for Online Communities
Forum monetization strategies are not what they used to be. Back in the day (before social media), you could offer a few basic features to get premium members. You could also add a few Google Adsense ads to your forum pages as well. Nowadays, forum monetization strategies are no longer that easy. Basic premium features aren’t that worthy of a fee anymore and Google ads are hard to get on your forum unless it is super active. So, I wanted to cover a couple of different ways to potentially monetize your message forum in 2022 and beyond. Let’s look at five different ways to do it.
Forum Monetization Strategies Tip 1: Premium Forum Only
Charge for membership, period. This is one way to gain revenue with your forum. Only provide a forum where membership must be paid for. If you do this, require monthly payments or a slightly reduced annual payment option. This sounds like a great idea, right? It could be a great idea, or it could be a complete waste of your time. You can be successful with this strategy by offering potential members something important to pay for. So, if your niche can offer something for this payment, then this could work. For example, as a social media strategist, I’d pay for access for an active forum that gives daily articles on the best social media marketing strategies from those I know are good at it. So, for me to trust you enough to pay for your forum, you’d need to be an authority in the niche. Does that make sense? You, the forum administrator, you need to be known and have information people want to pay for.
Forum Monetization Strategies Tip 2: Premium Membership
Premium membership works in 2022. Patreon is an excellent example of Premium Membership. People want to support the creators they enjoy and that can be a message forum administrator like you, as well. You just need to make sure you are providing features that will be worth their payment. I recommend setting lower to higher payments based on the benefits of upgrading. For example, offer this and that feature for $3 a month. Offer those features and this other feature for $5 a month and so on. But you need to make sure the features are worth paying for. I mean in the old days; a custom user title and username color was good enough. These features are not good enough, anymore.
Forum Monetization Strategies Tip 3: Brand Deals
Lure in brands associated with your niche. If you have a niche forum, post content, reviews, and the likes that promotes brands that you wish to target. Get positive discussions going on about the brands. Try to be an ambassador for the brands. Try to help people with needs and questions about the brand. Once you establish that, contact the brand through social media and promote your promotion of their business on your forum. Make them see you doing it. Then mention that you’d love to make a deal with them if they ever wanted to make a deal. The worst they could say is no. But you’re going to have a better chance of partnering with brands if you show you are worthy of it.
Forum Monetization Strategies Tip 4: Affiliate Links
Affiliate links is the next best thing to Google ads and such that we used to use. You can use them in reviews, banners, links, and more. But this is often a harder type of monetization to get because you really need an active community with active membership to get approved for affiliate link usage. This is where I suggest targeting social media to gain this permission. Work on making your forum’s social media pages for active than the forum and work of getting affiliate approval through social profiles. Most brands are going to understand what social media is more so than forums. This is because forums are a bit old school. But once you’re approved to affiliate, you can start using them on your message forum community as well.
Forum Monetization Strategies Tip 5: Donation Drives
Wikipedia proves that donations work. Consider relaying completely on membership donations. Offer minimal benefits for donating other than the ability for members to help keep the forum online and to keep advertising off the forum. This is the kind of tactic that requires a very active and informative online community. You need to provide enough benefits that people love the community and that they want to see the community stay alive. This is probably one of the best methods of earning revenue because you really put trust and loyalty at stake for gaining the revenue. But this method WILL take hard work like any method for getting money.
And there you have it folks, 5 different forum monetization strategies for 2022. I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you did, please share it, and please comment with more ideas that you might have for earning money with your message forum.
Founder, Forum Tips Blog
Howdy! My name is Shawn and I founded ForumTips.Blog! I created this blog to share my 20+ years of message forum knowledge with other community administrators and moderators. Learn about useful topics here such as managing, marketing, profiting, and sustaining your message forum community!