We binge everything these days….
When Stephen King, in 1996, decided to publish a novel in 6 monthly installments – The Green Mile – it was like going backwards in time. Not just because the story was set in the 1930's but because serial stories were a thing of the nineteenth century.
Have you seen The Green Mile?
It's not hard to believe that Stephen King was successful – after all, the guy can write. The challenge is more about us.
I don't watch TV like we used to. I want the instant gratification of binging everything. I just finished watching The Serpent on Netflix. Watched all the episodes in 2.5 days.
You like me? Want it all? Right away?
I get it.
But if you're building a membership site, and you're charging people monthly with every expectation that they'll keep coming back, you really need to think about stepping away from idea of instant gratification.
That's where content dripping comes in.
What is Content Dripping?
Before we get into things, let's get super clear on what we're talking about.
Content dripping is the feature that allows you to release content at regular (scheduled) intervals. Like King's mini-novels, it would have people coming back to get the next installment.
When you're creating your membership levels and managing your content, it means creating a schedule.
Here's what it looks like in MemberPress.
When you tap into the scheduling in MemberPress, this feature is incredibly rich & powerful. You can do content dripping for posts, pages and more. But you can also open up whole categories of posts in a single rule, as you see above.
If you have specific pages you want to organize into a series and slowly drip it out, then check out the Series add-on for Paid Membership Pro (comes with one of their paid plans – which is so worth it).
Many other membership plugins support content dripping – as you can see from my comparison of membership plugins.
But what this means is two things –
- Your membership plugin has to support content dripping
- Your content has to exist already
Once you have it, and you create a schedule, then different people get access to different amounts of content based on how long they've been an active member.
It's powerful stuff.
The two reasons you want to drip content
If you're charging people monthly, and hope they'll keep coming back, then either you are on the hook to keep creating new amazing content or you're going to want to drip existing content.
And as I've written about before, if you don't create a constant stream of high quality content, you'll end up creating situations of incremental regret.
Beyond the desire to have people come back, you also don't want people to cheat you – and it's a very real thing. If a person registers for your content, signs in, downloads everything over the next couple of days, and then logs out and requests a refund, you'll be pretty frustrated, right?
Well, sad to say, it happens.
Content dripping releases content on a schedule so that people can't log in and take everything in a single shot.
The best WordPress membership plugins that drip content
There are four WordPress membership plugins that I recommend that support content dripping. Many others offer this feature. These are my five favorites. I've used each of these and can validate that the content dripping works.
AccessAlly – It's likely the most expensive of the bunch, and you wouldn't choose them only for content dripping. But it's an incredible solution and lets you do so much more than content dripping. It's worth having on every list and it's worth checking out.
Digital Access Pass (DAP) – It's the oldest on my short list and yet one that has never stopped innovating. They were great already, but they keep getting better. Don't show Veena that she's missing a feature because you'll see it appear in a month!
MemberPress – Without question, MemberPress is the one I've recommended the longest and the most widely used membership plugin from this entire list. Their content dripping feature is robust, as I mentioned above and worth checking out.
Paid Memberships Pro – PMP supports dripping with their Series feature, which is part of their paid plans, and it's worth it. You can get pretty fancy with moving people from one series to another.
Now it's your turn
So there you have it. You know what content dripping is. You know why you should think about it. And you know what products will help you.
All that's left is for you to get out there and create some amazing content and put it on a schedule.
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