My Journey to Building a Membership Site

WordPress 19 April 2015 4 minute read

If you read my last post, <a href="" title="Building a Paid Service on WordPress">Building a Paid Service on WordPress</a>, then you'll know I'm in the process of building out a membership site.

The last week of work on my membership site project has been quite stagnant because client work has taken over most of my time. Next week I'm planning on getting things moving again. I won't be able to get as much done as I want as there's still a bit of client work to finish up, but at least I can set the foundations.

Unfortunately, I haven't done any design work on it since March, and we're over halfway through April already. Time to get back to it.

  • Redesigned the current blog.
  • Updated the design of all landing pages to use one base template.
  • Designed a new a members area (I would like to revisit this and flesh it out a little more).
  • Designed the sign-up workflow for new members.
  • Redesigned and coded newsletter template to match new blog design.
  • Updated all social media profiles to match new branding.

In the following few weeks, I would like to accomplish the following:

  • Change my freelance company name. This is so I can have the membership site under the new name. It'll act as an umbrella of sorts. I'll then need to update the footers across all my sites to reflect the new company name.
  • Improve the design of current landing pages, so each one better engages with the target audience.
  • Improve the way advertising is done, so it is more lucrative until the membership area starts bringing in revenue.
  • Design the workflow for current members to upgrade.
  • Go over the entire members area and improve the design. Especially the main page.
  • Start building out the base of the membership functionality.

As you can see from above, there are quite a few things to do before I can get this going. Fortunately for me, I have a lot of time on my side. I'm incredibly thankful for that, as it let me work on what I want and progress towards a truly great product.

My very next step is to learn as much as I can about building and fostering communities of like-minded people. There are countless features I could add to my service, but it's choosing the right ones that'll make all the difference. It's also tricky knowing which ones to choose now and which ones to add in later, as loads of ideas could work on launch day.

I'll be reading lots of articles, watching loads of videos and analyzing some of my favourite sites that run on a subscription model. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • MediaLoot
  • Copyblogger
  • CSS-Tricks Lodge
  • WP101

Before I even get close to launching, I'll need to create a marketing strategy to help people find the service and understand what it's all about. I'm also looking forward to planning and creating a few email courses to get people on board.

So far the journey has been incredibly fun, but also stressful. Some days I wake up and wonder if it's a ridiculous idea that I should, or something that could make me happy to do for years to come. So far, I've stayed on track with believing the latter.

That's all for this brain-dump on my journey to passive income. Hopefully, by my next post all the things I've planned to do I'll have completed and more things will be in the pipeline. Until next time, have a good one!