A membership site could be broadly defined as any website that allows you to log in. There are many different types of membership sites.
- Community Membership Sites – such as Digg, Technorati, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
- Business & Retail Membership Sites – such as grocery stores, online music sites like iTunes, your bank or insurance provider.
- Training Membership Sites – there are many of these that teach all sorts of skills such as programming, dog training and personal development.
- Internet Traffic Membership Sites – such as traffic exchanges, banner advertising services, pay-per-click (PPC) services and text advertising services.
These are just a small cross section of the types of sites that we would class as membership sites. Some are free to members, deriving their main income from advertisers, whilst others charge a fee for access to the site content.
Membership sites are a very effective way of selling products online. Many online marketing courses teach that building a mailing list is one of the most important activities you should be doing for your online business. When you create a membership site you are building a mailing list at the same time – when a member registers at your site they will generally provide their email address to allow you to contact them.
Personally, I’m not sure why anyone would build a mailing list rather than a membership site. Your membership site gives you the option of providing free and paid content, training resources and promotions. All of this can be done inside the member area, rather than having to send half a dozen email campaigns to promote all of those features.