Is Joining A Membership Site Right For You?

Jul 14


Mike Flynn

Mike Flynn

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Do you want to learn about the advantages and disadvantage of joining either a paid or free membership site?



When deciding to join a membership site,Is Joining A Membership Site Right For You? Articles keep in mind this very important factor. Your fellow members pursue very similar, if not the same, goals and interests as you. Can you think of a better place to promote yourself, exchange ideas, promote articles, promote products and gain valuable information? What you gain from a membership site can mean the difference between Internet marketing success and failure.

Bessie Stanley wrote, "He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished tasks; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a saved soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; who life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction."

There are two types of membership sites; the free membership sites and the paid membership sites. They have one thing in common. Their members share a common interest and have a common need.

About Free Membership Sites

What is a free membership site? A free membership site does not charge a user fee, but usually the member is required to supply their e-mail address, choose a user name and password to access the site, participate in discussions, and activities. In some membership sites, the lowest level is free and this level provides the least amount of services. To gain full access to the site would most likely require payment, resulting in a higher designated level. Although there are some sites that never charge a membership fee, these site may rely solely on selling their own product or promoting products produced by others as a source of income.

How do you find free membership sites? To find a specific membership site, you click on your favorite search engine and in the search box simply type in "your-niche membership site." If the niche is reasonably popular, then you will find an ample number of sites. The membership sites appearing at the top of the search list are your most popular sites and most likely charge a membership fee. Now, select one and navigate the site. You will find everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether or not to join.

What are the benefits of a fee site? The benefits of a free site are:  

  • The information may not be unique, but it is centralized to that particular    membership's interest.
  • The pure free sites, for example, found under MSN and Yahoo groups, do not have paid administrators or moderators, but each site sets the rules on how to join and the code of conduct.  
  • Many of the free sites provide support for those with health problems, concerns, and for those who have suffered the loss of loved ones.
  • The free sites provide chat software making it possible to share concerns and ideas.
  • If you have a passion about crafts, hobbies or travel, what better place to share you knowledge
  • It is great place to communicate, especially for the physically disadvantaged or lonely souls.

What are the disadvantages of a free site? The disadvantages of a free site are as follows:

  • You can find the same information on the Internet. 
  • Most sites only provide a limited amount of space for posting pictures, documents and links per member. 
  • These sites do not have access to specialized data or lists. 
  • If the site offers a forum or blog, it may not be regularly moderated and the topic of focus and Internet etiquette is lost. 
  • Many free sites are mainly a means to collect emails to promote sales and services through the e-mail list.

About Paid Membership Sites

What are the benefits of a paid site? Here are some of the many benefits:

  • It is dedicated for members only. You cannot drop by at any time; you have to join.
  • Paid membership sites provide mentoring, coaching and special services. 
  • Others publish useful articles or information in a particular field.
  • Paid sites offer step-by-step instructions on resolving a specific undertaking.
  • Some sites screen their members through questionnaires in order to maintain compatible members.
  • Not only do paid sites administer and moderate their help desk systems and forums, but also everything is usually automated. 
  • Most sites have ample space for members’ photos, advertisements, and links, making it a great place to promote your niche. 
  • The quality paid sites are constantly upgraded to provide maximum customer satisfaction.

What are the disadvantages of a paid site? Here are some of the disadvantages: 

  • Many higher quality paid membership sites are very expensive. If you are just starting out, you will be paying monthly fees with no immediate return.
  • Some paid sites are not adequately automated or take the time to successfully measure customer satisfaction. 
  • Other paid sites will send out surveys to the members on the list about help desk or forums, but do not take into account that not all members use the help desk or forum. 
  • Some do not improve customer satisfaction by following up on each case.
  • The lower quality paid sites do not expand or add quality information of products on a regular basis.

What contents can you expect to find in a paid site? Each paid membership site varies, but here is a list of probable services you can expect to find:

  • An application form requesting user name and password, 
  • Help desk and FAQ page, 
  • Moderated forums, blogs and message boards,
  • Ezine and newsletter,
  • Access to written, audio, video, and unique content, 
  • Article submission center with web syndication, 
  • Featured advertising section, 
  • Link exchange, 
  • Photograph submission capabilities,
  •  Product vault with resell rights, 
  • Discount on new products,
  • Access to fellow members,
  • Mentoring, coaching, and specialized services,
  • Free personal downloads,
  • A special section for affiliates, 
  • The right to unsubscribed at any time.

The more recent types of memberships offer wholesale memberships and partnership memberships. The Business Professional membership sitean example of a high quality partnership membership site.


Selecting either a free membership site or a paid membership site simply depends on your needs. If you are looking for support from a common interest group, related information without having to search the Internet, and a place to share knowledge, then choose a free site. If you are looking to build a fast successful Internet business without going through months struggling, then choose a paid site. Just make sure that you have researched the benefits and costs of each site before making your final decision.