10 Ways Membership Sites Can Make You Rich

Starting a membership site is probably the most challenging, yet most rewarding thing I’ve done in my business journey so far.

Those of you that have followed my online business adventures over the years will know that I had a flopped membership quite a few years ago, because I literally had NO clue what I was doing!

Since starting my membership properly (mostly…more on that later) I’ve learnt a loooooads and have lots of hindsight to share with you.

Before We Get Stuck In, Truth Bombs…

💣 Truth Bomb #1: Starting a membership site is really, really, really hard. There is SO much to learn and do and it’s very overwhelming when you first start out. Obviously training makes it easier #KnowledgeisPower so I’d recommend learning as much about membership sites as you can. There are lots of great free blogs out there!

💣 Truth Bomb #2: You will want to give up when the going gets tough. OMG it’s like a roller coaster! I go from feeling like I can take on the world, to feeling like I want to hide in a dark corner…and then I get some amazing feedback and I’m back up again. You need to be prepared for the good times, as well as the bad times (and know it’s completely normal to have those conflicting feelings).

💣 Truth Bomb #3: You’ll take cancellations really personally. Like a bullet through the heart 💔 My retention rate is really good but I still a little twinge of heartbreak when people cancel. This is something you’ll need to think about, because people will cancel, for all sorts of reasons and 99% of the time it has nothing to do with you. It’s not personal.

💣 Truth Bomb #4: You definitely, 100%, need a niche. You can’t market to every Tom, Dick and Harry, so will need a pretty clear idea who your Superstar customers are. Who do you absolutely love working with? Who loves working with you? Every business has its Super-fans and THEY are your niche. By the way, I still haven’t completely figured out what my niche is (and that’s OK). I help women in business (mostly mums) with online ‘stuff’ and mindset/confidence and that’s my ‘niche for now’. I know that as an entrepreneur I am constantly evolving and I know that as I grow my business will change and my niche will become clearer.

💣 Truth Bomb #5: The money might not come as quickly as you expect. Recurring revenue is amazing, but like anything in business, there are no fast results or shortcuts to success. It takes time to grow a membership site, just as it takes time to grow any business. Be patient, do what you love, work hard and the money will follow. I’m not rich beyond my wildest dreams (yet).

But it’s not all bad babes! 

There are a lot of benefits to running a membership and of course the recurring revenue is a big incentive for many wannabe membership site owners.

But guess what? If you’re only doing it for the dollar, you’ll fail.

It’s about soooo much more than money (although that is a mahoosive perk, once you get things right). So, before I kick into money making, rich bitch mode, let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need before you start.

4 Key Things You Need Before Starting A Membership

Once you’ve done lots of market research and established that there is an ongoing need for what you can offer people, there are 4 other key things you’ll need…

“The riches are in the niches” (you have to say this the American way for it to work – the ‘nitches’). You need to be super clear on your niche. Here are some examples of niches I’ve learnt about since doing Stu’s Tribe course

  • A membership to help people train their dogs
  • A membership to help people make corsets
  • A membership to help children become online entrepreneurs
  • A membership to help people learn to play the piano
  • A membership to help women in business become cosmic online (OK, that’s mine 😂)

Proof that membership sites can work in ANY business/niche! And like I said in my truth bombs, it’s a ‘niche for now’ and it’s OK if it changes over time.

We are all experts in our own little #niches - Alex Trebek Click to Tweet


Don’t panic! You can learn this stuff. The Tribe course is particularly good if you struggle with tech, as it has lots of great tutorials and a theme included. But if you aren’t doing the course, you can learn all this stuff yourself through trial and error, or you can outsource some of the more advanced stuff.

Either way, you’ll need a stable, secure platform for your members to login to. Make sure you do as much research as possible and invest wisely in any tools, software or training.


You’ll need a bunch of keen guinea pigs to help you shape your membership. Give these guys a really low monthly price as a reward and grandfather them in at that rate (meaning they always only pay the low rate for the duration of their membership, even when you increase your prices). Their feedback is going to be essential to help you grow your membership and the low rate gives them a great incentive to stay.


I don’t mean to be rude, but what is the point of your membership? What do people get out of it? Where is the journey taking them? What can they expect? Where are they along the journey now? Where will they be after a year of being in your membership?

Stu calls this a Success Path and it’s going to be one of the most important parts of your membership website.

So, How Can A Membership Website Make You Rich?

Here are 10 ways you can increase your income considerably by running a membership site…

  1. 1:Many – The ‘One to Many’ business model means you can teach lots of people all at the same time, so rather than one person paying you, lots of people pay you
  2. Time = Money – You stop trading your time for money. And having more time gives you more opportunity to grow your income. More about this here: www.entrepreneur.com/article/244745 
  3. The Recurring Revolution – You can make recurring monthly income…which keeps growing month after month. This eliminates the ‘feast or famine’ aspect which many business owners struggle with
  4. Bigger Impact – By sharing your training with lots of people, you can increase your audience exponentially, leading to more reach and more sales
  5. Affiliate Income: Yours – Set up an affiliate program for your membership and your members get rewarded and so do you
  6. Affiliate Income: Other People’s – Your members will grow to trust you, so you can introduce other people’s affiliate promotions with greater success
  7. Up Your Rates – You can increase your prices for more exclusive 1-1 coaching
  8. Tiered Memberships  – By having tiered membership options, you can charge more money for people who want more access to YOU and your expertise
  9. Little Things Add Up To Big Things – You may decide to charge £10 a month when you first get started, which doesn’t seem like much. But do the math…50 members = £500 a month, 100 members = £1000 a month, and so on. And after a time you can increase it for even bigger rewards
  10. New Ventures – Make additional income from your new authority. Write a book, hook up with other business owners for joint ventures, host a live event, host a luxury business retreat or pursue other business ambitions to catapult your income

Finally, running a membership site can make you rich in so many other ways than just money – the main thing you’ll be richer in is TIME!

There are lots of great tips in this post, but for complete transparency, I invested in Stu McLaren’s Tribe course to help me build my membership site and am an affiliate for his paid course. I attended his free membership workshop and then decided to go ‘full on’ 😂 into his comprehensive membership training.

I only share things I trust in 100% and use myself to grow my business.

A properly structured #membership saves the business owner time and increases their bottom line with stable, recurring revenue - Stu McLaren Click to Tweet

To participate in Stu’s free membership workshop series, head here to catch the first video. It goes live on March 15th 2018.

Stu has helped lots of female entrepreneurs to build their membership sites, including Carrie Green (Female Entrepreneur Association), Kris Carr (Crazy, Sexy Kris), Elizabeth Purvis (Goddess Business School) and Nathalie Lussier (AmbitionAlly), so you know you’re in good hands!

If you’ve considered starting a membership site and want to ask me any questions, fire away in the comments ⬇

Suzannah Butcher



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