10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website


The 10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website

Which membership model is right for you?

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What is a Membership model?

If you’re unsure on starting your journey to becoming a membership website owner this guide will help you to decide what membership models are right for you and how to run your membership. A good membership website usually consists of 2 or 3 content models to give users access to a variety of functions.

Content Models

A good membership website will follow a content model, but what is a content model? Here are 10 different content models

  1. Publisher
  2. Coaching
  3. Packaged
  4. Community
  5. Prestige
  6. Finite
  7. A La Carte
  8. Dripped
  9. Roadmap
  10. Hybrid

Each of these membership models serves a specific purpose for different types of membership websites. As you read through this guide, you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you and your dream membership website.

If you find a content model that you like feel free to get in contact with our sales team to get the ball rolling with building your very own membership website. Click here to do that


The publisher content model lends itself to continuously adding new content and lessons in various different formats

Example: Engalia


  • Provides ongoing value and improves retention 
  • Allows for multiple content formats
  •  Bite sized content 
  • Keep up to date with industry trends


  • Continuous content production 
  • High expectations to deliver results 
  • Easy to run out of content to produce if your membership topic is small

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Publisher content model is best suited for people who have a sizeable open-ended membership topic, are good at content production and has experience in it. Someone who runs a publisher membership should have strong industry connections and a broad range of potential members.


You are the main attraction with this content model; these are usually supported by a community, with content supplementing everything else.

Examples: Gavin Bell, Gumption Coaching


  • Provides consistent results 
  • You have full control over who joins 
  • Easy to transition from 1-2-1 coaching to 1-2-Many 
  • Less content to create Allows for different tiers with access to the coach


  • Harder to scale
  •  Bigger time demands than other content models
  • High expectations to deliver results

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Coaching content model is best suited for coaches who want to leverage their small amount of time more effectively and switch to a 1-2-Many coaching format. Their audience tends to need a more hands-on approach to achieve results.


Example: Be Social By Modern Social


  • A manageable way to consume content 
  • Gives you a monthly event to promote
  • Monthly themes are a great marketing tactic 
  • Easy to plan and great for people who like to batch produce digital products and content


  • Easy for members to feel disconnected from you 
  • Hard to explain the value of your membership 
  • Pressure to deliver high quality content 
  • Hard to keep to what you have originally offered on your sales page

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Packaged content model is best-suited for a membership site that can be broken down into smaller bite-sized topics. Packaged membership websites usually don’t have a specific goal for members and suit owners who are skilled at batch producing content.


Examples: Key5 Coaching


  • More likely to retain members if they fit into the community 
  • Less content to create
  •  Easy to set up and manage 
  • Makes you, the owner easier to contact and build better connections with your members


  • Harder to sell as Facebook groups are becoming more and more popular 
  • Content is not the main focus so it makes it harder to get people to buy
  • Hard to maintain momentum when first launching

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Community content model is best suited for memberships that don’t aim to give people a specific outcome but can organise local in-person events. Members pay to communicate with other members. The Community content model is ideal for people who want to create a membership around interests like business or baking.


Examples: Tesco Clubcard, Amazon Prime, AAdvantage


  • No content to create 
  • Can demonstrate Return of Interest to members easily 
  • Business partnership opportunities 
  • Easy to work and integrate with any existing revenue streams


  • Negotiation of Perks and Benefits can be difficult to negotiate 
  • Time scales on delivery and priority 
  • Competitors could have better deals

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

Is it time to start a prestige membership? They compliment any other existing revenue streams and for someone who already has a lot of secure connections within an industry. It also helps if the audience is motivated to buy a lot. Influencers would benefit a lot from the Prestige content model.


The Finite content model usually consists of video content, usually a modular course that is rarely updated or changed, and guides members to achieve very specific goals.

Examples: Peer Education Project


  • Great for getting members to achieve specific goals 
  • No content to produce once the membership has launched 
  • Higher Price point Retention isn’t a focus


  • Needs to be high quality 
  • Can become outdated quickly 
  • High pricing point makes sales tougher 
  • This membership model offers no recurring revenue (Monthly payments)

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Finite content model is for someone who does not want a conventional membership website. Their strengths should lie in launching their membership website. Large affiliate networks will benefit the owner greatly, and they should have other income streams.

à la carte

The à la carte content model usually consists of a big content library with no fixed publishing schedule. When launching, they need a large amount of content. They typically include one primary type of content, such as videos.

Examples: Janet Murray


  • Deliver ongoing value 
  • Content tends to be bite sized
  • Keeps up to date with industry trends 
  • Single format means you can create templates to batch produce content 
  • Deliver live content then add to the main content library.


  • Continuous content production 
  • Focus on quantity while trying to maintain high quality 
  • Could run out of material 
  • Members could become overwhelmed with too much information 
  • Works better if you have a team of people

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Finite content model membership offers something unique, it is for someone who does not want a conventional membership website; their strengths should lie in the initial launching their membership website. Large affiliate networks will benefit the owner greatly, and they should have other income streams


The dripped content model is great for fixed content that is slowly released over time, typically week by week from the date that the member joined.

Examples: University of Consciousness Education – UCE


  • Ongoing Value without content content creation
  • Longer member life cycle 
  • Keeps members on track and focused on a goal
  • Works well with open and closed memberships 
  • Reduces the risk of members canceling early


  • Members may not like that they don’t have access to everything right away 
  • Harder to direct members to answers if that content hasn’t been released yet 
  • Dripped content delays members receiving results

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Dripped content model is for audiences that need structure and boundaries. Their members tend to be budget-conscious. The dripped content model works great for people who do not want to create content continuously.


The roadmap content model is great for membership websites that have a significant content library but need to guide its members to reach a specific goal. A roadmap helps you see what’s working and what’s not and improve your content.

Examples: My Funnel Academy


  • Allows you to test content and get feedback on what’s working 
  • Guides the audience and gives clarity 
  • Motivates members to keep going and see how they are progressing


  • Members could feel disheartened if they don’t understand a step of the roadmap 
  • Needs to be high quality content otherwise members won’t feel the value 
  • Difficult to map out and structure correctly.

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Roadmap content model is great for guiding members to a specific destination, achievement or goal. It helps provide clear value while enabling the owner to act on feedback and to the latest industry trends.


The hybrid content model is by far the most popular. A hybrid membership website combines 2 or 3 of any of the other content modules this guide has covered. It allows for versatility and gives members the best experience possible.

Examples: Beat The Budget, Key5 Coaching, The Group Practice Exchange


  • Pick the best part of the other content models 
  • Membership website is more suited for you and your members. 
  • Easiest way to deliver ongoing value


  • You will need to produce more content for your members
  •  Less competitors to compare with and use for research 
  • Lots of different moving parts to manage

What type of membership owner should use this content model?

The Hybrid content model is for people who have a broad topic to build their membership upon. They should enjoy creating content but don’t want to do it all the time. The Hybrid model is technically intensive, anyone who chooses the Hybrid needs to be tech-savvy or have access to a support plan.

The Different Types of Content

Here at MemberLab we always say content is key, and that is a motto to live by. There are four types of main content, take a look at them below.

Live: Live content is one of the easiest to create. It usually comes from webinars or Livestreams and then are uploaded to the main content library of a membership website. 

Static: Static or premade content is usually the most common type of content on a membership website. They tend to be informative and guide a user to a goal.

Downloads or digital products: Downloadable content can consist of many things such as templates, software and licences for plugins. They’re an amazing way to deliver content to your members.

Community: Community content is so valuable to any membership website. It’s important to engage whenever possible as it will make members more likely to stick around.

Evergreen or Open & Closed?

The Evergreen and Open & Closed membership option works well and helps to manage members effectively, and manage members expectations. At MemberLab we would recommend sticking with an Evergreen membership because of its predictable nature.

Evergreen: Evergreen is the type of membership that, once launched, is always open for new members. An evergreen membership can create a predictable income each month.

Open & Closed: The Open & Closed membership is only open once in a while and then closed off until your next intake. An Open & Closed membership creates exclusivity but doesn’t allow you to predict income each month.

Conclusion: Choosing a Model

It would be best if you decided what your audience wants and needs. This can be difficult to gauge at times if you already have an existing list feel free to survey your members and ask for some feedback.

  • Assess and take note of your current situation 
  • What will be your main type of content?
  • Is it achievable for you and in what timeframe?
  • Do you know what are your competitors doing?

One of the only ways to succeed in the membership game is to be as organised as possible. There are multiple different ways you can do this, including using software like Trello, document what you’re doing and move forward with it.

The reality is any content model you choose can make a membership website successful and please your members. MemberLab will be with you every step of the way and will help wherever we can.

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10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website


10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website

Discover the secrets of planning, building and running a successful, profitable membership website​ around your expertise

Table of Contents

MemberLab is a completely done-for-you membership website creation service, giving you a proven framework to launch, monetize and grow your recurring revenue. We offer ongoing expert support with no tech hassles or hidden costs!

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The 10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website

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