Membership Websites Build a Strong Community

Membership websites help to build a strong community between members in both the niche and in everyday life as many people will start bonding outside of the course or training they belong to.

Online, we all want to be part of a bigger community.  Perhaps you are part of the large groups that exist on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, or you are in a small group with much fewer members that focuses on a specific niche.

In both cases, you are participating in a community sharing ideas.  Many of these have a leader, specifically if this is through a website outside of the big social networks.  These sites that focus more on a specific niche are often referred to as membership websites.  Membership websites help to build a stronger community of individuals not only focused on a specific topic, but who also share ideas outside of this as well.

There are many ways a membership website can be set up.   One model is having all the content ready and available and people can get what they need and not really interact with others.  Many online training courses are established this way in which the developer sets up a series of trainings and members can view as desired.  Another common model is where content is still made available, though this time there is an open forum or blog format involved with the site where all members can comment on the trainings and develop relationships.

The later example here is the model that seems to be more common as people want to be able to learn from others and share their own knowledge as well instead of only getting content from the developer.  The relationships that have developed through this open format has gone beyond the typical online course content where many members go out of their way to meet up with other members at conferences.  It is not always about the content here, but instead about developing a sense of community.

Some membership websites have weekly phone calls or online webinars where community members and the course developer will discuss a major topic from the course or will expand upon a topic that has often been voted upon by the members beforehand.  These are times where they will collectively share ideas for an hour or more and often record the conference to be able to view again in their member area for those who were unable to make it that night, so they can still check it out on their own time and be able to comment on the session at a later time.

If you decide you want to start your own membership website there are many ways about this and software that can easily integrate the WordPress platform.  You can decide to require fees or provide a free community and be able to promote other products later on.  Any way you look at most people who are running one are looking towards monetizing it through ads, affiliate offers or promoting their own products.  

Even if you do not have your own product ready to go, you can still get going on putting your membership website together.  You might even surprise yourself when you realize how much material you can gain from your members that you can put into a new product to offer your current members.  With a little time and effort, you might develop your own niche related community.  All you have to do is commit yourself to spreading your message.  I am sure there are others out there who want to listed and talk back to you as well.

 

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Hostgator Black Friday sale

Hostgator is very excited to unveil their Black Friday 2010 Promotion! This will be their best DEAL in 8+ years of hosting!

Please be advised that this Hostgator Black Friday promotion starts at 12:00 AM Friday November 26th CST (-6 GMT) and will run until 11:59PM CST (-6 GMT) 11/26/2010. 


Here is the Black Friday 2010 Special Offer:
They are offering 50% OFF EVERYTHING From 12:00AM CST to 5AM CST
They are offering 80% OFF EVERYTHING From 5AM to 9AM CST WHILE SUPPLIES LAST (first come, first receive; so definitely don’t miss out!)
From 9AM to 11:59PM CST OR after 80% OFF accounts have sold out, they will continue to offer 50% OFF EVERYTHING
This applies to ALL Accounts and ALL Term Lengths. So you will have the opportunity to receive up to 80% off of up to 3 years worth of Hosting! That would come out to $35.64 for 3 FULL YEARS!

This includes Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting AND even Dedicated Servers! Never before have we allowed the promotion on EVERYTHING including reseller, vps and dedicated servers AND ALL Term Lengths.

This promotion gives you their award winning hosting for as little as:
Shared Hosting: regularly $4.95/month, now AS LOW AS $0.99/month
Reseller Hosting: regularly $24.95/month, now AS LOW AS $4.99/month
VPS Hosting: regularly $19.95/month, now AS LOW AS $3.99 First Month
Dedicated Servers:regularly  $174/month, now AS LOW AS $34.80 First Month


If you ever wanted to get your own website or wanted to try another web service, Hostgator is a great option to try and is running an unbelievable deal for their Black Friday sale.  Go get your Hostgator Black Sale package here!!!

Just Make sure you go after 12:oo am on Friday November 26, 2010 to take advantage of these offers that they are allowing me to share with you as an affiliate of their business.

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web audio plus

Web Audio Plus is an audio creating software package that lets you add audio to your websites or blogs like I show in my example below. Click the play button to hear a quick 15 second clip.

This software can do amazing things for your business and websites. Whereas someone might not be apt to read a whole page of content, they might easily be able to sit and listen  to audio while they are multi-tasking, which is the way of life in the online marketing business too often. Web Audio Plus allows for easy recording and uploading of your file (Yes, you do need your own website to do this and you can start here at HostGator) into your blog, website or other location where HTML can be pasted.  HTML!  Do not let those 4 letters scare you.  Web Audio Plus does the hard work for you and lets you choose what you want your audio button to look like as you can change the shape color and background and then it creates the HTML for you.   There is a small bit of modifying you need to do as it originally may save it to your desktop, which will not allow others to access it, but instead needs to be uploaded into your cPanel “uploads” folder, or at least this is how I made it work in this WordPress Blog.

Web Audio PlusWeb Audio Plus Wizard

Most Web Audio tools might require you to pay monthly fees to host your Audio, but with Web Audio Plus, you will never pay a monthly fee, after a small initial fee for the software rights.  There are very similar versions out there selling from $27-67 currently on Clickbank.  This is crucial because if you ever wanted to modify your audio, you might need to pay extra fees or if you decided you had an extra site that you wanted to throw some, or even the same, audio into, you might have to pay extra with other audio programs and who really wants to do that, instead of set it and forget it!  There are many hosting packages out there and I suggest those with cPanel capabilities so you can upload your own materials and have complete control over everything.

 

I have been following Michael Rasmussen for some time and he has given me Master Resale rights to this product and therefore I am going to offer it to you for an even better price on my blog only.   My sales page will be going up soon and will have a similar pricepoint of $37 for this software.  When you buy from this blog post, I am going to give you the phenomenol rate of only $17




You will be glad you started adding audio to your sites and blogs, your customers and fans will be satisfied as well!

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Emelia Gardner the 1st 5 years

Emelia Gardner the 1st 5 years.

I have been enjoying Animoto lately after reading about it in a magazine from Russell Brunson called DotComSecrets.  With tonights, addition, I now have videos of all three of my daughters up as well as one of the Solvay Teachers Association Scholarship fundraiser.  The program is very easy to use where you can take pictures or video clips and blend into a movie with music (either provided public domain selections or something you personally own the rights to)

There are a few member levels as well, with the free one only allowing you to make 30 second clips, which works best with a few pictures and text.  If you are looking to have more involved (like my 3 kids vids) then you want to go with the $30/year membership which allows you the option of producing full length movies where you can add pics, text, video and sound to make for a more well rounded product.

Animoto - 100% Kick Ass

So if all you are doing now is uploading still photos into Facebook, Twitter and many other sites…Why not make them stand out more.  The applications for putting this into your business are very appealing as well.  check out Animoto before they start charging more for this software!  I will keep making movies with this software and think you should as well because of its ease of use and ability to spread.  It has built in links for the major networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and can also import your email list (certain servers only like Gmail, MSN, yahoo!)  as well as send to your WordPress blog (which is what I am using right here) as well as other services to come in the near future.

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Web Hosting and Domain Names-Helping You Take Control of Branding Your Business in Online Overload

Whether you are working to improve your business or have a fun and personal website about yourself, taking the initiative to host it so that you can control it is so much more critical than allowing some other person to run the format/layout of the site. Sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are great formats to put your content, but until you obtain your own domain, any plans to become financially successful are dramatically diminished due to the lack of specific features and benefits on these sites.

For starters, you do not get your own personalized email with these programs.   Nothing works greater than to have your own “FirstLastName@YourDomain.com.” It is possible if you are one of the few with a random name to get your name with an aol, gmail, yahoo etc. account, but these do not show the world any relevant qualities or hints about the person or what they are involved in. Often you end up with something that is a combination of letters and numbers when you use these free email accounts,  which might not help in branding your business one bit! If you want to keep that special one you had many years ago when email really bloomed and you signed up for many accounts with it, there may be a benefit to keeping it.  Taking the initiative to get your own site will allow you to brand yourself and get more people to read your emails as it also becomes more personal. For example, if you send an email to DaveGardner@MagneticSponsors.com, I will be sure to write you back. This email is attached to my website, MagneticSponsors.com. This might get more email conversions than using info@ or support@, though these accounts can be established as well when you begin to define your business better.

Next, when you get your own domain and hosting you have an option of many features and benefits that may include, but are not limited to
cPanel, Fantastico (WordPress and Forums), autoresponders, opt-in forms, email forwarders, site templates, video hosting, conference rooms and more depending on the program or web hosting company you choose. Here is a little breakdown of the benefits of each feature:

1.  cPanel: This allows you total control over your website from editing to loading files through an FTP platform quickly, setting up WordPress, email accounts and more

2.  Fantastico: Allows you to set up your WordPress blog and set up forums related to a topic of interest of the site. These can be places to put advertisements, videos, reviews of products and more.

3. Autoresponders:  when someone comes to your site, you want to keep them coming or at least be able to keep them updated to what is happening with the business of program. These programs allow you to send messages or posts to anyone who opted or signed in to your list.

4. Opt-in:  forms a fill in the blank application that brings a customer or viewer to your autoresponder and then to a site, video, program of choice. Double opt-ins are beneficial in that they guarantee you are not being spammed.  When you send out a message, you may get many returned if the person did not go to their “real” email address and confirm that they were a “real” person accepting messages from you. If you want to see one at work, check out DownforceGuitar.com, which is another site of mine.

5.  Email:   Forwarders These help to streamline your websites.  You might have many sites and not want to log into every cPanel and email account each day. If you have them all forwarded to the same generic email you can save time when you do get a message from that account.

6.  Site:  templates many people do not know how to or care to use html code.
Having ready made templates can save time and easily get your web site up. You can edit as needed in the html editor of cPanel in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) method.

7.  Video Hosting:  I know Youtube is popular, but a site like this forces people to see other videos that they may find offensive, which is one of the main reasons why as a Science teacher, I do not have access to this site in school. You could embed the code for the video into a premade template (see #6 above) but you still have the Youtube links there and logos. Certain plans allow for video uploading and producing.

8.  Conference Rooms:  We all do not have an endless flow of money to get us around the world at a moments notice to have a meeting with like minded individuals. Getting in front of a computer with a video capabilities allow you to easily meet someone from the other side of the world to host a meeting. These may range from a few seats to thousands of seats that are available for people to log into and be part of the experience. Think Webinars!

When it comes to branding, you want to get a domain name that is easy to remember or looks appealing if you send someone a link or it appears in an ad. As an example, some of my “.coms” are MagneticSponsors, BasicLacrosse, MyGVOTrial, YourReviewGuru, and TheDavidGardner which are all live and consistently updated (some newer than others and therefore have less content). Others I have in the works are MyResourceKit and MyStupidMistake. For the most part, I have been able to set up cPanel accounts for all of these with the respective “DaveGardner@_______________.com” email address.

There are many options out there for catchy domain names and you might want to grab it up before someone else does.  Even if you do not put any effort into setting up the site, you can always do what is called Cash Parking,where the host may put ads onto your site (assuming people stumbled on it by accident and could see Pay Per Click, or PPC ads from a variety of sources. For example, one I have set up at BadLacrosse where you might see everything from Lacrosse the sport, to Buick Lacrosse to Lacrosse Wisconsin! When people click the ad, instead of you getting charged, someone else does and you actually make a commission of the fee.

There are many programs and hosting companies out there and it can be very hard to choose which one is best for you and your business. I personally have gone with GoDaddy for most of my domain name purchases, though I have only set up 1 site with them. Most of my sites are hosted through GVO. I highly suggest checking out both of their offers.

I have also included some of the other major host providers out there below. You may want to do a little comparison shopping to see which one will be the best to suit your businesses needs. While some of your sites might only be one page that captures an email address and leads the person elsewhere, others might have some high tech software like Butterfly Marketing Software installed and may need a bigger bandwidth and more pages as it has viral friend generators, affiliate sales options, merchant linking software and more.

As you now have one of my many email address above, please drop me a message to let me know how things work out for you or if you need assistance with any of these programs that you are going to purchase!

Go Daddy $7.49.com sale 125x125



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