Make your web site into a community

People just love being members of a community. Years ago, when we all lived in small settlements, our community was the group of people we lived with; for many people in the world this is still the case. Nowadays, we are members of several different “communities”. Our locality has taken on less importance, now we tend to have communities of like minded people. For example, I’m a member of The Professional Speakers Association, a community of people in the UK who get paid to speak at conferences. Equally, I’m a member of the community of my son’s school, along with all the other parents. Psychologically, membership of such communities is very important. Firstly, community membership helps us establish our identity and gives us a sense of self. Secondly, community membership has health effects – community members have been shown, for instance, to fare better when they suffer illness. There even appears to be a link between your immune system and your status within a community. So, being a member of a group has far more effects than you might, at first sight, think about.

Because of these hidden effects, though, most people like to join groups of one kind or another. Joining an “exclusive” group is something many people enjoy. So it’s no surprise to see that the concept of “membership sites” has taken off on the Internet. Provided they are set up correctly they can provide a level of exclusivity which is not found in social networking sites. Users can still get the social networking benefits but within an exclusive membership site they take on much greater personal significance.

A membership site is where you sign up as a member, often paying fees, to gain privileged access to information, networking and so on, which non-members are excluded from. If you are an Internet marketer, membership sites can be a significant benefit – indeed many leading marketers use such clubs to help boost their sales.

It’s not a new concept, either. As a child I was a member of “The Corgi Club”, for children who liked toy cars manufactured by Corgi. You could even join “The Ovaltinies” if you liked that late-night drink!

However, such membership clubs were run extremely well. They had great organisation, generated plenty of information and products which members could buy. But many online membership sites don’t appear to have learned the lessons from the offline world. They appear to think that all you need is a bit of software to set up the club and the rest is easy. Your membership site still needs marketing; it still needs regular content updates; and it needs exclusive products not available elsewhere. Some online membership sites I’ve seen merely re-cycle the same old, tired, re-sale and private label material you can get anywhere. If you want your membership site to succeed it needs careful planning – and effort.

More details on planning and setting up a successful membership site can be found in a new report on this very subject.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

Internet Psychology

Is your brain back to front?

British businesses will spend this weekend on tenterhooks as they wait for Monday’s announcement from the Government about the ending of lockdowns. For the past couple of weeks, the mutterings from 10 Downing Street suggest

Read More »
Internet Psychology

Can you do boring tasks?

Last week, not far from the M25 in Buckinghamshire, the biggest-ever boring machine in the UK started its slow churn through the Chiltern hills to dig a tunnel for the HS2 rail system. It will

Read More »
Fence painting
Online Business

When did you last paint your garden fence?

If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.

Read More »