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Lesson 1 – Introduction to Membership Sites

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In this lesson first lesson, Introduction to Membership Sites, of our How to Create a Membership Website course we begin with a description of the course and why we teach this class. Then we dive in and provide a detailed description of the membership website and all the components that go into creating it. Finally, we discuss the structural elements of the site, Pages, Posts, Categories and Tags, and how we’ll be using them.

Course Description – Watch the Video

  • 12 week course

    • Inspiration
      • Question from Steve Whitehead
      • Personal development instructor and coach in the UK
      • He’ll be jumping in on this
    • Course syllabus
    • Videos will be available for the duration of the course
    • Questions on the forum
    • Questions at DIYThemes forum
    • Webinar format – 45 minutes of presentation with 15 minutes of Q&A
    • Homework
  • What I’m Teaching – we are creating a membership website that provides access to courses for a fee

    • Each course has a set fee
    • Each course has a limited duration of access
    • Each course will offer continued access for a discounted fee
    • With a specific set of tools
      • WordPress
      • Thesis
      • WP eStore
      • WP eMember
      • WP Affiliate Platform
      • Amazon S3
      • S3FlowShield
      • Aweber
      • Vimeo
      • Simple:Press Forum
    • Why these tools? – Because I’ve tested them together.
  • What I’m not Teaching

    • I’m not teaching how to buy and repackage content
      • no plr or mlr content
      • no syndicated content
    • I’m not teaching how to use information spam to attract attention
      • no mini nets
      • no article spinners and article spam marketing
      • no content syndicators
    • I don’t have a passive, residual income scheme
  • Why am I teaching this?

    • Because I love it!
    • We’re at the beginning of the democratization of instruction
      • Inexpensive, highspeed broadband
      • Inexpensive video creation tools
      • WordPress
    • The current paradigm has education centered in institutions.
      • This limits access for participants
      • This limits access to teachers
    • The new paradigm allows for the development of knowledge communities like this one where anyone can teach and anyone can learn.

Site Description – Watch the Video

  • General – A membership site

    • Each course has a set fee
    • Each course has a limited duration of access
    • Each course will offer continued access for a discounted fee
    • Several components
  • Landing page component

    • public face
    • close the sale
    • provide information
  • Heart of the system – Course delivery

    • Video delivery
    • Audio delivery
    • PDF delivery
    • Securing content
    • Making the content mobile friendly
  • Financial Transaction Component

    • Taking $
    • Keeping track of transactions
    • Keeping track of affiliate transactions
    • Processing refunds
    • Automated response to financial transactions
  • Access Control

    • Automated
    • Responsive to financial transactionsM
    • A membership level for each course
    • Each member can be a member of several levels
    • Each membership level has a specific durration
  • Membership Interaction

    • Member forum – for each course
    • Member dashboard
      • keeping track of progress
      • bookmarking favorite sections
      • private notes on course pages
      • Keeping track of forum posts
    • Autoresponder for keeping members up to date
  • Marketing

    • Email marketing – free content for email address
      • Free membership
      • Build the list
      • Sell to the list
    • Attract search engine attention
      • Blog
      • Forum
      • Social Networking
      • Video Sharing
    • Affiliate Marketing
      • Affiliate sign up
      • Affiliate policies
      • Affiliate tracking
      • Affiliate payouts

Site Structure – Watch the Video

  • WordPress Structural Elements

    • Pages
    • Posts
    • Categories
    • Tags
  • Pages

    • All of the “landing page” component – public
      • home page
      • sales pages
      • product pages
      • information pages
    • All of the course material – private
      • course
        • lessons
    • Page hierarchy
      • top level
        • home*
        • products*
        • courses – hidden
        • member dashboard – hidden
        • promotions – invisible
        • about*
        • contact*
        • forum*
        • blog*
      • home – static front page – main landing page
      • products – course catalog
        • free course
        • paid courses – 1 page per course
      • courses – replaces the products page when logged in
        • Individual Course Page
          • Lesson Pages
      • Member Dashboard – only visible when logged in
        • Profile information
      • Promotions
        • squeeze pages
        • landing pages
      • about – who you are and why you’re an expert
      • contact – form, other direct means
      • forum – Simple Forum – creates it’s own pages
  • Posts

    • Only for the blog
  • Categories

    • The blog’s semantic architecture
  • Tags

    • Another way of accessing the blog content by “subject”.

Q&A About the Course – Watch the Video

Homework

  • Install WordPress
  • Install Thesis – Download
  • Install WP eStore – Download
  • Install WP eMember – Download
  • Install Change WP eMail From Details – Download

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