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Membership Website: How To Create One The Right Way

create a membership website

In other recent articles, I’ve given you four effective methods for building your business online. Today, I’d like to cover how to use a membership website to market your products and services to new and repeat customers.

How do you get started with a membership website?

Take some of your best content and password-protect it in a membership area. aMember and WishList Member are two popular software options entrepreneurs use for setting up and maintaining a membership site.

Related Article: 5 Business Website Disclosures And Disclaimers

Paid or Free Content?

That’s business judgment call. Many do not value anything that’s free. On the other hand, you’ll probably have a larger membership base if there’s no cost to sign up. Some entrepreneurs create a hybrid system where it’s no cost to join but limited to customers who have bought something from you.

Whether you charge a minimal amount or offer membership for free, having members creates a following that’s more loyal to you than your typical website visitor. Done correctly, your members will become an interconnected fan base of you, your products, and services.

Make the experience worthwhile for your members.


Consider using one or more of the following tactics:

  • beta test products and services with your members, offer special deals or samples (Strategy #1);
  • screen from your membership to determine prospective business owners with whom to do cross-promotions (Strategy #2);
  • licensing deals (Strategy #3); and/or
  • offer affiliate status (Strategy #4).

Intellectual Property Theft

However, beware of content thieves.

Related Article: How Safe Is Your Business Website From Lawsuits?

Because you’ll have valuable content in the membership section of your site, there will be a temptation for some punk to steal your membership materials and use it elsewhere to compete against you.

Legal Protection For Your Membership Site

This means you’ll want to register copyrights for the membership content you own, have a good membership agreement, and use up-to-date other website legal documents (e.g. privacy policy, terms of use, etc.). Your Internet lawyer can prepare a customized membership contract that protects what you own while explaining rules for using the membership area.


Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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