How to drip feed content on a membership website with SureMembers

Content dripping on a membership or course website is a great way to disperse content while preventing your audience from binging on it.

As a blogger, you may want to restrict your blog content to a particular access group (free or paid). Or, you may wish to make content accessible at a specific date and time.

If you’re a course creator, you may not want to release all course content in one go. Rather, you might want to make it available on a specific date and time to give students a chance to learn and digest before moving on.

But how can you do that?

SureMembers has an easy-to-use drip content feature that can help.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through setting up drip content on your membership website using SureMembers.

If you’re figuring out your content dripping strategy and want to know more, let us explain before we show you how to implement it on your website.

What is drip feeding content strategy?

Drip feeding content is a strategy marketers often use to create and release content steadily over time.

You see it on TV all the time. Where Netflix might release a whole season of content at once, a TV channel may show one episode per week.

Netflix is known for binge watching, which is fine, but means content doesn’t usually get the attention it deserves.

Releasing episodes once a week keeps the audience waiting and enables more debate and more anticipation between shows.

This can be used in marketing to help control the narrative of your content and maximize its impact while building anticipation for the next release.

It’s a win-win both for you and your audience!

Approaches to drip-feeding content

Drip feeding is used across marketing, on websites, social media, in emails and everywhere else.

There are two main approaches to drip feeding content:

  • Sequential: A progress-based chronological approach that involves dispersing content in an orderly fashion available all at a time. For example, weekly blog posts or regular daily or weekly tutorials.
  • Intermittent: It’s a time-based approach that involves releasing content one by one generally on specific date and time by maintaining a specific sequence. For example, revealing blog posts or course lessons on your website on a set schedule.

We’re going to talk about only the intermittent approach in this tutorial as it’s the most common form of drip feeding

Benefits of drip feeding for membership or subscription sites

Drip feeding content has become an effective strategy for membership websites to help justify the fee and keep members subscribing over the longer term.

So why should you consider using the drip feeding method?

  • Retain attention: When you hook your audience with a drip feeding strategy, they’ll feel more excited and be more willing to wait.
  • Ensure proper absorption of content: If people binge-read or watch all content in one go, they may not come back for more or properly absorb the content.
  • Optimize course workload: By making your content available on a schedule, you’ll have ample time to create future content and engage with students in real time.
  • Reduce student workload: Releasing all course content at once may put an overwhelming amount of stress on students. To reduce workload, you can drip feed instead.

As you can see, drip feeding can benefit both you and your audience in a variety of ways.

How to drip feed content on a membership website

We’ve tried to keep the steps simple so we don’t overwhelm you all at once. You can explore each part further when you’re ready.

We won’t assume you already have a website up and running so will include every step.

If you already have a website, skip to step 3 – Installing and activating SureMembers.

Here we have shown the exact steps of how to drip-feed content on a membership website using SureMembers. Let’s start.

Step 1: Setting up a domain, hosting and WordPress

First of all, you need to buy a domain. It’s the unique address visitors will type into a browser to land on your website. For example, www.xyz.com is a domain.

You can buy a domain from websites like Namecheap.

Once you have bought a domain name, it’s time to get a reliable hosting provider. You need a hosting provider to store your website so it’s accessible to the public.

We recommend you go for a reliable hosting provider like SiteGround or Cloudways. They both come with great customer service and uptime.

Once you’ve got your hosting provider, it’s time to install WordPress. Usually, your host will do it for you but if you want to do it yourself, this guide shows you how.

Step 2: Installing and activating a theme

WordPress comes with some default themes, but for a professional look and feel you should install a better-looking theme.

We recommend Astra. It’s lightning fast, SEO friendly and highly customizable with any page builder.

To install the theme Astra, head to your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes.

Appearance > Themes

Now, select the Add New button.

Click on Add New option

Search using the keyword Astra.

Search with the keyword “Astra”.

Hit the Install button.

Click on the Install button

Now click the Activate button.

Select the Activate button.

That’s how easy it is to activate a theme in WordPress!

To customize the theme, you need to install a page builder such as Elementor or use the default WordPress block editor.

We can understand how painful and time consuming it is to customize manually. But there’s a better way to do it.

By installing Starter Templates!

Starter Templates includes a variety of templates you can install and activate to shape your website the way you want.

We recommend you install a membership template like this one but any template will work.

Step 3: Installing and activating SureMembers

Now your website is built, you need to install SureMembers.

SureMembers is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to create a membership website and drip feed content.

Download and install SureMembers

SureMembers can help you:

  • Drip feed content by creating unlimited access groups.
  • Integrate with SureCart to create products
  • Receive payments from popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Razorpay, and Paystack.
  • Protect your content by locking pages, posts, or the entire website.
  • Integrate with popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) like LearnDash or TutorLMS.

To download the tool, navigate to SureMembers.com and purchase it.

SureMembers checkout

You’ll get the plugin and license key in your email inbox when you complete the purchase.

SureMembers license and File

Once you get the .zip file downloaded on your device, it’s time to upload it to your site.

To do so, navigate to the WordPress admin dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.

Plugins > Add new

Select the Upload Plugin button.

select the Upload Plugin button

Hit the Choose File button.

Select the Choose File button

Select the SureMembers .zip file and hit Install Now.

hit the Install Now button

Select the Activate Plugin button.

Activate the plugin

To activate the license key, click SureMembers from the left menu.

select SureMembers

Next, select the Unlicensed option from the top right corner.

click on the Unlicensed option

Then, copy the license key from your email, paste it into the box and hit the Activate License button.

hit the Activate License button

Now, you’ll see the success message “This site was successfully activated”.

activation successful

Finally, exit the popup.

exit the popup using the cross sign

Step 4: Create an access group

To be able to drip feed content, we first need to set up an access group, set the content to be controlled and then schedule the drip feed.

It may sound complicated but it’s actually very straightforward!

An access group is the membership role for which you will set the access rules.

For example, say you create a VIP Club and you want to determine whether you want to make certain content accessible to them.

Let’s create two access groups. One of the groups will be a Free Membership and the other group will be the VIP Club.

The process of creating each access group is the same. So, we’ll only be showing you creating the VIP Club group.

To create an access group, click on the Add New button.

click on add new button to create an access group

Name your club.

Give a name to the access group

NOTE:

You can follow the same process to create the other group (Free Membership).

Choosing content to restrict to a group

Now, it’s time to restrict some content for the VIP Club access group.

SureMembers allows you to restrict:

  • The entire website
  • Parts of your website (like a page or post)
  • Specific parts of a page or post.

Now, let’s protect something on your website by selecting the Protected Content dropdown.

click on the drop down menu

Now, select the content type you want to restrict. We’re selecting the All Posts type for this tutorial.

Now, you’ll get a few options to protect your content. Let’s choose Specific Pages / Posts / Taxonomies etc.

select the content type you want to restrict

Choose the posts, pages, tags or categories you want to protect by typing their name.

Just enter the title of the posts, pages, tags or categories you want to protect and hit Enter to add it to the protection list.

selecting that certain post using the dropdown

You can also exclude them by selecting that certain post using the dropdown below.

Just enter the title of the post you want to exclude and hit Enter to add it to the exclusion list.

Exclude posts, pages and taxonomies

Now, it’s time to set the rules for drip feeding content

To set the drip feeding content rules, select the Add Drip Content button.

select the “Add Drip Content” button

Now, search for the content VIP Club members can access.

Just type in the first few characters and once you find the desired content hit Enter.

setting up drip fed content

Next, assign the days, hours, minutes and time format (AM/PM) when your content will be visible.

You can add and schedule multiple content dripping options as you see fit.

select time for drip feeding

Set the unauthorized access rules

If someone who does not belong to the VIP Club tries to access your content, they should be able to see something like “Protected Content!”

Or, you can also redirect them to your membership pricing plan page.

Whether you select the redirection or message option, you need to select them from the dropdown menu from the Choose action for unauthorized access section.

We’re selecting the Message option for this tutorial.

Protected content

Put your message something like “Protected Content!”

Protect content message

Insert the button text. You can write text like “Buy Premium Membership”.

Protecting your content with SureMembers

Now, insert the VIP Club membership plan checkout URL. You’ll find the URL once you create a product in SureCart.

(Don’t worry! We’ll show you how to create a product in SureCart and find the URL later on this tutorial.)

Adding button URL of protected content

Finally, enable the login toggle button so that your members can log in to your access group.

Finalising drip content settings

Finally, hit the Save Access Group button to create and finalize.

Save Access Group button

Congratulations, you have successfully created an access group and configured the drip feeding rules!

Feel free to create as many access groups and drip content rules as you want to make your membership website work how you want it.

Steps for monetizing drip content with SureCart

Since you have set up drip feeding content for your members, let’s monetize it with SureCart.

SureCart landing page

This way, you can allow members to buy and access the VIP Club and see the drip content when it becomes available.

To monetize your membership website, you need to create a product by installing SureCart.

SureCart is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create and sell digital products like subscriptions and downloadable items.

It’s an alternative to WooCommerce and overcomes many of its downsides.

SureCart has its own SaaS platform that does all the heavy lifting so your web host doesn’t have to.

See the tutorial for full instructions to set up SureCart.

After you install and activate SureCart, it’s time to create products for the access groups.

To create a product with SureCart, navigate to the WordPress admin dashboard, then select SureCart > Products.

navigate to the SureCart > Products

Let’s create a new product with a new name. For example: Drip Feeding Blog Posts .

create a new product

Let’s set a subscription price by clicking the Add A Price button.

Add A Price button

Select Subscription from the dropdown.

Select Subscription from the dropdown

Now, you need to insert the price.

Price refers to the current price and the Compare at price refers to the previous price. Compare at price must be higher than Price.

need to insert the price

Next, set the subscription cycle from the Repeat Payment Every section.

set the subscription cycle

Hit the Create Price button to finalize.

Hit the Create Price button

Now, we need to find the buy link. Select the Copy Links button.

select the Copy Links button

You’ll be able to see all the necessary links for the product.

For now, copy and paste the buy link anywhere on your website to sell your product.

copy and paste the Buy Link

Click Done.

Click Done

Now, you need to integrate SureCart with SureMembers. To do so, select the Add New Integration button.

select the Add New Integration button

Click the dropdown menu.

Click on the dropdown menu

Select SureMembers.

Select SureMembers

Connect the access group from SureMembers to the product inSureCart.

To do so, select the dropdown from the Select an Access Group section.

select the dropdown

Select VIP Club (or any access group you created in SureMembers).

Select VIP Club

Hit Add Integration button to finalize the process.

Hit Add Integration button

Finally, hit the Save Product button to save all the changes.

hit the Save Product button

Configuring the checkout page

Now, you need to configure the checkout page so that you can enable your customers to pay directly from their Stripe, PayPal, Razorpay, Mollie and Paystack accounts.

To allow a user to buy the membership, you need to configure the checkout page from SureCart.

To do this, go to the WordPress admin dashboard and then navigate to Pages > All Pages.

Pages > All Pages.

Now, click on the Edit option for the Checkout page.

click on the Edit option

SureCart is in Live mode by default.

You may want to test the payment system before going live. Switch it to Test mode to do that.

Once you are done with testing, revert back to Live mode.

To set the Test mode, select the dropdown option.

select the dropdown option

Select Test mode.

Select Test mode from the dropdown

Update changes.

Update settings

Now, if anyone purchases your course and membership plans they will be added to the VIP Club access group.

As a result, they will be able to access your website’s exclusive content whenever they like!

Please note that if you’re selling digital products in the European market, you’ll need to set up and collect EU VAT with SureCart during checkout.

Here is a sample front-end view of drip-feeding a blog post

Bonus tips for drip feeding content on your website

Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of drip feeding content:

  • You can use other LMS system integrations like LearnDash or TutorLMS with SureMembers to drip feed individual course lessons.
  • You can also use WooCommerce as an alternative to SureCart to drip feed content.
  • You can also use SureTriggers, which allows the automatic addition of users to an access group from SureMembers.

SureTriggers is an automation tool that lets you integrate WordPress plugins and SaaS services so they can work together.

For example, when someone submits a form with Fluent Forms or another app, SureTriggers lets you use it to add that user to an access group created with SureMembers.

Drip feeding and you

Drip feeding content is tried and tested and works incredibly well in the right situation.

If you’re running a membership website, online learning website or other exclusive community, it’s a powerful way to keep interest and encourage continued membership.

It’s also a way to pace content consumption. Ideal if you want students to absorb lessons or want to build anticipation ahead of a release.

Now you have seen how easy it is to set up, what kind of membership website will you build?

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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