Free or Paid membership site?

Having joined many different membership sites, not only for the content I was interested in, but also to see what others were offering and how they executed there membership sites I gained some valuable insight. The one common theme for the free membership sites was the content available to the free members was less than stellar. Now I understand why, because it’s FREE, I get it, we all get it. The issue becomes that if the free member content is lacking, how in the world will this entice the free members to upgrade? Do you think they say to themselves “Hmm, I bet there is alot of great content available to me if I pay to upgrade”? The answer is a resounding NO, and this is because as a human we rely heavily on first impressions and if your first impression is ho hum, then you can bet your bottom dollar you have alienated a very large portion of the free member base that you hope to convert to paid members.

So what can you do? I think the answer is quite obvious honestly. Now you may be telling yourself, I have great content that I produced, it’s unique and worth every penny I demand. That’s great to think that way but you are going to have to bite the bullet and offer a fair amount of your unique content to your free members. They are going to have to see and experience a GREAT first impression to entice them to convert.

I have nothing against the free membership site operators, since the site is free to join, you can all but guarantee a massive influx of new members. Me personally, I build all my membership sites around my own unique content that I produce and I only operate paid membership sites. This may change in the future but I currently do not see that happening anytime soon. My reasons for operating paid membership sites is pretty simple.

  1. Yes, I do believe my own unique content is worthy, you should feel the same as well.
  2. I personally handle all the support for my paid members on a personable one on one basis since all members have unique challenges
  3. I can better spend my time helping paid members who have a vested interest in succeeding with there endeavors.
  4. Free members alot of times expect the same benefits that paid members have, and dealing with 100’s or 1000’s of free members is not a good use of ones time.

That’s a simple run down of my reasons for building and operating paid only membership sites.

Let me leave you with this. Have you ever operated a very simple garage sale or yard sale that sells alot of stuff you do not need anymore and alot of your prices are .25 cents, .50 cents even .10 cents? Tell me what happens every single time? You get the customers that want to give you half of what you want, they literally want to give you .10 cents for a .25 cent pair of jeans. Do you have the patience and time for the massive amount of people who want nothing more than to leach from you? If you do, then maybe free sites are for you.

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