One of the latest fads in internet marketing circles is developing your own membership website. Internet marketers have come to realize that it makes better business to make a membership site to sell their information, with an ongoing monthly fee, rather than selling a single product for a high price. I think that most people would find it easier to pay $50 a month for something, rather than up an upfront fee of $500.

Of course you need to create compelling enough content on your membership site so people don't stop their membership. Creating community features such as a forum for members, can also keep people interested in your membership website. Your site needs to be easy to join, and have a number of different payment options. The more options you make available, the more potential members you will have.

Another important feature you need to look for in membership software is how it handles monthly billing of your members. You need to make it seamless for your customers and automated as much as possible for yourself, to reduce administration time and the cost of running your site.

The membership site software also needs to be secure enough so anyone who is not a member, cannot access your material, both the casual visitor and computer hackers.

aMember is one of the more popular membership scripts on the market. It is not too difficult to set up and priced reasonably. It can integrate easily with a number of payment processors and various community platforms, such as Phpbb, Vbulletin, Wordpress and Joomla. Your affiliates will love your site because Amember supports a 2-tier affiliate program.

For WordPress blogger fans, Wish List Member could be a good choice for your membership website. Wish List Member integrates easily with an existing or new WordPress installation. Using the "more" tag in Wordpress, you can give non-members, short "teasers" to your articles, where they can then join the website to read the whole post. Wish List Member integrates with a number of popular payment processors. One of the biggest downsides to WishList Member is that you can't run your own affiliate program with the software.

SimpleMembershipPro is an affordable option for your membership website. SimpleMemberShipPro has a number of sales options, such as single or quantity limited sales. It is also easy to set up different parts of your website with different payment options, including "free" areas.

SimpleMemberShipPro makes it easy to set up your own JV (joint venture) and affiliate programs. Affiliates will love the "clean links" that the software makes for its affiliates.

Membership websites can be a profitable way to run your online business, as you can make money from recurring memberships, rather from just a single sale. Choosing the right software for your membership site can be an important factor in the success of your business. You need to look for software that is easy to navigate for your members, ease of billing and a high level of security to protect your valuable content.