Should You Set Up Your Own WordPress Training Membership Site?
This article looks at the pros and cons of setting up your own WordPress training membership site.
Do you provide WordPress services and want to set up a private training site for your clients, or are you thinking of starting a WordPress training membership site to provide tutorials for new WordPress users and beginners?
In this article, we’ll share with you some of our experience setting up and running WordPress training membership sites and discuss the pros and cons of doing this.
Hopefully, this will help you with your decision to build a WordPress training site or a membership site for WordPress users before investing your time, money, and effort into it.
But first, let me give you a background of my own experiences and struggles setting up various WordPress training sites over the years.
WordPress Training Sites – A Labor of Love
As described in the About Us page, I have been using WordPress almost since the beginning of WordPress itself. As a non-technical person without any coding skills, I loved the fact that WordPress allowed me to build sites and blogs for my own business ideas without having to learn how to program code or become a web developer.
After learning how to build WordPress sites for my own use, I joined a business networking group and began landing some freelance work building WordPress sites for local businesses in my area.
As I built WordPress sites for clients and then tried to show them how to use their sites, the challenges of training WordPress users became quickly apparent to me.
Scheduling an hour or two of one-on-one client training wasn’t enough…I also had to leave them some documentation they could refer to on their own (so they wouldn’t be calling me all day long asking me to explain how to do this or that for them).
This presented a number of problems. To begin with, most of the businesses I spoke to about getting a website built had no idea about WordPress and how it could benefit their business. Also, all of them were non-techies just like myself, so everything had to be explained using non-technical terms and concepts that they could understand.
Then, after building and delivering their websites, I found that leaving them a “quick-start” PDF was useless…clients needed more detailed documentation with screenshots and step-by-step instructions to be able to follow and do things on their own. Also, compiling a list of existing WordPress tutorials from the web was not a viable option, as most online WordPress tutorials are written by techies for other techies, making it hard for non-techies to follow.
I didn’t want to become trapped in my little website building business answering phone calls and emails around the clock and running around 24/7 for a handful of “small-to-no budget” clients every time they had a question, problem, or wanted something explained or done on their website.
So, I started running workshops and seminars to educate businesses about WordPress and writing detailed “how-to” WordPress guides.
This also became challenging, as it was very difficult to keep up with changes to WordPress in the PDF guides and maintain the documentation up to date.
So, I set up my first WordPress training site and began to convert all of the hundreds of tutorials I had written into online WordPress tutorials. As the written tutorials took up all of my time, I began to buy WordPress video tutorials from Private Label Rights (PLR) companies.
This raised other challenges.
For example, keeping the information updated in the online tutorials AND the PDF guides/eBooks not only meant doing double the content writing work but also developing processes to ensure that the information always remained the same everywhere. If you update a tutorial online but don’t make the same changes to the written PDF guide, then you have lost control of the updating process. The problem is that I had guides published in various different places and distributed to various different people, so this also meant building systems to track who’s got which version of what and where…it can quickly become a nightmare!
The other challenge was that, as I was buying WordPress video tutorials from 3rd-party suppliers, I had no control of the video production process, so I couldn’t guarantee that the videos would ever get updated (and most didn’t).
Another challenge was how to get fairly compensated for the many years I spent writing and creating all of my WordPress tutorials. In other words, how could I make my WordPress training site profitable? If I hid all of my hundreds of WordPress tutorials inside a private membership site, how would people even know or find out about the quality of my training content? And if I made it publicly available, then I had just spent years of my life doing public service for the WordPress community while raising skinny hungry kids.
I decided to create a private WordPress training site and make it accessible via a paid membership option. I then hired a web developer to create a WordPress plugin that would deliver the tutorials to users inside their WordPress dashboards. The idea being that the right tutorial would display in the appropriate section of the user’s admin area, so if the user needed help understanding how to use a specific feature of WordPress, they could bring up a detailed step-by-step tutorial showing them exactly how to use that feature with written instructions and videos.
I set up the membership site, developed the plugin, and added all the tutorials to the site.
This created new challenges in addition to the existing challenges (i.e. keeping all the documentation up-to-date). For example, the plugin didn’t publish tutorials inside the users’ websites, it only displayed the tutorials from the membership site in a new browser window when users click on the tutorial links. Some website developers wanted to be able to customize and edit the tutorials for their clients. Even though this meant more problems (how were all these edited tutorials going to be kept updated?) I set up another site and began to make the individual tutorials available for sale with editable rights (and a disclaimer that, once modified, I would not be updating those tutorials for my clients or their clients).
This raised the issue of duplicate content (i.e. the same tutorials were being published in various different sites, often without any modification). For over a year, I tried setting up a system where I would take a tutorial and create many variations of its content using content spinning (spintax) techniques while making sure to preserve the high quality of the content.
This became an exercise in “madness”. My tutorials already averaged around 2,000 words as is. After spending hours adding word synonyms and sentence variations to each and every paragraph (including image alt tags and captions), I would process files that were 10,000-15,000 words long and then spend hours afterward fine-tuning and troubleshooting the final content. I then had to output hundreds of different versions of each tutorial and add them to the membership site using rotating scripts, so that every member got to download a different version picked at random.
When members started asking me if I could deliver the tutorials with unique content in different languages, I decided to pull the plug on the whole venture. I had spent years working around the clock and making no money. This also placed a financial strain on my marriage.
So, I decided to make all of the tutorials public and set up a free WordPress tutorials site. While this didn’t eliminate any of the challenges discussed above (i.e. keeping up with WordPress changes), it removed the pressure of having to continually update the content for only a few paid members.
After a year or so, I decided to try again and build on the lessons of my previous experiences. So, I set up a WordPress video training site and WPTrainingManual.com to provide WordPress training content to non-technical users through paid membership sites.
With the original free WordPress tutorials site, due to a lack of resources and revenue, most of the tutorials are pretty much left as they are. Occasionally, some tutorials get updated.
The video training site still uses content supplied by 3rd-party providers, but I have better systems in place to provide member support, add new video content, and add any updated videos I receive from suppliers (i.e. the ones that update their videos) when these are provided.
WPTrainingManual.com has fine-tuned systems that allow me to update the content in all the written tutorials of our WordPress User Manuals and our online WordPress tutorials when WordPress releases a new version. It’s still a lot of manual work, but the processes have been honed over many years, making the site manageable.
So, now that I’ve given you the background, let’s start with the pros of running your own WordPress training site…
The Pros Of Running A WordPress Training Website
Here are some of the reasons to consider setting up and running your own WordPress training site:
1. WordPress Is Growing
WordPress currently powers over 40% of the web. It’s the world’s most popular CMS website platform and its market share is growing. In fact, according to this study, the WordPress economy is currently valued at over $600 billion.
So, WordPress is on the up and up. More businesses around the world will likely end up getting their websites built with WordPress. If you are a WordPress service provider, this means more opportunities to acquire and service new clients.
2. Focus On Non-Technical WordPress End-Users
As we argue in other articles, the largest sector of the growing WordPress economy is comprised of non-technical end-users. Empowering and training non-technical WordPress end-users, therefore, is vitally important for the growth and sustainability of the WordPress economy. Despite this, WordPress itself struggles to provide training and documentation for non-technical users.
The opportunity is in providing WordPress training that empowers non-technical users to use their WordPress websites effectively.
If you are a WordPress service provider, your clients will most likely be non-technical end-users. They will need training on how to use their websites effectively. This is a great reason to provide them with access to a WordPress training website.
3. Keep All The Information Users Need In One Place
Sure…anyone can search Google and find anything and everything they’re looking for.
The problem is that most new WordPress users don’t know what they don’t know (and, therefore, don’t how to search for it).
Also, the worldwide web has been described as being like an infinite library with books scattered all over the place. The information is there, but it can take hours to find.
Keeping all of your training information organized in one place and directing users and clients to it is way more efficient and effective than expecting them to search all over the place for information, or keeping your training content stored in different locations.
4. Boost The Value Of Your Services
A WordPress training membership site is a great way to add value to your WordPress business and your services.
Depending on how you want to run your client training, you can create a separate WordPress installation on a subdomain or subdirectory (or even a different domain), add training content like online tutorials, videos, downloadable PDFs, etc. to posts and pages, keep all your content organized in one place, and add content protection in the form of private or password-protected pages using a membership plugin. This way, if a client no longer chooses to use your services, you can suspend or cancel their membership and revoke their access to your training site.
5. Build Trust And Loyalty With Clients
Providing useful training content builds trust and keeping all of your training resources and information stored privately so only your clients can access it is a great way to retain existing clients and upsell them additional services.
6. Generate Additional Revenue
If your WordPress training content is really great and truly useful, you can even create an additional source of income selling membership access to non-clients (i.e. general WordPress users, WordPress beginners. etc.).
Pros – Summary
Summarizing the pros of setting up your own WordPress client training site:
- WordPress is a growing industry and end-users need training.
- You can keep all of your training content and documentation stored and organized in one central location.
- Clients can access your training through a private login area. If they leave, you can revoke their membership access.
- It’s a great way to build trust and client loyalty and upsell additional services.
- Selling WordPress training can provide an additional source of income.
While setting up your own WordPress client training site sounds good, there are quite a number of challenges, so let’s take a look now at the cons…
The Cons Of Running A WordPress Training Website
Here are some of the things you should know about before setting up and running your own WordPress training site:
1. Time, Effort & Money
Like everything else worth doing, setting up your own WordPress training site requires time, effort, and a financial outlay.
In addition to planning how you will run things and setting up the actual training site, writing and maintaining your own training content up-to-date can be very time-consuming. Outsourcing the creation of quality training content can be very expensive and requires finding someone with WordPress expertise to write the content.
Whether you plan to add written or video tutorials to your training site, someone will need to keep the information updated. This work must either be done by you, an internal resource, or someone you outsource to.
You will also need someone who is:
a) Proficient with using WordPress to keep the content up-to-date, and
b) Can explain technical concepts using language that non-techies can understand and apply.
Additionally, as stated earlier, buying ready-made content from 3rd-party providers (e.g. PLR) provides no guarantee that you will ever receive updates. Even if you do get content updates, if you have already altered the content substantially, then you have only created more work for yourself.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Your Content Must Keep Users Content
Earlier in this article, I described many of the challenges and struggles I have personally experienced over the years trying to:
a) Provide users with high-quality WordPress training content that is comprehensive and detailed for users to follow and apply, and
b) Implement processes to keep up with all the WordPress changes and maintain the training content and documentation regularly updated.
This is an ongoing process and there are no easy shortcuts. All the challenges of training WordPress users will apply to your WordPress training site.
Without the right systems and processes in place to create, update, and maintain your WordPress training content and documentation up-to-date, the information will get outdated and/or obsolete and the quality of your membership site will quickly deteriorate.
3. It’s Hard To Make A WordPress Training Site Profitable
Making a WordPress training site profitable is a Catch-22 situation.
You need to set up your WordPress training site before you can plug clients who need WordPress training into it.
The challenge is that if you already have clients who need WordPress training, then you need to have already set up your training site with all of the information in place. As we have just seen, however, building a WordPress training site from scratch takes a lot of time, effort, and money. This can take months…even years!
If you’re just starting out and have no clients yet, should you invest time, effort, and money into building a WordPress training site, or direct your time, energy, and resources into getting clients? What happens if you then get clients and have no WordPress training site set up to train them?
Additionally, as I’ve described above, if you plan to create a WordPress training site that any online users can access, will you make your training site private (i.e. using membership software) or publicly available?
If you make your WordPress training site private, no one will know about it unless you promote it heavily. This means either paying for ads or writing lots of content (i.e. blog posts, social media, etc.)
If you make your WordPress training site public, then how will you monetize it? (And you will still need to promote it heavily).
Cons – Summary
Summarizing the cons of setting up your own WordPress client training site:
- It takes a lot of time, effort, and money.
- Your content needs to be comprehensive, detailed (i.e. step-by-step), practical, written for non-technical users, and regularly updated.
- It’s difficult to make a WordPress training site profitable.
If you need to set up a WordPress training site for your clients or want to profit from the growth of WordPress and the opportunity it offers in the area of WordPress user training and would like to experience all the “pros” without any “cons”, then we have the perfect solution you’re looking for…
Profit From WordPress User Training With WPTrainingManual.com – All Pros, No Cons
WPTrainingManual.com gives WordPress service providers an opportunity to profit from the growth of WordPress worldwide and the need for WordPress user training without any of the “cons” listed above.
Simply purchase our Rebrandable WordPress User Manual to provide a fully hosted and fully managed “hands-free” WordPress client or user training solution.
Everything you need to profit from running a WordPress user training site without any of the hassles or downsides is included.
A Rebrandable WordPress User Manual membership subscription includes the following:
- Unlimited rebranding of The WordPress User Manual (you can create and distribute as many copies as you like, branded with your business and client details.)
- Unlimited client signups to our online WordPress tutorials (130+ detailed step-by-step tutorials containing thousands of screenshots, fully interlinked, and regularly updated).
- Unlimited client signups to our WordPress and Digital Business video courses (2,000+ video tutorials, regularly updated).
- Access to 400+ video tutorials you can download and host on your own WordPress training site.
- Unlimited client signups to our comprehensive email courses on how to get the most out of the tutorials, plus courses on Web Content Creation (120+ email lessons) and Advanced WordPress User Tips (100+ email lessons).
- Our client training guide and customizable client onboarding emails (customize and add these emails to your client newsletter or autoresponder list and put your clients on auto-pilot training using all of the resources that we provide).
We keep up with changes to WordPress, host and update the content, and don’t compete or conflict with your WordPress services. We also free up your time and resources to focus on other important areas of your WordPress business (e.g. finding and servicing new and existing clients).
Learn More About WPTrainingManual.com
If you want all the “pros” of running a WordPress training site without any of the “cons,” then we invite you to check out all the information below and become a WPTrainingManual.com member today:
- See what’s included in the “hands-free” WordPress client training package
- Learn about the benefits of using WPTrainingManual.com to train your clients
- Learn how to set your WordPress business apart from the competition using our WordPress client training product
- Learn how to sell more WordPress services and save time training your clients
- Learn how to train your clients remotely
- Learn how to start a WordPress training business working from home
- Learn ways to profit with WPTrainingManual.com’s WordPress client training
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)