Before showing you the list, I want to make a very important point.
There are dozens of successful membership sites in the niches below, which clearly suggest that there is money to be made from these subjects. However, it also means that these membership subjects are very competitive.
My advice is don’t choose a subject or niche just because you think it will make money. Choose a subject because you are passionate about it and you WILL find a way to make money from it.
It doesn’t need to be in one of the areas listed below.
On the web, with its global reach, any subject can become a profitable business.
Here is my list of the top 10 most popular subject areas for subscription or membership websites, which I have illustrated with a few example sites. If you want some SubHub examples, check out our Case Studies.
I call the following topics the healthy, wealthy and wise subjects.
Diets and fitness are evergreen subjects. They will always find a willing audience happy to pay for advice.
Example membership site in this niche – eDiets.com
Closely aligned to #1, health is becoming an important subject for information and membership sites. They cover topics such as dealing with children with illness, coping with your own illness, vitamins, mental health, etc.
Starting a business has always been popular in the magazine and print newsletter world. This popularity has now transferred to the online world. Some membership sites deal with part-time businesses working from home, such as making money on eBay. Others are more professional, helping entrepreneurs put together business plans and raising funding.
Making existing businesses more successful is a rapidly growing area of online publishing. These sites enable business people in the same industry to share tips, tricks and opportunities to build their business. These websites are often far more practical and down to earth than industry associations.
Internet marketing has become a sector in its own right, with dozens of membership websites emerging over the last five years. They look at every niche marketing subject including SEO, SEM, social media marketing, pay per click, etc.
Newsletters with share and investment tips have been around for a long time. Now many of them are moving online. There are a few very important advantages from being on the internet. These include the ability to provide real-time updates, interactive charts, discussion forums where members can discuss tips and archives of trading information so members can look back at previous recommendations.
Example membership site in this niche – Fool.com
The subject of dating and relationships continues to grow as an important market sector, with many huge sites turning over millions of pounds. uDate.com has 6,000 new members join every day. Friend Finder has over 6 million registered users. Introductions are a sector dominated by the big players, but there are still a lot of opportunities for subscription websites in related subject areas.
These are sites that educate and train amateurs and enthusiasts alike to pursue a hobby or improve their skills. It could be needlework, fly-fishing or digital photography.
Example membership site in this niche – WritingForMoney.com
These are sites about moving to a new place or country, usually a sunny climate. Over the last few years, this has become a very popular subject.
Websites that are communities, centred around a kind of lifestyle or religious belief attract strong and loyal followings.
As I said, you do NOT need to write about one of the subjects above to create a successful subscription or membership website. With global reach and a deep knowledge of where your customers can be found, even the most specialist subject can become a successful membership site.
Paid-for content revenues are growing across the world.
There has never been a better time to start a subscription or membership website.