One of the best ways to earn money by sharing your knowledge is with a membership site. If your knowledge helps people fix business problems or reach life goals, a membership site allows you to work with individuals in a private group setting instead of one at a time. Another plus is the dynamic between members allows them to help each other, which multiplies the benefit to people who take part.
With WordPress, you already have a way to publish and discuss content easily. WIth membership plugins, you can section off some of that content, and discussion for paying members.
Here is a brief overview of 3 of the most popular membership plugins for WordPress. There are many more than these 3 – at the end of this post, find a list of other recent posts on membership plugins for WordPress
1) S2Member Framework
The free version has 4 paid levels and 1 free level of membership. The advantage of S2Member’s plugin is the powerful range of capabilities you get for free. You can integrate AWeber and Mailchimp to send content to members; track affiliate earnings, and protect downloads as well as posts and pages. It does take some work to configure all the settings; plan 1-4 hours for setup.
You need at minimum a PayPal Business account which is free.
You’ll also need a graphic for your WordPress login form; S2Member uses the built-in login system for your members to use.
1a) S2Member Pro
$69/single domain, with free upgrades to future releases (you get new versions free).
In addition to the features of the free version, S2Member Pro allows you to create unilmited membership levels. They recommend you stop at 100. You can also Create coupon codes, with or without expiration dates. Create automatic payments, use PayPal or Authorize.net credit card payments.
Support comes in a forum; purchasing the software gives you access to post questions; otherwise you can browse the tutorials, forum discussion and knowledgebase.
2) Wishlist Member
$97single domain, 30-day free trial; to get future updates, subscribe for $47/year
Wishlist Member promises to be fast to set up and easy to use. Wishlist Member provides unlimited membership levels, with options to hide entire pages or portions of pages from public view. A central download library area can serve all members.
It integrates with PayPal, 1ShoppingCart, Clickbank. It also integrates with autoresponders Aweber, MailChimp and others, so you can drip content to members. Support comes with a set of tutorials, a knowledge base, and a support desk via a help ticket system.
3) Premise (by Copyblogger media)
$165 includes support and future versions
Premise was originally designed to make publishing landing pages easy. It works with any WordPress theme; its USP is ease of publishing: “Point and Click Membership Sites and Landing Pages”
It includes 8 templates and forms so you can create landing pages, tabbed content pages, SEO pages, pricing tables and more. If you want a forum area, they recommend vBulletin, which must be purchased separately (@$195 for the “classic” version). Process payments using PayPal and Authorize.net.
NOTE: Premise recommends SSL (Secure connection) for credit card processing) – you may have to ask your web host for this service, and it may add a little bit to your monthly hosting.
Support includes copywriting and landing page seminars. You can do split testing from within the software to continuously improve results. They also include about 1000 custom graphics for you to use, and page templates so you don’t have to hire a designer.
A few recent articles elsewhere on WordPress Membership Plugins:
The Best WordPress Membership Plugin at Winkpress.com
Top 6 Most Popular and Powerful WordPress Membership Plugins at promembershipsite.com
11 WordPress Membership Plugins for Building Membership Websites at Sitebuildertips.com
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