The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

Are you looking for a way to make money online? Of course you are. If you weren’t interested in this market, you probably wouldn’t be reading John Chow dot Com. Maybe you’ve tried your hand at domain-flipping or professional blogging, but you haven’t been able to achieve any measurable success? Maybe you want to give another technique a try?

Even though there is a lot of information that is freely available in the blogosphere these days, there is still money to be made through a membership-based site. Don’t know where to start? You might be interested in the e-book from Membership Sites Secret, which serves as the subject of this review. The e-book is meant to walk you through everything you need to launch and run a successful membership site.

Getting Started with Membership Sites

Heading over to the main sales page, you’ll find that you have the opportunity to purchase Continuity Sites Secrets, an e-book on “how to setup a professional looking continuity membership site.”

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

This e-book is just 53 pages long, but you won’t find any charts or images taking up any unnecessary space. It’s all text that gets straight to the point. Even so, it’s hard to justify the $49.95 asking price. You’re paying almost a dollar a page.

At the same time, you’ll find a lot of other “make money online” packages going for $400 or more. It’s up to decide whether these prices are inflated or not.

What Will I Learn?

The assumption that many people make about the profitability of membership sites is that you have to charge a monthly fee from these members in order to make any money. That’s not necessarily the case. In this e-book, you are reminded that you can offer “free” memberships, cashing in on product referrals and affiliate commissions instead.

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

The Continuity Sites Secrets e-book also tells you why membership sites are a good way to go, though I have to question some of the stats and techniques described within. The above excerpt is quite vague. What does “paying for content” mean exactly? Is this a dollar figure? Number of people? Percentage of online revenue generated? Average price of paid content?

Further still, this excerpt seems to have its statistics backwards. It’s saying that “paying for content” was a larger market in 2004 than it was in 2005. Doesn’t that mean that the market is shrinking (and not growing)?

Going through the rest of the membership site e-book, we are told about choosing your niche, using an auto responder, deciding on a publishing schedule, and setting up a paid membership site. Other sections discuss how to get content, capitalize on affiliate programs, and market your product.

Given the shorter length of this e-book, it’s not surprising that most of these sections tend to lack depth and the onus will still be on you to create a profitable membership site. Intermediate to advanced Internet marketers may struggle to find any real “secrets” contained within.

A Couple of Bonus Secrets to Boot

When you submit your fifty bucks, you get a little more than the 53-page e-book. You also get two additional e-books: How to Get Instant Traffic to Your Membership Site and Simple Strategies to Sky Rocket Your Traffic. These add a little bit of value to the package, but they really should have been included as part of one larger, more comprehensive e-book instead.

The Limited Time Offer

The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?

If you’re going to use a limited time offer to sell your product, the offer should really be for a limited time. However, navigating over to the Membership Sites Secret homepage, you’ll find that the sales copy refers to a price that is only available for the next five minutes. Go ahead and revisit in an hour or even a few days; the offer will still be there.

Further still, considering that the product is about running a successful membership-based site, it’s a little ironic that the “members” section of the site is hardly protected at all. There is no password needed to enter the download page, nor is there any protection for the URL where you can download the PDF files. If you know the URL, you can download the package without paying.

I don’t recommend doing that, since it’s fraudulent and akin to stealing, but the more evil John Chow dot Com readers among us will probably figure out how to do it anyway.


48 thoughts on “The Secret to Profitable Membership Sites?”

  1. Wow, I dodn’t know there were any secrets left.

    1. There aren’t, just ever hopeful people that try to make money out of newbies ;-( SY

    2. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      Ebook like this is some sort like collecting and compiling information and write it themselve. It’s not secret but it’s easier for people who lazy to search it on the web themselves.


      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        I have bought a lot of information about building a membership site and most of them were written in different way, but if you close look at the information, they are pretty much the say, but written differently.
        I prefer products like persuasion engeenering or mind control stuff… found new fresh and profitable informations that would no doubts be valuable for my readers.

        1. The trouble with most ebook promotional sites like this is that the hype can be so overwhelming, I end up not trusting that the content will have any substance.

          I think we’ll all start to see sites toning down their language and more focus on substance. We’ll all be better off for it too.

      2. Partly, remember the old saying “give a man a fish and he has to eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he has to eat for live?” SY

    3. nada says:

      lucky for us John share to us

  2. Interesting. Thanks for the honest review.

    It seems to me that membership sites require a ton of work and constant updating of information and new content. I think I can come up with content to blog but I’m not sure about membership sites.

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      It all depends what your membership site is. If it’s a forum or a page with downloadable content like video you made, etc…. I would recommend you to make a joint venture with motivated people if you think it’s too much work for you. Many online guru even pay ghost writers to make the hard work for them, without letting anyone knowing about it.

    2. nada says:

      agree with you

  3. A few weeks ago Deep Aurora posted here a series of, free!, guest posts that explained membership sites very nicely and was excellent information. If you want to know my secret of making money online, with membership sites or otherwise, it burns down to two words: Value and Content.
    I am not going to waste money on this e-book, Deep wrapped up the subject with a Christmas bow! SY

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      How about the person who wrote the ebook have the skill to make you more motivated to create your membership site than the one who wrote the free (valuable) article about creating a membership site…

      1. Nobody can motivate another person for any decent length of time, imho. We only can motivate myself. If I need to buy an ebook to get motivated to do something that I want to do in the first place, then something is wrong with my mindset 😉 SY

  4. Matt says:

    P.S. The secret is hard work and time/money investment.

    Find a niche, then find a few experts and pay them to write content. Or become an expert yourself. It’s not that hard to know more about a subject than 90% of the general population. And guess what? That makes you an expert!

    Then promote the heck out of the site. For an easy membership website, try the 100% free Drupal. Easy to customize and it can pretty much do anything.

    Contact me with any questions.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, a lot of people want to skip the “hard work” part, but “success doesn’t come from nothing” like my father used to say 😉 SY

    2. Hard work will always win out over the quick money making bs.

  5. i am not yet interesting for make money trough site membership so i pass it.

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      You don’t know what you’ll miss… making money through membership site is certainly the best way to get stable monthly income (as long as you provide valuable information to your members)

    2. nada says:

      im sure you have another one 🙂

  6. Manga says:

    I’ll give this a try, even though I don’t think you will do good with paid membership unless you have something really good to offer. I think paid membership is about content, if your content is good enough, then people will pay.

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      With everything I have experience and learnt throught ebooks, DVD and ecourses, I can assure you that my membership site will have quality and valuable content.
      Stay tunned for more…

  7. Was one of the secrets to request a site review from

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      If you are enought credibility then I don’t think it would harm you to buy a cheap $500 review from John Chow…. remember, if you are making money online, you can easily afford a review from John Chow… if you’re not, then you’ll find yourself in the comment section like the other, trying to find a way to make more money online….(it depends on people thought, I don’t include myself)

    2. You can request a review from John, but that will cost you $500. This kind of promotion isn’t free.

  8. Kevin Pasco says:

    I have a membership site but I’m waiting to grow my list before I launch it.

    1. Earningstep says:

      nice strategy kevin.. how many members you got now

      1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

        I think Kevin haven’t launched his site yet, he is collecting mailing list I guess? 😉

        1. Benjamin Cip says:

          I will launch my membership site without finishing my list… I’ll promote it another way. But i’m certain it’ll be effective.

          1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

            Will you be using Buzz marketing Ben? Looking forward to your new membership site.. 🙂

    2. nada says:

      good idea
      share to us once it works

  9. It’s just difficult finding something that people want to pay every month for. I thought about a membership site before… But It just seems so difficult to really get it poppin’

  10. Morgan says:

    Good idea to promote this here Ben – don’t worry too much about the critics in the crowd. It is clear that you believe in what you are doing and that is what matters most.

    Best of luck and I look forward to learning more about your techniques for monetizing membership sites!

  11. Nibras Bawa says:

    Hilarious to say the least. Author of the so called secret revealing E-book doesn’t seem to know the difference between growth and decline in 2004 / 2005.

  12. Membership sites can be very profitiable but the problem is keeping the members. On average members unsubscribe after the first month. The remaining members will drop off gradually.

    I did read about a “secret” somewhere that offering a low-cost membership ie. $5 a month will work.

    The reason being that it is too cheap for the member to bother unsubscribing. They may find a use for the membership later on.

  13. Dean Saliba says:

    I’ve seen a few wrestling sites implementing a membership section of the site normally with special audio interviews and no banners.

    Not sure it would work for my MMO or a personal blog though.

  14. Harry says:

    Why doesn’t he release his ebook in a membership site if it’s so darn profitable. Douchebag.

  15. Interesting review. I have seen many free ebooks on this subject, some very successful people. Out of respect I will not name any here, just curious if anyone has gone through this.

  16. Quite often we see on internet about secrets of money making are yet to revealed. Hopefully this book has got some wonderful ways I have not yet find anywhere else.

  17. blues says:

    I didn’t know anything about it. Thanx bro

  18. I think the greatest advantage is by first starting your site as a non-membership site build up good reviews and fans and then make it where its so important to these peoples lives to read or have your information so they are willing to pay for it.

  19. unlike some of the other offers I had to disagree with you on in the past. I actually like this offer. It is a damn good deal for $49.99

  20. robot_bender says:

    Dear Author !
    I apologise, but, in my opinion, you commit an error. I can prove it. Write to me in PM.

    1. lol, I am sure John has a lot of time for that, SY

  21. Barry Hurst says:

    Thank you for your comments. Thanks to Joseph who likes my offer. Harry when you purchase the ebook there is a one time offer to sign up to my membership site where you get all of my future products for FREE!.

    And if you head over to the http://www.warriorforum,com I’m selling the book as a special offer for $27.

  22. oes tsetnoc says:

    The book review is good but but reading a ebook is time taking

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