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There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating potential topics for your membership site, including:
1) Are There Existing Membership Websites Within The Market?
You want to build your membership sites around a viable industry, and by determining whether there are successful membership sites already catering to your market, you will maximize your chances of building a membership website that will be widely accepted and of interest to the majority of your customer base. For example, if during your research you determine that there is a very low number of membership websites that target a specific topic, it’s a good indication that the market is too small to accommodate too many membership websites. While smaller niche markets can be profitable, in order to scale your membership website you want to focus on broader markets.
2) How can you offer something new to an existing customer base?
If you have established that a specific market is actively purchasing and subscribing to similar membership websites, you need to determine your unique point of entry. How can you create a community of your own that offers something different than what other membership sites are offering?
How can you offer distinct value in your own membership program?
You need to set yourself apart from other membership sites in the marketplace by first defining your USP, and then creating a membership website that clearly demonstrates how you are different, how your members benefit by being part of your community, and why they should choose you over the competition. Your USP could be as simple as the delivery methods that you offer, or the format in which your content is made available.
For example, if you find a competing membership website offering ebook-only products to their members, consider offering both ebook and video or audio based versions of the information products that you create. Since people prefer to learn in different ways, by offering many different formats for your training tools, you are able to cater to a wider audience while separating yourself from the competition.
3) Do You Have The Ability To Provide Quality Information And Resources To This Market That Aren’t Already Being Offered?
Just because you've confirmed that a market is a viable one doesn't mean that you will be able to create a successful membership site for that market, unless you have the ability to create content that your subscribers will be interested in paying for. Consider the costs of outsourcing content for different markets, as the more popular a topic is, the greater the number of freelancers to choose from. If your topic is too focused or specific, you might find it difficult to locate qualified freelancers who have enough experience to produce quality content for your site.
Developing a membership website that offers specialized content is a great way to develop a USP (unique selling proposition) so that you can stand out in the market and attract subscribers.