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This article is posted under Monetization Strategies
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Forum Marketing That Works!

If you run a website that offers content rather than promoting a product or a service then there are many ways that you can be making money. Of course the funny thing is that for the most part you wouldn’t know that was the case, and to look a the majority of the websites out there you’d think that the only way to make money from providing content is to use AdSense. This is a shame though, for while AdSense certainly is useful, and convenient, and definitely has it’s place, it’s sadly not the best way to make money from a website at all – simply because it involves sending people away from your page where they can make more money for someone else.

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There are many alternative methods of monetization to consider, but the one we’re going to look at here is making money from a subscription fee, which is a great way to get money from your site for many reasons. Here we’ll look into this in a little more detail.

How it Works

The idea behind a subscription fee is simple – someone signs up to your site and that then gives them the ability to access content that other people can’t. This can be content such as articles and news stories, or it can be content such as web apps, music and games. It’s very easy to implement too – all you need is a PayPal button and some crude PHP knowledge and you’ve got it working. Then all you need to do is to provide a lot of good quality content for free, and advertize your ‘premium’ stuff for a cost. You need to make sure your free stuff is really good to bring in the traffic and get them interested, and then you need to make sure that the subscription stuff sounds even better to ensure they don’t leave. If you can offer free downloads, productivity tools, entertainment, or information on how to get into shape/how to meet partners/how to make money – then you will have a good incentive for people to sign up.


There are many reasons that this is such a great form of monetization. The first is simply that it makes money from your site while keeping your visitors (unlike ads). And in fact you will find that you actually get them to come to your site more often – because they will want to make use of the subscription they are paying for. And there’s nothing to say that you can’t keep the ads on your site too. In other words you are now getting paid for someone to come to your website – it’s a win win situation.

Meanwhile this ‘premium’ membership will make people feel like a part of your site and will make it feel much less static. They are now far more likely to post on forums, to promote your site to others and generally to be a more valuable member of your community. Good this isn’t it? The fact that they are registering by definition also means you have their address for your mailing list.

Other benefits are of course that this is guaranteed and recurring income. Sure they will be able to ‘un-register’ but at the effort involves means that people don’t as often as they probably should. And it’s perfect passive income for you – especially if your premium membership allows access to content that you don’t have to update.

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To get this to work you need to be savvy and you need to build up a large user base for your site and its features first. Get people hooked on your site and then ask them to start paying and you’ll find they’re much more likely to.

Another tip is to include some element of ‘status’ in being a premium member. People enjoy exclusivity and the very fact that they have paid will give them a buzz. Segregate your forum into ‘paid’ areas and ‘un paid’ areas and ensure that the paid areas are the cool places to be. Give people little badges next to their profile and generally make them feel special.

And don’t be afraid to lavish those in your subscriptions with free stuff. That means making sure there is plenty to download and that you bundle as many different features in there a possible. Over time you will get more members and subscription will become more desirable.

This post was written by Gautam. He is guest blog writer with GetLinksPro and likes to write about blogging, monetization and SEO.

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