Video Monetization

How to Create a Subscription Website in 7 Easy Steps

By Irene Chan
10 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

Woman showing how to build a video subscription site

You love what you do. But, do you love what it pays?

Most full-time creators are looking for a way to get off of the revenue roller coaster – aka, unpredictable AdSense and brand deal dry spells.

The easiest way to leave that roller coaster behind is to ditch the reliance on algorithms and create a source of recurring revenue. That’s why more and more creators are taking a page out of Netflix’s book, and building something of their own:

Subscription websites.

Subscription and membership sites allow you to build a consistent monthly income from recurring payments, and create a stronger relationship with your audience.

And when you build an income from your exclusive content (rather than monetizing your content through ads), you’ll have the freedom to monetize content you actually want to create—rather than constantly trying to keep an algorithm happy. 

But, will your audience pay for a subscription to your content? It turns out that they probably are, since up to 65% of people in markets around the world are willing to pay for content they would otherwise get for free.

If you’ve been thinking about how to create your own subscription or membership site to monetize your content, we’ve created the best and fastest path to get your site up and running in just a few steps.

Let’s jump right in.

Why You Should Launch a Video Subscription Website

Subscription sites are one of the best options for building a stable and consistent income. 

Why? Because they offer the following benefits: 

  • Complete creative control over the content you monetize when you’re not at the mercy of an algorithm. 
  • Build a unique brand and a loyal following that wants to support you in exchange for content and community. 
  • Generate a stable income that supports you financially—so you can expand your product offering and test new ideas without sacrificing revenue in the short term. 
  • Have more flexibility in your work and personal life because your time spent working isn’t directly tied to income. 

“I created a membership/subscription site as a way to get paid to write,” says Michelle Pippin, creator of Women Who WOW. “I knew that selling courses and info products would make more money faster than writing books, so my membership site was born: as a way to help more women entrepreneurs and allow me to get paid to write.”

How to create a subscription website

Building your own subscription or membership website can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

The good news is that there are thousands of creators who have blazed the trail for you. All you need is a solid step-by-step guide and a platform that does all of the heavy lifting for you.

This brings us to the first step in this guide, finding the best subscription or membership platform for your content.

1. Pick the right platform

A membership platform like Uscreen is an all-in-one solution that you can use to build full-on membership websites and host your video content without writing a single word of code.

Unlike building a custom app or WordPress site, choosing a prebuilt membership platform is the more cost-effective, time-friendly option. You’ll get your membership site up and running seamlessly—no preexisting tech knowledge required. 

It’s no wonder that the average Uscreen creator makes over $12,000 per month.

The bad news is: not all membership platforms were created equal. A good membership platform will let you: 

  • Host your videos on a custom domain.
  • Customize your website with a website builder (like our drag-and-drop page builder).
  • Accept credit cards for one-off and recurring online payments with a built-in online payment gateway (like Stripe and/or PayPal). 
  • Offer different membership levels with multiple subscription plans. 
  • Build an engaged online community.

Uscreen is a platform made with creators in mind. Our philosophy is simple: your success is our success. We’ve helped over 25,000 creators who’ve generated a total of more than $100 million in revenue in a bunch of niches—from skiing to sewing, like Crochet with Tiffany.

A mockup of a laptop and phone showing Crochet with Tiffany website

2. Create members-only content

Once you’ve built your site, you can upload your content. 

This is the juicy stuff that people pay a monthly subscription for. Whatever you’re offering needs to be engaging enough to convince people to subscribe. 

Educational resources that people are known to pay for include:

  • OTT videos, such as fitness videos 
  • Workbooks and PDFs
  • Online courses
  • Podcasts 
  • Webinars 
  • Live streams (Uscreen customers who host regular live streaming events generate 2.5 times more monthly revenue than those who don’t)

The process of uploading videos will depend on the method you choose.

When using Uscreen, all you have to do is drag and drop the videos into the ‘Content’ area of your Uscreen dashboard. Or you can sync with your Dropbox account to upload directly from there. 

(The process for working with a developer or building your own site is a lot more complicated. You’ll need to find a third-party hosting platform, sync it with your website, and organize it manually.) 

screenshot of video content scheduling

You’ll also have to think about your process on how to add new videos regularly and how your users will navigate all of the videos in the library. 

Content is only as good as the customer’s ability to find it, and if you make that browsing experience easy and enjoyable for them, you’ll increase customer retention—hence why your content catalog needs to look appealing, optimized, and easy to use. 

With Uscreen, you get really granular ways to organize and present your content. 

Aside from having individual videos that make up your whole video library, you can also create: 

  • Categories: the first level of organization, your categories are the umbrella genres that all your videos fit into. 
  • Custom filters: the second level of organization that’ll help your viewers find the content they want easier. For example, if you’re creating a fitness video subscription website, your filters can be based on the length of the workout, the difficulty, or even the trainer leading the class. 
  • Video playlists and collections: a group or series of videos to be watched consecutively. For example, if you’re a fitness trainer within a specific category, you can have a 7-day workout routine with a playlist of 7 videos.
  • Calendar: a way to view previous and upcoming events in your subscription website. Sometimes members are more likely to stick around (and keep paying their monthly fee) if they get excited about what’s coming up. 

These functionalities give you a lot of options to create a structure with your videos regardless of what niche you operate in. 

In fact, we’ve seen many creators move from different platforms like Kajabi over to Uscreen because they want a better browsing experience for their viewers. Take Big Picture Skiing, for example, a skiing subscription website that makes over $30K in monthly recurring revenue. Founder Tom Gellie is just one of the creators who love the Netflix-style design Uscreen has to offer.

A screenshot of a video subscription website content library

3. Build your community foundations

The membership model combines exclusive content with peer-to-peer discussion. 

You can have a membership website that uses subscriptions, but the biggest difference between either business model is the community aspect.

Shared connections, goals, and values are what convince people to stick around and keep their subscription active—so much so, our data shows that active community engagement results in 2 times less churn compared to non-engaged members.

And because you’re packing more value into a membership than a bog-standard subscription, you’ll also be able to:

  • Get more buy-in from customers because 
  • Charge higher prices 
  • Become an everyday resource for your members

An image showing difference between memberships and subscriptions

Take Your Saltwater Guide—a membership site that brings people together who are interested in deep sea fishing. 

Instead of bombarding members with an avalanche of fishing content, founders Dave and Elliot engage with people through direct response comments, giveaways, and live streams. That way members get to know the creators behind the community. 

  • “I emphasize so much that the community is a great way for people to actually continue their success.” —Dave and Elliot, founders of Your Saltwater Guide

So, how do you build an online community to sit alongside members-only content and subscriptions? Simple techniques include:

  • Creating community guidelines to keep the space safe and welcoming 
  • Hosting a livestream to connect with members in real-time
  • Inviting members to chat with Q&A sessions
  • Asking people to share their wins and challenges
  • Rewarding members who are most active—like giving the month’s top commenter a free consulting session with you

4. Configure your subscription plans

Your membership content is the foundation of your business, which is why you need to make sure you can package and sell your content in ways that match the subscription business model

Think about member-only types of content and other add-ons for the different membership options. 

With Uscreen, there are 5 ways you can price content on your subscription website: 

  1. Paid memberships: where you offer a flat rate to be paid over a certain time period (i.e. every month, year, quarter, etc) that includes access to all your premium content. This can be a high-ticket product: the average price of an online membership is $60 per month
  2. Tiered membership: where you create multiple membership levels at different pricing plans, with subscribers getting more access the higher the price. (i.e. Basic plan with access to certain content and a more expensive Premium plan with access to what Basic has and more). Studio Bloom, for example, has a premium membership tier that incentivizes people to pay more. 
  3. Pay-per-view access: where your viewers can buy or rent specific content on a one-off basis. This works for both single videos or a collection of videos. 
  4. Hybrid: where you offer both types of member-only content (i.e. tiered or all-access) and the ability to buy or rent courses on a one-off basis. 
  5. “Freemium” plan: this means offering a free membership option, with the choice to upgrade to a paid plan that includes access to premium content, so you can easily attract new members.

Whichever pricing method you use, we recommend offering a free trial to your paid membership. Research shows you can convert up to 52% more customers by offering a short free trial to use your site. This empowers your non-members to overcome their own sales objections. They can get a hands-on look at your membership site, experience all the perks, and decide if it’s right for them.

An image showing difference between membership pricing and subscription pricing

5. Build your subscription website

A website is the place for people to find out about your subscription offering. You’ll divert Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and Facebook fans to this website, which will answer their questions and convince them to start a subscription. 

Many creators fall into the trap of creating a 20+ page website complete with a blog and different landing pages. 

The reality is: your subscription website can be as simple as one landing page that tells people all about your membership, then a user login form or sign-up form. 

Uscreen can make both of these pages for you—and there’s a bunch of customization options to choose from that’ll make your brand shine.

Our most popular tool is our plug-and-play page builder, which lets you build a stunning website that convinces people to subscribe. That includes: 

  • Your USP. What does your subscription website offer that others don’t? From qualifications to your unique skill set, steer people away from researching your competitors by positioning your subscription offer as a no-brainer.
  • Who your subscription website is for. Define your target audience—including their age, gender, location, interests, and pain points—and call out these people on your landing page. 
  • What they get access to. Tell people exactly what they’ll get access to when they join your membership. Remember: the 2 main pillars are premium content and community. 
  • Social proof. This is evidence that other people love your subscription website. This can include testimonials from other members, influencer endorsements, the number of people in your community, etc. 
  • FAQs. What questions do people typically ask before joining your membership site? Cover these in an FAQ section to help people self-serve. It’ll reduce pressure on you to answer hundreds of questions from potential customers individually. 
  • Tiers and pricing options. Your pricing page is the ideal place to mention any special offers such as coupons, free trials, or membership tiers. 
  • Calls to action. A CTA tells people exactly what to do next. Stick to one CTA per page—usually to join your membership—and sprinkle a handful throughout your landing page to make them easy to click. 

An example of CTA

6. Set up marketing tools and integrations

Once your site is ready to go live, it’s time to set up automated marketing tools that’ll help you reach more people and earn more money. 

We recommend you set up these 3 marketing tools before you launch: 

  1. Email list: a tool that allows you to collect email addresses of potential customers (i.e. MailChimp).
  2. Subscription upsells: a built-in Uscreen feature that allows you to offer point-of-purchase upsells of your membership subscriptions to customers. 
  3. Abandoned cart: a built-in Uscreen feature that automatically contacts people who leave the sales process before completing their purchase. 

That way, you can build a solid foundation for the long-term marketing of your business, grow your sales, and recoup any potential ‘lost’ income from on-the-fence customers.

Screenshot of Uscreen Marketing in-app product

You can access a full suite of marketing tools to help you launch, grow, and retain customers of your subscription website. These tools also help you:

And, if you have your own preferred tools (like email marketing software), you can use our API and integrations to create an even more personalized experience. Talk about making the whole process easy. 

7. Promote your new subscription website

Now you’ve got your subscription website up and running, it’s time to spread the word. 

The easiest way to get your first paying members is by using your existing audience. If you already have YouTube subscribers or Instagram/TikTok followers, tell them about your shiny new membership—and most importantly, why they should join. 

“The hardest part about building a subscription site is the same as any business… getting the word out,” says Julie Austin, creator of Speaker Sponsor.

“The best advice I’d give is to start partnering with others who have similar sites with the audience you’re trying to reach. I do podcast interviews where I give out great info along with a link to my own site.”

Take Your Book Of Memories (YBM), a video membership site that offers DIY photo album-making tutorials.

Its founder, Frances Long, originally started on YouTube in 2017 and quickly experienced the limited potential of YouTube monetization. The business generated a meager $480 monthly in YouTube ad revenue when Frances had 15,000 subscribers and 600,000 total views.

Frances realized that if she wanted to get paid what she’s worth and keep doing what she loved, she had to take control of her income and monetize her videos away from YouTube

So Frances launched her own subscription website with Uscreen.

And the results were great: 3.7% of YBM’s YouTube subscribers converted to their subscription site. Just from that, YBM saw an 855% increase in monthly revenue in 4 months, all from her existing content.

A screenshot of a video subscription website library
It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

Most importantly, don’t spend too much time worrying about long-term strategies like SEO or affiliates—these can come later. Doing too much too soon can make you feel overwhelmed. 

Build a marketing funnel for one channel at a time, master it, and then move on to the next. 

How The Bloom Method runs a successful subscription site 

The Bloom Method is a fitness membership site specifically designed for moms. 

Founder Brooke Cates uploads pre- and post-natal workouts to the subscription site, which was originally hosted on Intelivideo and Vimeo. But Brooke moved to Uscreen in a bid to improve the member experience.

“Vimeo and Intelivideo may have had a desire to support us as clients, but they weren’t scaling and growing and truly listening to us the way that Uscreen does. Neither one of them anticipated our needs and developed all of these new things as fast as Uscreen, and that has been mindblowing to us. It feels so supportive.“ – Brooke Cates, Founder of The Bloom Method

When moving to Uscreen, Brooke’s biggest priority was turning the subscription site into a membership app. 

She wanted Studio Bloom to compete with huge subscription companies like Peleton, so she worked with Uscreen to develop 6 different mobile and TV apps—including an Apple Watch tracker.

A screenshot of a website

With the membership app, Studio Bloom subscribers can easily slot their workouts into their daily schedule. They’ve got meditations, challenges, and customized programs preloaded onto an app on their phone.

And the best part? Because Brooke chose Uscreen to host Studio Bloom, all members can chat with each other—including guest speakers and coaches that Brooke invites into the community. 

The results were impressive, to say the least.

Studio Bloom moved completely online just 10 months after launching. 

The subscription site turned membership app hit $87K a month and is still continuing to grow 2.5 years after joining Uscreen. 

“The success of the apps showed me I could have more freedom for myself and my family, and a greater reach for my business,” Brooke says. “They did laps around what we could do financially with in-person studios and allowed us to reach a global space.”

Screenshot of a website

Studio Bloom is just one of thousands of creators who’ve turned their subscription site into a membership app. 

Membership apps have a more compelling user experience. Instead of relying on people to come back to your subscription site, an app becomes part of their daily routine. (And if they do forget, you can send push notifications to bring them back.)

They’re also a great differentiator between your subscription site and other creators. Remember: content and community are both important—as is the way you deliver them. 

Apps are simple and engaging; there are no interruptions, unlike a web browser. It’s just you, your content, and your community. 

If you’re thinking about turning your subscription site into a membership app like Studio Bloom, our data shows it’s a smart move. Uscreen customers with apps have:

  • Generated 10x more subscription MRR
  • More paying members
  • 2x more watch time on apps v.s. on the web

Create your subscription website with Uscreen

You have many options when building a subscription website. It all depends on your goal, resources, and know-how. The easiest and best path is using a solution like Uscreen. 

With Uscreen, you have everything you need—from building a custom website to managing all of your videos in one place. 

You’re not at the mercy of a pre-built platform like Facebook removing your page overnight, nor advertising algorithms that sometimes reward clickbaity content over videos your audience would genuinely find useful. 

We’ve seen many creators and entrepreneurs launch with Uscreen or convert to Uscreen from other video platforms like Vimeo.

Why? Because at Uscreen you get more than just a video monetization platform.

You get an all-in-one membership management platform with native video hosting and built-in marketing and customer relationship management tools. And there’s even the option to upgrade to a custom app for even more control over the member experience further down the line.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

Subscription website FAQs

What’s the difference between subscription and membership?

A subscription is the transaction someone makes when they agree to be billed on a schedule (such as every month or year). A membership, on the other hand, is a business model that specifically uses subscriptions to sell premium content.

Can I make a subscription website on GoDaddy?

It is possible to make a subscription website on GoDaddy, but you might need some extra plugins to custom-build a platform that has the features required to run a successful membership business. 

Can I make a subscription website on Wix?

Wix allows you to make a subscription site using the website builder, but you’ll need to be on a paid plan to get access to these features. 

What is a subscription website?

A subscription website is a type of website that has restricted access. People must pay a recurring fee—be that a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription—to access the premium content hosted on a subscription site.

What is the best website builder for subscription services?

Uscreen is a dedicated membership website builder for creators who want to process subscriptions. You can combine content and community under one roof—and join the average creator who makes $12K recurring revenue on Uscreen. 

  1. Pick a site-building method (leasing from a provider, like Uscreen, is the recommended option).

  2. Upload your existing video content.

  3. Organize your content for the best user experience. 

  4. Choose what type of subscription plan you want to offer. 

  5. Customize your subscription website. 

  6. Set up marketing tools and integrations.