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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Planning is Essential to Starting a Membership Site

By Robert Williams

You may be very excited about starting a membership site and be filled with all kinds of ideas about the type of site(s) you wish to start. Before you jump in with both feet, it is best to do some planning and research ahead of time to ensure your work is put into the right place.

There are, unfortunately, some markets that aren't as popular as others, and some markets do not have willing buyers. Yes, it is possible to teach the market the importance of buying information, but that can be a very long and slow process.

If you are looking to make a quicker profit with your membership site, it is best to do the research upfront rather than putting in a bunch of work, only to find out that people are unwilling to pay for access to your site.

The idea of researching your market may seem a little scary or overwhelming if you haven't done much research before, but it can be a fun and interesting task. Plus, the more you learn about your market, the better able you will be to provide information the customers are looking for.

One of the first steps in your research could be to do a Google search and see what type of competition you have. For example, if you are interested in starting a content membership site with information for dog owners, type that into Google and see what comes up.

If no other sites come up, the normal tendency may be to feel excited. You may be thinking, "I hit upon a gold mine - there's no competition." However, this is actually a sign to be cautious. It may be a sign that other people have tried this idea before and failed. The reason behind the failure could be something on their part, but it could also mean that the market you are trying to reach is not interested in paying a membership fee for access to a website.

If you find a few other competing sites, look around and see what type of memberships they are offering and what their price points are. You may want to go ahead and purchase a month's membership to see what type of content they are offering their subscribers. If you feel that you can do what they are doing at least 10% better, then go ahead and develop your site.

Another idea is to do some keyword research through wordtracker to see what type of searches people are performing. You can enter some keywords that will be relevant to your site and see how many searches have been performed on them. If a lot of searches are coming up, then you know it is a popular topic. If no one is searching for this information, you may want to reevaluate your ideas.

By putting more work and research into your membership site in the beginning, it will be more profitable and easier to manage as it grows.

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Robert Paul Williams is the Editor of Work At Home Business Website. Come Browse Our Free Article Library. Stay Informed with the Latest Home Business Website News, Success Tips & Strategies. Monetize Your Site Today with Audio Ad Clips