Adding a membership site to your current business is a great way to increase that bottom line and make more money. And just about any business model or type of website can benefit from a membership site. Let’s take a look at how to set up your own membership site.

#1 – Understand how membership sites make money. Members are the ultimate captive audience. Better than a lead list, your members have proven they’re interested; they’ve practically committed themselves to being loyal customers. That means each and every new product or service you offer is going to have a stronger conversion rate with your members.

In addition to being able to sell your product and services to a focused group of people, you’re now able to profit from their subscriptions as well – assuming you charge for membership. Some people choose to make membership free and that’s still a profitable business because again, they’re a captive audience that is essentially presold.

#2 – Decide how you’re going to make money from your membership site. In short, will you charge a membership or subscription fee? While many membership sites are free, some make hundreds, even thousands, from subscriptions. And you can stagger subscriptions so you’re receiving passive income year round. Additionally, you can offer various levels of subscriptions. For example, you can offer free memberships which allow access to a portion of your site, silver level memberships and access to a little bit more of the site, gold memberships, and platinum memberships that allow access to your entire site.

This way you’re appealing to all income levels and all levels of commitment.

Once you have a membership site up and running you have the opportunity to generate multiple streams of income. You can sell affiliate products and profit from AdSense, advertising sales, and by selling information.

#3 – If you don’t already have a business website or chosen niche, get one. First, consider what you like to do, what you’re interested in, and what you’re good at. Membership sites fit almost any business model and industry. For example, if you love to cook then you can have a membership site that offers recipes and shopping lists.

#4 – Decide how you’re going to market to your membership site. When you offer varying degrees of membership, you can market to each segment differently. You can create high end products geared specifically for the customers that you know can afford it and appreciate it. And you can offer incentives to upgrade membership.

#5 – Choose your membership site software, decide on a membership fees and how you’re going to facilitate the billing process (shopping cart software with recurring billing features should do the trick) and get your website up and running. Of course, don’t forget to create and implement marketing strategies to let the world know about your wonderful new membership site.

Membership sites are a great way to boost profits for an ongoing business or to start a new business. People enjoy the scarcity of belonging to a site which gives them special privileges, and they like being part of a community. Capitalize on these buying triggers with your own membership site.