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Membership websites seem to be in full swing. They have become very popular and seem to be well liked by members. There are actually many reasons why you should consider starting a membership site, especially if you are an entrepreneur and love the experience of making your income online. First it produces a residual income, secondly it targets a specific market, and thirdly you are selling information or products in which you are the expert.
The most obvious advantage is that membership websites tend to produce a steady income. There is nothing better that a site that charges a subscription fee and makes a steady income from repeat clients or members.  The membership fees are usually set up for a specified amount of time and that could be monthly, quarterly or even yearly.
What do You Sell in a Membership Site?
Basically there are all kinds of membership sites. There are membership sites that sell products like music, movies, programs, information, etc.  There are membership sites that are network sites, or places to meet people, but the most productive membership sites are those that are selling online content. These password-protected websites are becoming the new “in” thing.  
People are Willing to Pay for Information
In fact, studies made by the “Online Publishers Association” show that online content is the new way to make money, along with matchmaking, personals and entertainment.
It has been found that even small marketing areas are growing because of such membership sites. Businesses like coaching, dieting and international living are making a profit by marketing themselves through membership sites. It is estimated that Internet users spend upwards of $800 million a year on membership sites.
Membership Fees
Membership fees will vary depending on the site, what they sell, and what they want to charge. Some can be as little as $15 every couple of months. Others charges as much as $20 a month, and others may even charge as much as $200 a month.  It really depends on the industry and what the customer receives for their money.
Subscription Renewals
It is a known fact that once a member has signed up he will generally continue to be a member. Most sites hold above a 70% renewal rate, which means that the owner receives a residual income over a long period of time.
Growth Rate of Membership Sites
Over the last few years’ membership rates have more than quadrupled, and that is close to a 600% growth rate per year.  We are talking about a huge growth rate and this is for any site in any country.
How to Start a Membership Site?
There are a few things you should pay attention to when you start a subscription based membership site.   First you need to seriously analyze your target market and you need to find a market that is really passionate about the product they are looking for.
Finding what people are looking for can be a little tricky, but you can start by conducting a keyword search. This will give you the words that are most looked for online. By doing a keyword search you will also be able to tell if there is really a big enough market for the product you are thinking of marketing to.
Your product needs to be unique and there should be little or no information on your product on the Internet for free.  That way you can focus on really searching online and off for quality information related to that product. This information or product may be as simple as “specialized expert opinions” on a certain topic.
Finding Your Subscribers
If you have done your research correctly and found the market you want to target for finding your traffic and subscribers, then this is not going to be that difficult. The best way to market your site is through affiliate programs, online newsletters, pay per click advertising, and once you have all these other marketing techniques in place, you will create viral marketing (marketing from other members or sites).
In reviewing everything related to membership site ownership we can say that it is a growing industry, with residual income potential and the potential to earn well, if you target the right market and you do your homework prior to setting it up.

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