After the idea comes the execution. Setting up your Shopify store doesn’t take that much time to complete, but it’s important to finish all the steps so your website looks like a professional online store. Plus, there are a few really key things on this list – like setting up your payment details, which help you get paid (so they’re a pretty big deal!). Here’s some of the store set-up tasks you’ll want to cross off your ecommerce checklist:
Consumer Trends – Just because something is popular domestically doesn’t mean it will be internationally. Are they behind in a trend –– or does it just not apply for that market? If you don’t already have sales in a region, do consumer testing and surveys before you ever launch. Know that most businesses that expand internationally already have sales in a particular region before they launch specifically in that country.
Membership sites are not just for products, though. Many online communities and similar kinds of projects use membership features to isolate the kinds of people that are only in it for the thrill of it. Community forums might want to utilize membership features because that would keep a set of professionals within a tightly sealed circle that would require a monthly payment to be a part of, which in turn creates a kind of atmosphere where more high-quality discussions and content sharing is encouraged.
With time, you might consider using an affiliate marketing program, in which other sites get paid a percentage of each sale they send you. But it’s questionable whether a brand new site will benefit from an affiliate program. Although some new sites have profited, many new sites has yet to build the name recognition that makes using affiliates profitable.
The site is using aMemeber Pro. What a blast from the past for me! The very first membership software I ever used was aMember. I guess they’re still around. But, I guess when it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. In fact, all around, this site looks a little old-school. The design is quite basic. Once again, a solid reminder that offer matters more than looks.
Matt Ackerson founded AutoGrow (Petovera Inc.) in 2010 as a conversion-focused web design agency. The company has since worked one-on-one with over 500 customers and clients to create their sales funnels. Matt is a graduate of Cornell University. He and AutoGrow have been featured in Techcrunch, Forbes, Inc, Venture Beat, Mashable, and Popular Science among others. He and the team write in-depth articles on digital marketing, sales funnel design, and also offer an advanced funnel training course here on AutoGrow.co
Bailey Richert is an award-winning business coach who helps individuals launch and grow profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value, generating income and realizing their ideal lifestyles by sharing their life experience, knowledge and passions with others through information products and services.
Be aware that your URL affects your search engine ranking, so if you want to be found for “shoe,” it’s a good idea to fit “shoe” into your domain name. One way to do this is to use your brand name along with a keyword term. So MillerShoe tends to work better than FantasticShoe.com. (Which is why MillerShoe is taken, but FantasticShoe is still available.)
This post was originally written in 2015 and then fully updated in 2019. 2 of the sites previously mentioned were dead or inactive, so have been replaced. The other sites had changed their strategy somewhat. So, what you see below is a fully updated list of 10 membership sites, from all kinds of different niches. Let’s see what we can learn. Enjoy!
Karolina Kulach is a content marketer and non-fiction writer, specialising in global ecommerce and online sales trends. Educated in Linguistics (MA) and Business Studies (BA Hons). A well-travelled individual with international education & work experience gained in London, Scotland, Poland and Germany. In her spare time buzzing with creative content ideas, including funky rhyming poems. Read more articles on https://medium.com/@karolinakulach/
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I think they could play up their blog and get more sales out of it. The blog is hidden under the “About” menu or down in the footer. When you go to the site, everything is about the membership and any free content on the blog is quite understated. It just shows there are many ways to go with a blog. If it were me, however, I would make “Blog” a main menu item and not buried in a dropdown.
Don’t worry about making everything perfect at the outset. As the old saying goes, done is better than perfect, and the sooner you launch your membership site, the sooner you’ll find out if it’s what your target audience wants. It’s fine to return to this step later and work on making your membership website look more professional once you've got some traction.

One of the big decisions you’ll need to make when it comes to your membership site is how much you’re going to charge. While it’s tempting to pluck a price out of thin air, that’s not a strategy that’s going to put the most profit in your pocket. Instead, use this checklist guide to determine the best and most profitable pricing strategy for your membership site!
In response, some people choose terribly cumbersome names. They find out that “Tshirt.com” is taken and then learn that “HockeyTshirt.com” is also taken. So they create an unworkable domain name like VeryCool-HockeyTshirt.com. Not only is it too long, it contains a hyphen, which should be avoided (some users forget to put them in, sending them to your competitor’s site.)
One of the big things about Insider is how much teaser content there is. Being that they have the membership and the public site all integrated together, you constantly SEE what members are getting but you run into the paywall if you’re not a member. This is the kind of setup you can ONLY have if your blog and your membership site are one and the same.
In response, some people choose terribly cumbersome names. They find out that “Tshirt.com” is taken and then learn that “HockeyTshirt.com” is also taken. So they create an unworkable domain name like VeryCool-HockeyTshirt.com. Not only is it too long, it contains a hyphen, which should be avoided (some users forget to put them in, sending them to your competitor’s site.)
Great post – thank you :) I’m in the process of building my first website-based online course using Optimize Press – steep learning curve but I’m up for the challenge! The only membership site I personally use is Brian Johnson’s philosopher’s notes. He is a stunning example of focus and achievement – his content production rate is crazy and he offers something for every type of learner plus lots of free stuff – truly inspiring :) You can have a nose here: http://bit.ly/1POj5Ag

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