Membership websites are all the buzz at the moment, but before you start your own, you need to consider how membership sites make money. 

membership website can be very profitable. But if you think you can just set up a membership website, sit back, and watch the money come rolling in, think again. A successful membership website takes a lot of effort and there are different monetization strategies you can follow. 

So, how do membership sites make money? And, how can you maximize revenue? Let’s take a closer look.

How Do Membership Sites Make Money?

Membership sites mainly make money by providing exclusive content, services, or products that are only available to paying members. It’s a pay for access model. 

This may sound easy, but to make money, membership websites need to offer significant value to their members. 

There are different ways to add value and to make money with a membership website, though. Maximizing revenue usually means setting up more than one revenue stream.

Member Dues

This is the most common and straightforward way of making money for membership sites, otherwise known as subscription fees. Members are required to pay a regular fee, typically on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis to access your site’s content and benefits. 

The member dues or subscription fees can vary widely based on the value and exclusivity of the content you offer. Some membership sites include tiered pricing which allows members to choose from higher subscription levels that offer more hand-holding or benefits.


Another effective way to make money with a membership website is by offering consulting services to members. Members can choose to access personalized advice or expertise relating to your site’s specialty, niche, or topic. 

You can charge additional fees for one-on-one consultations, group coaching sessions or even premium access to experts within your community. This not only generates extra revenue but also adds substantial value for members seeking individual advice, making it a win-win for both your site and its members.

Add-On Services

You can increase your membership site’s revenue by offering valuable add-on services. These services can include exclusive workshops, in-depth courses, or premium content upgrades like access to exclusive videos and podcasts. 

Your members would purchase access to these add-on services in addition to their standard subscription. 

In a community that focuses on buying and selling websites, for example, the business could provide a quality assurance service where they provide the due diligence on a website a member is interested in possibly buying and charge a large fee for the work. 

Add-on services help members who are looking for more active engagement or specific knowledge relating to your niche. This can provide you with an extra income stream while enhancing the overall membership experience. 

By diversifying your content and catering to different members’ needs, you can increase your site’s profitability and retain a loyal and satisfied customer base.

Affiliate Offers

Another way to boost your membership site’s income is by including affiliate offers. However, you need to make sure you partner up with affiliate programs or products that are relevant to your site and add value for your members. 

Your membership website makes money when your members make purchases through your affiliate links, earning you a commission. 

Affiliate offers work really well within a membership site because you already have a relationship with your members. They will trust your recommendations due to the great content you have been sharing.

Read next: How Does A Membership System Work?