7 Reasons You Need a Low Ticket Membership


My top reason for creating low ticket memberships is because I come from a world of active income and having to hustle for years just to scrape by. I never really had a job that paid me well, and I knew I wanted to be the ones to raise my kids instead of only seeing them a few (tired) hours a day before and after work.


I stumbled into creating my first low-ticket membership back in 2015 when I started teaching women how to be virtual assistants. But I was teaching them how to create active income, which is something I was really wanting to get away from. I knew there was some way to make my business more passive, some way to leverage my time and earn more money than I ever had at a job, I just didn’t know the who, what, when, where, or how.

My journey with low ticket memberships

I started out with courses and quickly realized I couldn’t keep up with getting new clients in monthly (I sucked at marketing), and I didn’t want to have to keep creating big courses to sell when I really hated the “selling” part.

Above: screenshot from early 2016 when I was selling courses. Who told us we had to charge prices ending in “9,” anyway? That always made me cringe!


So, I launched a low-ticket membership. I already had a loyal audience. I didn’t have to go searching for them. They were asking me questions every single day about becoming a virtual assistant. That meant I’d focus on helping my people, and I would have recurring clients! I could just serve them instead of constantly worrying about creating new products to sell.

My “Rockin’ VAs” membership was $19.99/mo. That was my first real taste of freedom, my income no longer being tied directly to the amount of hours I worked. I was hooked.

Back in 2015/2016, I didn’t have access to trainings or coaches because nobody was teaching this stuff yet, so I had to stumble my way through it. I tried various partnerships that didn’t work out; others could rarely see my vision.


I launched my Passive Income Pathways membership on Black Friday of 2021. I got way more members than expected and didn’t really understand how or why. After analyzing everything, I realized I had been frontloading by delivering value for a few months at that point, and my audience really trusted me. They were literally WAITING to see what I was going to sell.

Above, left: I had to close my VIP coaching program for a while so I could catch up with demand.

Above, right: I started my membership by teaching people how to blog, use AI, sell on Etsy, and use Canva. Later, I let Canva go so my assistant could go all in with it. So glad I did because she is now a Canva QUEEN!

I stumbled through the first 6 months pretty well, with the help of my assistant, reaching $10K months what felt like instantly – which was both exhilirating and terrifying. However, because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, things quickly started to crumble. Now, this was only behind the scenes – front-facing, everything was going pretty darn well!

We both tried to piece things together, but it was increasingly difficult without systems in place. That, combined with me being in and out of the hospital, stagnated my growth after I reached $20K months in April of 2022.

I changed my business model a bit – I launched with 3 tiers which was a nightmare; I should’ve only launched with one.

Then we moved platforms multiple times, which absolutely anhilated my monthly recurring revenue.

Whew. It was quite a mess. Valuable AF. But still a mess. LOL

The only consistent during the first 2 years of PIPs was that I was showing up for my members so my churn rate was extremely low (except that one time when I kicked half of my VIPs out for not working – but we won’t talk about that). I knew that people were sticking around because of the value I was delivering, and they were counting on me.

I now have over 200 VIPs who are building their own low-ticket memberships and I am so glad I stuck with this. After hearing Liz Wilcox talk to Nick Loper about how she made $500K in a year from her $9/month membership, I knew it was time for me to start writing about my experiences with low-ticket memberships and reaching even more people so they could do the same.

So, hi… *waves* I’m Sadie Smiley and I teach people how to build low-ticket memberships that are supported by blogging for organic growth. Everyone who is in my VIP program follows this method, and we all believe in financial accessibility as well as radical generosity.

These are the foundations of Passive Income Pathways and it’s sooo important to me that we work together to create a ripple effect of serving others and help put an end to gatekeeping knowledge!

Reasons Bloggers Need a Low-Ticket Membership

Blogging and low-ticket memberships go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Like apples and peanut butter. Can you tell I’m hungry, and on a peanut butter kick? Seriously, I can’t think of a better pair!

I love getting organic traffic from my blog because it’s targeted (without me having to pay for it via Facebook ads), and everyone who finds me is ready for the next logical step on my path, which is starting a blog! Then, when they see how much fun blogging can be, but also how much work it is, they’re perfect candidates for my VIP membership where we really dig in and help each other out.

Creating a slip n slide (rather than a “value ladder”) is what I teach in my memberships, and I highly recommend it. Who wants to climb a ladder to buy something? Not me! Make it easy peasy lemon squeezy so it’s fun for your audience to journey along the path you have set up for them.

1. Diversify Your Income

To me, low-ticket memberships are the digital equivalent of real estate properties. They pay recurring, monthly, and they’re far less work than if I had to put in the hours to make the same amount. I mix it up with affiliates, digital products, and memberships. You can also put ads on your blog.

image displays multiple streams of income from blogging, including affiliates, digital products, ads, and a membership

Above: representation of diversified income for a blogger. Every blogger’s income looks different; this is just an example. If you do affiliate marketing the way I do, you’ll have a few Golden Geese that pay very well rather than crappy affiliates *ehem Amazon ehem* that pay just a few pennies per sale.

What I mean by that is in order to make $10,000+ per month in an active income job, a 9-5, etc or really even a brick and mortar business, I’d have to do a ton more work than I do with my memberships. I’ll talk more about leveraged income in #7.

Low-ticket memberships help you diversify your blog and business income, because it’s not just your membership that pays. You also incorporate affiliate marketing into your freebies and membership, so that’s another stream of income. You can use affiliate marketing the old-fashioned way and recommend products. You can also refer people to your friend’s membership or product, which will earn you recurring revenue.

There are many ways you can make money with your business, a membership is just one of the best!

2. You Can Offer Financial Accessibility

It’s no secret that I’m against high-ticket offers. I don’t agree with “charging your worth,” because my worth is not equated to a number. In no world will I put a price tag on my worth, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to, either.

image reads "can most people afford it? if not, how can we make it more financially accessible? stop gatekeeping knowledge!" with a purple fence

With that being said, I’m talking about memberships and group coaching here. I’m not talking about 1:1, personalized, trading dollars for hours, etc type things. So don’t think that I’m saying you should lower your hourly rate.

What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t even need an hourly rate because you’re working so much less and making so much more money than you ever have, because you have a low-ticket membership!

Almost anything you can do as a high-ticket coach, you can pivot a bit and offer as a low-ticket group coaching option. There are exceptions, but they are few.

Financial accessibility is so important to me. Not just because I grew up in a trailer, or because I was homeless multiple times. I’ve traveled to countries like Sri Lanka, India, and now I live in Mexico, so I know how much more difficult money can be to obtain in some countries outside of the U.S. It has made financial accessibility play even more of a vital role in my business.

My Passive Income Pathways Academy is $27/month, though for the first 2.5 years, it was only $7/month. And, I have some “back door” type ways to get it for less than $27 – like if someone signs up for one of my freebies or gets a separate product.

My Passive Income Pathways VIP is $97/month. It’s been that price from the beginning and will always stay that price. VIP offers more than what I’ve seen in $1,000/month programs, and I’m very proud of that.

Offering low-ticket memberships is a win/win for you and your members because you can keep your prices low and focus on volume, so you can still build a 6 or even 7 figure brand while charging less than most others in your niche. That’s amazing to me!!!

3. Low Pressure, Low Expectations

Liz mentioned in her interview that the reason she went with a $9/mo membership is because it was setting the expectations bar low. She had previously billed out $20,000 worth of work and felt that sense of dread that we all know – well, you know if you’ve done client work, at least. The pressure is just insane.

image reads "low-ticket = low pressure" with a cartoon silhouette pulling the lever down on the expectations bar

Offering a product that costs someone just $9/mo – just a smidge more than the cost of a large latte in the U.S. – means you’re not on the hook for much, right? The expectations are super low. This relieves the pressure of having to constantly hustle and be on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of work.

Y’all know I love metaphors, so here’s the thing: the difference in low-ticket and high-ticket, at least for me, is the difference in crafting for fun and crafting for a buyer that’s paying really well but is also calling all the shots.

Your low-ticket membership is like a fun crafting session, where you can freely explore, experiment, and enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed. It’s like being in your cozy workspace, surrounded by your favorite colorful materials, and letting your creativity flow naturally.

You’re creating something beautiful, but the stakes are low. If a bead goes astray or the paint drips unexpectedly, it only adds to the charm. You’re in it for the joy, the experimentation, and the personal satisfaction that comes from making something that truly reflects your style and passion.

On the other hand, crafting for a high-ticket buyer who controls every aspect is a whole different ball game. Every detail is scrutinized, and the demands are high-end. There’s little room for mistakes or personal artistic choices. The pressure is intense. It can even cause you to shut down (trusttttt).

Each piece must be flawless, strictly following the buyer’s vision and expectations. The focus shifts from personal expression to meeting strict external requirements. It’s like crafting under a microscope, where the joy of creating can be overshadowed by the stress of perfection and meeting the demands of a demanding clientele.

Opting for the low-ticket membership means embracing the joy of crafting for fun—where you can freely express yourself, innovate without fear, and connect with your audience in an authentic and enjoyable way. It’s about finding delight in your craft and sharing that joy with others, rather than feeling weighed down by high expectations and the pressure of catering to demanding clients.

And you know what? I make more money with my low-ticket memberships than I ever did working for those high-ticket buyers who called all the shots… and it’s much more enjoyable!

4. Memberships are fun!

Continuing on from low-ticket memberships being more enjoyable, seriously… think about it. Would you rather pick a topic and create fun content around it for your members each month, or be on the hook emailing clients or constantly trying to pitch people to get high-ticket sales?

image reads "low ticket memberships are like a dance party you get paid to attend!" with images of dancing silhouettes and a disco ball

Having a low-ticket membership is like getting paid to attend dance parties! Okay, maybe it’s not the best analogy (or is that a metaphor? I’m tired, this post is long), but I’ve been showing up for my VIP students every Saturday morning at 7AM for YEARS now. There’s literally nowhere else I’d rather be on a Saturday morning than hanging out with 100 of my besties, chatting about blog stuff!

Have you seen the business Facebook groups lately? They’re full of desperate women and moms who are trying to resell the shitty, expensive MRR programs they got roped into. 🙁 It’s really sad to watch. Flip that: Imagine if they had a $7-$15 program they actually created themselves because they were passionate about it? The vibe would be totally different.

Now don’t get me wrong, low-ticket memberships have a ton of moving parts, and they require a massive amount of frontloading to get started. I don’t want you to think I’m glossing over that, at all.

I’ll cover that more in depth in my next blog post (which I’ll link here as soon as it’s published), but it can’t be understated that as fun as it is, it’s still a business. Anyone who runs a 6- or 7-figure business will tell you: it’s still work.

5. You truly become an Expert.

I’ve been blogging for nearly two decades, so I’ve been a blogging expert for a while. However, there is a difference between being a blogging expert based on my own experiences and being a blogging expert based on helping hundreds of other people create successful blogs.

Many people who call themselves “blogging experts” have built one successful blog. They go off and become coaches and teach what they know, and that’s fine. But I wanted to make sure I was truly an expert.

image is a photo of Sadie Smiley, with an "expert" label

If you could earn a Master’s Degree in blogging, I’d have one! It’s been my hyperfocus for nearly two decades. Doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

I have built multiple successful blogs, and more than one got to the six figure point – without memberships. Now, I have a multiple six-figure blog brand, with my membership. And let me tell you, it’s been a lot less work for me now that I’ve added a membership to my blogging toolbox.

Focusing just on traffic, ads, affiliates, and digital products here and there was not fulfilling me, but it paid the bills. That is why I now teach others how to build a blog and then launch a low-ticket membership.

Now I have several VIP clients who have their own successful blogs and memberships, and it feels like we are able to create an amazing ripple effect of radically generous bloggers who love giving back to their communities and communities around the world.

Not only does this make me extremely proud of them and the work they’ve put in (because trust, not everyone will do it!), it makes me proud of myself for becoming so much of an expert that when people follow the path I give them, they are able to make money as well. Helping people make money is my super power and what really fuels my business, so it’s a perfect fit.

6. You Get to Help More People.

Speaking of helping people…

When doing 1:1 client work, you are limited on the number of people you can truly serve.

Your time and energy are finite, so you have to really be careful about where and how you spend it – and who you spend it on. Would you rather make money for your clients, by doing work for them and getting paid a small percentage of what they make… or work for YOU? I’d rather get paid working for ME, serving my people in a way that’s authentic and organic, while making more money than I ever did with other clients.

the image reads "you can help more than one person at a time with a low-ticket membership! no more 1:1s and slow growth" with an image of people in line, waiting to be helped.

If you have it on your heart to serve people, a low-ticket membership is going to be the golden trifecta: you get to help more people, make more money, and work less hours. Yes, please.

Again worth noting: it’s still a lot of work. Especially at first, when you’re writing blog posts and doing YouTube videos and building your email list and and and… it’s a lot of frontloading without much pay at all. But in year two, and then in year three, you TRULY see the fruits of your labor and it all becomes worth it.

Something I tell my VIPs almost every week:

what you work on today will pay your bills next year

And time and time again, they come to me and say, “wow! You were right!”

I love hearing that I’m right LOL I am an Aries, afterall.

But I love even more that we have a proven path to follow and nothing will stop us.

7. Passive Leveraged Income

Most passive income* isn’t actually 100% passive. And I know you know this, but I also know someone will have their panties in a bunch and try to say I’m acting like a low-ticket membership is hands-off. It’s not.

image reads: a membership is passive (strikethrough) leveraged income. Less time spent, less work, more money. There is a pile of coins and a graph showing an arrow up, displaying how a low ticket membership can grow your income exponentially.

You still have to work every week (not every day if you don’t want to), to make sure your business is running smoothly.

You have to work every month to create new content for your membership (or hire it out); sometimes more often than that, depending on what you’re promising. I like to work in batches, so I work less than a lot of folks do. I have 3 team members who support me on this journey and it would be a full-time job for me if I didn’t have at least some help from a team.

Currently, I can work 10-15 hours a week and sustain a multiple six-figure business. I have phases where I work more and phases where I work less, but the bottom line is: I decide when I want to work, how I want to work, where I want to work, and when, where, and how I show up for my members.

Liz Wilcox is a great example of making a low-ticket ($9/mo) membership work. She doesn’t make it confusing with 15 different memberships, she rarely does upsells, and she made $500K last year just from this $9 membership. That is the type of leveraged income I’m talking about.

*Yes, I know the name of my business is Passive Income Pathways. Leveraged Income Pathways just doesn’t have the same ring to it. And the goal of every business I create is that I make it as passive and as enjoyable as possible. 😉

How to Get Started

I’m writing an ultimate guide about low-ticket memberships that I’ll link here soon, but in the meantime I made this freebie guide on the exact steps I took (and recommend) to start from scratch: the blog to membership path.

Just click on the image below to grab it. And if you have any questions about launching your own low-ticket membership, leave a comment and I’ll try to help!

image reads "the PIPs path"

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