How to Build a Beautiful Membership Website For Under $300/year

If you’ve been dreaming about selling an online product and creating passive income from an online business but you are not sure where to start, you are in the right place.

In this blog post, I’m going to share with you a technology stuck recipe for establishing your online business and start delivering your first online product for under $300.

An Online Business Has Three Main Components

Following is a high-level diagram of the components that make up an online

It includes

  • The digital product(s) that you want to sell
  • A marketing strategy to promote your product so that people actually buy it
  • The systems that allow you to market, sell and deliver your product

In this article, I’ll focus the systems component because a lot of business owners get stuck when it comes to selecting and implementing the systems.

You might’ve experienced this too.

One of the reasons people get lost is the sheer number of available technology solutions is it’s just mind-blowing I’m talking about hundreds maybe thousands of different option.

It’s really hard to choose a technology stuck

And I don’t want this to stop you from going forward.

My goal today is to present you with a simple and affordable recipe that works and help you overcome this roadblock.

Yes, some of our clients have very complex systems that cost hundreds of dollars a month but when you just start and when you just have an idea for a digital product I’m a big fan of the Lean Startup approach.

The Lean Start-up approach allows you to test that market, make sure your product and marketing approach actually work before you waste a lot of money and time. If they don’t you can quickly modify your strategy and test again. It will save you money and time and heartbreak.

Choosing an Online product Delivery Model

The actual delivery model you pick will have as a significant impact on the technical requirement of your system.

Three delivery models that are very popular are:

  • All the content is available at once. You create a program that has a finite number of modules and someone pays she gets access to the entire program immediately.
  • Content is being dripped. You create a program that has a finite number of modules and someone pays she gets access to one module at the time. This can be once a week, every other or any other time period you choose.
  • Monthly or yearly subscription. Subscribers pay you a membership fee every month/year in order to continue having access to your content. This model requires you to create content all the time and add it to the members area so that people have a good reason to stay.

I recommend starting with the simplest option where have one program and provide access to everything at once. This makes everything from a technology point of view so much simpler.

We have clients who run multiple six-figure online businesses and use only this model and it works really well, no reason you should complicate things.

The Ingredients

Here’s what’s included in the suggested technology stuck

  • WordPress – Free
  • Domain – Under $20/year
  • WordPress Hosting – SiteGround $45/year (For the first year)
  • Divi Theme – $89/year
  • Video hosting – Vimeo (Plus plan): $84/year
  • PayPal or Stripe account – Free to setup
  • PaidMembershipPro – Free
  • MailChimp: $0

The total is $238/year. This does not include the time it takes to implement. You should take into account either your time if you do it yourself, or the cost to hire someone else to do the work for you. In any case, this will be a one-time investment. The yearly cost remains very low.

Let me tell you a little bit about the important ingredients and explain why I recommend using each one of them.




I love WordPress!!

Divi Theme

The Divi theme is probably the most popular WordPress theme out there and for a good reason.

It’s very easy to create and manipulate beautiful page layouts like the one that you see on the right. They have recently added a lot of pre-made templates that come together with the theme and so you can install beautiful pages within minutes and have the look and the entire structure in place.

All you have to do is add your content into, maybe change colors and replace images but change the image the end result looks professional.

In addition, the Divi theme very well documented. The documentation is even within the page editor so if you have a question in regards to something you can run a short video and know what to do next.

Lastly, they also have excellent support.

PaidMembershipPro is a WordPress plugin that adds the functionality required to implement the delivery of your online product.

I have picked this specific plugin because of the following reasons:

  • The core functionality is free and what it offers there is more than enough for the simple membership model I recommend.
  • PaidMembershipPro has a paid plan plus which gives you access to support, in case you feel you need it, for one year. It is unique in the sense that it does not bundle the functionality you need with the support. This means that after one year you can simply stay with the free option and do not need to keep on paying in order to get ongoing software updates.
  • Their core free functionality includes integration with several CRM/Marketing Automation/Email Marketing systems. Most notably the popular MailChimp and InfusionSoft which is my favorite CRM system and the one we use here in Spot On Digital Marketing.

Putting it all together

Finally, let’s just go over the steps that you will have to take in order to put it all together

  • Purchase your domain
  • Acquire hosting from SiteGround
  • Install WordPress – This is done inside the hosting cPanel.
  • Purchase and Install the Divi Theme
  • Install PaidMembershipPro
  • Define one membership level
  • Add your content and protect it
  • Integrate with the payment processing system

Start selling …

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About the author 

Michelle Castillo

Michelle is an online marketing expert , passionate about helping business owners to benefit from today’s online technology. I provide my clients with hype-free concise advice and services about the reality of what online success requires.

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