Membership Platforms

Learn more about the most popular membership and subscription platforms for Content Creators.

Membership platforms allow you to setup online subscription services for your content. Membership platforms have become a popular tool for online content creators. A membership platform allows you to create subscription-based tiers, so users must pay money to access either all of, or selected parts of your content. Typically, memberships use a monthly subscription model, though some also have option for longer subscription times. There is usually some type of benefit for using a longer plan, such as a discounted price.

There are several types of membership platforms available. Some options require you to use a separate website to post subscriber content, while others allow you to embed a subscription membership directly into your website. What option you choose largely depends on the type of content you produce. Using a membership platform is an excellent way to make money, but you must provide worthwhile perks to encourage users to sign up. Listed below are some of the top membership platform options as well as advice on setting up appealing memberships.

Building a Membership Model

Before you even consider adding a membership platform, you must decide on a membership model. Your model is a plan of what you will offer subscribers and how much you plan to charge. The biggest mistake content creators make with a membership model is aiming too high. It is easy to promise content to draw in subscribers, but you must be able to deliver on that content. For example, if you normally produce two to three videos each week, do not promise your subscribers seven additional videos. Even if you can keep up with this new schedule initially, you will quickly burn out and upset your subscribers when you fail to deliver.

Another decision you must make is whether you want to hide all your content, or continue to offer content for free. Locking all of your content behind a subscription fee makes it much harder to pull in new audience members. However, you must ensure the content locked behind the subscription fee is actually worth subscribing for. Using the video example, you could promise to keep producing two to three videos each week, but provide an exclusive video to your subscribers every other week. You could also offer some level of interaction, such as doing a Q&A video based on subscriber questions. The more subscription tiers you have, the more perks you must provide.

Once you decide on the number of tiers and rewards, your next step is advertising. You do not want to switch too quickly to a subscription-based service. Give your users a chance to prepare. This also gives you an opportunity to work on your rewards, so you have something to provide once users sign up.

Payment Options

The majority of subscription services charge per month, but there is an alternative. Some services allow you to charge based on the content you produce. Webcomic artists are able to charge per page, while vloggers charge per video. There are limitations on how often you charge users, to prevent creators from exploiting the system. This payment method is often considered riskier. Users are more likely to subscribe to a service if they know how much they are paying each month.

  • Patreon

Patreon is one of the most recognizable membership platforms. Many content creators choose Patreon because it is so easy to use. Patreon handles the bulk of the behind-the-scenes work. You do not have to integrate anything into your website. Patreon allows you to directly upload subscriber content. It is also easy to setup multiple tiers for your subscribers. Patron has an excellent tagging system, which allows new users to find your account. Because it is such a popular platform, it is also easy for users to sign up. Any individual who already has a Patreon account can subscribe to as many creators as they want.

  • MemberPress

MemberPress is another popular membership platform because it is compatible with WordPress. Since it integrates with WordPress, it is easy to install. MemberPress also provides content creator with all the options they need to create subscriptions. You get unlimited product pages and memberships, without having to upgrade your account. There are also options for creating coupons to new subscribers.

  • SubHub

SubHub is one of the membership platforms with an easy-to-use platform, allowing you to easily setup multiple tiers and separate your free and premium content. The platform has a number of templates you can choose from, as well as the option to view existing sites to get examples of how to setup your content. It also provides a number of options for mobile users, while most other platforms focus exclusively on desktop browsing.

  • Wix

Wix is both a website builder and a membership platform. Wix is designed with user accessibility in mind, making it a good choice if you are not comfortable integrating other platforms into your website. With Wix, you can setup a separate, easy to manage space for members. However, you must purchase a premium plan if you want Wix to setup subscriptions. Without a membership, you must use a third-party subscription service.