Membership Sites
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Newbee Mistakes That Will Tank Your Memberium Membership Site Project

If you are building a Memberium membership website, please (oh please) don’t start by learning Memberium.  Avoid starting off by reviewing the Memberium documentation and focusing on learning all the features it offers you.   Many first timer Memberium users focus all their attention on the tool itself.

  • They review Memberium's interfaces to Infusionsoft.
  • They go over all the tutorials.
  • The learn the Memberium shortcodes.

First of all.  That's a ton of work.  Second, it's the wrong place to start.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a Memberium Certified Implementation Partner.  I built my first Memberium site 3 years ago and our team and I build 3 to 4 of these a month.  We depend on the great website documentation Memberium provides. We couldn't be as good at what we do without that.

However, that's the wrong place to start.  (In case you missed that, IT'S THE WRONG PLACE TO START.)

When building a membership website you are building...A WEBSITE.  The most important thing to do first is to come up with a good design.  I'm not talking about the visual design, though that is important, but the organization of the site and content so people can login and get to what they want easily.

One BIG mistake first timers make is to build a single www and membership site.  Here's why I recommend against that.

Your www site's purpose in life is to promote you and your business.  It’s designed to educate,  build your credibility as a knowledgeable resource, provide social proof (i.e., testimonials, case studies) and position you as trustworthy.

We all should know that people buy from people the like and trust.  Your www site needs make you just that.

By the time members log into your membership site, they're past what the www site does.  They pulled out their wallet.  They've paid to join your site.  The purpose now is to:

  • make the content easy to consume,
  • keep your members learning and engaged, and
  • focus on upselling members on additional things you have to offer.

It's really tough to build a single site that does what both the www and membership sites need to do.  If you take that approach you'll struggle with with conflicts over these two competing sets of objectives.  Getting the menus set up for easy navigation will be difficult.   You'll have competing priorities when adding content on the site based on what you know about the visitor.  (We cover examples of good membership site design in part 2 of this article.)

Another reason this two site approach is good is that it enables you to side step possible Wordpress plugin conflicts.  Memberium is built as a Wordpress plugin.  My building your www and membership site as one, you double the potential for conflicting plugins.  If you've ever run into plugin conflicts you know it's not a fun thing to have to address.  It's not the main reason to go this recommended route, but it does avoids potential issues that are difficult to resolve.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article where I go over several membership sites we've built showcasing what we've seen works really well for our clients.