We use cookies to understand how you interact with our site, to personalize and streamline your experience, and to tailor advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies and accept our Privacy Policy.
Contact Us
Contact Us
Sign in
Sign in
November 11, 2021

Membership sites are a popular way to monetize a blog. Learning how to grow your membership site is the key to increasing recurring revenue for your business.

Selling memberships makes a positive impact on a business’s bottom line. As you sign up and retain more members, your revenue from renewals grows. In this post, we’ll review the process for growing a membership site.

5 steps for growing your membership site:

  1. Create and deliver value
  2. Optimize your sign-up process
  3. Develop and execute a marketing plan
  4. Increase member engagement
  5. Drive referrals

Step 1: Create and Deliver Value

Successful membership sites have compelling value propositions. When potential members land on your website, they need to know what you offer and the value a membership provides.

The subscription economy grows each year. More people are signing up for recurring memberships and subscriptions than ever before. The increased popularity of subscriptions means consumers periodically evaluate the recurring charges hitting their bank accounts. If your membership site isn’t delivering value to customers, they won’t renew.

Compelling value propositions for membership sites:

  • Saving Time or Money.
    Money is the most tangible value you can offer your members. If a membership saves them money, they'll renew as long as they’re saving more than the membership costs. While not everyone can calculate the monetary value of time savings, time is a limited resource. Busy people will gladly pay for memberships offering significant time savings.
  • Achieving a Goal.
    Life, diet, fitness, and financial coaches sell membership because people value achieving goals like getting into shape or preparing for retirement.
  • Learning a Skill.
    You can find a YouTube video to learn almost anything. But, the effectiveness of the instruction varies. Helping people master a skill such as perfecting their golf swing to baking the best ciabatta provides an excellent foundation for growing your membership.
  • Finding Community.
    Social clubs and organizations exist in the physical world because people desire community. Providing an engaging and safe online community could be another basis for a membership site.

If you’re still struggling to develop suitable membership offerings for your site, check out this post on our top membership site ideas for your next business.

Step 2: Optimize Your Sign-Up Process

Once you’ve made it clear why someone would want to sign up for your membership site, remove as many roadblocks as possible. Unnecessary friction in the sign-up process can lower your conversion rate.

In addition to following ecommerce security best practices for keeping payment information secure, optimizing your sign-up forms by decreasing the number of required fields, offering multiple payment options, and making your pricing structure easy to understand.

Step 3: Develop and Execute a Marketing Plan

At this point, you’ve created a membership people will want to buy and made it easy for them to sign up. Now you just need to let your target audience know about your membership offerings. For a detailed guide on what to include in your marketing plan, read our post on creating a marketing plan for membership growth. At a high level, start by determining who is most likely to buy your membership and where you can reach them.

Marketing channels for membership growth include:

  • Digital display advertising
  • Organic and paid social media
  • Webinars
  • Email marketing
  • Product or brand partnerships and sponsorships

In addition to developing a marketing plan for new member acquisition, you’ll need to market to existing members for renewal.

Step 4: Increase Member Engagement

Membership engagement drives growth. When members regularly interact with your content and one another, they’re more likely to renew their membership. Active members experience and appreciate the value your site provides. Active members also are more likely to recommend your membership to their friends and colleagues. For more tips on optimizing your membership site for engagement, review our post on improving member engagement.

Step 5: Drive Referrals

Word-of-mouth marketing often converts at a higher rate than generic digital outreach. If you’ve followed every step in the process, the final step is to incentivize your active members to invite their friends.

Tips for driving membership referrals:

  • Create an Exclusive Free Trial. Make sharing your site easy for members by giving them an exclusive link for their friends to sign up for a free trial.
  • Offer a Bonus. Reward members who refer people with discounts or additional content or products.
  • Start an Affiliate Program. You also can incentivize members by offering an affiliate or referral commission.

Start Growing Your Membership Site Today

If you’re trying to figure out how to grow your membership site, you don’t have time to worry about the technical infrastructure of your website. You want to focus on creating valuable content and compelling marketing campaigns, not trying to figure out the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WPQuickStart by Nexcess simplifies the setup and design of a membership site.

Each WPQuickStart plan includes:

  • Fully Managed WordPress hosting by Nexcess
  • Vetted plugins and themes including Restrict Content Pro — a $349 value
  • Payment integrations with Stripe, Braintree, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and PayPal
  • Multi-level subscription packages
  • Automated emails to communicate and connect with your subscribers
  • Detailed reporting

Membership sites with WPQuickStart are the fastest and most affordable way to build a membership site on WordPress. Choose your plan and get started today.

Related Resources

- Introducing WPQuickStart Membership

- How To Start a Subscription Business in 6 Simple Steps

- How to Start a Membership Site

- How To Start a Subscription Box in 7 Actionable Steps

- Increasing Engagement for Membership Sites


Power up your sites and stores with custom-built technology designed to make every aspect of the digital commerce experience better. Make your digital commerce experience better with Nexcess.