$5,000/Month Passive Income With Niche Membership Sites [Guide]

Building a niche membership site can be an extremely profitable way to build passive income. Membership sites are very popular and if you have knowledge and skills you would like to share, this can be a very lucrative way to monetize a blog. As long as subscribed members are willing to remain subscribed, you can expect a steady income flow.

What is a niche membership site? A niche membership site has a section that is accessible exclusively to members only. For this reason, a site member pays a monthly or yearly fee in order to access the exclusive content. Non-members generally have limited access to the site, whereas paying members can also access premium content.

This guide covers how you can create a niche membership site to make recurring passive income. This is a fantastic passive income stream that you can implement on your current blog, or on a completely new website.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Profitable Niche Membership Site

The steps involved in building a niche membership site include choosing a niche, deciding on your membership model, and building your website. Let’s have a look at these steps in detail.

1. Choosing Niche Topic That Excites You

If you have 500 members and they each pay $10 a month, then you have a system in place that can make you $5,000 a month.

There is a reason it’s called a niche membership site and not just a membership site. The site should have something specific to offer to a select audience. The good thing about membership sites is that you don’t need tons of traffic to make money. You need to answer a specific problem that your target audience has.

For instance, traveling is an industry, not a niche. But business travel is a niche. You can take it one step further and focus exclusively on private business travel, which is a niche within a niche. Focusing on a “niche within a niche” or narrowing your audience can help you attract a smaller subset of a community.

In our previous example, you could offer this audience exclusive tips and tricks to get cheaper plane tickets, avoid waiting lines, and travel comfortably. Any information, products, or services that other business travellers cannot easily get their hands on for free online may be of interest to them in a membership site.

Finding a Profitable Niche

People don’t just join a membership site – it has to offer something unique. If what your site is offering can easily be found elsewhere on the web for free, chances are high that your site visitors will leave your page as soon as they are asked to become paying members.

A good way to ensure you get members who are willing to pay is to venture into a very unique niche. A niche is just a topic that focuses on, or is built for, a narrow group of people with a common, specific interest. Your blog could cover an underground hobby or skill. You could also have a membership site that offers unique technical knowledge on a subject.

When you cover specific topics with an angle that is in demand, many people will willingly pay a monthly or yearly fee for the provided information. With a hundred or a thousand members, you can obviously see how much recurring income you can make off a membership site every month.

Following Your Passions to Stay Motivated

Before anything, the niche you choose should be something you are passionate, or at least interested in. Otherwise it will be hard to keep motivated until your membership can flourish. One way to choose a great nche is to also be part of it. It may be hard, for instance, to write about how to grow succulents, if you have never owned one before.

Being Knowledgeable on Your Niche

When choosing a niche or topic, you should also ensure that you already are very knowledgeable on the subject. You will need to provide value that people will pay for and don’t already possess or can’t find for free online.

For instance, if you have mastered how to make passive income blogs, and you have a lot of YouTube followers, then there is a very good chance that starting a membership site on the same subject would provide you excellent income.

Income School is an excellent example of this. They offer a membership site teaching how to build profitable blogs without any spammy SEO tactics. Their site provides incredible value to their users. It includes 13 courses that are constantly updated, a podcast that has new episodes every few months, a very active and helpful community, recommended tools and more. There is so much value in their membership site that it’s hard not to remain a part of it.

Considering a Niche With High User Engagement

Since the goal is to create a membership site that provides you with a passive income stream, you should consider a concept that can keep moving forward without your input.

For instance, your membership site could essentially be a forum site where members share knowledge on various topics. In such cases, even without your input, the website can keep offering the users fresh content. Since members are paying to have access to the site, they will be highly motivated to participate in the discussions involved. This will obviously make your work a lot easier.

Considering a Niche That is Evergreen

However, some membership sites may be very demanding of your time. We gave the example of Project 24 by Income school (learn more about Project 24 our Resource Page), but the founders, Rick and Jim, constantly have to update their course content because it is not evergreen.

Evergreen content is content that will still be relevant many years from now. The tactics and tools to build profitable niche blogs are constantly evolving. If you were to practice methods that worked 20 years ago, they won’t work today. Rick and Jim are constantly trying and testing new things for their community to ensure they have all the tools they need to learn and build profitable niche sites.

An example of an evergreen niche would be succulents. These plants are popular year-round and the ways to tend to them probably won’t change in 10 years from now! One of Jim’s friends owns a niche site on this topic and offers a membership to access her course. She is making very good money from this (over $200,000 per year). You can watch their interview below or learn more here on our Course Resource Page.

2. Deciding on a Membership Site Model to Use

Membership sites have different business models. Here are some models to help you decide on the best one for your needs. Be attentive because some models are more passive than others.

The Forum or Community Model

As per its name, this site gives members access to a private forum. The benefit of this kind of site is that the members can provide new and fresh content themselves, and you can take a backseat to all the discussions going on and still earn a monthly membership fee. This is a more passive model but you probably won’t be able to charge premium prices for members to access it.

The Premium Model

With his niche membership model, you charge a small membership fee, but after members join, they will have to pay additional fees to get access to the exclusive products such as courses, unique eBooks and so forth. The best thing about this site is that the members will feel obliged to make a purchase to justify paying a membership fee. You will however, have to offer excellent materials that will be enticing for your members to purchase.

The Course Model

Your site can offer its users access to a course behind a membership pay-wall. If you have knowledge on a topic you can easily create a course and sell it behind a paywall. Make sure to choose (fairly) evergreen topics or you will constantly be updating your course.

Dripped Out Model

In this case, the members are given access to one aspect of a product over a particular duration. For instance, it could be a fitness course which touches on several topics that are only available after several days or months. This creates a sense of excitement so members stay hooked over a long period of time.

3. Deciding What Membership Fees to Charge

Each membership site is different, based on what it has to offer. For instance, if you just offer information that helps people to further explore a hobby, you may have to charge a low fee. But, if, like Income School  you offer a ton of value (multiple courses that are constantly updated, podcasts etc) people will feel enticed to join and stay. In that case you could charge a premium price and make it a monthly or yearly recurring cost to remain a member. 

4. Building Your Niche Site

Now that you have figured out who you would like to address, all you need is to create your site if you do not yet have one. Luckily, Income School’s Project 24 teaches how to build profitable blogs that you can monetize through ads. Once your blog is up and running, it will be the right time to create your membership area.

To learn how to build a profitable passive income blog, we highly recommend Income School’s Project 24 (see our Course Recommendations for more info). Becoming a member will teach you how to build a profitable blog you can monetize through ads. Their course will help you choose a profitable blog, teach you how to build your audience and get traffic, and then monetize your audience with ads. Once you are ready you can setup the membership section of you site and start selling premium subscriptions to your traffic!

How Passive are Niche Membership Sites?

A niche membership site can be incredibly passive. With a forum niche site, you can literally go for years without adding any new content and the membership numbers could still keep growing organically. However, it’s important to note that some membership site models only provide regular recurring income, not specifically passive income. If you choose a topic that is not evergreen, and constantly needs to be updated, you will need to provide your members fresh new content and extra value, and that may require updating your membership content from time to time. Otherwise you will lose members.

Startup Costs

You do not need to spend a fortune to create a niche membership site. Armed with your knowledge on a particular subject, you only need to pay for a domain, hosting, WordPress and a membership plugin, and your site can be up and running. If you would like to learn how to create your site and drive traffic, check out Income School’s course (it will really save you a lot of time and money in the long run). The tools you need can cost you between $500 to $1,500 plus, depending on what you choose to use. After adding enough content to your site, you will be good to go. This will take time and effort, we will look into that later.


Making a successful niche membership site can seem a little daunting if this is new to you, but it’s not difficult. Once you have enough members and they become active participants in your community, odds are that the site will have a life of its own and your input will not always be necessary to maintain it.


It definitely takes time to build a successful niche membership site. Obviously, you need time to build your site, create content, build your membership area, and then market your site to get paying members. You also have to offer unique and high-quality content or digital products that will make people want to pay for a chance to join your site as members. That will take a while, however, if you want to cut down the time it takes and stay motivated in the process of building your site, we highly recommend Income School’s, Project 24.


This passive income method is low risk. First of all, you do not have to spend much financially, as you only need money to get your site up and running. After that, you only need to add the content that will attract members. If the idea doesn’t seem to take off, you can always find other ways to monetize the site passively even if members don’t pay a fee. There may be risks related to the niche you choose so be aware of this (ex. Medical, seasonal, not evergreen etc).


Seasons should not affect the success of your niche membership site. If the site discusses a broad subject that is of interest to your members throughout the year, then you have nothing to worry about as they will keep paying their membership fees all throughout. However, if your niche is incredibly seasonal, there may be significant dips in membership numbers at various times of the year. Be aware of this when choosing a niche.

ROI (Return on Investment)

A membership site can yield very high return on investment. As we have said, once the site has active members, it can keep growing its membership base over time even without you needing to keep updating the content. You can also monetize your site in other ways to boost your passive income, for example with ads, sponsorships, other premium content and print on demand for example.

Related Questions

How do I create passive income for my website? There are many ways to create passive income for your websites. For example, you can monetize your website with ads, premium ads, sponsored content, memberships, print on demand (merchandise), drop-shipping, eCommerce, and digital downloads (eBooks and courses).

Can you make money with niche websites? You can make money with niche websites. According to Income School, by monetizing your site with Google Ads and a YouTube channel, you can expect about 1,000$/month once your site reaches 30,000 monthly page views.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this Website and the resources available for download through this website are for educational and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, professional advice. Results mentioned are not guaranteed. Starting a business or an online business always involves risk and demands a lot of time. The success of your (internet) business depends on your hard work and skill. We do not guarantee any business or income. It is also imperative that you consult a tax and/or legal professional in your area to ensure you comply with local, or nation-wide rules and regulations that pertain to your area before you join a peer-to-peer platform or start a business with the purpose of making money. Consult our Disclaimers page for more information.

Beginners Passive Income

Passive income for beginners. Ideas, guides, motivation, inspiration and everything in between.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Beginnerspassiveincome.com is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to their sites and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. There are no extra costs to you if you sign up to any service through an affiliate link. Please refer to our Disclaimers page for more information.

Content Disclaimer

This blog does not provide legal, financial or tax advice and does not create an attorney-client or client relationship. We are not trained or certified financial advisors, and we are not your financial advisor. For legal, financial or tax advice, please contact a qualified professional in your area.We do not guarantee any business or income. Consult our Disclaimers page for more information.

Try Tidio Chatbots
5 Step Passive Income Blueprint
Our passive income blueprint provides five steps to financial freedom. From learning what passive income is, setting up your passive income goals, choosing your passive income idea, having what it takes to achieve your financial dreams, and then give back.
Outsource The Work
Plan Your Passive Income Success
passive income journal tracking

Plan your success to financial freedom over 24 months. Commit. Organize. Track. Grow. Build and execute your plan to replace your current active income with passive income.

Related Articles

Passive Income

18 Passive Income Ideas You Can Start in Canada

You can earn passive income in Canada from well-executed passive income ideas like blogging, podcasting, chatbots, eCommerce, niche sites, dropshipping, or print-on-demand for example. It is important to choose an idea you are passionate about or interested in learning because it takes skill, patience, dedication, and hard work in order to succeed.

Read More »
Passive Income

14 Passive Income Ideas You Can Start in India

Some passive income ideas you can carry out in India include eCommerce, gaming, podcasting, monetized chatbots, niche sites, dropshipping, and blogging. You can also participate in side-hustles like food delivery apps, flipping items on craigslist, flipping domains, flipping items on eBay and more. Learn more here.

Read More »
Passive Income

12 Passive Income Ideas You Can Start in The USA

Some excellent passive income ideas that can be done in the USA include blogging, podcasting, monetizing chatbots, eCommerce, monetized niche sites, dropshipping, print-on-demand, and more. You can also engage in side-hustles like food delivery apps, or peer-to-peer rentals. It all depends on what you are able to do and passionate about.

Read More »
Passive Income

10 Passive Income Ideas Without Investments

Not every passive income idea requires a large financial investment. Some passive income ideas do not require any investment and are fairly easy to start. Some can be done online such as gaming, YouTubing or starting a blog, while others may include AirBnB, renting out your things, ridesharing, or advertising with your car. Learn more here.

Read More »

6 Passive Income Streams for Chefs

There are many passive income-earning opportunities for chefs. As long as you are passionate and knowledgeable in something (in the culinary world or otherwise), you can turn it into a passive income source. Passive income sources that may be ideal for chefs include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and more. Learn more here.

Read More »
Passive Income

What Does Passive Income Mean?

Passive income is income that is earned without trading time for money on an hourly or per-project basis. Not trading time for money means income is not bound to a fixed rate or a 24h/day limit, thus lifting many limitations of active income. Passive income can, however, require a very large financial and/or time investment to set up. Learn more here.

Read More »

How To Make An eBook [Video Guide]

You can easily make an eBook for free. You only need a Google account, a computer, and a stable internet connection and eBook content. Using Google Docs, you can create and format an eBook fairly quickly and easily. Learn more here.

Read More »

Audiobook Narration For Beginners

There are many ways you can improve your narration skills. Some factors that affect narration include your posture, vocal cord exercises, intonation, your interest in the content and what you consume before narrating. With the right posture, healthy diet, and preparation, it is possible to produce high-quality audiobook content. Learn more here.

Read More »
Side Hustles

17 Online Passive Income Side Hustles

There are tons of side hustle ideas you can undertake outside of your normal schedule or day job to earn passive income. Making passive income from a side hustle is not something new. Passive income ideas such as eBooks, eCommerce, podcasts, dropshipping, and stock photography can make for excellent side hustles. Most of these ideas are easy to start even for beginners. Learn more here.

Read More »

9 Passive Income Ideas for Illustrators

As an illustrator, you can earn a passive income by sharing a passion via a passive income idea. Some ideas include print-on-demand, blogging, affiliate marketing, chatbots, podcasting or selling eBooks. Your choice depends on your interests and what you would like to share. You can combine ideas to create multiple streams of passive income. Learn more.

Read More »

8 Passive Income Ideas for Real Estate Agents

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for real estate agents. Some streams include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing, YouTubing and many more. With hard work, dedication, and skill, you can turn your passion into a passive income stream. Learn more here.

Read More »

How to Make Money Selling Chatbots

You can make an excellent income by creating and selling chatbots. One way of monetizing your blog is by selling it to a company/business or offering it to them for free, and earning a commission on sales from it. Many businesses are willing to buy chatbots to automate parts of their sales, support, and marketing processes. Learn more here.

Read More »

9 Ways to Make Money From a Chatbot​

You can make money from chatbots in a variety of ways. You can monetize your chatbot with affiliate marketing, eCommerce, advertising, lead generation, surveys, landing page, and sales funnel processes. You could also sell your chatbot to businesses to reduce customer support overhead. Learn more here!

Read More »

How to Sell eBooks on Your Own Website

It is possible for you to create and sell eBooks on your website. eCommerce tools such as Ecwid make it super easy to sell products online. For instance, if you run a niche site on educational content you can create and sell eBooks about your niche topics and earn income through your online store. Learn more here.

Read More »

6 Passive Income Streams for Lawyers

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for lawyers. So long as you are passionate or knowledgeable in something, you can turn it into a passive income source. Some easy streams you can earn passive income from include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and many more. Learn more here.

Read More »

10 Ways to Create Multiple Streams of Passive Income

Yes, you can create multiple streams of passive income by combining different passive income ideas. Online, you could combine affiliate marketing, blogging, YouTube, and Ad placement, and monetized chatbots. If you were running passive income businesses (brick and mortar) you could combine a laundromat with an ATM, self-service vending machines and more. Learn more here!

Read More »

8 Passive Income Ideas for Massage Therapists

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for massage therapists. Some streams include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, Chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and many more. If you are passionate about massage therapy, you can build a passive income stream to turn it into a passive income source. Learn more here.

Read More »