content planning

Content Planning For Your Membership Site: Tips, Tools, and Types

Content planning is a necessity when it comes to content for your membership site. You need to work smarter, not harder. 

You don’t need to create a ton of content for your membership site. You can instead focus on quality content that brings each visitor value. 

Your membership site is your lifeblood. It’s the content that matters most. Here are some questions you may be asking yourself:

  • What content will I create for my membership site?
  • How will I organize my content?
  • How does all of this work on my membership site?

We will answer these questions along with showing you how to create your own content plan, with examples and templates. Let’s get planning. 

What is content planning and why is it important?

Content planning is just like any other business tactic – have a plan to make money. Content, in this case, is your money-maker. 

Planning your content strategy consists of what types of content you will share, what kind of people you’re trying to reach, and how important it will be to your bottom line. 

Content can come in many forms. 

  • Pillar pages – some of your content may just be simple text pages or posts on your site. Landing pages are a great way to drive search rankings to your website. 
  • Personalized videos – typically used for a slide presentation with a voiceover, or a tutorial such as a WordPress plugin walkthrough.
  • Community group events – usually they are virtual, but they are useful for connecting and discussing topics through authentic community building. 
  • Downloadable files – these are usually downloadable PDFs or worksheets for your members, often containing tutorials to pair with your other content.
  • Webinars and podcasts– this is usually content that is streamed live and available for registration and attendees. 
  • Email newsletters – these messages are a part of your membership subscription and can contain news, updates, and premium content for each member. 
  • Quizzes and surveys – this is a great way to incorporate feedback from users and members. 

Content for a membership site (subscription service) can be created daily, weekly or monthly – you choose. It can be in the form of videos, live calls, templates, groups or community chats that allow members to connect, share ideas and spend time with other like-minded people. 

Membership sites can be a great form of recurring revenue, so content is important. 

And, here’s why:

  • Having a high-level view of your membership plan offerings helps you better sell and position your program.
  • Knowing exactly what you’ll be offering through your membership program enables you to work towards clear content goals. 
  • Having a content projection prevents roadblocks in producing content, i.e. you’ll know what content you need to create and when you need to create it.
  • You’ll be in a better position to deliver more value to members and create a better experience.

Let’s dig into how to write a content plan. 

How do you write a content plan?

So, now that you know how important it is, how do you go about creating a killer content plan? We are going to go through the content planning process, along with examples, tools, and tips. 

Membership content planning options

There are a few paths you’ll need to decide on to create content for your membership site. 

For example, you might split the content into:

  • Lifetime access to continuous courses 
  • Monthly access to premium content 
  • One time access to a class or course

Let’s cover all the different types of content for your membership site 

Types of content for your membership site

Courses

Online courses are by far the most common type of content you’ll want to offer on your membership site.

Structuring online courses is a great way to teach one or more topics with a specific start and endpoint. It will allow you to define learning objectives and outcomes and structure it as a course that will benefit your members continuously.

From short 30-minute length to multiple hours of content, providing a database of courses to help clients achieve their goals will attract new members to their site.

One-off classes

Often with memberships, you can offer a one-time course or class that varies from the online continual courses. 

Standalone articles, tutorials, or workshops provide different paths for different learners. Particularly for solving a specific problem, or for a topic that doesn’t require lengthy learning. 

A database of one-off content can have incredible value to members—or you can use it to supplement larger courses with more in-depth learning material.

Webinars

Webinars are a great content format where members can have access to sessions. It’s also a public gateway for leads to convert to members when new people register for the event. This is especially beneficial when the webinar is offering expertise that is of value to them. 

Webinars provide opportunities for partnering with others in a related industry or adjacent industry and cross-promoting to a wider audience. As an exceptional gateway for leads, these webinars provide a foundation for converting the registrant leads to active members.

Live webinars are also a great way of creating engagement among attendees, and building partnerships with hosts and experts–exposing members to a wider variety of leaderships without a lot of content creation.

Q&A

Another live content format that works well is a member Q&A session. This includes masterminds, members, and experts all getting together in a more intimate setting for questions and answers. 

The structure can vary according to the type of topic or community – but essentially these sessions are about your members, giving them the opportunity to ask questions, sharing their successes and challenges.

Community Groups

Community groups are essential for a successful membership site. After all, they want to be members of the community.

Running a successful community group takes dedication and consistency. Being available for your community is an important part of running a membership site, so the content that follows will be community-based. 

Read your community and ask them what type of events they would like to participate in, then launch a community event to invite them all! 

Workbooks and tutorials

With membership sites, you want to educate and bring actionable value to your members. This can come in the form of how-to’s, tutorials, or workshops. 

Members typically want to achieve or accomplish a skill—they want to get something out of their membership, achieve a goal or obtain a result. In order to do that, they need to put what they learn into actionable practice.

Providing workbooks, actionable item plans, and tutorial content in your membership is a great way of helping them grow and scale on their own learning timeline.

Podcasts or interviews

Lastly, conducting podcasts or interviews with entrepreneurs or experts in a relevant industry will help your members gain valuable insights and set your brand apart from the competition.

You’ll want these interviews to share in-depth specific strategies, techniques, and insight, to get the most out of each.

You can easily take a segment of an interview and release it on your blog or podcast; reserving the entire episode as a gated, member-only exclusive.

Member Exclusives

Offer exclusive downloads for members—like freebies, demos, resources, or tools that they either would not be able to access elsewhere or would need to pay a premium for.

For the VIP members, consider packaging resources that people would have to spend a lot of time gathering themselves. All your posts on a particular topic could be packaged into a convenient eBook. Offer it free to your VIP members and then flip it to a for purchase product to increase your income flow.

Offering exclusives like this will up the value of their membership and hopefully keep them around during renewal time. 

Membership content planning steps 

Here are 11 content planning steps to take if you’re not sure where to start. 

  1. Establish content goals 
  2. List and track your KPIs
  3. Understand and get familiar with your audience
  4. Audit your website 
  5. Choose your channels
  6. Choose your content types 
  7. Research and find the right resources
  8. Create a content calendar
  9. Curate and optimize content 
  10. Share your content 
  11. Measure and track results

Content planning tips 

Here are ten content planning tips to help move your membership site forward. Get ready to take some notes. 

Get the right tools

Your content strategy will be complete when you have the right tools in place. There are a few tools you may need in order to create the right content for your audience. The experts have a few writeups to consider reading. 

Do your homework 

Writing good content involves some homework. By homework, we mean researching your keywords, competition, industry, and audience. 

Keyword research should be at the top of your list when it comes to content planning. Take your top 5-10 keywords and find out what content is out there around each. Research keyword rankings, related articles, and what types of questions your audience is asking around each. 

Take some time to learn what your target audience is consuming and sharing. Are they sharing articles, ebooks, or white papers? Find out which type of content is most lucrative for your membership site and focus on creating that first. 

Lastly, check out what your competitors are creating. Compile a competitive research database with rankings, content, and events that are happening. Keeping tabs on your competition is a great way to generate content ideas. 

As you begin writing, think about your linking strategy (it can be a full-time job). Your articles will include 10-20 links both internally and externally. 

Your content should include 3-5 internal links to your content, which is great for encouraging lead conversion. However, more importantly, it will include external links that can build bridges to valuable partnerships.

Edit, edit, and edit again

It’s important to have quality content these days to stand out. Our recommendation is to read through your content at least three times before publishing. You can never have enough edits. 

Enlist and trust tools like Grammarly to catch those errors you may miss. If you can get it in the hands of other people to read through, even better! 

Have a pre-launch checklist

Everyone loves a to-do list. Having a content pre-launch checklist is a great idea to have a more successful strategy. Your content pre-launch checklist should include: 

Plan ahead

The key to a good content strategy is planning ahead. Even if the plan changes, plan your content to be at least 3-6 months out. How do you do this? 

Create a cluster of loose topics around your primary keyword. Look up questions that are being asked about each and try to niche down your topics into sub-topics. 

Create at least 1-2 blogs per month around these topics. If you can create additional content like ebooks, white papers, or premium downloadable content at least twice a quarter, that’s ideal. 

Plan on repurposing 

When you set out to create content, keep in mind that there are two types. There is evergreen content and “current events” content that is relative to time or events happening currently. Evergreen content does not contain current dates, events, or features that will expire. Current event content has dates, trends, or features that may become out of date and have a need for repurposing content

The good news is that you can use trending content as a strategy for revamping your old pieces. Go back through your older content and edit, update and revamp it to be shiny and new. The search engines will thank you for it. 

Partner up 

You are not the only one who is trying to grow your membership site out there. When it comes to content, it’s best to consider partnerships to scale. 

These partnerships can take on many different forms. Here are a few: 

  • Referrals
  • Guest post
  • Link swap
  • Social swap
  • Event host 

Get social with it

As with anything these days, you have to get social with it. Any solid content strategy has a social media sharing campaign behind it. After all, what is website content when you don’t have anyone reading it? 

Hopefully, you have your social channels set up, now it’s time to get sharing! Construct a promotional campaign across your networks, ask your support system or partners to share, and plan on sharing now and in the future. 

Consider outsourcing

If these planning tips feel overwhelming to you, consider outsourcing your content needs. This may or may not be an easy task as finding quality content writers can be challenging. 

You can outsource a content marketing team, writer, or editor to get the job done. If you don’t have time to create content, don’t put it on the back burner – give the job to a professional. One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is putting content last on their growth strategy list. 

Check out iWriter, Fiverr, or Upwork to get started. Make sure to qualify your writers! Or hire a writer to come on staff if you have the means. 

Plan content for your membership site easily

When it comes to membership sites, we know a thing or two about it at Restrict Content Pro. Having the right content for your website can be a powerful lead generation source. 

We will leave you with a few lasting tips. 

Ensure your content is unique and relatable to your audience—and collaborative planning can facilitate this. Get your team together on this! 

Make sure to have the right resources with better workflows and processes, it will make all the difference in the world. 

Keep engagement top of mind for every piece of content. Consider CTAs, ads, and invitations all part of your content strategy. 

And, keep a steady schedule. With a content calendar, you’ll be able to solve the common issues that teams have with lead generation and conversion. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how we do membership sites, reach out to us for a demo

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