How I create member-only content on my website with ConvertKit

Gating content that you have created brings its challenges. Mainly in controlling who gets to see it, and revoking access after some time (if that’s part of your offering).

Should you invest in software that controls access, for example, a plugin like ‘Memberpress’, ‘Membermouse’, or ‘Learndash’? (there are hundreds to choose from).

Or, if it’s course-based content, should you go down the route of subscribing to an LMS (Learning Management System) such as ‘Thinkific’, ‘Teachable’, or ‘Podia’? (again, loads to pick from).

Well, if you use ConvertKit as your email marketing platform and have a WordPress website, the good news is that you get this functionality included in your premium plan via ConvertKit’s free WordPress plugin.

ConvertKit’s WordPress plugin

If you have (or plan to have) your website built on WordPress, then you get free access to ConvertKit’s plugin – just search the plugin library and you’ll see it listed in the search results.

Creating the content inside WordPress

There are many features to the plugin, however, for this article, I’m focusing on the ability to create member-only content, meaning it can be gated to protect it from website visitors who have not purchased the product or service that the content is intended for.

Once installed, you’ll see that in your WordPress dashboard, you have a new button that appears at the top of the ‘Pages‘ panel, entitled ‘Add new member content’;

When you click on this button, you’ll have two options: one to create ‘Download‘ content and one to create ‘Course‘ content, the two most commonly used page types.

The choices are self-explanatory I guess, but depending on your intended content, one will make more sense for your needs.

Let’s look at what’s going on behind the scenes;

For the ‘Download‘ option:

A new single page will be created, into which you can create your member-only content; for example, let’s say you sold a one-to-one service, and as part of your delivery, you included documents, videos, audio etc., that only those who bought your service can access.

For the ‘Course‘ option:

Multiple new pages will be created, one for the ‘parent’ page, and one for each ‘child’ page. The number of child pages is determined by how many lessons you intend to have in your course. For example, If you create a course with 10 lessons, the plugin will create 11 pages in total. ‘Child’ pages inherit permission from the ‘Parent’ page.

Authenticating members

When a website visitor lands on a member-only page, they are presented with an authentication challenge to ensure they have permission to view the page. If they pass the challenge, access is granted, otherwise the content remains hidden.

If the website visitor has NOT bought your product or service, they can click the ‘Subscribe‘ button to buy it immediately.

If they have already bought it, then they need to click on the link entitled ‘Send email‘ and ConvertKit will issue a one-time code to gain access. Enter the email address you used to buy the product and wait for your email to arrive.

The email you receive will look something like this one;

Enter the 6-digit code and access will be granted;

Access can be controlled in two ways; firstly by checking to see if a subscriber has a particular ‘tag‘ associated with their profile, or secondly, by checking if they have purchased a particular ‘Product‘ via ConvertKit.

⚡️What to do now…

Log into your WordPress admin panel and install the ConvertKit plugin. Once the plugin has been activated, go to the ‘Pages‘ page and click the ‘Add new member content‘ button.

Have a play around with both content options and then test it yourself by applying the necessary attributes to your ConvertKit profile.

If you have any problems, let me know and I’ll help you out. 👍

John Bellingham
Email marketing strategist for aspirational freelancers.

If we haven’t already done so, let’s connect on LinkedIn.

The Thursday Email Club is a free group where freelancers level up their email marketing game with weekly ‘live’ webinars, workshops, and Q&As.


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John Bellingham
John Bellingham

Starting out as a software engineer over 30 years ago, I began working for large corporates before realising solopreneurship was my 'thing'. I've had many businesses over the years, which have taught me many lessons.

I now spend my time helping other solopreneurs to implement the strategies and tactics that worked for me, whilst avoiding all my expensive mistakes.

If you're a solopreneur who's either starting or running a business, then connect with me and let's have a chat.

I love Formula 1® so that's always a good conversation starter if you need one! 🏁 🏎

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