How to Create a Successful Membership Website with Ghost CMS

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Enamul Haque

8 minutes read

17 Oct 2023
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Do you have a passion or expertise that you can share with others? Have you ever thought about creating a membership website to monetize your knowledge and skills? If you have an idea for creating a membership website? or If you’re looking for a complete guide to creating a profitable membership website, then you have come to the right place, In this blog, we will walk you through the essential steps to create a membership website that not only attracts members but also keeps them engaged and satisfied.

You will learn from this tutorial:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Membership Website?
  3. What are the Benefits of a Membership Website?
  4. Choosing the Right Platform to Create a Membership Site
  5. How to Start a Membership Site with Ghost CMS
  6. Summary of the blog

What is a Ghost Membership Website?

What is a Membership Website

A membership website is an online community that offers features gated, exclusive content or services to members who pay a subscription fee. Membership websites can be used for a variety of purposes, such as providing educational content, building a community, or selling exclusive products or services.

There are many types of content you can add to your website, such as online courses, videos, private email subscriptions, coaching, and many more. It's kind of like a private club for people who are all interested in the same thing or working towards the same goal. If you wish, you can have different membership levels and create different content for different levels of payment, or you can open up everything to everyone. You will receive your membership payments every month (or however often you have your dues set up to occur) from your members, so you can count on them.

What are the Benefits of a Membership Website?

Benefits of a Membership Website

There are many benefits to creating a membership website, including:

  • Recurring revenue: Membership websites provide a recurring revenue stream, which can be more predictable and stable than other monetization methods, such as advertising or affiliate marketing.
  • Loyal customer base: Membership websites can help you build a loyal customer base of people who are interested in what you have to offer. This can lead to repeat business and increased sales.
  • Control over your content and pricing: Membership websites give you more control over your content and pricing. This means that you can charge what you believe your content is worth and you can offer exclusive content and services to your members.
  • Community building: Membership websites can be a great way to build a community around your brand or niche. This can lead to increased engagement and loyalty from your members.

Choosing the Right Platform to Create a Membership Site

Choosing the Right Platform

Before starting you need to choose the right platform to create a membership site is an important decision. In this digital age, there are many different platforms available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. However, We are choosing the Ghost CMS to create a membership website and now we have discussed it.

Ghost CMS

Ghost CMS is the best for creating a membership blogging website. Ghost is an open-source, modern, versatile, and professional publishing platform, It has won over bloggers, businesses, and organizations around the world. Ghost is a clean, intuitive, and user-friendly interface that allows you to focus on creating exceptional content.

Now the question is, why should you consider using it? And, what kinds of services does it offer? Let's get started discussion about Ghost's features, benefits, and membership options.

Here are some of the features of Ghost CMS that make it a good choice for membership websites:

  • Built-in membership and subscription features: Ghost CMS has built-in membership features, which make it easy to create and manage a membership website. You can create different membership tiers, set prices, and offer exclusive content and benefits to your members.  It's fully integrated with Stripe for payments and supports free, monthly, and yearly subscription tiers.
  • Content management: Ghost CMS is a powerful content management system that makes it easy to create and publish high-quality content. You can use Ghost CMS to create blog posts, articles, pages, and other types of content.
  • SEO: Ghost CMS is optimized for search engines, which means that your membership website will be more likely to rank well in search results. This can help you attract more visitors to your site and grow your membership base.
  • Customization: Ghost CMS is highly customizable, which means that you can create a membership website that matches your brand and needs. You can use custom themes and plugins to add additional features and functionality to your site.
  • Security: Ghost CMS is a secure platform that protects your membership website from cyberattacks. Ghost CMS uses regular security updates and best practices to keep your site safe.

How to Start a Membership Site with Ghost

Start a Membership Site

Membership websites can be a great way to generate recurring revenue and build a loyal customer base. However, it's important to create high-quality content and offer real value to your members in order to be successful.

To create a successful membership website using Ghost CMS you will need to follow these easy steps:

Step #1: Define Your Membership Site's Purpose and Niche

Before diving into the technical aspects, clearly define the purpose of your membership site and your target niche. Understand what exclusive content, services, or benefits you'll provide to your members.

Step #2: Get a Domain

You should select the domain related to your niche. Choose a short, memorable domain that reflects your brand and avoids hyphens and numbers. Check for trademarks and consider SEO-friendly keywords, with an eye on future growth. Register your domain through a reputable registrar and renew it annually for a lasting online presence.

Step #3: Choose a Hosting Provider

Select a hosting provider that supports Ghost CMS. Some popular options include Ghost(Pro), DigitalOcean, and AWS. Set up your hosting environment and ensure your domain is configured properly.

Step #4: Install Ghost CMS

Once you have chosen a hosting provider, you can install Ghost CMS. Ghost CMS is a relatively easy platform to install, and there are a number of resources available to help you get started, such as the Ghost CMS documentation.

Step #5: Select a Ghost Membership Theme

Ghost CMS offers a variety of themes that can be used to customize your membership website. Choose or create a Ghost theme that's compatible with membership features. Themes like Newsportal or Arkai offer good starting points for membership sites.

Step #6: Set up your Membership Settings

Ghost CMS has built-in support for memberships, so you can easily set up different membership tiers, set prices, and offer exclusive content and benefits to your members.

Here are the steps on how to set up your membership settings in Ghost CMS:

  1. Go to the  Ghost admin panel.
  2. Click on the Settings tab.
  3. Go to the Membership options.
  4. Select Subscription access “Anyone can sign up” and select Default post access “Members Only” If you allow free members, or if your content is just for premium members then you can select “Paid-members only”
Select Default post access

5. Once you are finished, click Save.

Step #7: Create your Content for only Members

Once you have set up your membership settings, you can start creating your members-only content. In other words, members-only content is gated content that is available only to registered members and is not accessible to the general public. Your content can be downloads, courses, forums, and more.

Step #8: Create a Pricing Plan

Pricing Plan

It's now time to set up a pricing plan for your members where your site visitors can choose a membership plan and sign up for that plan.

To create a successful pricing plan, follow the instructions below:

  • First Understanding your audience's preferences and willingness to pay.
  • Define distinct membership tiers (Free, Basic, Premium, etc.) with unique features and set competitive prices that cover your costs while generating revenue.
  • Integrate user-friendly payment gateways (Stripe, PayPal, or other options), offer discounts, and communicate the value of each tier.
  • Develop exclusive, high-value content for premium tiers.
  • Continuously monitor and adjust your plan based on subscription rates, user feedback, and market dynamics to ensure long-term success.

Step #9: Promote your Membership Website

Promote your Membership Website

Once you have created some content, you can start promoting your membership website. You can promote your site through social media, email marketing, and other channels.

If you're serious about creating a successful membership website, then there are a number of resources available to help you get started.

Conclusion

In wrapping up, creating a successful membership website with Ghost CMS is an exciting journey. It's all about planning, engaging content, the right membership model, and a user-friendly design. Remember to onboard and engage your members effectively, consider your monetization strategies, and continually analyze and improve your site's performance. With Ghost CMS and the insights from this guide, you've got the tools to build a thriving online community. Good luck on your path to membership website success!

FAQs

Do you have any questions about creating a successful membership website with Ghost CMS? We have answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic.

How do subscription websites make money?

Subscription websites make money by charging users regular fees in exchange for access to exclusive content, services, or products. These fees can be billed on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and they provide a recurring revenue stream for the website, ensuring a consistent income as long as subscribers remain active.

What Should a Membership Site Include?

A membership site should include exclusive content, community features, multiple membership levels, clear member benefits, user-friendly design, payment processing, content management, member onboarding, analytics, customer support, marketing efforts, privacy measures, mobile compatibility, and regular content updates.

What are some of the challenges of creating and running a membership website?

One of the biggest challenges of creating and running a membership website is attracting new members. It is important to promote your website and create content that is valuable to your target audience. Another challenge is keeping your members engaged. You need to regularly publish new content and offer other benefits to keep your members coming back.

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