With the entire world going more and more digital, a lot of people turn to blogging as a source of stable income. But the catch is that the income from blogging is unpredictable and it’s not easy to earn online from a blog. So, how do you go about it? One of the best solutions for a blog that doesn’t earn well is to convert it into a membership site. It is a kind of subscription service that offers users access to premium content and charges a monthly or yearly fee.
So, if you are interested in earning more from your blog, we are listing some advantages of a membership site. Not only that, but we will also tell you how you can use WordPress to turn your blog into a membership site.
Why Should You Turn a Blog Into a Membership Site?
Do you want to earn money by getting yourself engrossed in your hobby? If yes, then turning a blog into a membership site is the way to go. Now, most people use display ads on their blog or host paid webinars. Affiliate marketing is another popular way to gain some extra bucks.
However, if you are looking forward to a reliable monthly income, Turning a regular blog into a membership site is one of the best solutions. And do you realize what this means? Since your income is consistent and steady, you can also depend on your blog as a full-fledged business.
The best thing is that it’s super easy. It’s better than making an ebook from scratch as it needs fewer efforts. You can provide your audience access to premium content for a price. If you are thinking that you need an online store to add to your website, you don’t need to. Your WordPress blog is enough to create and host premium content.
When you transform your site to a membership site, it enhances the value of the content you post. Now, I hope you are convinced that it’s a brilliant idea. So, let’s begin.
Selecting a Membership Plugin For WordPress
Before you begin, know one thing in advance. There is no need to hire a web designer for turning your blog into a membership site. A complete overhaul of the site is also not necessary. WPForms is a plugin you need if you are planning on enabling user registrations on your site. It will help you create registration and user login forms, thanks to the form building capabilities.
But if you are looking forward to creating a membership site for selling paid content or subscriptions, MemberPress is the plugin you should be opting for. It’s super easy to use and is a powerful plugin using which you can easily create levels of membership, accept payments, restrict on the basis of levels, create pages for pricing, generate coupons, report analytics, and more.
MemberPress will make the entire process a breeze for you, so it’s definitely our best pick!
Configuring The Plugin
After you are done installing the MemberPress plugin, it’s time to activate it. After activation, you need to configure it. Choose MemberPress > Options on the menu. Depending on the needs of the site, you can select the settings.
This area also enables users to customize pages including the account page, thank you page, and login page. For this, WordPress gives you the liberty of designing your own pages. If you want a page created automatically for you, choose the option for “Auto Create New Page” and WordPress will handle the creation of pages for you. After you have completed the configuration of the MemberPress plugin, it’s time to set up the payment.
Setting Up Payment
Select Payments in the Options section. This is the area where you have to set up the payments. Thus, this will enable you to accept payments for the membership site.
The different payment gateways MemberPress integrates with include Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net. Select the option of your choice and to complete the setup, fill the credentials it asks.
Defining Levels of Membership
After configuring the plugin and setting up the payment, it’s time to define the membership levels for your site. For instance, you can name your plans accordingly so that they indicate lower and higher levels and assign a price to each level. One example is to charge $5 per month for a bronze plan, $15 per month for a silver plan, and $25 per month for a gold plan. Offer different access levels and perks with each plan.
Alternatively, if you think a single membership plan will fulfil all your needs, you can go with that option too. Select MemberPress > Memberships and at the top, choose Add New for adding a membership level. Here, you can allot a name to the level. The post editor enables you to describe a particular level in detail. The Membership Terms section allows you to set a billing type and price. Here, you can also set the terms for the expiration of the specific membership plan.
When you go down the page further, you will find options for editing the registration button text, customising permissions and creating a custom message that says thank you. When you are fully content with the settings that you have defined for various membership levels, you can click on the publish button. This will make the membership available to your users. You can create as many membership levels you like and keep on repeating this step.
Creating Rules For Different Membership Plans
Now, it’s time for creating rules for the membership plans you have decided. This way, you can conceal the premium content from the users that haven’t opted for a paid subscription. Here, you can also select which members can see what kind of premium content. Select MemberPress > Rules and at the top of the page where you can create rules, click on the Add New button. Under the Rule options, you will be able to select the kind of content you wish to protect from the members who are using the site for free. For example, if a post has a ‘’Paid’’ tag, you can hide them from the non-paying users. So, when you create a post only for paying members, add the tag to it.
You also have the option of creating specific rules and regulations for different types of child pages, posts, content categories, pages, or a specific URL. The other two useful options include content drip and content expiration. With the help of content drip, you can grant access to content to different users gradually instead of letting them see everything all at once. As for the option for expiration, the premium content is available to users only for a specific amount of time. After the expiry, they don’t have access to it anymore. However, you can leave these features unchecked if you don’t need them.
Now, if you are satisfied with what you have created, click on Save Rule. If you want the same for all membership levels, repeat this process for different rules.
Creating and Enticing Pricing Page
Now that you have all your membership levels with pricing sorted out, it’s time to create a page to promote them on your blog. This page should display everything that the visitors get for different membership plans. Once they select the plan they wish to purchase a subscription for, they should be directed to the payment gateway to complete the transaction.
If a user tries to gain access to the content meant for paid users, you can direct them to the payment gateway too. This will increase the conversion rate.
Go to the MemberPress > Add Groups and click on Add New. Select a title and enter it for the pricing page. Then in the Group Options meta box, add the levels of membership you want the pricing page to display. The MemberPress pricing page has some themes from which you can select a killer design for your pricing page. Select publish and watch your page go live!
Add login and Sign Up Forms
The final step is to add login and signup forms to your site. This way, visitors will find it easy to navigate through and are more likely to signup for your membership website. Moreover, returning members should have the option to log in and check out the premium content.
For adding login, Click Appearance > Widgets and add the widget named “MemberPress Login.” Also, click on Appearance > Menus in your admin area and expand the Groups tab. Now, you can easily see the group for pricing plans you earlier created. Next to your plan for the membership pricing plan and add them to the menu.
You can also edit the link text according to your preferences and use the drag and drop feature to rearrange the order of page links appearing in the navigation menu. Log out of the admin area and check whether all the elements are properly working. Congratulations! Your membership website is ready!
Here’s a complete step by step video tutorial to add membership function in your WordPress website...
Video Credit – WPCrafter.com WordPress For Non-Techies
If you have an active blog that has consistent flow of revenue and traffic then a membership website is a great option for you. It will allow you to turn your loyal users into paying customers by forming a community about your blog and soon it will turn into a brand. The other feature i like about this is that it will allow you to generate a passive income known as “Monthly Recurring Revenue” Or “MRR” and that is really important for beginners.
If there’s anything you think I’ve missed – talk to me in the comments below!
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