Are you a podcaster, video creator, blogger or a jack-of-all-trades hustler looking for ways to monetize your online community? Drop the stress, because the way is laid down.
While speaking to online entrepreneurs regarding their monetization strategies, the same answers are always heard, irrespective of their industry. How do these people earn money?
- They take to advertising
- They sell their individual products or services
- They maximize sponsorships and brand deals
Raising money from a website or personal blog isn’t reserved for a special type of entrepreneurs. With the proper tools and tactics employed, anyone can do it.
The following is a collection of a group of effective online community monetization strategies and true life examples for you. Gain from those who’ve come up from the community monetization challenge with a hefty paycheck in their hand.
Promote Paid Posts
Have you ever known about native advertising? While it’s still a bit unclear concept, most marketers acquiesce that it must be exciting, relevant and highly targeted content that brands pay to get published on concerned sites. It won’t be your usual promotional stuff; it is precisely constructed to grasp the attention of a particular audience. Acknowledging a paid post is nothing to be ashamed of so long as it generates value for your online community.
It is a simple way to monetize online community if you associate with brands that emphasize creativity and genuineness before self-promotion. Be cautious with accepting bad quality paid content as it can undermine your members’ goodwill and damage your reputation. But accept content that enlivens your members and fills up your bank account.
Initiate Print On Demand Branded Merchandise
Have you ever boastfully wore a custom t-shirt carrying a community’s name or logo? In contrast to the branded swag merchandise and goods that are distributed for free at trade exhibitions, tube stations and conferences, community merchandise is really loved and praised by its loyal fans. For people to purchase your branded goods, they must feel like they belong to an exclusive club, a community of people governed by specific values or interests, not simply some fans blindly chasing a trendy brand.
CouchSurfing Store is a splendid example of community monetization. Lined with custom mugs, journals, t-shirts and other items that are helpful for its travellers community, CouchSurfing Store is striking two nails with one hammer. Firstly, it presents its community an opportunity to display their gratitude and loyalty, a means to identify themselves as “couchsurfers” and something to join over with fellow adventurers – in other words, it is entertaining its community.
Secondly, it is effectively creating a profit on branded merchandise that further encourages its brand and generates more fans. Nevertheless, it must be highlighted that this monetization plan is best suited for powerful, ideologic communities that are larger than the brands themselves. If you decide to traverse this route, allocate some time selecting the most relevant products that can deliver value for your community.
Build A Membership Site
Operating a private membership site is perhaps among the finest known ways how to monetize an online community. Erecting a paywall offers zealous entrepreneurs the chance to plunge-deep into their passions, concentrate on creating strong content and offering value to their members, and all while being paid for it! Many have effectively converted their communities into membership sites by observing some simple rules.
If it’s your opening project, the most vital thing to do is to learn from other popular membership sites. If you haven’t yet, perform your research by obtaining some first-hand experience of how good membership sites are run and structured and develop on that. It’s alright to steal and borrow so long as you impart your personal unique twist.
Harley Owners Group is a superb instance of a paid membership site.
As an iconic brand, it commands a global community and can, so charge and present more. H.O.G possesses a 3 tier membership catering to 3 distinctive sectors of their community: specific membership for motorcycle owners, affiliate membership for those in the passenger seat and a life membership for die-hard fans.
The takeaway from this instance is that knowing and partitioning your community into distinctly defined clusters is crucial to initiating a successful membership plan. Knowing what your customers appreciate and understanding their pain points and yearnings will aid you form an attractive offer that turns them into paying members. Launching with the proper pricing structure in position is vital and that’s only probable if you know what potential members are ready to pay for.
Build A Rewards Scheme For Your Patrons
Recently, the creators community online has been buzzing concerning this latest membership site Patreon that aids creators get paid for what they’re doing already. If you’re creating songs, comics, high-grade blogs, videos or other same types of content, examine how you can make your online community pay a monthly membership fee or render a per creation payment each time you launch something new. If you have an active online community interested in and waiting for your following piece of content, this might be simply the way for you to monetize your digital products.
Leverage User Data
The concept of monetizing your online community doesn’t concern manipulating your subscribers into purchasing something they don’t desire or need, although it may occasionally carry that negative connotation. When performed correct, it’s about making a profit by regaling your customers. Consider it this way – an online community is joined together by something larger than simply a wishlist. Communities share similar aspirations, tastes, values and passions. If you wish to profit from fans, you should concentrate on offering them more of what they desire and aiding them get nearer to their version of joyfulness.
Made Unboxed represents how one of the trendiest and most preferred furniture brands exploits their community’s passion for style and design. Instead of thrusting their marketing newsletters down their customer’s throats, they depend on user-generated content to motivate, intrigue and convert other prospects.
In simple terms, they leverage everything they learn about their customers to sell, upsell and cross-sell more. To effectively monetize your online community, gather and leverage user data to build more personalized, tailored experiences and wow offers.
Begin Coaching And Selling Your Expertise
Lifelong learning and self-development are major, juicy topics currently. Probabilities are, most of your community members have individual goals and would opt to pay for high-quality, specialised training if that assisted them attain what they’re striving for. So why not utilize your expertise and coaching avenues as a means of monetizing your online community?
The one thing you need to completely nail to get the best out of this strategy is developing a powerful personal brand. Setting up yourself as a thought leader and skilled in your field will not just offer your coaching program greater credibility, but will also aid you ensure your community members relate your name with the blog, forum or membership site that you’re operating. This, in turn, will enhance your brand and ignite many more monetization avenues in the future.
If you have worthy lessons to share and people who are ready to listen to you, then coaching is a sureshot way to monetize your online community.
Request For Donations
Value for value is an ideal way of monetizing an online community. To achieve this, you initially need to implement your part of the deal by building some really valuable content or experience and distributing it for free. Obviously, it can appear as a daunting exercise. Free access to extraordinary resources online has spoilt us to the level when we want everything to be free. It’s normal to emphasize about your community turning a blind eye to your request for support. Though numerous blogs and online communities have proven this to be a baseless bother by succeeding to operate specifically on a donation basis.
Host Workshops, Events Or Conferences
Arranging a workshop, meetup or conference involves plenty of work but it also represents a huge opportunity to earn money. The moment you begin charging an entry fee, expectations of people soar, so it’s crucial for your future and reputation success to grant above standard. There are different ways to monetize offline events, like finding sponsors, selling your goods, branded merchandise or training. It affords you the chance to extend your community and grow brand awareness of what and why you do.
Among the world’s finest known events brands, TED Conferences, is the final example of how an involved community can affect a brand’s growth and success. It took 6 years for the co-founders to uplift TED from a one-off conference to an annual global event and a video phenomenon. TED Talks have now emerged as the symbol of world-transforming ideas, innovation and visionary thinking and has an interactive global community that joyfully watches, participates, and purchases TED products – either digital or physical.
Whatever format you select for your first event, begin small and obsess about details. You will discover from your mistakes and detect new ideas how to monetize your online community by experimenting and associating with sponsors, speakers, mentors, members of your community and other same-minded people. Concentrate on quality!
There is no single best way to monetize your website, so numerous webmasters adopt different monetization strategies. Maintaining various smaller income streams from your website offers less risk than pinning all your hopes on a single monetization method. Figure out a combination that acts for your particular audience, and over time you’ll view your website get increasingly profitable.