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How to Monetize Your Online Community The Right Way
How to Monetize
Your Online Community
The Right Way
Building an online community
is a tremendous effort in and
of itself. However, once you
accomplish it, the result can
be very rewarding.
It feels really amazing to win a
following behind a theme or an
idea that’s important to you.
It’s empowering to know that
what you believe in also
resonates strongly with a
An important aspect of an
online community is your
leadership which can take
up many forms.
You can be an active
member, moderate it, or
introduce new tech and
Long-term success requires a lot of
planning. You need to have a growth
strategy in place and, importantly, a
platform for members to come together
Let’s take a look at some of the
strategies you can employ to
monetize an online community
and not make people hate your
guts for it.
Create a new tier of value and introduce
a paywall, or a similar mechanism, to
charge for accessing it. The number of
people who will rush to pay may not be
that great at ﬁrst, but you’ll be able to
pinpoint the most loyal members and
possibly reward them in some way.
Work with businesses that may be
interested in targeting your community
on developing the most ﬁtting,
appropriate content pieces including
product promotions, blog posts, forum
threads, videos, social media posts, etc.
and charge a fee for publishing them.
Devote certain areas of your website
layout to banners that will ideally show
ads strictly related to you membership
proﬁle. It’s crucial for them to be non-
invasive and relevant to the audience, as
otherwise they will quickly become
A great way for the most diehard fans to
showcase their support. They’ll proudly
wear your merch to signal they’re a part
of something important, a part of an
exclusive club. There’s plenty of ways to
go about selling merch, a dedicated shop
section being one of them.
Site members can buy/sell stuff in a
secure area of the site and you can claim
a fee for every transaction. This may be
difﬁcult to set up, depending on the means
and budget you have at your disposal, but
the investment may be worth it, as this will
surely generate that extra trafﬁc.
How much do you value your knowledge
and how much will your community
members be willing to pay for it? Sure,
you can sell a copy at a $1 but will you
sell enough to get a return on the time
and work you invested? The good news is
that once the ebook is out, the sales
process can be self-maintained so you’ll
be generating revenue while you sleep.
There’s a lot you can offer in exchange
for a fee. Badges, avatars, distinct
username color, no post per day limit,
ghost mode, direct messaging, the
You can charge a tiny entry fee, as well
as get a business you’ve already worked
with involved in terms of sponsoring the
prize. If there’s an entry fee, it’s better be
worth it. Don’t come up with no corny
stuff that will make the audience scoff.
People pay for school, so why not pay
for a quality, well-targeted course
online? Importantly though, you’ll need
a strong personal brand or a track
record of success in the given ﬁeld to
Paid newsletter subscription
You have to make sure there’s AMAZING
value inside if you’re going to
continuously charge people for it. Oh,
and since we’re at it, cancellation has to
be easy and possible anytime.
Ask for a donation
Asking for a donation in exchange for the
effort you put in is no shame. In 2019
people are well aware of this. Before you
add a PayPal button on your site, or set
up a Patreon, deliver on your part. Provide
excellent content people will love, and
they’ll be glad to share a penny with you.
If you wish to monetize your online community,
it has to include a core of loyal fans.
100k anonymous visitors will not automatically
translate into revenue.
Community members share the same values,
tastes, aspirations, passions – it’s a powerful
force to harness. Leverage user data to create
exceptional experience for them worth the
Be real, be yourself, be authentic, be someone people
can relate to.
Develop strategies that ﬁt your member proﬁle best.
Figure out what’s important to them and what they
Good luck, go get that buck!