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What is a membership website?
A membership website gives members access to a set of exclusive resources or opportunities, typically in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription fee.
It also gives entrepreneurs the exciting opportunity to build a business around a vision or idea. Membership website ideas truly run the gamut, from retail membership websites offering access to special sales to community membership websites, homes for online communities where the value is driven by the connections members make with each other.
Membership website features
The main benefit of a membership website is that they’re built on membership platforms that bundle into one place all the features members need to access the full value of their membership. For example, membership websites for online communities typically include at least some of the following (though each, of course, will differ);
Multiple ways to interact as a community, including threaded public conversations, polls, virtual events, and online courses
Direct messaging, member tagging and mentions as additional ways to foster member connection
A payments platform where members can easily manage their subscriptions
Membership website examples
Scott’s Cheap Flights: This discount travel club has two tiers: Members can join for free to access a generic set of flight discounts. Or, many members opt to pay an annual fee for access to exclusive deals focused on their choice of airports as well as travel guides and other content.
Chromatical Club: Trish Martin’s membership site for creative small business owners to grow their business brings members together to offer up resources, advice, and ideas everyone can benefit from. She also offers live interviews with experts and conversation starters on marketing-related topics as ways for everyone to engage.
Classpass: Members can access studio- and gym-based workouts around the world by paying a set monthly fee. The membership rate is tiered: How much members pay correlates with the amount of classes they’re able to take in exchange. The website also has a companion app used for checking into classes at the studio (as well as scheduling classes).
Black Curl Magic: Aeleise Ollarvia and Aishia Strickland built a membership site around the idea of empowering Black women to make the switch to natural styling. Membership is offered at a monthly or annual rate and includes online courses like their signature “#30DayHairDetox” or “The Twist Primer,” as well as live demonstration videos and spaces to discuss products and hair challenges.