Another great passive income business model: The membership site. This one is a natural after you’ve been in business long enough to become known and accepted as an authority and makes a great addition to any business model. It’s possible to create one right off the bat, but your idea has to be timely and there has to be a crying need for it.

But membership sites offer that greatest of all prize, recurring income. Your member only has to respond to your sign up incentive and actually sign up once – and every month thereafter, a fixed sum departs her PayPal, credit card or bank account – and goes straight into your pocket.

Think of it: Even if you only had twenty members paying $7.00 per month, that would be $140.00 in your bank account regular as clockwork. The average is more like $27.00 a month, with sixty members ($1,620) – but keep in mind that as your price goes up, the value and depth of member resources should rise too.

It’s not a “set and forget” model, but once you’ve set up your resources and set up a schedule of nicely spaced offerings, it can feel like an easy way to earn a large monthly amount from members.

You can set your membership to run for a fixed period, or progress through tiers (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced). As the price rises, so should the degree of personal attention and resource access you reward your loyal fan with.

Membership sites can be set up in all sorts of formats:

  • Courses
  • Coaching
  • PLR (private label rights content)
  • Social
  • Dating
  • Wedding planning
  • Audio/video content
  • Resource sharing site

For example, say your past real-world life experience involved graphic design. You could offer a graphic design FAQ, pick-and-choose “how to” lessons (video or text-based), and tools. These lessons wouldn’t have to be “one lesson per week.” They could be there in your “How to Library” as on-demand pieces. Membership terms could go on indefinitely – and if your members love your high-caliber resources, they will.

Or you could offer a set series of weekly lessons for a fixed period of time: (“How to Paint the Mona Lisa in Just Sixteen Weeks”, “Mastering Adobe Illustrator: A 24-month Course”)

What you really need to make a membership site successful is an easy format for everyone to access and use – including you.

One highly reputable delivery program is WishList Member.

WishList Member basically turns your blog into a membership site. It is easy to navigate and use – and is rich in features, allowing you to mold your membership site into the “shape” that’s best for your membership type:

(If the membership site model works well for you, look ahead to creating more membership sites and buy a multi-license.)

The cost ranges from $97.00 for a single license to $297.00 for multiple licensing. (Be sure to factor what you are paying monthly for WishList Member against your revenue!)

Just to make it clear, this is a one-time fee, with a year of free updates. After that, if you wish to receive further updates, there’s an annual $47.00 fee.

Another popular site delivery system is aMember. This is great for “forum-style” membership sites.

Its benefits include:

  • Free set up and installation
  • Multi-payment options for your members (Clickbank, PayPal, 2Checkout and more)
  • Integration with both WordPress and forum platforms like vBulletin
  • Integrated HelpDesk
  • High security levels
  • An affiliate program! (You can also make money if people sign up with aMember through your links and promotions)
  • Ability to run your own affiliate program through aMember

And, of course, you need a red-hot idea.

Excerpted from:

Starting A Business 1-2-3
The premier step-by-step interactive training system
for starting your business with confidence and clarity

Module 1: Research and Development