Squarespace community forum

How to Build a Private Squarespace Community, Forum, or Group

Already invested in building your Squarespace site but looking to better monetize your audience in 2024? Creating a paid community allows you to strengthen connections with your followers while earning recurring income. By integrating with MemberSpace, you can create a thriving private community, group, or forum in just a few minutes!

Add a private community to your Squarespace site!

The easiest way to accept membership payments or one-time charges for digital products like online courses, communities, content libraries, and more — all from your own website!

Get started for free! 5 minutes to set up.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Pick a community platform

Since you may already have an audience on another platform (like a Facebook Group), it makes the most sense to keep and build your community there – then promote it and sell access to it on your Squarespace site (way easier than building everything on your site and convincing your followers to engage there, too!).

A few popular options:

  • Facebook Groups – Easily create a private Facebook Group only for members who pay to access it. This is the best option if you want a forum-like environment with two-way discussion!
  • Private Instagram Account – Make a separate Instagram account and set it to “private” so only approved members can follow it. Share exclusive content, polls, Q&As, and more there.
  • LinkedIn Group – Similar to a Facebook Group, you can make posts, share files, and facilitate discussions.

Once you determine the platform, install the MemberSpace plugin on your Squarespace website. This will be the tool you use to sell access to your community, group, or forum on your site. 

With MemberSpace, you can:

  • Easily and securely accept payments from community members
  • Manage subscribers
  • Gate access to community content
  • Email your community members
  • Add a member directory to your site
  • Customize everything to match your branding 
  • And more!

Step 2: Create a paid subscription

Within MemberSpace, create a paid subscription plan for access to your private community, group, or forum. Set up the pricing and billing details:

  • Will it be a monthly or yearly recurring subscription?
  • One-time payment for lifetime access?
  • Will it be bundled with other offerings as part of a package deal?

Configure this based on what makes most sense for you and your business!

Step 3: Integrate your community platform

Now you need to integrate MemberSpace with your private community platform.

  1. First, make sure your external community platform is set to “private” so only members you approve can join.
  2. Next, create a landing page on your Squarespace site and add the link to join your private community there.
  3. Lastly, add the URL of your landing page to MemberSpace, which will password protect it and require people to create an account and pay to get access.
Squarespace private community
Once you add a page URL to MemberSpace, it becomes protected from the public. If someone tries to visit the page, they will not be able to access it until they sign up and pay.

From there, you have two options for adding members to your private group:

  1. When new members sign up on your website and click on the private group link, have them request access, and you can approve them. 
  2. Directly invite members who purchase access.

Choose the option that is easiest based on your community platform. The key is that members get access only after signing up and paying through MemberSpace on your site.

Community-building Tip: Protecting your private community with MemberSpace allows you to expand value (and grow your revenue!) with other content in the future — like a paid podcast, newsletter, content library or online course — all with one login for your customers.

Step 4: Add the signup link to your website

To actually sell access to your private community, you need to showcase the offer and pricing on your public-facing Squarespace website.

Simply copy the unique signup link in MemberSpace and add it anywhere you promote the community – sales page, menu, header, popups, etc. This allows visitors to easily purchase access.

Signup link for Squarespace community
When a customer clicks on your signup link, they will be prompted to create an account and add their payment information.

Step 5: Promote your community

With all the technical pieces in place, it’s time to spread the word! Promote your private community on social media, email lists, as part of your YouTube videos or podcast, and anywhere else you have an audience.

Create some excitement by teasing exclusive content, access to your expertise, giveaways, or discussions members will get to partake in. With some promotion, you can quickly build a thriving community, group, or forum!

 

Final Thoughts

Creating a paid, members-only community with your Squarespace website allows you to monetize your influence and gives your biggest supporters a closer connection with you. By integrating MemberSpace with an existing platform your audience is on, you make community access easier to manage. 

Start small then expand your offerings over time – private podcast episodes, member Q&As, courses, masterminds, and more. If you need any help getting set up, feel free to reach out to our support team or check out our guides on MemberSpace University

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