Creating and running a membership site is an excellent way of generating recurring, partially passive income.

These kinds of sites are popular among online entrepreneurs, and even big companies such as Adobe and Microsoft are beginning to utilize the subscription model for their services.

With an adequately monetized membership site, you can generate steady levels of income over a long period.

A membership site also helps you build credibility which can lead to further opportunities for profit such as providing coaching and consulting services.

If you’re to reap the financial rewards of owning and operating a membership site, you need to know the right way to monetize your site.

Let’s go over the various models of membership sites and the best practices for monetizing them.

Models of Monetization for Membership Sites

Online Business
Online Business

The two primary options for monetizing a membership site are the premium model and the free model with alternative streams of revenue.

The premium model involves having members pay a certain amount periodically to continue to access your valuable content.

This model can be very stable and lucrative if you’re able to acquire and retain a decent amount of subscribers.

Successfully running a paid membership site requires planning and strategy.

When pricing your program, you’ll need to take into consideration the cost of producing the content you offer to your subscribers. You should also consider what it’ll cost to keep your site up and running.

Of course, the primary factor to consider when determining your pricing strategy should be what your content is worth.


How valuable is the content you provide your subscribers? How well is such content delivered? The quality of delivery of information can affect how your subscribers perceive its value.

So keep this in mind and price your membership program accordingly.

The premium membership model can also be offered in a variety of ways. You can decide if you want your subscribers to pay monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, or yearly.

If you give your subscribers the option of selecting how frequently they’ll be paying, then make sure to provide price discounts for more extended periods.

For example, if your subscription costs $29 monthly, your yearly plan could go for $279 which is about 20 percent less than the cost of paying 12 months on the monthly plan.

Doing this is beneficial because it incentivizes subscribers to go with the extended plans which provide you with more funds and enable you to deliver better content while building trust with them.

The other model of monetization is offering your membership site for free while relying on alternative sources of income.

These streams of revenue could include affiliate marketing, cost-per-click advertising, sales of digital products such as e-books, and donations from members.

This model is great for growing an audience as it allows people to get interested in your content without having to commit financially.


Running a free membership site and making money from it will require some time and effort upfront in promoting the site and acquiring as many subscribers as possible.

If you can amass a reasonable amount of members, and thus, substantial traffic to your site, then this monetization model can prove to be quite profitable. Of course, you can also offer some paid services such as coaching and consulting to any subscribers who need them.

Setting up your membership site and properly monetizing it can take some effort and require a bit of experimenting to get it right. Once you do, though, you’ll reap the rewards for a long time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *