Monetise your Website Traffic through Membership Platforms
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BY Aswathi Krishna
1 week ago
-CMS
Paywall Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@mbaumi?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Mika Baumeister</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/paywall?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Creating content for your website involves a cost. Even if you discount the development fee, domain registration and the hosting charges - all of which are recurring expenses for a growing website - as initial capital investment, there exists a cost for pitching, acquiring, editing and publishing the content. It involves person-hours which itself is payable and a process that goes into it that consumes intellect. If you give the content for free, your revenue ought to be user data. Else you will not sustain the race. Here is where a subscription-based service becomes an option. 

What is a membership site?

A membership site is simply a website where access to some particular content is gated. To get the exclusive content placed behind a ’member login’ page or a ‘paywall’, People should have an active member account. By choosing an appropriate membership platform, you will be able to :

  • Segment your contacts
  • Create user-member pages
  • Upgrade subscriptions
  • Process payments
  • Manage websites
  • Track engagements
  • Offer member-only newsletters
  • Provide different membership levels, and many more. 

How do membership platforms work?

Time spent on site, shares, likes, comments are a few pointers that tell you how engaging is your content. Give catchy articles, exciting podcasts, informative videos or whatever you like to share and make people’s jaws drop in disbelief. Once you get succeeded in connecting with your members, they will be ready to pay to get the gated content. Here, you charge a recurring fee from your customers and give them access to the exclusive content you have prepared. 

The News Minute, a digital news platform, shows an inspiring example for a membership site. They grabbed the audience’s attention by building TNM connect. 

You can offer your customers a wide variety of services, courses, discounts, entertainment, deals opportunities, or other facilities based on your platform.  

CMS hub - a proprietary content management system, Wix - a hosted website builder that offers a limited free plan and several premium plans and 'Morweb' - a CMS designed specifically for nonprofits and associations, are a few membership website builders. 

What are open-source membership platforms? 

Open source membership platforms allow anyone to create their website with an online community that is personalised and up-to-date without any coding knowledge required. The target customers of the platform are organisations or nonprofit organisations that have excellent tech support. 

Most open-source memberships offer the same features:  event management, advanced analytics, membership payment gateway integration, and email marketing. Most of the time, it acts as a blueprint. The collective efforts of the open-source community constantly update the software, and the users can have direct access to the platform.

Admidio’ is a free open source user management system for websites of organisations and groups. ‘Tendenci’ is a cloud-based open-source, SaaS, community-based solution. Some other free open source membership platforms like ‘Sumac’ and ’CiviCRM’ are also the best online fundraising, event management, and content management options.

Conclusion: 

Always make sure that your customers can watch you, and so be different and strategic in your approach. Your differences will help you to achieve what you want. It is time to enrich your user experience and generate revenue through membership platforms.


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on 28th June 2021 / by Shikhar Negi
The News Minute is a website that reports and writes on Indian issues with an exclusive focus on the 5 Southern states. Covering the truth and stories of society, TNM aims to cover trustworthy news without confining journalism behind a paywall. Then, how is it possible to cut noise in the digital landscape, where countless sources battle for the audience's attention, yet, create a sustainable revenue model for their independent media business? That's when the concept of TNM Connect was born - to keep news free of cost while creating a membership fee-based community of readers around the news. The members can interact with the editors and reporters at TNM around specific news stories published on the website. This engagement around the news helps NRIs, a major audience of TNM, connect more deeply with their cultural roots and discuss matters that interest them, be it political, social, celebratory, or tragic, in an informed manner. TNM Connect is a project funded by Google Innovation Challenge run by the Google News Initiative. Challenges Some of the biggest challenges of building a membership site with a globally spread out audience are: accepting overseas payments, accommodating large traffic, and creating a thriving and engaging community. Moreover, it was integral to build a platform that would fulfill TNM's requirements, which are as follows: Simplify onboarding, payment, and management of the membership. Enable members to pay using various options, maintain, and renew their membership. Facilitate single sign-on using TNM ID to access the mobile app, website, and discussion forum. exclusive content to the members like: Advertisement free access to the TNM portal and mobile application. Access to a membership directory and personal profile. Automatically subscribe to a member-only newsletter. Creating a contact database to ensure TNM can have communication with their members selectively. Overcoming the above challenges would enable TNM to offer a seamless experience to their NRI audiences residing in the US, the UK, and UAE. Finally, it would help the audience stay connected to their cultural roots by discussing their hometown and get access to a member-only experience like an ad-free platform, the weekly newsletter, digital community, events, and more. Our Approach Each membership site is unique and caters to separate audiences. Thus, to create a platform that helps TNM achieve its goals, we analyzed several CRMs and discussed the same with the client, to reach a mutual ground. Ideal platform was the one that supports login system on mobile and web, restricts ads, and supports payment gateway to facilitate online payments. Finally, the platform should activate a discussion forum that grants members access to a bustling community. Solution We implemented CiviCRM on Drupal 8,and our recommendation was based on enabling: Member sign-up Member profile Membership renewal reminders Contact database for the administrator Easy communication with the members Ad-free experience for members Flexibility in payment gateway Furthermore, Drupal 8 would ensure single sign-on, so that members can seamlessly sign in to various devices, locations, and times. Finally, Discourse, an open-source platform, was chosen as the discussion forum since it offers a clutter-free community experience. Discourse works well with small as well as large groups, which is perfect for scaling a community. Results Creating a membership site to turn your visitors into brand ambassadors and gain your potential customer's trust is a winning strategy. TNM Connect leveraged its community's power, launched its membership site, and received praise for the same. We will update this case study as we have more statistics and sign-ups. Reach out to our experts to transform your business digitally and stand out from the noise. Topic Media Community Membership Platform Database Discourse