How to Create Recurring Income Online

by / ⠀Startup Advice / March 12, 2013

Membership WebsitePassive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain itWikipedia

In the offline world, you can earn passive income from rents, royalties from books, earning from a business that doesn’t require direct investment or dividend and interest from securities such as stocks and bonds.

If you analyze all the above methods, though, something you’ll notice is that they aren’t available to the average entrepreneur; especially young entrepreneurs.

Offline, you’ll hardly be able to create passive income if you’re not already rich or popular. That’s not a luxury most of us can afford and being rich or popular offline is damn hard; at least compared to online.

With little investment and effort, you can create recurring (or passive) income for yourself online.

Specifically, this post will be teaching you how to create passive income from membership sites because:

  • It doesn’t cost a fortune to create
  • It is flexible and you’re in control; you can decide to charge monthly/yearly/weekly for access and you can decide to charge how much you want depending on what you have to offer
  • Anyone can do it

If you’re an entrepreneur always buzzing with ideas then you can probably create a membership site. With some effort, very little investment and the lessons learned in this article you should have a solid membership site system generating monthly/yearly revenue from you.

Here’s how to create recurring income through a membership site:

Step #1: Find a Problem

In any niche, there is always a problem that needs a solution.

This problem could come in the form of people’s problems, passions or fears in a particular niche.

Your first step should be to find a major problem that is largely unsolved in your niche and that people are willing to pay for.

You should also ensure the nature of this problem is such that people will be happy to pay monthly or yearly access fee for.

Depending on what is offered, people will happily pay on a recurring basis for access to a membership site focused on helping them become financially secure (a problem). They’ll happily pay for access to a membership site that gives them top news/offers/discounts etc. regarding their latest sports team (passion) and they’ll happily pay for a membership site. They’ll happily pay for access to a membership site that helps them prepare for and pass a difficult exam (fear).

The key is to find a key problem, the more specific the better, that you can create a solution to and get people to pay for.

You’ll be better positioned to benefit from creating a membership site on a subject if you’re a victim or an expert.

  • As a victim, you’ve experienced the problem and probably overcome it and as a result can provide solutions to it.
  • As an expert you regularly help others overcome the problem and are qualified to talk about it.

Once you’ve found a problem, the next step is to create a solution.

Step #2: “Create” a Solution

The next step is to create a solution.

You don’t necessarily have to “create” a solution; the problem could have a solution a lot of people are not aware of or have problem implementing.

You’ll get results by “owning” this solution; this means you have to refine the solution based on what works for you or you have to brand the solution in a way that is associated to you and differentiated from other solutions.

To justify having people pay you monthly or yearly to access your solution, you need to ensure they have no reason to compare it to other solutions that are free or cheaper compared to yours.

Step #3: Create a Website/Blog to Provide Information and Position Yourself as an Expert

The next step is to create a website or blog designed to provide information so as to position yourself as an expert.

By regularly publishing quality and regular content, you’ll be able to let people see that you’re well-informed on the subject you’re talking about.

This could be in form of an HTML website with multiple pages and can be easily built with a site builder or you can create a blog using a CMS like WordPress or Drupal.

Regularly publish high quality content on your website and reference your membership site; the content should mostly be content creating awareness about the problem you found and then giving hints about the solution while suggesting that people check out your membership site to learn more about the solution.

Step #4: Create a Membership Site as a Core Part of Your Website

The next step is to create a membership site.

Content for your membership site can be created in several formats but it’ll be most effective if you use a combination of videos, audios and text.

You can also decide to drip your content (schedule it to go live over time) or to be manually adding new content on a regular basis.

You don’t want to put all the content out there at once since people will no longer have a reason to pay you for access.

There are several quality membership site software online but they often cost a lot and are not a complete solution. You can use a site like, however, to set up every aspect of your membership site.

Step #5: Marketing Your Site

Once your membership site is set up, the next step is marketing.

People won’t automatically start visiting your site, you have to invite them to come and let them know that you’re qualified to talk about the subject.

Some of the top ways to market your membership site are:

  • Guest blogging
  • Content marketing
  • Being interviewed by others
  • Getting others to review your membership site
  • Getting affiliates to promote your membership site
  • Being active on community Q/A sites

I wrote about some of these tactics in my recent guest post here.

Your Turn!

Do you know of other ways to create recurring income online? Share with us in the comments below!

Joseph is an expert blogger and guest blogger. He writes for OutstandingSETUP, a premium WordPress setup and hosting company.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.