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Once you have chosen your overall topic (and this can take a bit of time, so be sure to carefully evaluate the markets before settling on one), it's time to consider your overall platform.
A membership site platform is simply the type of membership website you intend to offer, whether it's free or paid as well as how you plan to deliver the goods and communicate with your subscribers.
To begin, there are many different options available to you and depending on your niche market you will need to determine what is likely to work best.
One thing to keep in mind is that it's important to thoroughly evaluate the platform that your competitors are using. The reason for this is an obvious one; people get used to certain things and not everyone adapts easily to change.
If subscribers are used to logging into a traditional membership platform, where they enter in their username and password to access content on a monthly basis, you might want to stick to this format, simply because it will save you a lot of time and work explaining how a new concept or format works to the same subscriber base.
That doesn't mean that your actual content or your overall sales funnel should be a replicated version of a competing site.
In fact, I am going to show you exactly how to ensure that you are squeezing every last dime out of your membership site, while competitors are consistently allowing leaks to cost them thousands of dollars in lost profits.
What we are talking about now however, is in evaluating the layout and platform of competing sites, such as whether they are offering a free membership site with upgrades, a traditional site, and so on.