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How profitable are websites that require paid memberships?

I plan on starting a content-consulting and resource niche for fine artists. The paid members would get full access to consulting or personal questions e-mailed. The site would also have an affiliate links page to artist products for anyone.
Lena West answered September 11, 2007
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221099

Congratulations on your new website!

Websites that offer paid memberships are actually pretty successful and profitable. Many evolve into full-blown online communities because of their success. There are hundreds of examples of these websites and communities. A quick Google search will reveal hundreds, but it's good to study the masters.

There is an art and science to running a successful membership-based website with much of it resting on the website owner's ability to provide content that the members will not be able to receive anywhere else. One membership website that's very successful is 5000 B.C. owned by Sean D'Souza: http://www.5000bc.com/.

Sean gets it right! Study him and you'll be well on your way.

Good luck!
Lena

Lena West is the CEO and Chief Strategist of xynoMedia Technology, a New York-based firm that helps high-growth companies leverage the power of social media, blogs, podcasts and online communities.