The Pros and Cons of Charging For Membership

November 4, 2009Comments Off

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).

    Comments Off

    We’d like you to join us.

    We’re a group of community professionals who push each other to the cutting edge of our work. Every day we share our experiences, highlight new expertise, and push one another to become the best community builders we can be.

    The day you join, you’ll get access to 1000+ practical tips, dozens of resources, and unlimited access to the top experts in our space. You’ll also get to see how we go about building a community amongst our own audience.

    It takes just 30 seconds and doesn’t cost a thing.


    Level Price  
    Expert $0.00 now.
    Growth Club $35.00 per Month.
    Enterprise $1,100.00 per Month.