Finding a Dedicated Members Site
By Charles Hopkins
Published 05/18/2006 | Marketing
Regardless of what it is that you are promoting, you are going to want to become part of an online community. This is vital for exchanging ideas and getting some valuable information. The things you will learn from these communities, we will call them dedicated members sites, can mean the difference between success and failure in your selected niche. So the 64,000 question is simply, "How do you find a dedicated members site?"
The first thing you have to understand is that a dedicated members site is just that, a site for members only. This means that you cannot just pop on by and get access to whatever they may have there. You have to join, and sometimes, especially with the really good sites, membership is not free or cheap. Some dedicated members sites can run you hundreds of dollars a year in members fees. For example, one dedicated members site for those who are web designers looking for freelance work is about 300 per year. Considering that you could be getting contracts paying thousands of dollars, this is not really all that much. But you may not want to pay it if you are just starting out, because getting contracts may be a little difficult at the start if you do not have a body of work to show people.
So, how do you find a dedicated members site? Well, it's really not all that hard as long as it's in a niche that is reasonably popular. For example, let's say you do want to specialize in web design. What you would do is pull up your favorite search engine and in the search box simply type in "web designers members sites" and hit enter. What you will find is a list of quite a few sites. The ones appearing at the top of the search lists are your most popular sites and most likely are the ones with a fee. These are probably also the ones with the best services, which include locating contracts.
If you navigate the site itself you will pretty much find everything that you will need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether or not to join, including the members fee and benefits. If it's a really classy site like the top web masters members site, the list of benefits is going to read like a legal brief. It can be overwhelming reading most of it. So do not let yourself get caught up in the hype. Read each benefit and see if it's something that you are really going to need.
The great thing about these sites is that somebody who is looking for a web designer is going to come across these sites as well when doing their searches. Well, when they do, one of the links on these sites is going to be "Looking For A Web Designer?" When they click on this link they are going to find a list of all the available web designers registered with the site along with their ad for their services. If you are a member this in a sense is free advertising. This is one of the greatest benefits of dedicated members sites.
Dedicated members sites can sometimes mean the difference between getting off to a fast start with your business and struggling for months. Just make sure that you have researched the benefits and costs of each site before making your final decision.