The beauty of membership sites is that they offer so many different ways to earn passive income and to help new members grow and develop their skills.
One way you can become part of this is by starting an eLearning membership site. Virtual learning has become a huge deal in the past several years, and now people all over the world are teaching skills of all kinds from the comfort of their own homes.
The great thing about MemberPress is that it comes with a built-in Courses add-on that enables you to create your membership site and online course to go with it, quickly and easily.
But the question is, how do you get started? In this post, we'll help you with that by posing seven questions you should ask yourself before you get started. But first…
Why an eLearning Membership Site?
Creating an online learning membership site can be extremely beneficial to both you and your customers:
Benefits for You
- You create a passive income stream
- You set yourself apart as an expert or industry leader in your field
- You can expand your service offerings within your eLearning business (one-on-one consultations, live vs. pre-recorded courses, forums, affiliate programs, and more)
- You build brand loyalty and awareness
Benefits for Customers
- They have access to a potentially more affordable means of education
- They can learn a new skill and use it to further their careers and/or start a business of their own
- They have the opportunity to network, interact, and gain knowledge from you and other members of the community
7 Critical Questions to Ask When Planning Your eLearning Business
1. What Do You Want to Teach?
Before you do anything toward realizing your online business idea, it’s important to make sure you know exactly what you want to teach. What are you most skilled in? What can you easily teach others to do? What are you passionate about?
Remember, people will be engaging with and paying for your expertise. You want to make sure you offer your potential membership site customers the ultimate value so they'll trust you and want to continue to learn from you.
2. Who Do You Want to Teach?
The next question you should ask yourself is, who do you want to teach? Who is your ideal student? Knowing this information will help you better understand the type of content you’ll need to provide to your customers.
Take some time to research and figure out who your ideal students are. For example, if you’ve chosen to center your eLearning business around helping members improve their writing skills, you want to make sure your students are people who enjoy writing as a hobby, who are professional writers or college students looking for writing help, or who are business owners looking to ramp up their content.
3. How Will You Set Up Your Membership Model?
How your membership business is set up is important because it will determine how your students will interact with your learning materials. It should also determine how your subscription levels will be laid out.
Will your members have access to just one course at a time? After they subscribe, will your members have access to all the courses they want? Or, will your site have different levels where the number of supplemental materials changes based on a customer's subscription plan?
4. What Type(s) Of Content Will You Provide?
In all successful membership sites, content is a key way to connect with customers, create leads, and build engagement. For your eLearning site, you’ll be tasked with deciding what content you should offer your customers that will benefit their learning experience most.
You have the option to offer content such as videos, webinars, podcasts, infographics, and blog posts. The sky’s the limit.
5. Will Your Subscriptions Be Recurring or One-Time?
With virtual learning websites, you have the option to offer recurring subscriptions, or you can have members pay for courses one-by-one.
Recurring subscriptions are ideal if your goal is passive income, but what if you don’t yet have enough content prepared for a recurring monthly or annual subscription? That’s when a one-time subscription may be a better choice. In fact, many eLearning sites provide a mix of standalone courses and subscriptions.
6. Will You Have Subscription Levels? If So, How Many?
Should you have subscription levels in your membership site? Or do you want to have a single-level offering? Providing members with more than one subscription level to choose from gives them more options, allows them to try out your site with a smaller investment before ramping up as their needs change, and allows you to increase cash flow.
The key to successfully implementing subscription levels is to remember that less is more. You don’t have to give your members ten different options — that could be overwhelming and even annoying. We recommend offering members no more than three or four subscription options to choose from.
7. How Do You Plan To Market Your Online Business?
Last but not least, you want to consider your marketing options. Luckily, there are many different ways to market your online education business to both new and existing customers.
We highly recommend that you sit down and create a sales blueprint, which is an outline of your marketing plans, goals, and strategies. This blueprint should include plans for launching your business, a social media strategy, your email marketing, and dates for when these tasks should be completed and implemented.
Creating a layout of how you'll promote your business beginning at the launch is important because it will help you set reachable goals and note your milestones and achievements, as well as show you where you can improve.
We hope these seven questions will help you plan and create an eLearning membership business that will serve your customers to the fullest!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself during this process — these things take time, and you can’t rush perfection.
For more assistance in creating your plans for your business, check out our posts on finding your target audience, launching an online course, and how to turn your website into a learning management system (LMS).