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7 Reasons to Consider a Membership Business Model for Your Website

membership business model
John Hughes
Last Updated: 09/05/24

Are you looking to make money off your website? These days, there are plenty of ways you can do it. For instance, you can launch an affiliate blog or sell ad space. But, some of these approaches won’t provide a consistent revenue stream, and they can be difficult to get off the ground. A membership business model can be an excellent alternative.

There are many benefits to creating a membership site. It can provide you with a consistent recurring income, has lower customer acquisition costs than a traditional business model, and is highly scalable. What’s more, it’s a viable option for a wide variety of sites.

In this post, we’ll share seven reasons to consider a membership business model for your website. Then, we’ll show how you can get started using WordPress. Let’s dive right in!

7 Reasons to Consider a Membership Business Model

1. Compatible With Lots of Websites

When you’re considering options for monetizing your website, the first and most important question to ask yourself is this: is this business model viable for my site?

That’s the great thing about the membership business model. It’s compatible with lots of different types of websites. For instance, if you’re a blogger, you can turn your posts into premium content. Alternatively, if you’ve created an online community around your interests or expertise, you can make this forum exclusive to members:

An example of an online community that uses the membership business model

On the other hand, if you don’t have a website yet, you have a clean slate. In that case, you might want to check out some killer membership site ideas to inspire you.

Keep in mind that you can even create a membership site for more traditional businesses, like ecommerce sites. You can simply convert a public store into an online shop that’s exclusive to members. Or, you can create private products for your patrons.

2. Predictable Revenue Stream

Another reason you might want to consider launching a membership site is that it offers a more predictable revenue stream when compared to the alternatives. This is because most memberships are charged on a monthly or yearly basis.

That means, you’ll be more equipped to forecast your future profits and plan accordingly. This can even help you properly allot funds to grow your business.

Meanwhile, other website monetization strategies, such as affiliate marketing, won’t offer such a consistent income flow. That’s because this model is based on commissions for individual products, which can fluctuate drastically.

3. Higher Return on Investment (ROI)

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is one of the most important ecommerce metrics to follow. It refers to the total cost of sales and marketing efforts divided by the number of new customers acquired in a given period. As you can imagine, the lower your CAC, the better – since it also translates to a higher Return On Investment (ROI).

Membership websites inherently have lower CACs and higher ROIs, because they are designed around recurring purchases. Plus, in the membership funnel, you can more easily convert leads using low-risk tactics like offering free trials.

And, if you provide tiered membership options, your members can always upgrade their plan. This further lowers their CAC and organically boosts their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) at the same time.

Meanwhile, in a traditional business model, you might spend more marketing dollars on converting customers and then encouraging them to become repeat buyers. Basically, a membership business comes with customer loyalty baked into the model.

4. Lower Customer Churn Rate

In ecommerce, churn rate is the number of customers you lose in a given period. Naturally, you’ll want this number to be as low as possible.

When it comes to churn, subscription sites are at an advantage. In fact, the Online Membership Industry Report found that 84 percent of memberships have a churn rate below 10 percent.

Once again, these high customer retention rates are likely due to the fact that the membership business model inherently requires repeat purchases. Since the subscription business model is on the rise in nearly every industry, customers may also be more willing to make the commitment.

5. Additional Revenue Opportunities

As we’ve discussed, the membership based business model has a lot of benefits. Another one is its versatility when it comes to additional revenue opportunities.

You can easily “upsell” your members a variety of products or services. As an example, you might hold exclusive virtual events and give members a discount. Or, depending on what type of membership site you run, you could sell physical or digital products to complement your pre-existing services.

Even better, since you’ll have the contact information of your member list, you can easily create email marketing campaigns to advertise these additional revenue opportunities.

6. Highly Scalable

If you’re looking for a way to monetize your website or content, you’ll likely want to go with an option that has growth potential. This way, there won’t be a limit on your profits.

The good news is that the membership based business model is also highly scalable, especially if you’re providing members with a nonphysical service like educational content or an online community.

To put it simply, the time, energy, and resources you put into creating members-only content is the same regardless of the number of members you have! If you have enough material in your archive, you might even be able to turn your membership business into passive income.

7. Doesn’t Require Technical Skills

Lastly, the membership model is an excellent option because it’s ideal for beginners. With the right tools, you don’t need any technical skills to get your membership site up-and-running.

What’s more, if you choose your software wisely, creating a full-blown membership site can be pretty affordable. We’ll talk about this more in the next section.

How to Set Up a Membership Business With WordPress

Now that you know the many benefits of opting for the membership business model, let’s go over how you can create your own membership site in just a few steps.

Firstly, if you haven’t already built your site, WordPress is an excellent option for the job, as it’s completely free and open source. You’ll just need to pay for web hosting and a domain name.

Once your WordPress website is up-and-running, you can install a simple tool like Paid Member Subscriptions to convert it into a full-blown membership business:

Accept (recurring) payments, create subscription plans and restrict content on your website. Easily setup a WordPress membership site using Paid Member Subscriptions.

Get Paid Member Subscriptions

This is one of the best membership site platforms. It provides you with everything you need to create membership tiers, set up recurring payments, and restrict content.

It also offers lots of intuitive features to easily manage members and subscriptions. Plus, it’s compatible with WooCommerce so you can integrate it with your online store.

What’s more, Paid Member Subscriptions is ideal if you run a coaching website, consulting business, or educational platform (and anything in between). It gives you all the features you need to create online courses, consultancy plans, and more.

After your memberships are set up, all you have to do is work on your membership marketing strategy!


If you own a website, there are many ways you can channel it to turn a profit. However, some monetization options offer little returns, and may require a lot of work to make any progress. Furthermore, other strategies are only suitable for certain types of sites.

Meanwhile, adopting a membership business model is highly straightforward and compatible with many types of websites. What’s more, with a membership website, you’ll enjoy a more predictable revenue stream, lower customer churn, and plenty of other benefits. On top of that, when you use WordPress and a tool like Paid Member Subscriptions, creating your membership business is easy and affordable!

Do you have any questions about the membership based business model? Let us know in the comments section below!

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