If you’re looking to build a membership website but don’t want to hire someone or spend an absurd amount on a number of tools, then you’ve come to the right place.

Membership sites are especially useful if you’re looking to build an online course business, or online coaching in general.

It’s a place where you can get like-minded people to come together and learn something new.

In this post, we will be looking at using GrooveMember to build your own membership website.

GrooveMember: The Ultimate Membership Site Building Guide

You will need to sign up for a free Groove account in order to follow along. Go ahead and click the button below to sign up for an account.

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What is GrooveMember?

GrooveMember is a platform that allows anyone to build and host membership websites quickly and easily. You can use GrooveMember as a platform to build a community online and share useful content or as a place to host and sell a library of online courses.

GrooveMember is one of the apps available within the Groove ecosystem. You can combine GrooveMember with GroovePages to create attractive and high converting landing pages as well as GrooveMail to help with your next online course launch or provide updates to your existing members via email.

Check out this tutorial to learn how to create a landing page with GroovePages: How To Create A Landing Page With GroovePages.

You can think of GrooveMember as being comparable to platforms like Teachable, Thinkific and Kajabi.

When GrooveMember was originally released, it was plagued with issues as remained mainly unusable. However, GrooveMember recently had a major overhaul to fix those issues and has now rebranded to GrooveMember V2. The early verdict so far is that GrooveMember V2 is now amazing to use and comparable to its more expensive competitors.

How do I use GrooveMember?

To get started with GrooveMember, you will need to sign up for a Groove account. It’s free to get started and will be enough to cover everything we’re about to cover in this tutorial.

Once you’ve signed up and logged into the dashboard, click on the GrooveMember tile in the “Quick Links” section.

Alternatively, hover over the Groove logo on the top left and select GrooveMember.

You will then be presented with the main GrooveMember dashboard.

All the main functions of GrooveMember can be seen by clicking the icons on the left-hand panel. You’ll notice that all the functionality available on the left-hand panel matches up with all the tiles in the “Quick Links”.

Let’s now go through them one by one.

Membership

This is where you create, build and organize your exclusive membership content that only your subscribed members can consume.

If you have a number of online courses, you can create a membership to house all those courses.

Files

This is where you upload and store all your exclusive files for your subscribed members to download. You would then add this as a link in your memberships.

Portals

The place where your members can search for and sign up to memberships.

If you’re selling online courses, the portal would be the site where you display your library of online courses (memberships).

You can setup your portals to be accessed only via user login or publicly available. I generally keep my portals publicly available so that visitors can browse through my courses and pick which course they want to sign up to.

Instructors

This is where you manage your own instructors. This can be useful if you have a team to run your online course business.

Members

Here you can see all members that have subscribed to your membership(s). You can export them to an Excel file. You can also see at a glance how you members are progressing through the membership and email them if needed.

Analytics

This will allow you to see some analytics about your membership site(s). As of now, this isn’t available and is expected to come within the next few months.

Creating an online course business with GrooveMember

We will create a simple online course website that holds a number of courses.

Let’s start with creating an online course, aka membership.

Go to Membership and press “New Membership” on the top right.

Enter in all the required information for your online course (like I did below).

Note that I used Groovemember V2 (sandbox). If you don’t see this, don’t worry. It’s probably already updated to V2 already and the old V1 has been phased out.

Also, if you have your own domain linked to Groove, then leave the Groove subdomain part blank and choose your own domain in the “Domain” part below that. If you don’t have a domain yet, don’t worry, we can always switch it out later when you do get it ready. Just give a unique name for the Groove subdomain for now (don’t use the same one in my screenshot as I’ve already taken it :) ).

Once you’re ready, press “Create Membership” at the bottom.

Let’s not go to “Manage” in the Courses tile.

We should already have a course available in the membership. We can now go ahead and press “Edit Course”.

You will then be presented with a screen that shows a preview of your online course in the eyes of your audience.

So now it’s just a matter of building out your layout. Do that by pressing the Outline widget on the left.

Here you can define modules, lessons and chapters. These should be self-explanatory. Modules and Chapters are just ways to group your content nicely. Lessons are where your actual content (videos, text, teaching content) will need to be uploaded.

You can click through the module, lesson and chapter lines to see in the preview how they would look like.

To add lessons, modules and chapters, just hover over the line and click the “+” button.

To change the name of any module/chapter/lesson, click the 3 dots and press Edit. Here is where you can also clone (to speed up your workflow) as well as delete.

Each lesson would have the default Groove YouTube video. You will want to switch these out with your own course video content. To do so, hover over the video and click the pen icon.

Then select a video that is available in your GrooveVideo library or if you’re using an external video player, go to the “External URL” tab and enter the URL. Note, that you would need to upload all your videos in the GrooveVideo app first. It would be nice if we had the option to upload from GrooveMember but at the moment, that functionality is not there.

That’s pretty much it. Go through each lesson and change out the video and text and also the names for the modules and chapters. It’s all straightforward stuff here.

Once you’re done, you may want to add more courses if you have a library of them. You just need to go back by clicking the Home icon and going back to the manage course screen.

Then just press “Add Course” and follow the previous steps again. You will pick it up in no time!

Go back to your course dashboard and press Customize this time.

Now pick a template that you like for your online course. At the moment, these are the only options I can pick from but you might have more than me.

That’s it! Now go visit your link and you should have an online course website built up!

The next thing to do is to setup a landing page for your course(s). This is the public facing page that entices your visitors to buy or subscribe to your course membership.

A few things will need to be done here.

First, you need to setup a landing page and funnel using GroovePages. You’ll need to spend time here getting this right as you’ll want the highest conversions possible. Go through this tutorial to setup a landing page for your course: How To Setup A Landing Page In GroovePages.

You will also need to setup a funnel that either gets your user’s email address or takes them to a checkout page.

Finally, you’ll need to setup the payment and form in GrooveSell for your customer to enter their personal and payment details to subscribe to your course. I will cover this in more detail in an upcoming post.

When you have an online course, it’s not enough to just post it and hope for sales to start rolling in. You know that saying, build it and they will come? The online world doesn’t really work that way. You’ll need to do a bit of work to launch your online course.

Here is a guide that will help you to launch your GrooveMember course business: 26 Steps To Launching An Online Course (Full Roadmap).

GrooveMember vs Teachable

Teachable is a dedicated platform aimed at helping instructors create and sell online courses and coaching services.

I’ve used both GrooveMember and Teachable and found them be very similar.

However, Teachable overall was a more solid and robust platform compared to GrooveMember (which had a few bugs). GrooveMember has improved a lot now with GrooveMember V2 and it is still relatively new. It has the potential to be a game changer in the next few months.

Here is why Teachable might be a better fit:

  • Teachable overall was smooth and fluid to work with.
  • The themes that you get with Teachable looks and feels more professional and attractive compared to GrooveMember.
  • Friendly and helpful customer support. It’s easier to get in touch with customer support for Teachable compared to Groove. Groove is improving on it though as they earlier struggled to keep up due to their immense growth.
  • Overall, it has more features compared to Groove. The ability to run classes 1-on-1, powerful editor to customize your classes and the ability to add quizzes.
  • Analytics data to see how you can improve your online courses (Groove doesn’t have this yet and is planned to be included later).
  • Teachable has been around longer in comparison to GrooveMember and can be counted on to be more robust.
  • There are blogs and training material to help you succeed overall with your online course business.

Here is why GrooveMember might be a better fit:

  • Save costs. The free plan packs a lot of features you would find in Teachable.
  • Each sale you make, you would have to pay a percentage to Teachable (unless you’re on the higher plans). There are no fees with GrooveMember.
  • You can create unlimited course websites with GrooveMember. You could have a website teaching how to lose weight and another website teaching how to code in C#. With Teachable, you would have to create another account to do this.
  • The interface is really easy and intuitive. Anyone who is getting started with creating and selling online course would be better off starting with GrooveMember.

Final verdict

In my opinion, GrooveMember is a great place to host your own membership sites, but in particular, for online courses. I moved away from Podia previously to save on costs and am glad that I did.

However, having said that, if your online course business is generating significant income, and you’re looking to expand and go advanced, I don’t think GrooveMember is quite there yet. This is where something like Podia or Teachable excels. You get better analytics and overall robustness with using those dedicated tools.

GrooveMember is slowly getting there but since it is still in its infancy, I would recommend GrooveMember mainly to those starting out an online course business. In the future, you could always upgrade to a dedicated proven platform or perhaps GrooveMember itself will have become more robust by then.

You can always try GrooveMember out to see if it’s worth using for your own membership site. You just need a free Groove account and follow the steps above to set up a simple membership website. Go ahead and click the button below to sign up for a free Groove account, if you don’t have one already.