Many people are under the misguided view that memberships sites are very complicated beasts, with many bells and whistles to make them fly.
There can be no doubt, they certainly can be set up that way, but there are many very effective and workable sites, built on a much simpler platform, that does not need the most advanced, computer savvy skill set, unless one deliberately chooses to utilize such a model.
Effectively, once an idea is garnered for a membership site, which could be as simple as a series of emails delivered on a weekly basis over a period of say, 52 weeks or a year, can be as complex as the system needs to be.
These type of memberships are best thought out in advance, so that the lessons can be structures, several weeks in advance, so you, as the author, can always have quite a few weeks up your sleeve in case you get ill, or are held up in producing your next lessons.
I recommend using what is called an email autoresponder, such as that provided by Aweber.
The idea here is to use an auto responder service, essentially, a very good email out program, where you store all the emails you want to send out as lessons.
I have found that using the interval period of as week gives your students enough time to absorb the information and practice for themselves while giving you the time, as the author, to create the next lesson and so on.
The lessons are loaded into the auto responder service and given a weekly mail out sequence. This will all occur on an automated basis so that as long as the lessons are loaded, the emails will go out in a timely manner.
Hence, when a person starts the course, their first lesson is delivered automatically after payment is received through your payment processor. This can be as simple as a Pay Pal system account, or an integrated ePayments gateway of you prefer.
This has certainly been a model that I have used with my initial memberships and still works effectively today. It is also very suitable for smaller memberships as it is quite easy to manage.
I will talk briefly about the more complex membership option next where there are sometimes thousands of members, and an automated gateway website can be used.
More Complex membership Sites
I often laugh at the lengths some people go to, to make things difficult if they so choose.
However, there is an exception in the form of membership websites with sometimes larger numbers of members and software can be implemented to release bits of material on the site over a period of time, to eliminate the situation where some people join, download everything and then, a few days later, cancel their membership, having taken all that you’ve got. That is naturally, not a desired situation and one that needs to be managed. More in a following article about that.