28 Membership Site Ideas To Start in 202313 minute read
Ever thought about what a membership site is and how to make your own? Well, you're in the right spot!
Membership sites are a great way for creators and solopreneurs to make money from their knowledge, gain a steady income, and build a thriving online community.
If you're really good at something, or you have extensive knowledge on a particular subject, you can build a membership website to share what you know and get paid for it.
Keep reading to learn all about membership sites, why they're good, and read through our membership site ideas to gain inspiration for your own!
What's a Membership Site?
A membership site is like a special private club on the internet. Members who join a membership site pay a monthly or annual fee to access exclusive content.
The content included in a paid membership site can differ depending on what you do. It could be online classes, digital products, live events, news, articles, or a community where people can interact and connect with fellow members.
Learn more about creating membership sites:
- How to Plan the Content in Your Membership Site
- How to Price Your Membership Site (With Pricing Calculator)
- How to Price an Online Community: Sell Access to A Community Worth Paying For
Benefits of Starting a Membership Site
There are many reasons why membership sites are a great idea for both you and the people who join. Let's see what are the main benefits of starting your own membership site:
Recurring Revenue: Because members pay a membership fee every month, money keeps coming in.
Member Engagement: Membership sites help people who join connect with like-minded individuals and build a sense of community. Learn more about this: 20 Strategies to Increase Customer Retention In Your Membership Site
Loyal Audience: People who really like your content and join your membership are your biggest fans. They'll stick around and support you as you grow your business.
Expert Status: Running a successful membership site can help position you as an expert in your field and help grow your reputation.
Types of Membership Sites
Now, let's talk about the different kinds of membership sites you can create.
Remember, membership sites can be set up in many ways, so you can mix these types of membership to find the right membership site idea for you.
Online Course Membership Site
In this type of membership site, you're like a teacher who offers online classes and gathers a collection of courses and digital learning resources for your members.
Members pay to access your educational content, which is organized like a course, or in a collection of online courses.
Pat Flynn's All Access Pass is an example of a membership site that includes a collection of online courses and resources for one recurring fee.
Community Membership Site
A community membership is a private online space where people with common interests gather to interact. Members pay to be part of this exclusive community.
Amy Porterfield’s Momentum Membership Experience is an example of a membership site that includes a community.
Members in an online community can chat, learn, and share ideas with others who share the same interests or work towards a common goal.
Content Membership Site
With this type of membership site, you keep adding new content regularly. It could be digital products, resources, templates, or any other valuable materials.
Members pay to get access to this continuously updated collection. This works well if you have a lot of useful content that you want to keep delivering to your audience.
Coaching Membership Site
If you're good at giving advice and guidance, then coaching is for you. Members of a coaching membership pay a monthly or annual fee to receive coaching sessions or personal advice from the coach.
This type of membership is great for building closer relationships with your audience and building a thriving community alongside your coaching business.
You can mix and match these models based on what suits your skills and audience best.
For example, you could have a membership site that offers both online courses and a private community. Or you might provide coaching sessions alongside a collection of digital products.
The hybrid approach gives you the flexibility to cater to different needs.
Remember, the key to successful membership sites is to choose the type of program that aligns with your strengths, interests, and what your audience is looking for. Doing so will create a valuable space that keeps members engaged and satisfied.
28 Membership Sites Ideas You Can Start Today
One of the most popular membership site ideas out there is a fitness membership. Fitness and wellbeing as a topic is a great match for the membership site business model, as generally, people who want to improve their health and body, require a longer commitment and tend to stick around for the long term.
This is why charging a monthly or annual fee works great with fitness courses.
A fitness membership site could provide members with access to workout routines, exercise videos, and nutrition guidance, for example.
The image above shows an example of a fitness membership, called SLAM (Strong Like a Mother), founded by Ashley Nowe.
SLAM is a total-body health and fitness app that loves your core and pelvic floor.
Ashley has helped more than 50,000 women stay strong during pregnancy, heal postpartum, get strong as hell, and ditch diet culture once and for all.
We had the pleasure of interviewing this membership site founder on our podcast, The Creator's Adventure, a while ago. Watch the interview here to learn how Ashley built her fitness membership app:
To create a successful fitness membership site, focus on offering diverse workouts for various fitness levels, and consider incorporating progress-tracking features.
You could include content like live workout sessions, personalized coaching, and a supportive community for accountability.
Language Classes or Language Exchange Platforms
Another profitable membership site idea is language learning. As with the fitness example, learning a new language takes a long time, so people are more likely to pay a small monthly fee rather than investing a lot of money once.
Inside a language membership site, you could offer language learners interactive lessons, practice sessions, and cultural insights.
To build an engaging language learning site, a good idea could be to build interactive exercises, offer live conversational practice, and come up with engaging activities that members could practice in a community, alongside other learners.
Language exchange among members is a great way to learn a new language and simulate real-world practice and cultural exchange.
Online Art and Crafts School
Art is another interest that people want to keep practicing over and over again. So why not offer them a space where they can come back to whenever they feel like embarking on a new arts and crafts project?
In an art membership, you could offer aspiring artists instructional videos, step-by-step tutorials, and feedback on their creations.
Cooking Membership Sites
With so many people searching for recipes and cooking tutorials on YouTube, there is definitely a large demand for exclusive content in the food space.
The image above shows Rustico Cooking, an online membership site built with Heights Platform that teaches Italian cooking to hundreds of students.
Members of the Rustico Cooking membership site have access to many culinary courses and recipes.
Check out how these creators built their membership site: Online Cooking Course? Learn from the success of the couple who founded Rustico Cooking
A cooking membership could include a library of recipes, cooking techniques, and culinary tips.
To create a captivating cooking platform, showcase diverse cuisines, offer video-guided recipes, and include interactive features like Q&A sessions with chefs.
A good idea could be to encourage members to share their own recipes and cooking experiences in a private community!
Online Yoga Studio
As with fitness classes, yoga practice is an ongoing hobby for most yoga enthusiasts.
A Yoga membership site could offer a collection of yoga classes, meditation sessions, and wellness content.
The image above shows a sneak peek into a Yoga membership site built inside Heights Platform.
Shelly Coffman is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, and Holistic Health Coach.
Humble Seed Yoga is a membership site, where she teaches the basics of Yoga and Ayurveda to students all over the world.
Read the story of how Shelly built her membership site business: Online Yoga Classes: Shelly Coffman teaches us how to create engaging, personalized online fitness courses.
When creating an online yoga studio, focus on offering classes for various skill levels and intentions.
Provide recorded and live sessions, allow members to save their favorite classes, and create a sense of community through forums and challenges.
Online Music School
Music can be a tricky subject to teach online, however, a membership site can offer the resources and guidance students need when they are learning to play an instrument, practice singing or compose new music.
Music lessons, sheet music downloads, and instrument tutorials are content ideas you could offer on a music membership site.
You could include interactive features like live masterclasses, feedback on recorded performances, and a platform for students to collaborate.
Hobby Enthusiast Community
People who share the same hobby love to get together and connect with like-minded people. If you have a hobby that you could teach and share insights about, consider building a membership site around it!
A hobby membership site gathers together people passionate about a specific hobby or interest.
Your goal should be to build a thriving community and encourage discussions, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative projects.
You could hold expert Q&A sessions, exclusive content related to the hobby, and opportunities for members to showcase their work.
A coaching membership aims to provide personalized coaching and mentorship in a specific field. It is basically a coaching business with the pricing structure of a membership site (monthly or annual fees).
To create a successful coaching membership, clearly define the coaching areas, offer regular one-on-one sessions, and provide resources like goal-setting templates and progress trackers.
Develop a system for communication and progress evaluation. Masterminds (or group coaching membership sites) are a perfect example of this.
A mastermind is a group of people (typically around ten members) with shared interests or backgrounds working together towards a common goal.
Mastermind groups aim to offer peer-to-peer support, brainstorm new ideas, gain outside feedback and offer a safe space for communication.
Recurring Workshops or Events
If you regularly host events in your business, consider making it a membership site and charging a monthly or annual fee for people to gain permanent access to your events.
An idea could be to offer members access to regular workshops on various topics.
To launch successful recurring workshops, plan a diverse schedule of topics, provide interactive elements like Q&A sessions, and ensure recordings are available for members who couldn't attend live.
At Heights Platform we run monthly workshops as part of our learning community of creators, where every month we host live workshops with leading authorities in different niches.
The workshops are live, so attendees can ask anything they want to the speakers and get their unique advice!
Another membership site idea is to collect educational resources, interactive lessons, and activities for children.
The image above shows an example of a membership site that helps kids learn how to code, called Mindful Coding Cats, created using Heights Platform.
When creating a learning platform for kids, ensure content is age-appropriate, engaging, and aligned with educational standards. Consider incorporating gamified learning elements and interactive games.
This membership site idea offers makeup enthusiasts tutorials, product reviews, and beauty tips.
To build a successful beauty membership, cover a wide range of makeup looks and techniques, offer product recommendations, and engage with members through live makeup sessions and Q&A sessions with beauty experts.
Pet Training Membership
Pet owners are crazy about their pups. And they often look for guidance on how to train and care for their pets.
This kind of membership site could include training tips, behavior guidance, and resources for pet owners.
You could offer step-by-step training guides, video demonstrations, and a community for members to share their pet training experiences.
Learn more about this: Teach Pet Care Online: How to Create a Dog Training Online Course
News Outlet Membership
This is a bit different from all the membership site ideas we have covered so far, but still a valuable example of what a membership site could be.
If you are an expert in a specific niche and you have access to exclusive content and news, consider delivering news about the topic you choose behind a paywall.
This strategy is already adopted by many news sites, such as the New York Times, which offers exclusive articles to paying members.
You do not have to be a professional journalist or established news outlet to do this, as long as you keep it casual, and you make it clear that the news and views you share are your own creation.
On this kind of membership site, you could offer members exclusive news coverage, in-depth analyses, and discussions on current events.
To create a reputable news outlet, focus on accurate reporting, diverse perspectives, and regular updates.
Consider offering member-exclusive interviews with experts and behind-the-scenes content.
Members Only Podcast Membership
Similarly to a news outlet, a members-only podcast grants people access to exclusive podcast episodes on niche topics.
To establish a successful members-only podcast, cover unique subjects, deliver high-quality content, and consider offering bonus episodes, Q&A sessions, or early access to episodes.
Many creators start by building and growing a public podcast, and then, once they have collected a sizable amount of subscribers and fans, they start offering exclusive content behind a paywall.
A paid newsletter is another example of exclusive content that people can access by paying a monthly fee.
A paid newsletter is a simpler business model than the membership site ideas we have seen so far. In this case, you do not need a specialized membership platform, as your content is delivered through emails.
You could send emails on a regular schedule (daily, weekly or monthly) and include premium content, insights, and updates via a paid newsletter.
When starting a paid newsletter, provide subscribers with valuable information, unique perspectives, and exclusive content not available elsewhere.
Consider offering bonus content, interactive polls, and opportunities for reader engagement.
Personal Development Hub
Back to the more traditional types of memberships, a personal development site offers its members a place where to learn more about personal development, wellbeing and mindset.
You could create courses, run workshops, and deliver resources for personal growth and self-improvement. To create a successful personal development hub, cover topics like goal-setting, time management, and mindfulness.
Provide interactive exercises, live webinars, and a supportive community for members to share their journeys.
Professional Networking Group
Networking is an essential side of business and career growth, and entrepreneurs or professionals are willing to pay in order to grow their network and connect with like-minded people in their industry.
You could build a platform where professionals can connect, network, and collaborate.
When creating a professional networking group, emphasize industry-specific discussions, online meetups, and a member directory.
Many networking memberships also offer extra resources such as a job listing space, career advice, and expert-led workshops.
A photography membership is a space where photography enthusiasts can access lessons, critiques, and photography-related challenges.
To create a successful photography school, cover diverse photography genres, encourage members to share their work for feedback, and host virtual photo walks or workshops with expert photographers.
Writing and Publishing Community
Another membership idea is to offer resources, workshops, and peer support for writers and authors.
A thriving writing community can include resources such as writing classes, critiques, and opportunities for members to share their work.
Consider hosting virtual author talks and publishing industry insights.
Parenting Support Group
Parenting is not easy, and many new parents seek the support of others as they embark on this journey.
So why not create a space where parents can exchange advice, share experiences, and seek guidance?
To build an effective parenting support group, offer expert-led Q&A sessions, parenting webinars, and age-specific subgroups.
Facilitate discussions on parenting challenges, child development, and family wellness.
Online Book Club
An online book club is a virtual space where avid readers gather to discuss books, authors, and literary topics, and it can be a good membership site idea.
When creating an online book club, you could plan a diverse range of books to read, host live book discussions, and provide opportunities for members to recommend and vote on future book selections.
Financial Education Membership
Provide financial literacy resources, investment insights, and money management guidance.
This kind of membership site could cover topics like budgeting, saving, and investing, and could include interactive tools, expert-led webinars, and a platform for members to ask financial questions.
Tech and Coding Bootcamp
If you have a passion for coding, why not monetize it with a coding membership site?
You could offer coding tutorials, programming challenges, and tech skill development opportunities for members.
Gardening and Plant Care Community
As with the hobby community, gardening enthusiasts love a place to connect with others who share the same passion.
A membership site can gather gardening lovers in a place where they can share tips, and plant care advice, and expand their horticultural knowledge.
To create an engaging gardening community, a few ideas could be to offer plant identification guides, seasonal gardening tips, and a platform for members to showcase their gardens.
Travel and Adventure Tips and Community
If you love traveling, have traveled a lot in the past, and have extensive knowledge to share with others, why not create a membership site for travelers?
A membership site could provide travelers with destination guides, travel hacks, and a platform to share their travel experiences.
When building a travel and adventure community, offer travel itineraries, insider tips, and encourage members to share their travel stories and photos.
You could also organize meetups for people who happen to visit the same destination at the same time, or organize trips for members!
Local Meetup Community
Similar to the travel membership site idea, you could create an online space where people living in the same location can meet and socialize.
Eco-Friendly Living Group
If you are passionate about sustainability and you can share valuable tips and tricks for eco-friendly living, building a membership site can be a good idea.
You can create a community focused on sustainable living practices, environmental tips, and reducing carbon footprints. You could offer guides on sustainable choices, DIY projects, and discussions on eco-friendly products while growing a community of environmentally-conscious members.
Business and Marketing Courses
Who says that online business and marketing programs must be a one-time course?
The Lucrative Lady Academy (picture above) is a collection of courses, coaching programs and memberships founded by Pam Obasa, and built using Heights Platform, where she coaches women to kickstart their businesses with storytelling and sales.
You could build a membership site with a collection of business or marketing courses, plus recurring guidance and resources for entrepreneurs.
Start a Membership Site With Heights Platform
What are the best membership site ideas from this list?
Whatever type of membership you choose to start, you need a membership platform to create and sell access to your valuable content.
Heights Platform is an online community platform and membership platform that lets you build and sell awesome online courses, membership sites and communities!
Heights has all the features you need to create and sell beautiful membership sites. Choose your preferred payment strategy, build sleek membership sites, structure your content as you want, and design a site that matches your style.
Plus, Heights Platform was designed to give students a great learning experience inside your courses and memberships. You can build an online community and keep your students engaged through built-in gamification techniques and email communication.
Here is why creators choose Heights Platform to host their membership websites:
- Payment flexibility: Set subscription fees, one-time payments, or installments. Keep 100% of your revenue without transaction fees.
- Diverse content options: Create various products like courses, downloads, and challenges.
- Content structuring: Drip-feed content and customize learning experiences.
- Community building: Build an engaged community within your membership.
- Effective learning experience: Gamification and project-based learning.
- Analytics: Monitor student progress and engagement.
- Custom branding: Customize branding elements to match your business.
- Email marketing: Communicate with members effectively.
- Membership limits: Generous limits on active students.
- Additional features: AI features, website builder, affiliate program, blog, and so much more!
Choose Heights Platform as your own membership website platform, and start your free trial today!Create Your Business Today