I have skimmed over this topic in the past and I thought it is very relevant to todays trends in online marketing, as lots of people online want a way of providing information as a means to start their own membership site, this could be a paid membership site or a free site that users could click ads and other adsense type methods, a popular site like myspace uses this method together with other ads that are targeted towards the users interests and blog or profile page themes, this builds up a high revenue for Myspace.
Perhaps the best and most recent site I have come across that will help you build your own membership site is the membership millionaire it provides solid and quality information on how to start your own membership site, from two main players who are actually doing this but they are professionals an know the value of creating lots of membership sites to build up networks of them to varying audiences.
Membership sites come in many forms, some direct businesses, others indirect, let me explain this a little, you see direct online memberships are the ones where you arrive on a landing page and it look like a sales page or it is selling multiple products, that is direct selling and there is nothing wrong with that, but indirect selling is where you put the focus on the content first (which is what you should be doing in any online venture anyway!) and people want to find out more or you pique there curiosity and they would pay for further information, so you are not in their face with selling to them first but you introduce it later on.
Figuring out what will sell and be in demand information is your first problem to overcome, but at the site membership millionaire explains all about it in the free reports you can download, or the audio formatted audios are good to listen to.
This free to sign up to site is like a course on building yor very own membership site, so take in all of the resources and really focus your online efforts and make a site that others can easily access, plus there are other jv partners you can sign up to and promote their related sites to for some generous commissions.