I get asked this question quite a bit when I’m talking about wordpress websites. WordPress is an opensource content management system that you can find plugins to do almost anything you want. Want to sell stuff on the Internet? I recommend ShopperPress which is a full WordPress theme. In fact, PremiumPress has some great themes and a very active support and member forum where you can get questions answered very quickly.
If you’re just looking for a plugin to sell your wares on the Internet, check out WP-eCommerce plugin. There is a free version that is great if you just have a couple products. But if you want a more feature rich ecommerce experience, upgrade to the gold cart. It will allow you to list your products in a friendly grid layout.
I get asked sometimes about paywalls. How do you lock down your website content to paid members only who have subscribed to your content? Before you decide to do this, I recommend investigating whether you can monetize your content with ads more effectively than subscriptions. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at a news website from my old hometown only to find out that I can’t even read the news from my old hometown any longer unless I have a paid subscription to their website! Okay, rant over. If you’ve already decided that your content model is best suited to a membership site, and you’re looking for some type of software that will allow you to do this, you’re in luck. If you’re on WordPress. It’s really easy and actually pretty affordable to do it. I recommend the WordPress membership plugin built by MemberPress. There is a small fee to use the plugin but the ability to consistently and effectively lock down your content to paying subscribers is worth the fee. Here is a short list of content types you might consider for a paid membership access only:
- Educational courses and How-to content whether text of video
- Private directories. Think neighborhood directory information
- Premium news and info. Think investing tips and tricks
- Design work – house plans, designs, etc
- 3d Printer plans and blueprints
Really you could think of all kinds of content that you could sell premium memberships for. Just be sure the content isn’t something that is readily available for free in other places. You won’t have a lot of success selling paid memberships on your WordPress site if the content isn’t really useful and valuable. Don’t just take my word for it though, here’s another review of the MemberPress plugin.