One of the biggest pieces in our business is building membership sites, also one of the biggest misconceptions is the price. Now this doesn’t mean the price to build the site, but the price you decide on when you get it built.

Let me explain. When we build membership sites for folks, we get the same question, “How much should I charge to my members to gain access?” Now many would argue that you charge a monthly fee while others would argue the point of only charging a one-time fee. However, way you look at it, much of the answer lies within your target audience. Let’s go into each model and then you can decide which one works best for you.

Monthly Fee Model

This seems to be the popular one as many see this as a steady monthly income. However, it also comes with it’s own challenges. But one piece of advice I will impart with you here is, if you do decide to go with the monthly model, I recommend you make it affordable.

  • Monthly fees should be within a range of $35 – $50 a month as usually anything larger than this will cause most of your members to cancel after a few months down the line.
  • With this model you will have to stay on top of either weekly or monthly updates to your site.
  • Many times, you will find you will get more cancellations up front or during different times of the year as many start to look at their budgets and decide whether the cost condones the outcome. Think about this a moment: if you go with the high end of $50 a month looks like $600 by the end of the year. This may not seem like much, but when many of your members are looking at the content as opposed to the cost, it may cause them to cancel more frequently. Especially if you are not staying on top of the updates.
  • The time you will spend in maintaining this will be substantially more as you deal with several factors:
    1. Credit cards on file that have expired or don’t go through causing you time to track down the buyer for the updated info. This may not seem like much if you have a small membership base, but if you have 1,000 or more it can get very time consuming.
    2. You will need to have a bigger base of information for your members in order to keep them paying a monthly fee.
    3. More time consuming to keep up with the updates/payments.
  • This model can be beneficial if you do monthly webinars as you can do these exclusively for your membership base and then house them for future access.
  • If you do decide to go with this model, I recommend you give them as much info as possible, as much exclusivity as possible, making it more enticing to stay.

One Time Fee Model

This model is much easier to manage and can not only bring in money but can help you grow your base for future events, products, and services you can push out. Plus the upkeep is much easier for you. Just as with the monthly model I recommend you keep it affordable between $65 – $97 base. Keep in mind that most consumers will not pay more than $100, even if it is a one-time fee.

  • This model is based on quantity. The more you bring in the more money you make. Now I can say the same thing about the monthly model, however more people are willing to pay a one-time fee as opposed to a monthly fee.
  • No need to worry about credit card expiration dates or cancellation, because they are only paying once.
    • Less time to worry about updates and more time to work on other products and services.
  • You don’t have to update the site as frequently as you do with a monthly site. Once a month should be efficient, however I suggest you note your updates in a different color and send off an email noting that you’ve updated the site with new material.
  • You can still sell your list into larger ticket items that they will most likely be more willing to buy, since they don’t have a monthly fee to worry about.

Keep in mind that you can make money regardless of what model you chose from, however the main caveat here is time. Based on your time and how much you have or don’t have should determine which model would work best. With either one you can still sell them into bigger ticket items, it’s just a matter of how much your audience is willing to spend for the information you are providing.

Here’s to growing your business online.

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