What about the content treadmill?

This post originally appeared on the MemberScore blog.

I received a great question in response to this recent email to our list:

“On membership sites versus courses, I’d love to hear how membership sites run long term. Creating content infinitely seems like too big an ask, and you could end up with way too much content in your library. Perhaps I’m not thinking big enough :)”

Taking my own advice, I’m going to share my response here:

That’s a great question, and definitely something that comes up often. There are a few ways to think about this:

  1. If there is a limited amount of content you can feasibly produce, then it’s possible that some people will naturally “graduate” and not get value from your site anymore. If your business is sustainable with this natural attrition, that can be perfectly fine! But, don’t settle for that too easily 😉
  2. There’s probably a lot more to be said about a topic than you might think at first. As more people join your site, you’ll have more opportunities to talk to people, learn what they want or need, and get new ideas for content you can produce and publish.
  3. It can feel overwhelming to think you’ll have to produce content indefinitely. Make sure you set a reasonable pace – for instance, a new video, podcast, and blog post every other day is probably way too much! But one of those a week might be fine for many people. Also, make sure you repurpose content – if you record a video, also use the audio as a podcast episode, and transcribe it into a blog post as well. If you appear as a guest on another podcast, get permission to use the transcription as an interview-style blog post on your site, etc. Any one-on-one interactions you have can often also be repurposed. For instance, I’m going to send a version of this Q&A to my email list (keeping you anonymous, of course) and probably put it on our blog as well, because I think it’s a great question and many others could benefit from the answer 🙂
  4. The phrase “come for the content; stay for the community” is so, so true. If you are able to grow a thriving community as part of your membership, then there’s far less pressure to constantly produce new content. Members can develop valuable, meaningful relationships with each other and with you, and get massive value from that alone once they’ve been around a while.