Membership sites have become all the rage. I feel like over the past 2 years I’ve seen more & more business owners not only pivot into online education but try their hand at a membership site.
What’s a membership site?
A membership site is a subscription service – typically the customer pays a monthly fee for access to the content. Content can be monthly videos, live calls, templates… whatever you’d like! Usually a membership also has a “community” feature that allows members to connect to ask questions, share ideas and spend virtual time with other like-minded people.
Membership sites can be a great form of recurring revenue, but unlike a course they require more maintenance! You’re responsible for retention of existing members, marketing to new members, AND creating new, relevant content based on what your community is looking for.
Before launching a membership site, you need a plan to organize the content you are going to share! I LOVE content planning for my own membership site (Creative 24/7) and have been doing so for almost 2 years. Today, I’m going to share exactly how I map out content each quarter so that I stay on top of new content being released & don’t get overwhelmed with the ongoing monthly to-do’s of hosting a membership!
First up — what TYPE of content will you share?
Will you be sharing content weekly or monthly?
Will your content be pre-recorded videos, live videos, templates, worksheets – a mixture?
Who will be teaching? Will you be doing all of the content or working with guest experts?
👆 These questions are SO important! You need to outline HOW and WHAT type of content you’ll be sharing so that you can best organize your membership content calendar.
My Membership: Creative 24/7 is monthly pre-recorded content taught by industry experts, with a monthly live FB q+a and office hours with me for additional support (Learn more here!). Because my content is shared MONTHLY (not weekly) and involves other educators, I plan my content on a 6 month basis (2 quarters at a time) so I have ample time to send out pitch emails + organize details with the educators.
Second — what’s your content THEME?
I like to think of a membership site kinda like a blog. When planning your blog calendar, you’re going to have blog categories and you’ll map out your calendar with those categories in mind (learn more about that here!).
What are the categories of your membership site?
Map out the overarching content categories FIRST so that as you brainstorm specific videos, worksheets, etc you know the theme they fall under.
My Membership: inside Creative 24/7 we have 3 Pillars of Content: Business, Marketing & Productivity. Every piece of content we share falls under 1 of those 3.
You can keep it simple with 2-4 categories, or have a more robust category layout with 8-10. As long as it’s organized and makes sense to your ideal customer, you can’t have too little or too many.
🎓 Pro tip: The problem with so many membership sites is lack of organization & therefore consumer overwhelm. Membership sites are meant to build off of one another meaning content will grow & grow & grow as time goes on. You want to be sure your content is organized in a way that makes sense for your topic AND for your members!!
Third – start content planning!
Now that you know how you’re going to deliver content and what the content theme is, you can get started planning!
Remember, within my membership community I plan in 6 month batches because I am working with guest educators & want to allow ample time for coordinating with them. You do not have to plan in 6 months increments — my suggestion is start planning QUARTERLY (3 months) and see how that goes with your type of content & your own workflow. You may find 3 months is TOO long and you need to plan in 60 day bursts; or you might find you prefer LONGER and want to try a 6 month calendar. There’s no right or wrong here! The point of the plan is just to HAVE one! 😉
I use Trello to organize Creative 24/7.
I love using Trello specifically for membership content planning for a few reasons:
Color-coded labels: I use labels for my categories; this allows me to quickly & easily see when I am covering what content
Checklists / Workflows: I have created workflows for myself / my team and it’s easy to copy paste them throughout various months AND keep up with what’s happening when!
Due Dates: Because I work ahead of schedule, I create due dates so I don’t forget! Trello will flag me with a notification when a due date is approaching.
Ability to add graphics + docs right to the card: Because our team creates graphics for each month, as well as collateral material, it’s handy to keep ALL of that linked on that month’s card!
I create a new List for each month so that I can easily see all 6 months in ONE view.
I can then add graphics, checklists & due dates as needed for the month’s ahead, and also continue to map out future months!
Another way to organize content would be like this:
Simply create three Lists “In Progress” / “Done” / “Ideas” and 2 labels “Ready” / “Published”.
Drag & Drop content as it’s completed to keep track of your workflow!
(You can also create additional labels for your Content Categories AND checklists for more in depth workflow – the board above is a simplified board but it gets the job done & that’s what matters!)
Additional Tips for Mapping Out Your Content:
Create a plan YOU want to implement. Don’t be afraid to “go against the grain”. You’re likely starting a membership (or have one already!) because you love to share the content you’re sharing and you want an exclusive space to do just that. Sure, it’s important to study strategies but it’s also important to do what YOU want. Do you prefer live over pre-recorded? Do you want to teach longer masterclasses or short, 1-2 minute bite-sized lessons? Organize your content plan to showcase what YOU love & craft the messaging of your sales page to showcase that!
Constantly ask your members what they want. Poll your members every quarter to get feedback on what they like, don’t like & what more of. I love reading constructive feedback from our members & getting an even better understanding of what I should keep creating for them!
🎓 Pro Tip: I use Google Forms for our quarterly surveys & keep it linked on my Trello board for quick access! Not only do I get feedback for content planning, but I also get great testimonials for our sales page + marketing materials!
MORE isn’t always the answer. Don’t get caught up in how MUCH content you produce – instead, be intentional about WHY you’re sharing the content you’re sharing!! What’s the purpose? What are you helping members do? More trainings, videos & worksheets isn’t always the answer (and can in fact lead to content overwhelm both for you AND your members!)
Do you have a membership site? I’d love to hear how you plan + organize content for your members!!
PS — I’d love to see you inside my membership fam!! enjoy a FREE 14 Day Trial of Creative 24/7 HERE!!!
Wanna grab a copy of two FREE Trello Boards? Download them now!
Pin an image below for easy-access! 📌