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May 24, 2023

The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Online Membership

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The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Online Membership


This free guide will get you 100% clear on your community idea, so you can stop overthinking, and start earning šŸš€ 



Online memberships can be a powerful tool for generating recurring revenue and building a community around your brand. However, if you’re new to the world of online business, it can be hard to know where to start. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll take you through the key steps to creating an online membership. 

Choose a Niche

The first step in an offer creation is to choose a niche. In this case, this is the specific area or topic that your membership site will focus on. Choosing a niche helps you create a clear value proposition and sets you up for the next step which is to understand the audience in that niche. It also makes it easier to create targeted content and attract members who are interested in that topic.

If you already have a personal brand or business in a niche, then you are all set. But if you are just getting started, the best thing to do is start researching niches that interest you. Look at the leaders in that space and see what they are doing. Consider this like detective work. The more objective and detailed you are, the better. Look at their social media accounts and their website. Breakdown their current offers and sales pages. The more you can understand how others are doing things in a specific niche, the better you will be able to position yourself within it. 

Here are a few niches to research that all have successful membership opportunities: 

calisthenics, yoga, bodybuilding, pilates, organic gardening, day trading, crypto investing,, parenting, survivalism, photography, real estate investing, online dating, copywriting, meditation, ecommerce, cooking

Understand Your Audience

The next step to creating an online membership is to understand your audience. Who are they? What are their pain points and challenges? What solutions can you offer to help them? By understanding your audience, you can create a membership offering that meets their needs and is more likely to succeed.

Here is a pro tip. When creating an online offer, most people think about what they want, not what their customers want. While there is nothing wrong with taking your own experience and desires into account, you will be far more successful if you think from the perspective of your audience and potential customers.  

Determine Your Membership Model

When it comes to creating an online membership, there are several membership models to choose from, including recurring subscriptions, one-time payments, and freemium models. Each has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which model makes the most sense for your business and audience. In this article, we walk you through a step by step guide on how you can choose the right model for your. But for now, here are a few of our favorite models.

1. Course Communities: Adding an Engaging Community Experience

Course communities offer an immersive experience that complements your curriculum. By incorporating an interactive platform like MemberUp, you can create a space where course students can connect with each other, share insights, and foster a sense of belonging. This community element has been proven to enhance student outcomes and drive positive business results. With MemberUp’s intuitive organization and ad-free environment, your students can enjoy a binge-worthy content experience while actively participating in the community.

2. Coaching Communities: Accelerate Growth Together

Hosting coaching communities provides an opportunity to facilitate deep transformations among your students. These communities often include high-level masterminds or coaching containers where students can dive deep and accelerate their growth collectively. Networking plays a crucial role in these communities, as students at similar stages in their journey can connect, share experiences, and support each other. MemberUp’s features, such as Spark, enable authentic connections without the need for awkward icebreakers, fostering a vibrant and supportive coaching community.

3. Web3 Communities: Embracing the Future of Community-Building

With the rise of web3 technologies, it’s becoming increasingly popular to establish web3 communities. These communities, like the Since3000 NFT community, provide a platform to share information and generate interest before the launch of an NFT collection. Web3 communities emphasize self-expression, originality, and art, and with MemberUp, you can personalize your web3 community to reflect your unique brand and attract like-minded individuals who support your project. Embrace the power of web3 and create a magnetic tribe within your community.

4. Free Communities: Building Trust and Providing Value

Offering free communities is a powerful strategy to build trust, showcase your expertise, and provide value to your prospects. By creating a community where you freely share valuable content and engage with your audience, you establish credibility and nurture relationships with potential customers. MemberUp ensures that your content receives the attention it deserves, without being filtered through algorithms or competing with other creators. Focus on blowing people’s minds with your free content, and they will be more inclined to invest in your paid programs when the time comes.

Choose a Membership Platform

Once you’ve determined your membership model, the next step is to choose a platform to host your membership site. We may be biased, but we build MemberUp specifically to be the best solution for creators who want to build extraordinary communities. 

MemberUp is the ultimate platform for hosting your online membership, offering a myriad of features and benefits that make it the best choice for your needs. With its user-friendly interface and intuitive organization, MemberUp provides a seamless and enjoyable experience for both you and your members. The platform allows you to effortlessly create a vibrant community with interactive features, fostering engagement, collaboration, and meaningful connections among your members. 

Moreover, MemberUp’s ad-free environment ensures that your content remains the center of attention, free from distractions. You can personalize your membership offerings, tailoring them to your unique brand and audience. MemberUp also provides robust analytics and data insights, empowering you to make informed decisions and optimize your membership’s performance. 

From course communities to coaching communities, MemberUp accommodates various membership models, giving you the flexibility to design the perfect experience for your members.

Creating Your Online Membership Site

The next step is to create your membership. For many people this step is a road block because they do not know what to offer. At MemberUp we have studied the most successful memberships and have created a formula for how you can create an exceptional membership experience. We call it the 5 Cā€™s

The 5 C’s of an extraordinary community are the key elements that differentiate a membership from being ordinary to becoming truly exceptional. Let’s dive into each of these C’s and discover why they are vital for creating an extraordinary community.

The first C stands for “Content.” It refers to the valuable resources and materials that members receive upon joining the community. This could include call replays, learning curriculum, workbooks, exclusive content, or training videos. The key is to strike a balance between providing enough content to deliver value and avoiding overwhelming members with an excessive amount of information. MemberUp, the platform you’re using, offers a dedicated Content tab to organize and present your foundation content in an intuitive manner, ensuring members can easily navigate and access the materials they need.

The second C represents “Community.” It encompasses the connections and access that members have to you as the community leader and to fellow community members. Live calls, events, and conversations facilitate interaction and foster a sense of belonging. MemberUp provides features such as an events calendar and spaces for organizing and facilitating discussions between you and your members. 

The third C is “Collaboration.” This aspect involves empowering members by involving them in the direction and future of the community. By seeking their opinions and feedback on content and improvements, you make them feel valued and influential. MemberUp automates the process of gathering member input, effortlessly integrating collaboration into your community.

The fourth C is “Clout.” Human nature is driven by a desire for status, and this element acknowledges and satisfies that need within your community. By creating an exclusive environment, where members feel special and have access to content and opportunities not available to others, you fulfill their yearning for importance. MemberUp offers member badges, rewards, and recognition features to further enhance the sense of status and value within the community.

The final C is “Connection.” This is the most essential yet often overlooked element. Members crave genuine and authentic connections with others in the community. It’s about creating an environment where individuals feel understood, seen, and deeply connected with their peers. MemberUp recognizes the significance of connection and provides the platform and tools needed to foster meaningful relationships among community members.

By focusing on these 5 C’s – Content, Community, Collaboration, Clout, and Connection – you can create an extraordinary membership experience with MemberUp. The platform’s features and capabilities empower you to deliver exceptional value, engage members, and cultivate

Promote Your Membership Site

The success of any membership or community relies heavily on effective launch strategies. Let’s explore the four types of launches that can propel your community to new heights:

Seed Member Launch: This initial launch serves to validate your idea and attract your first members. It’s an opportunity to refine your offering and gather valuable feedback. If you haven’t executed a seed member launch yet, it’s an important step to include in your launch calendar.

Official Launch: The official launch is a comprehensive and well-planned event that generates excitement and prompts sign-ups. Through strategic marketing and promotions, you build anticipation leading up to the launch event and encourage enrollment within a specific timeframe. Whether your membership is open or closed, a deliberate promotional period is essential for incentivizing growth and attracting new members.

Lite Launch: If the idea of a full-scale launch feels overwhelming or you currently lack the necessary resources, a lite launch provides a more relaxed alternative. With a lite launch, you focus on promoting your membership to your existing audience through email and social media. The aim is to get your community started without the pressure of a large influx of members. It offers a simple way to begin and allows for the possibility of a fuller launch in the future.

Backdoor Launch: A backdoor launch is particularly effective for closed communities looking to incentivize growth between official launches. By temporarily transitioning your community sign-up page into a waitlist page, interested individuals can register their interest in joining. At designated times, you can invite those on the waitlist to join exclusively, boosting revenue and engagement. The conversion rates from a waitlist are typically higher, making it a valuable strategy to supplement your community’s growth.

Understanding these four types of launches provides a high-level overview of the various approaches you can take to launch and grow your community. In upcoming lessons, we’ll delve deeper into specific launch tactics such as webinars and challenges. By incorporating these launch strategies into your overall plan, you’ll be equipped to create an engaging and successful membership experience

Manage Your Membership Site

When it comes to content within a community, there are two main types: core content and ritual content. Core content includes the success path and supporting materials that help members achieve a specific transformation or outcome. 

For educators, this may involve guiding members towards a goal, while entertainers focus on offering exclusive content that creates intrigue and interest. Ritual content, on the other hand, is released periodically to keep members engaged and retained. This could include regular Zoom calls, new recipes, or workouts. Remember, the community element itself plays a significant role in member retention and engagement. As you map out your core and ritual content, keep in mind the importance of delivering value without overwhelming members. 

Consider the pains and challenges your ideal members face and ensure that your content addresses those needs. Additionally, don’t forget to involve your community in shaping the direction and preferences for core and ritual content. Creating a member wins space can also be highly beneficial, providing a space for celebration and motivation. Take the time to map out your content strategy using the prompts and examples provided in your workbook. Your community is waiting to thrive with your carefully crafted content.

Managing your online membership on MemberUp becomes even more powerful with the inclusion of Spark. Spark is an incredible feature designed to foster meaningful connections and engagement within your community. By automatically posting thought-provoking questions every 24 hours, Spark initiates conversations that go beyond surface-level small talk. As members respond and interact, they gain insights from each other and build authentic connections.

Spark serves as the warm greeting at the door of your community, instantly showing interest in your members and inviting them to participate in conversations that matter. It’s the difference between a community that is memorable and one that members cancel shortly after joining. This emphasis on connection aligns with the findings of the Membership Benchmarking Report, which reveals that people join communities primarily for networking and connecting with others who share similar interests and skills.

The best part is that managing Spark is effortless within MemberUp. From selecting relevant question packs to scheduling their release, you have the tools to curate engaging discussions that resonate with your community. Additionally, both creators and members can share the daily question on social media, attracting new members and expanding the conversation beyond the community itself.

With MemberUp and the addition of Spark, managing your membership becomes a seamless experience. By nurturing meaningful connections and promoting engagement, you can create a thriving community where members feel seen, heard, and valued. Embrace the power of Spark and witness the transformative impact it has on your community.


Creating an online membership can be a great way to generate recurring revenue, build a community around your brand, and offer exclusive content or services to your audience. By following these key steps, you can get started with online memberships and create a thriving community that offers value to your members and helps you achieve your business goals.

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