberships priced around $30 to $80.

There’s typically no restriction on member numbers which is a big differentiator between an online membership and a group coaching program or mastermind where there’s a limit to how many people can participate.

What isn’t a membership website?

To help clarify what a membership website is, it’s important to know what it isn’t….

A membership website is not:

  • A discount club
  • A reward scheme
  • Directory website where you pay to have your profile listed
  • Netflix or Spotify
  • Traditional membership association where the deliverables are offline/in-person
  • Services on a retainer basis, such as a freelancer or agency retainer

So, now you know what a membership website isn’t, what features does a membership website include?…

What’s included in a membership website?

The 3’C’s (content, coaching, and/or community) of a membership website are usually delivered in the following ways:

  • Content, such as training, courses, workshops are delivered via e-learning
  • Coaching is provided on a one-to-many basis rather than one-to-one (although some memberships may offer limited one-to-one support)
  • Community access is via a discussion forum or social media group like a Facebook group

The end product that’s being sold – the offer presented on the sales page – is what’s being delivered through the membership website.

What does a membership site look like?

To give you an idea of what an online membership looks like, here are some membership site examples…

Membership Example - Piano Lesson with Warren

Piano Lesson with Warren is an online membership helping people to learn gospel piano via gated lessons, courses, and coaching.

Membership Example - Tech Tribe

The Tech Tribe is a membership website helping people to better run or grow their MSP or IT service through gated training and workshops, live coaching calls, and community.

Membership Example - Art Revenue Coaching

Art Revenue Coaching is a membership site teaching people how to sell their art and become a profitable artist.

Art Revenue Coaching opens at specific times of the year, so you’ll often see a waiting list like the above – this is another differentiator between an online membership website and a subscription based business model like Netflix or Spotify.

To conclude

Hopefully, this article gives you some clarity as to what a membership is or isn't, particularly in terms of what people online are referring to when discussing a membership website.

While the term ‘membership’ can seem quite broad, remember that online membership businesses go much deeper than delivering just a product – they offer extra support, normally via coaching or community to help their target audience reach a specific goal.

Further reading you may like:

Membership Readiness Scorecard

Membership Readiness Scorecard

Discover whether you're truly ready to start your very own online membership business with our interactive assessment.

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