In episode 145, I am chatting with Jason Coleman, part of the team behind Paid Membership Pro plugin for WordPress. Jason and his wife, Kimberly have been building websites for several years focusing on WordPress for a good chunk of that time. In 2012, they moved into the membership/WordPress space.
I chat with Jason about his plugin and what he has learned about starting and running a membership site. With the number of sites growing, the goal is to make yours stand out from the others.
What Jason has to say
Where are we at with membership site ecosystems, specifically in WordPress?
From the perspective of what types of people and businesses are getting into membership sites, we have a lot of associations and organizations that raise money and keep track of their memberships moving online.
Sometimes I recommend Paid Memberships Pro because it will work well for them. But you know, a lot of the time I recommend other platforms because they’re just a better fit.
How do you make your membership site stand out from others in the same industry?
If you know your customer, it’s a lot easier to build those pieces. If you figure out exactly who your customer is and figure out exactly what your product does, you’re gonna deliver to them.
They think they should be making recurring revenue and they haven’t really thought about what is their content or what service they’re providing. Why are people gonna pay you money?
So your homepage should have a giant, bright call to action button. And it goes right to your checkout page.
Lots of people get caught up in ways to incentivize sharing or signing up for free trials and they get overly clever.
Why use WordPress for your membership site?
A system like WordPress lets you build a new plugin. It’s just PHP on a server so you can access the data directly and the WordPress API makes it easy to do different things.
One of the great things about WordPress in general, you don’t have to build it from scratch.
Owning your platform and owning the email address and the access to users and how they contact your website.
What are a few more ideas to make your membership site stand out around the content?
Each question you get in your email is, or in person, is a potential blog post. And not only is it good content, but it’s SEO-ready.
If you take the best of your historic content and make sure that all new subscribers get it, that’s a really good strategy to keep people engaged with your site.
When you’re making blog posts or videos, make sure that that content isn’t specific to your product, but answers questions more generally.
On Google analytics, we can see which content is interesting to paying customers. Maybe some content that’s behind our pay wall or that we emailed to our paying customers got high engagement so it shows the kind of the value they’re getting out of our membership.
What do you say to someone who says their site will stand out because the design is awesome?
The design is important, but what you’re really trying to do is to wow your customers and inspire them.
You can have really awesome design that’s breathtaking and something people haven’t seen before. But I think that’s hard to do and it’s hard to replicate. There are other ways to wow your customers.
Find those things that have a big impact, they’re easier to implement and experiment with and iterate, and they’re not going to delay you.
Where to Find Jason
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