How to Start a Membership Site for Your Weight Loss Program (In 5 Steps)

Increasingly fewer people are hitting the gym. With more people than ever choosing home workouts over gym sessions, the virtual fitness market is expected to increase 30% by 2026. If you're a personal trainer or nutritionist, you may find that your in-person business and consequently your earnings start declining.

Setting up a membership website is an effective way to deliver your weight loss programs to people who prefer to work out at home. Fortunately, it's very easy to do this with our MemberPress plugin.

In this guide, we'll look at the benefits of starting a members-only website for dieting and fitness. Then we'll walk you through how to set up a membership site for your weight loss program in just five steps. Let's get started!

Why a Membership Site Can Benefit Your Weight Loss Program

A membership site requires subscribers to pay in order to access your content. Unlike a regular website, your fitness plans and advice will be behind a paywall, and not accessible to the general public. That means members will subscribe and then use your advice to reach their fitness and health goals.

For example, the 28 by Sam Wood monthly subscription program provides users with workouts, meal plans, and motivation:

The 28 by Sam Wood membership homepage

The global weight loss market is predicted to reach a value of approximately $213 billion by 2025. There's an excellent opportunity to direct traffic to your site and make ongoing profits from your health and fitness programs.

Once you start a membership site, you can begin generating passive income from your subscriptions. You'll need to create and upload your content, but signup fees or recurring payments will generate profits far into the future.

Additionally, you can use your members-only site to generate income via affiliate marketing. If your customers buy products through your links, you can make a small profit from each sale.

How to Start a Membership Site for Your Weight Loss Program (In 5 Steps)

Before starting this tutorial, you'll need a live site. We recommend setting it up with WordPress, because the platform is user-friendly and offers many customization options.

You'll also want to choose a theme for your WordPress site. Check out this list of 12 themes designed especially for weight loss websites to get your started.

Once your site is all set up, you can start turning it into a membership website by implementing the following tips.

Step 1: Design Your Weight Loss Programs

Before making your website, you may want to design and create the weight loss content that you'll offer to your subscribers. Your customers will be paying for access to your programs, so it's important that you consider how you can provide value to them.

For example, you may decide to upload videos with different kinds of workouts. To accompany this visual content, you might also offer downloadable files such as menu plans or weekly workout schedules. You can additionally provide personal calls with yourself or other licensed health professionals for more focused weight loss.

Additionally, a members-only forum can enable subscribers to share their stories and find inspiration. For example, the Weight Loss Support Forum facilitates discussions between people who are trying to lose weight and live healthier lives:

Weight loss support forum

Finally, you could sell products via an ecommerce store. For example, you could market vitamins, supplements, workout gear, and related items to your subscribing customers.

Step 2: Install and Activate the MemberPress Plugin

In this tutorial, we will be working with our MemberPress plugin. This premium tool integrates easily with WordPress, and enables you to create restricted content and membership websites with minimal effort.

First, choose your desired MemberPress plan and sign up for an account. Then you'll be directed to your account dashboard:

The MemberPress membership account dashboard

You can download the MemberPress files in a .zip format. You should also keep this dashboard open, because you'll need your license key to complete the plugin registration.

Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin > Choose File:

Uploading a new plugin with WordPress

Select the .zip MemberPress file and upload it. Once it is installed, click on Activate. Then enter your license key to complete the registration and gain access to the plugin's premium features. You may also want to configure your general MemberPress settings and customize them to meet your needs.

Step 3: Set Up Your Weight Loss Membership Plans

Next, you can set up your membership plans. These will be the different subscriptions that you offer to your customers. For example, you may offer a cheaper plan that includes videos and meal plans, and a more expensive option with one-on-one coaching calls and personalized workouts.

In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to MemberPress > Memberships > Add New. You will then have the option to name your plan and enter its details:

Adding a new membership with MemberPress

You can customize various settings, including your plan's price, access duration, billing type, and (if relevant) trial period. If you scroll down the page, you can also adjust more advanced membership options, such as the price box information and whether you will send an automated welcome email to new members.

Once you're happy with your settings, click on Publish. You can also come back to this same location at any time to edit existing plans.

Step 4: Configure Your Weight Loss Membership Rules

Now you can adjust which pages and content are available to different membership plans. Head to MemberPress > Rules > Add New. Then scroll down to Protected Content:

Setting membership rules with MemberPress

You can choose the restricted content according to its category, tag, page type, or post type. Then you can assign access according to membership level, member name, role, or capability.

For example, you may make all of your content available to members who are paying more to lose weight faster. Conversely, subscribers on budget plans who want a slower weight loss process may only be able to access your base-level videos and downloadable workouts.

Once you've set up your rules, click on Save Rule. You can come back here and change access conditions at any time if you update your strategy.

Step 5: Add Your Membership Site's Registration Link and Login Page

Now, you'll need to set up a menu that users can click on to register for your membership site. Navigate to Appearance > Menus > Manage with Live Preview. In the editing window, click on Menus > All Pages > Add Items. Scroll down to Memberships and click on the plus (+) symbol next to your membership's name:

Adding membership menu with WordPress

Then click on Publish to save the changes. When users navigate to this menu, they will find the sign-up information for your plans. There, they can register and pay to become members of your site.

The final step of the process is to add a login page for your existing members. Go back to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to MemberPress > Settings > Pages. Click on the drop-down menu next to MemberPress Login Page, and select Auto Create New Page:

Setting up the MemberPress login page

You can customize this page by clicking on the Edit button next to the menu and adjusting the settings. When you're happy with it, click on Update Options to save your selection.

Now you have a membership website for your weight loss programs!

Conclusion

The online fitness and weight loss industry is booming, with more and more people preferring to work out at home. If you have the health qualifications and a little creativity, you can easily capitalize on this market with the help of a subscription-based membership site.

Here's a recap of how you can start a membership site for weight loss programs in just five steps:

  1. Design your weight loss programs.
  2. Install and activate the MemberPress plugin.
  3. Set up your membership plans.
  4. Configure your membership rules.
  5. Add your registration link and login page.

Do you have any questions about starting a members-only website for weight loss programs? Let us know in the comments below!

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About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, staff writer for WordCandy.co, and a regular contributor to the MemberPress and Easy Affiliate blogs.

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