Monetizing your Online Community: A Checklist

Building your online community, whether on a closed platform or an open social media platform poses a number of challenges for any community manager looking to monetize their audience. If you’ve got a robust advertising strategy in place (incorporating PPC, SEO and Social Media) perhaps consider additional revenue streams such as:
  • Onsite eStore – merchandise/swag to include branded USBs, tote bags, pens, stickers, pins, quirky gadgets
  • Paid workshops (physical locations)

If you’ve opted for a tiered membership subscription model, some initial ideas could include:

  • Premium member badge/avatar
  • Distinct username color
  • Discounted advertising rates on header/skyscraper banner ads
  • Increased private message space – up to X messages can be stored. Progress bar (see OK Cupid example) detailing what percentage of inbox used
  • Free premium posting to X forum, once every X days. Non-premium members are limited to $X per post, once every X days.
  • Access to exclusive forums and chat areas only available to Premium and Corporate (if applicable) members
  • Lower flood limit – a lowered wait time between posts and searches
  • Discount on advertising through any third party affiliates
  • Digital subscription to trade publication X (affiliates?)
  • Corporate/group membership option?
  • Corporate badge and presence.
  • Reduced limits in the advertisement forums. Corporate members can post once every 3 days, compared to 6 for Premium and 7 for non-premium
  • Occasional discounts for ad forum upgrades, such as sticky topics, highlighted topics, etc
  • Quick start guide to maximizing your Corporate membership benefits
  • Ability to private message up to X members at once
  • Private message receipts and tracking
  • Access to an exclusive forum only for X Members
  • Increased photo gallery space – ie. from 256 MB to 512 MB
  • Ability to be “invisible” and not be listed as online, even when viewing the site
  • Option to disable advertising on certain page(s)
  • Fast track access to the founders
  • Ability to follow an unlimited number of threads
  • Special template for improved mobile access to forum(s)
  • Weekly video webcasts where founders will answer questions from Premium Members. Also released as a podcast
  • Daily analysis of topical news stories
  • Exclusive video clips
  • Exclusive photos of founders on the road, at conferences etc
For a fuller community development roadmap process, here is a useful visual on how this process may work.


Marketing Samurai can help you with your Community Management strategy.  Learn how by completing this form today.


Photo Source here.

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