Sunday, March 2, 2014

Online Membership Sites to Improve Your Marketing Skills – Should You Join One?

By Karen Cioffi

For those of you who aren't sure what a membership site is, it's a website where members pay a monthly or yearly fee to join. And, if you’re looking to increase your knowledge in online marketing, it’s something you may want to consider.

What’s the Cost?

Depending on the depth of the topic (how specific and severe a problem the site is focusing on) the prices vary drastically. Some memberships are at $5 annually, some at $5 per month. Others are at $397 annually and some are thousands per month. As you can see, prices vary drastically.

Another factor in the pricing is the reputation and authority of the owner (expert). Then there is also the amount of information and the services offered.  This all plays a part in membership pricing.

A while ago, I subscribed to a site that offered WordPress training (just to see if I could pick up couple of tips), it was $10 a month or $24 per year. Being a former accountant, I did the cost efficient thing and opted for the $24.

The site consisted of around 20 videos, approximately 10 minutes each. They were on the very basics of WordPress – that was it.

Two Lessons Learned:

1. It might be a good idea to opt for the monthly fee, even if it's just for a month, so you can determine if the site has what you need. If it does, opt for the long-term, cheaper rate. If it doesn't, unsubscribe.

2. Don't underestimate your skills. There are a number of worthwhile programs, sites, and courses online that warrant the investment, but, before you jump in know exactly what you'll be getting. There will be those membership sites, programs, etc., that teach less than what you already know (sometimes much less).

Finding a ‘Good’ One

There are loads of experts out there vying for your ‘dollar.’ So, how do you pick a membership site that will provide you with what you need?

First thing is to determine if you need a membership site.

Can you get by with the information in an ebook, or maybe an ecourse? This is something you’ll need to figure out.

A lot of people like the connection and access to the expert/s, and want the ongoing and updated information. They also like the community of members who are like-minded and struggling to the same end. This allows for a much wider ‘help pool.’ Members often end up helping each other. There are also big organizational membership sites like the National Association of Professional Women – women join for the networking aspects.

Once you’ve decided you want to be part of a membership site, the first action step is to ask around for one that’s worth the cost. Try to get input from ‘heavy hitter’ sites relevant to the area you’re interested in.

Authority sites deal with a lot of professionals and will probably be able offer a recommendation.

You can also do an online search.

What to Look For

Once you find a membership site you’re interested in, check out what’s being offered:

•    Is it member interactive – is there a member forum?
•    Is the information updated regularly with new helpful content to keep you moving forward?
•    Is the ‘expert’ active on the site – will she respond to hot topics and questions?
•    Will there be bonus content, like screen-sharing webinars or videos?
•    Is there a detailed outline of what to expect?
•    What’s the cost and payment method?

Do your homework if you’re interested in a membership site to improve your online marketing skills. This will help you find one that’s right for you.


Website Creation to Beyond Book Sales

No matter who you are (author, writer, business owner), your single most important online marketing tool is your website, then comes your online platform.

Need help getting your website and platform optimized? If the answer is YES then check out this 6 week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing, just CLICK HERE.



  1. Karen, your idea to opt for a monthly membership to see if the site is 'worth it' is a good one. Any sites that you actually like?

  2. Margaret, yeah I learned my lesson. :)

    I'm with the Webinar King, Jim Edwards ( It's a free membership. He gives marketing and ebook webinars almost every week. If you attend the live webinar it's free. I think there's a charge if you miss it and want the replay. He knows his stuff.

    I'm also in Professional Writers Alliance and Barefoot Writer. I was in Marketing Sherpa also, but my membership ran out.

    If you have any questions about them, just email me.

    1. I'm going to check that site out, Karen. It sounds promising!

    2. Deb, Jim Edwards offers great information. Let me know what you think.

  3. Dear Karen,
    Excellent advice. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.