The world can’t stop talking about recurring revenue—but what does it really take to build a side hustle membership site that helps you get paid?

In this article, we explore what it means to build a side hustle to achieve your financial goals through a recurring revenue membership site. Keep reading to learn our top 10 tips to get started, including an interactive micro course video and supporting downloadable worksheets.

Build Your Nest Egg Side Hustles and Membership Sites

Your Side Hustle is a Nest Egg

The term nest egg often refers to a sum of invested or saved money that is reserved for your retirement, an unexpected emergency, or to help you get through a rainy day. I like to think of a nest egg as something that is larger than just a bit (or a lot) of money stashed away in the bank.

“A nest egg is a substantial sum of money or other assets that have been saved or invested for a specific purpose. Such assets are generally earmarked for longer-term objectives, the most common being retirement, buying a home and education.”


To me, a side hustle that grows your nest egg can also be described as anything that provides you with secondary income.

  • Your side hustle can help you reach your financial goals at a faster rate.
  • With this recurring revenue business, you can open up more options for you in your life.
  • Side hustles and nest eggs help you retire earlier than most.

Today’s Landscape For Building a Side Hustle

If you have been following popular online influencers, chances are you have heard about the “side hustle” movement. Everyone is talking about the pain of being financially dependent on a single income.

For this reason, the side hustle wave is sweeping the internet, driven by important four goals:

  1. Personal desire to share something important and interesting with the world.
  2. Making the jump to become your own boss and pave your own path.
  3. Finally getting to a place where you feel (some) financial freedom.
  4. Building up your passive income or MRR (monthly recurring revenue).

Never before in the history of the world has there been a better, simpler, or more opportunity-rich time to start a business, diversify your income, and grow your income through a new online business.

Deciding On Your Side Hustle

It’s awesome to get paid. Who could disagree? But a side hustle is something more than a point in time payday. Side hustles are a valuable concept: they are a sustainable core business that gives you continual recurring revenue.

We specialize in membership sites, so the focus on my advice covers how to use an online environment to create recurring revenue. An online business like:

  • A way to make money with your hobby by selling digital or physical products online.
  • A site that sells your skills by educating others who want to learn what you know (online learning).
  • A place where you write about your experiences and share the unique knowledge you have as a thought leader.
  • A productized service that helps others by developing a skill they need and want.
  • A space for a niche community to share, collaborate, and support each other.

In truth, your side hustle or nest-egg-growing business will be a rich combination of all these methods. Most sites we work with support a combination of these features in their online business.

Cover: 10 Tips to Start Your Membership Site Guide and Worksheet


Get the 10 Tips to Start Your Membership Site guide + worksheet. Learn our simple process to refine ideas, avoid burnout, and deliver the right products to the right people.

Page two has a worksheet you should print (yes, actually print it!) and fill out this weekend. Keep the list handy when you work on your project.

Building Your Membership Site

In my job, I interact with thousands of people building their nest egg through a membership platform to collect recurring revenue.

The people I support are using Paid Memberships Pro (PMPro), an open source WordPress plugin that has the necessary features to turn any WordPress website into a Membership Site.

What is a membership site?

Membership sites are all around us.

Courses, associations and organizations, social networks, news and information sites, and educational institutions all use a membership model. Even online streaming services like Netflix use a membership model.

Today, entrepreneurs like you use the membership model to build their businesses online.

They’re selling members-only access to all kinds of stuff: services, physical or digital products, business secrets, videos, written content, newsletters, downloads, life hacks, fitness tutorials, professional training, graphic design tips, beauty recommendations.

Anything that you create can be protected, which your members gain access to for the price of a subscription.

Basic Features of a Membership Site

  • Allow you to register and collect recurring payments from members,
  • Restrict access to members-only content or features,
  • View and manage reports on your financial or membership statistics.

In order to access restricted content, a visitor must become a “member”. Your membership may offer a free option, a paid option, or both.

I like to focus on content restriction because while most membership platforms offer tons more, the two main features that turn your website into a membership site is:

Free Interactive Micro Course

Getting started can be tough. But, if you’re truly inspired to start a side hustle, start by asking yourself: “what can I offer through a membership site that other people will value?”

There is a lot of competition out there. You may feel like you just aren’t unique enough, that you have nothing to offer. And sometimes these feelings of uncertainty will leave you feeling panicked and overwhelmed.

I never said starting a business is easy, but I know that it is possible. You can share something valuable with others.

10 Tips to Start Your Membership Site

1. Start Small

Validate your idea by testing it out as quickly as possible. Grow your site and your features as the demand grows. The concept of launching your MVP (minimum viable product) is key for any new venture.

2. Be Patient

Not every project is an overnight success. Paid Memberships Pro is the product of over 12 years of dedication and hard work. Be sure you are ready to commit to growing your business, through thick and thin.

3. Be Consistent

Show up daily and put the work to yield results over time.

4. Offer value (for free)

Consider offering really valuable content to your members for free. This approach, while seemingly counterintuitive, builds credibility and creates loads of organic traffic.

5. Build an Audience

The earlier you start building an audience, the better. Even if all you have is a loose idea of your membership business, you can start today by documenting your journey to launch. By sharing your experiences with the world today, you’ll start creating an audience and maybe even get some early feedback.

6. Be Ready to Pivot

You are building an online business for the benefit of your members. If you find that one aspect of your membership business is more interesting to your members, double down on that feature. Always be ready to adjust your pricing model, value proposition, and anything else that you can tweak to create more value.

7. Use What You Already Have

Don’t let the lack of tools, features, equipment, or budget hinder you. We completely bootstrapped PMPro since day one. When the cash flow was there to support leveling up a part of the business, we did it. This applies to new development, new marketing efforts, running sales, seeking affiliates and more.

8. Play the Long Game

It takes time to build anything worthwhile, especially if it is your side hustle. It’s a side hustle because are you actually maintaining it “on the side.” You haven’t decided to spend all your time or all your money on the project. Keep the end goal in mind. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

9. Consider what have you got to lose?

With loads of free and inexpensive online tools at your disposal, what do you really have to lose? Just do it™. You never know what will come of your efforts.

10. Turn your hobby into cash flow.

Ask yourself “What do I love doing?” It’s infinitely easier to operate a side hustle centered on a hobby or passion. Since this is your side business, you will likely be building it over weekends and in the wee hours of the night or morning. Loving what you do can make this sacrifice a little easier.

Conclusion: Turn Your Passion into Profit

A side hustle membership site is a practical approach to building a nest egg through recurring revenue. You’ve now learned the insights and practical steps, from concept to execution, to help you start a membership-based online business.

Whether it’s leveraging your hobby, sharing unique knowledge, or offering a niche community space, the key lies in starting small, being patient, consistent, and adaptable.

Remember, success in this venture is a marathon, not a sprint. By embracing these principles and utilizing free resources like Paid Memberships Pro, you can effectively turn your side hustle into a sustainable source of income.

Cover image from ebook 29 Nuggets of Wisdom Volume 1 - Sample Collection

Download the free ebook: Get 29 insights and ‘aha moments’ for new or veteran membership site business owners. Use these nuggets of wisdom to inspire or challenge you.

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