Community Strategy Insights

The latest insights on community strategy, technology, and value by FeverBee’s founder, Richard Millington

The Pros and Cons of Charging For Membership

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

I put together a quick table

Should you charge people to be a member of your online community?



  • Direct revenue. You’ll be the envy of all web 2.0 companies.
  • Focus on the few. You can stop focusing on reaching everybody and focus on a few members.
  • Wipe out the lurkers. It doesn’t pay to lurk.
  • Greater participation. Members will participate more often if they’re paying.
  • Change of mindset. You’re forced to serve your paying members.
  • Less members. Not useful if your marketing strategy is to reach as many people as possible.
  • Competition. A free community might replace you.
  • Charging for membership might be a very good idea. 

    It forces you to provide a level of service that reflects the price you charge. It also narrows your focus to fewer people (also good) and gives you a direct revenue. Direct revenue means either profit for your business (if you’re hired to do this) or the chance of a full time job (if you build communities solo).

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Subscribe for regular insights

    Subscribe for regular insights