Updated from Oct 28 2019

A Membership site may be the answer,  or ...would 

a Course  be better for what you want for the future of your business?


A Membership site with a community of like minded people

 just may be in your future.

But do you think a Course on a particular subject would be a better idea?

Let's have a look at  ideas of both types of  recurring  income vehicles,

a Course or a Membership?

What are all the elements involved with setting up a membership site for your business that makes you money? Recurring income month after month...

What could be in store for your life concerning earning an income?

What income do you want to create? Do you see good times ahead travelling or vacationing with friends or family? (Of course depending on COVID-19) Would that even be possible? Many people have done it.

I know you have dreamed about this, _because I have too!

How do you want to create a difference in your life?

  • Contribute to your community? 
  • Personal growth and spirituality?
  • Support to a charity?

What would you like to see happen? What career goal images come to mind?

Like to add more fun and excitement to your life? Sure who wouldn't right?
What would you like to do to make  your dreams come true?

What do you see yourself doing?

- On stage, speaking as a well known entrepreneur or in a successful offline or online business? You choose what you would love to do.

- Like to wake up each morning feeling excited for the day, a  positive attitude, being grateful for all that you have? Write it all down, with a date deadline.  Organization is key. Tick off each accomplishment as you achieve them.

- What do you want to create and achieve for your business  in the next quarter?

Relate it back to your business problems last year. Focus on the next right steps outlined in this article to make your goals  achievable with incremental advances.

How to achieve your goals?
Let’s look at creating your  Membership Site:

Why a Membership Site _Rather Than A Course?
It answers that old question: Time = Money

You are limited as a consultant, business owner or service provider to the number of people you can serve because of the limit of the number of hours you wish to work.

If you have 10 clients that you work with, one-to-one and you trade time for money, your income is constrained to the number of hours you can work a day with only those 10 clients.

Let’s look at creating a Course

With a course that you create, it usually is housed on a site such as:

Teachable or Thinkific.

They take a significant amount as a fee for the use of their site.  

Basic   $39  USD /MO
Growth  $79  USD /MO
Premier $399 USD /MO

Basic              $39 /MO - $29 USD /MO
Professional $99 / MO - $79 USD /MO
Business     $499 /MO = $399 USD /MO

With these platforms you do not own any emails, and customers, they do. 

A course is limited to that very particular subject.

A membership site can have many products subjects that your students apply to with their email addresses and so opens a continuous relationship with them. 

Membership Sites

Membership sites can serve many more clients and there is so much more you can achieve with a membership site. You can start small and build on it yearly.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin…to get it all straightened out for you so you can build a super successful business using a membership site or a course.  Or some use both together. Find out more below....


- A membership site  provides you a platform to serve more people without using an exponential amount of time. Also if you can create and maintain a membership that actually fulfills your ideal client’s needs, you can build more financial stability into your business with regular recurring monthly income from memberships.

Focus on understanding the kind of people who would want to be part of your membership by thinking about the type of people (passionate about building a business, determined people who want to network, building new relationships and learning new skills).

- These things will help you to be clear on their challenges, and frustrations, so you could address

How Do You Do This?

You do this by creating a survey, asking your audience questions so you are better able to understand the direction to go.  One question might be if they’d be interested in joining a membership group, and if so, what they’d like to see inside it?

 Use your own surveys such as Thrive Themes-Quiz, Google forms, Survey Monkey or my fav Typeform.

*Ask your audience what they want and then give them what they want!!!

Develop Your Business Model

What is Your Content Strategy?
What Will Be Your Core Beliefs?

How will you stay organized?
- On a monthly basis, what content are you doing to create? What is your morning schedule for what type of organization will you use?

Monthly,Weekly, Daily. Will you batch create your content for the entire year over a few days?

"Oftentimes, it's just little tweaks that make a big difference for people who have already got established membership sites.

So at the end of the day, this is why I love memberships for us—selfishly as business owners—because we get to experience the joy and the thrill of helping our people make progress. And at the end of the day, their progress, their results, is our most powerful marketing asset.

And that's why I believe that any business who do not have community around their products and services is massively missing out on their most powerful marketing asset."

- Pat Flynn Membership Guru

Elements of a Membership Site
Choosing the right plugins for a membership site.
Setting up sales pages and setting up payment processor
Where to store your videos and keep files secure?
Setting up the on boarding process for new members
What method would you use to launch a products enrollment?
    -Facebook ads
    -Social Media
    -Email marketing
    Free enrollment ?  continually open ?  Waiting list ?

Membership Plugins
Member Press
Automatically emails someone if they start automation but don’t complete, offers members the option of pausing their subscription

Create powerful and compelling WordPress membership sites that leverage all of the great features of WordPress.

WordPress plugins and other 3rd party services including content management, forums and social communities.
MemberPress integrates fully with your already-existing  WordPress website. It's robust but also simple to use. Get started with MemberPress

WishList ( I learned from the pod cast above that Stu McLaren was one of the founders of WishList. )

Premium Training and Resources Community for Memberships Site Owners Join just $20/month

WISHLIST Creates unlimited membership levels
- Handles free, trial and paid memberships
Integrates with PayPal and Clickbank
- A good selection of support material, videos tutorials,
support guides, one year of updates and unlimited support
- Available for $197 for single license, or $297 for the
Multisite license. WishList

Another alternative to a Membership site that you own

A plugin on your website for your own courses.

Membership Site

Thrive Themes. Also works with WishList and MemberPress. 

WishList works with Thrive Themes. WishList can now be used to set up protection options on your Thrive Apprentice courses.

Thrive Apprentice works with the MemberPress Plugin
and it can now be used to set up protection options for your Thrive Apprentice courses.

If you have MemberPress Membership levels and this  option will determine how much access your user will have to your courses. The Membership Level entries are imported straight from the MemberPress plugin.


Thrive Apprentice is not a membership plugin. If you wish to sell courses you'll need to purchase a separate membership plugin from a 3rd party to handle payment processing, the protection of your courses and other advanced features such as drip delivery  such as SendOwl  $10 /month $15 if you want an affiliate program.

SendOwl has a built-in EU VAT compliance.

Thrive Apprentice
Want to build an online course for your blog without having to pay monthly fees for a platform like Teachable?

See these > Thrive Apprentice 

Thrive Apprentice is a ready-to-go platform where you don't need to bother with building pages from scratch. All you need to do is add your photos, text and videos.

The plugin gives you an entire online course template. A lesson structure that is comparable to Teachable or any other premium platform, without the month fees and cost. $67 for 1 website, $97 for 5 websites.

Thrive Architect  A good tool for your business should be easy and not take away from your time and energy. Thrive Architect is the visual page builder that is built from the ground up for business and conversion focused websites.

Rebel Boss University

Three membership models  –


1. REBEL BOSS UNIVERSITY  is the ultimate blogger university, equipped with all of the tools, resources and support to help any blogger in any niche turn their ordinary site into a profitable source of income.
They cover a mix of strategy and technical training that can help you to expand your own skill set. It’s also a great place to find collaboration opportunities and develop key relationships for your business.  My affiliate link for Rebel Boss

 The Front Row Jen Lehner- A membership site with courses for entrepreneurial business women  Excellent course on hiring your next VA.

3. Passive Income Models

1. Build  your assets as you FreeLance in the beginning, continuing to grow.

- With experience,  find where you can build products that you see are lacking
More standardized,  that answer one problem for a particular client.
Create a product that would serve that client. Add more products, software etc

2. Audience  Building Ads

- As you build your audience add Advertisers - build a  Youtube channel Not  a predictable service -  Time to build your audience  Building an audience - takes time

3. Become an Expert with a Product

- You know more than someone else does.  

They see you as the expert.

Create an Ebook or a book or a course that sells  24 hrs a day/ 376 days a year for you. "Sure, you can charge more for a course. It takes SO.MUCH.TIME. TO CREATE!!

But ebooks are less expensive -  but - money "
- Eben Fried of Rebel Boss University

Give Free value, pay attention to comments. Affiliate marketing after building an audience.
Help with your knowledge, show you care. Know Like and Trust is the key to your success

I am creating a Course with  Membership in the future. But first I am interested in creating  a course with Thrive Themes on my WordPress site. Coming soon!

If you would like to discuss ethier of these options you canbook a free call on my contact page.

About Kathryn Maclean  https://www.facebook.com/KathrynRMaclean/
A certified Social Media Campaign specialist using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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