Submitted by alale on Wed, 05/24/2023 - 14:07

Top 10 Membership Website Ideas for Your Association: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Farhad Khan on May 24, 2023

This blog contains a helpful tool to help you get started with onboarding new members: Onboarding Checklist For a Successful Member Portal

Membership Website Ideas
Membership websites have become one of the best ways for businesses and associations to build a community of loyal customers, engage members, and generate revenue. 

Membership sites offer exclusive access to premium content and resources to members based on the user's subscription, which could include free, paid, tiered levels, or whatever different access classification you may want. 

If you're looking for membership website ideas, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll explore the elements of a successful membership website and provide you with the top membership website ideas that can help drive growth, member engagement, member retention, and revenue for your business, or association.

What is a Membership Website?

A membership website is a website that provides exclusive content, services, or products to registered members who pay a recurring fee or subscription. 

These websites can be used to provide access to online courses, training programs, digital products, community forums, job access, and more.

Mostly, the content on your membership site should be of higher quality than what people can easily find on the web for free and should be updated regularly to always provide the most value. 

Why Do You Need a Membership Website?

  • An Opportunity To Create Meaningful Connections and Help Your Audience:

The greatest benefit of building a membership site is the ability to genuinely create a bond with your audience and be able to help them solve their problem, and you get the opportunity to do this.

  • Recurring Revenue Stream

From the business side of things, creating a membership site for your business or association provides the potential of recurring revenue, and this is a super win

The idea is to create content that you'll frequently update( this doesn't take much), and then continually receive revenue for your effort.

Although not all membership sites would have a price tag, especially for non-profit associations, there are still a couple of ways to monetize your membership site

  • You Can Deliver More Value 

The unique part of building a member-led focused website and limiting access is that you can now be able to deliver more laser-focused value content that increases the value of your expertise and helps your audience more. 

  • Automation

You can automate this whole thing with a membership website. This reason should be number one, but then it's here because giving value and helping people come first. Having a membership site saves you from repetition, and eventual burnout, and saves you costs. 

With a membership site like Member Lounge, creating a membership site that wows your clients becomes easy. The heavy work is lifted and you get to save yourself stress and time.

Check out Member Lounge Demo Here

  • You Can Easily Onboard New Members. 

Having a member site that facilitates an effective member onboarding program will help you quickly assimilate new members and clients into your member area, help them develop a strong sense of your brand culture, and set you up for long-term success. 

Check out this helpful tool to help you get started with onboarding new members: Onboarding Checklist For a Successful Member Portal

  • An Audience That You Can Sell and Upsell To.

Nothing beats having an audience that likes and trusts you. People who become members of your site already trust you. So this means you already have a hot audience for marketing other offerings that you may have. 

You can sell and upsell your one-on-one coaching, exclusive webinars, ebook, and premium membership tiers. 

  • You get to build Authority and Credibility

Launching a successful membership website positions you and your business/association as an authority in your niche. 

A membership website involves creating lots of resources and using member inspiration, engagement, and motivation to further improve.

This impression establishes your industry authority and expertise, which will continue to grow as your business/association grows. 


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Membership Website Ideas:

When considering a membership website idea, there are some very important things you should consider as this may affect the success of your membership site growth, your member engagement, and member retention.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best membership website idea that aligns with your organizational purpose and meets the needs of your ideal customer. 

Here are the key factors to consider when choosing the best membership website idea:

  • Your Organizational Purpose:

Before diving into the specifics of your membership website idea, it’s essential to identify your organizational purpose. What problem are you trying to solve, and what value do you bring to your target audience? 

  • Who is Your Ideal Customer:

To create a successful membership website, you need to understand your ideal customer. Who are they, and what are their pain points? What do they need, and how can you help them solve their problems? 

  • The Demand for Your Content or Services: 

Is there a need for the content or services you plan to offer? Is it a niche that is underserved or oversaturated? 

By researching your target audience and understanding their needs, you can determine if there is a demand for the content or services you plan to offer.

  • The Level of Competition in Your Niche:

Are there already established membership websites offering similar content or services? If so, what can you do differently or better? 

If you understand your competition, you can create a membership website that stands out and offers unique value to your audience.

  • The Pricing Strategy for Your Membership:

How much are your customers willing to pay for the content or services you plan to offer? Is it a one-time fee or a recurring subscription? 

You have to understand your market and your customer’s willingness to pay. With this knowledge, you can create a pricing strategy that maximizes revenue while providing value to your customers.

  • The Features and Benefits of Your Membership:

Finally, it’s essential to consider the features and benefits of your membership website. 

What exclusive content will your customers get by joining your membership website, and how will it help them achieve their goals? And will it keep them engaged?

Check out the top 5 important must-have features for your membership site


Elements of a Successful Membership Website

As much as you need the best membership website ideas, it is also important that you pay attention to what you'll also need to make your membership website successful.

Here are the essential elements of a successful membership website:

  • Exclusive Content or Services:

The foundation of a successful membership website is offering exclusive content or services to your members. This content should be high-quality, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. 

Whatever you'll be offering, it’s crucial to ensure that your members are receiving something of value that they can’t get anywhere else.

  • User-Friendly Interface and Design:

Creating a user-friendly interface and design gives a positive experience and is essential to the success of your membership website. 

Members should be able to navigate your website easily, find the content they’re looking for, and engage with your community without any obstacles. 

Check out the 7 rules to create a great user experience on your membership site

  • Clear and Compelling Value Proposition:

Your membership website’s value proposition should be clear, compelling, and easily communicated to your target audience. You should be able to explain why your membership website is unique and what value it provides to your members. 

This will help you attract more members to your website and retain them for the long term.

  • Strong Community and Engagement:

Creating a thriving community and fostering engagement among your members is key to the success of your membership website. 

Members should feel like they’re part of a community and have the opportunity to connect and engage with one another. By providing a space for discussion, feedback, and collaboration, you can create a sense of belonging and drive engagement among your members.

  • Effective Pricing Strategy:

Your pricing strategy should be effective and fair, balancing the value you’re providing to your members with the cost of maintaining your website. 

You should consider the competition, your target audience’s willingness to pay, and the value you’re providing when setting your prices. 

  • High-Quality Customer Support:

Finally, providing high-quality customer support is crucial to the success of your membership website. 

Members should feel like they can reach out to you with any questions or issues they have, and you should be responsive and helpful in your responses. 

With excellent customer support, you can ensure that your members have a positive experience and continue to engage with your website.

What should be on a Successful Membership Website?

Although what should be on your membership website should largely depend on the research you have made about your target audience, competition, and market prevalence. There is at least a standard component requirement every successful membership website should have. 

Here is a list of what should be on your member portal as demonstrated in our member lounge demo. See a Live Demo Here

  • Home Page with a Clear Value Proposition and Call-to-Action:

Your home page is the first impression your website makes on potential members. It should have a clear value proposition that explains what your website offers and how it provides value to your members.

Additionally, it should have a clear call to action that encourages visitors to become members. With a compelling and actionable homepage, you can increase the likelihood that visitors will become members.

  • About Page that Explains your Mission and Vision:

Your About page should explain your mission and vision, and why your website exists. This helps potential members understand your purpose and how you can provide value to them. 

  • Membership Plans and Pricing Page:

Your membership plans and pricing page should provide a clear overview of what each membership level includes and how much it costs. 

By making sure this page is easy to understand and navigate, you can increase the likelihood that visitors will become paying members.


  • Event Section:

If you’re planning to host events or webinars, having a dedicated event section on your website is essential. This section should include information about upcoming events, how to register, and any additional information attendees need to know. 


  • Resource/Content Library: