Preneurs Helping Preneurs Get Noticed

Merging membership sites… or not?

Home Page Forums Ask Anything Merging membership sites… or not?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Sean Mize 3 years, 10 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #134

    Elaine Guinn
    Participant

    I already have a membership site which was created years ago by someone else. I want to incorporate it into a new membership site where I can include other products that I’ve created for all of my current list. I have so many ideas I don’t know where to start and how to merge my current site with a new one. Or… how to start a new one. Help!

  • Author
    Replies
  • #137

    Suzanne Sukhram
    Participant

    Elaine,

    Are you trying to merge in terms of website domains, or in terms of membership platforms? What is your sticking point, so we can best help?

  • #140

    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    Depends on the technical aspects of the site you have and the site you’re moving to, Elaine. One thing you want to do is make sure the security is upgraded. Things have changed over the past few years. It it an off-site platform or a WordPress plugin?

  • #208

    Elaine Guinn
    Participant

    My current membership site is basically a download site where I post newsletters for my niche to use to market their business. This is my current process:

    1) Each month, I write and create a newsletter for my niche (small business owners who sell Shaklee nutrition, cleaning and skin card products) in CorelDraw.

    2) I still have a lot of people who want a printed newsletter (although, that’s been dwindling for years), so I convert it to a PDF and send it to my local printer who delivers them to me about a week later. I then ship the printed version.

    3) I then turn the printed newsletter into 2 different PDF formats, as well a web-based format using MS Expressions (which I’ve learned how to use, but wish there was something simpler.) NOTE: I personalize each newsletter with the customer’s company name, name, phone number(s), email address, website address, etc… whatever they want. My customers like the personalization and… since the Shaklee community is close-knit, personalizing everything curtails the impulse some people have to start distributing our newsletter without paying for it.

    4) Once it’s finished, I upload both the PDFs and the web newsletters to this membership site which still has a few of our original membe3rs (from years ago) who want more than one newsletter format. Someone else created this site and while it functions, it’s really not ideal in any way. And… since I took over maintaining it, I just barely know what I am doing. It is not a WP site and I don’t think it’s a membership platform. I really don’t know what it is exactly. I just know it’s outdated and cumbersome. I’m a writer, not a technical website operator, although I’m learning.

    5) I also have a lot of subscribers who just want one electronic newsletter format each month. I personalize those PDFs and web newsletters and email the PDFs and links to these subscribers. I don’t post them on the website, although the web newsletters are hosted there.

    It’s complicated and time-consuming, but it’s what I’m stuck with until I can create something better, make more money and outsource the tedious work involved.

    I have a greater vision for my business. I can do so much more with a comprehensive membership site offering training on how to most effectively use the products on my main website, http://www.shaidsshop.com, but also on various concerns my niche struggles with… leadership, organization, prospecting, online and offline marketing, training, as well as some of the basic technical aspects of online marketing, etc. They have a lot of needs I can help fill if I just have a good platform from which to operate.

    I also need to establish a more stable income from my business and I believe this will take me to a level where I need to be financially.

    If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know. Thanks.

  • #367

    Sean Mize
    Keymaster

    Elaine

    if you had a place online where members could access the uploaded material (pdfs, etc)

    and a way to email them

    and way to have a sales page that sells and enrolls new members

    in a nutshell, that’s what you need in membership software, right?

    any other feature that is a must-have?

    Sean

    Do you want to learn how to start a coaching program that stabilizes your income and changes lives? If so, visit http://www.AnyoneCanCoach.com

    Sean

  • #531

    Elaine Guinn
    Participant

    Hi Sean!
    Yes, that’s basically what I need.
    I want a general area where people can access some free stuff available to everyone.
    Maybe some blog posts? I do already have a separate blog site. Should everything be on one site? (Except for my main shopping site… http://www.shaidsshop.com)
    Then I need their private membership area where they can download the products they purchase.
    Is that doable?
    I’m still fleshing it out. At this point, I don’t know if I need just one site or several.
    And… how do you handle different membership levels or subscriptions?
    In my confusion, I’ve started to build several websites in WP, but not really completed any (except my outdated download and main sites).
    Thanks for your help on this.
    I appreciate it.
    Elaine

  • #540

    Thank you for posting this, Elaine, for all us aspiring business memberships! Even if you feel like you don’t know what to do, it’s quite helpful to some of us.

    ♥ Coach Claire

    NichirenBuddhistShaman.com

    Discover the joy in every situation...

    FREE full reading of your choice - for members only!

  • #541

    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    You can use subdomains and stay on the same site, Elaine. Just keep an eye on page load time.

  • #553

    Bruce Hoag
    Participant

    Hi Elaine,

    If it was me, I’d start by dropping the printed newsletter.

    You simply tell people that 90%, or whatever is accurate, or your subscribers receive the newsletter electronically and that the time-suck of producing a printed version isn’t worth it.

    Then, as Sean has suggested, put it into a membership site online.

    Alternatively, you could charge those people who want a printed version for the cost of printing, packing and mailing.

    Most people will understand that this is necessary.

    Bruce Hoag PhD
    The Internet Marketing Psychologist
    The Mindful Writer - for deep and persuasive copy

  • #704

    Elaine Guinn
    Participant

    Hello Bruce,

    Actually, my printed newsletter sales have been dwindling for some time as more and more people are getting all of their info electronically. I am pleased about that as I would like to get rid of printed newsletters entirely. They are, admittedly, a pain. But… at this time, they account for about 35-40% of my income.

    I already charge quite a bit for both my printed and electronic newsletters and am getting ready to increase my prices on the printed newsletters the first of next year. There is no way I would go to the trouble without charging for them.

    I offer printed newsletters because of customer demand. I have quite a few older customers who are computer challenged. Most of them want only printed newsletters. And… a substantial number of customers who buy my electronic newsletters also purchase a small amount of printed newsletters, at least several times a year if not every month.

    I am currently working on a deal with my printing company to print some of my electronic publications (such as personalized Post Cards and Price Sheets) for my customers. I will set up and personalize the files, email them to my customer for approval, then send them on to my printing company. They will print, cut and ship the orders. They are basing their pricing to compete with Vista Print, which some of my customers already use. If our initial venture works out for my customers (and my printer), I’ll see if we can come up with something similar for my newsletters.

    My main challenge right now is to get going on a comprehensive membership site for all of the new training modules and materials I want to start offering… and a great marketing strategy to get people to join and stay.

    Thanks for all of your advice. I appreciate it.

    Elaine

  • #724

    Bruce Hoag
    Participant

    Wow, Elaine.

    That’s a lot of income for printed newsletters.

    I do meet people from time to time who are “computer challenged.”

    When you work with them every day, it’s hard to believe that not everyone does. LOL

    I am curious to know – and I’ll understand if you don’t want to tell me 😉 – the gist of your content.

    Bruce Hoag PhD
    The Internet Marketing Psychologist
    The Mindful Writer - for deep and persuasive copy

  • #727

    Dejan Cerv
    Participant

    Hi Elaine

    First, I would advise you to know very clear what you want to include in your membership site (will you have free level? Basic level, “upgrade levels”, etc.)

    Based on this you can decide which membership software will best suit you needs. You have mentioned blogging so maybe WordPress and some WordPress membership plugin would be good choice for you.

    Transferring data from old to new membership site can be very time consuming task. I would recommend you to outsource this task, especially if you are not a technical person.

    I learned this myself…the hard way. I once spend two weeks editing and polishing my membership site. Then I found someone who did the same job in 2 days.

    It was not total waste of time for me because I learned a lot during that time…but still…it did leave bad taste in my… memory 🙂

  • #1326

    Sean Mize
    Keymaster

    So before I recommend anything, I want to confirm that this point it sounds like what you need is a platform for the membership . . software you can use to make a site into a membership, right?

    Are you using wordpress for your site basics?

    Sean

    Do you want to learn how to start a coaching program that stabilizes your income and changes lives? If so, visit http://www.AnyoneCanCoach.com

    Sean

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Skip to toolbar