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Membership sites are very profitable and are becoming hugely successful, but many people still do not fully understand them nor understand how money is made from them. The reason is because most membership sites promote, or sell intangible items, meaning information of one kind or another. In fact, most business studies show that the marketing of intangible items can be much more profitable than that of tangible items. After all you don’t carry inventory, you don’t have to buy supplies, etc. What you are promoting or selling is knowledge and that is where the money lies.
Think about this for a second. Think about different high profile companies and which ones are more successful. If we only compare Google (intangible) with Microsoft (tangible), you might truly be surprised at what you come up with.  In fact it is said that Google has bested Microsoft in both profits and in Internet web users, at least that is according to what Marissa Mayer of Googles consumer products says.
Although it is true that the Web is considered a global market place with millions of products that are bought and sold everyday, it is more than that. People look to the internet to access information and they want quality information.
Information is what provides revenue on the Internet and it is the most stable way of earning money there. This is where membership sites come in and where owning a membership site can be profitable.
What specifically are Membership Sites?
Membership sites focus on a specific group of people or niche, and offer important information that these people want, need and in some cases are willing to pay for.
The best way to find this niche is to start researching what people are looking for and how you can help solve and give them information on a particular topic. The best place to start is by doing keyword searches and finding out what exactly people are looking for.
Why do people prefer Membership Sites?
Membership sites are both beneficial to the owner and to the members. Obviously because it produces money for the owner in one way or another, but for the consumer it offers an easy way to access information that they need without having to spend hours on the internet looking for  something in particular. Membership sites offer specifics and data that has been evaluated and scrutinized for its members.
Types of Membership Sites
There are two types of membership sites, those that are a paid membership and those that are free, and both produce revenue in different ways, the first because there is a residual income from membership fees and the second because the owner makes money through affiliate marketing.

Both paid and free membership sites can produce money in a variety of ways, but paid memberships have a limited number of members and free sites have an unlimited number of members.
How do Membership Sites Make Their Money?
Both paid and free membership sites offer quality content for their viewers and soon a relationship evolves between the owner and viewer. This relationship builds trust which is what every internet marketer wants. When your reader begins to see you as the expert in your field, he is more willing to buy other products from you.
This is when you can begin affiliate marketing programs, which is where you offer products from other companies that relate to your site and in return get commissions. There are other ways you can take advantage of your membership site as well. You can market ebooks, audio files, movie clips, etc. in the field that relates to your site.
Membership sites are the biggest growing trend on the internet today, and are a great way for you to begin your home business, and produce revenue from the Internet. Used in the right way there is an unending list of ways to make a profit from a membership site, and membership sites take on all forms from dog lover sites, to teacher information related sites.

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