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Has anyone tried running their own (paid) membership site?

S

Spintax

Member
Likes
6
#1
This is something that I, personally, don't have the personality for, but convinced a neighbor to create one (instead of just a forum) for him & his wife because they are Mr & Mrs SCUBA around my area. They've been running it for about a year now, and they make a nice part-time income from it. I was wondering if anybody here has taken their hobby and built a community around it? Do you find it easier or more difficult than just running a forum?
 
Canadian Lover

Canadian Lover

New Member
Likes
2
#2
I find that unless you have really special content or service you're probably not going to make money with paid memberships. However, if you have some kind of skill and can offer something such as photos or your own written software, you could probably be successful with a member-only site,
 
Viktori

Viktori

Member
Likes
7
#3
I've been wanting to provide a place for community gathering built around my interest as well, but I've been having trouble figuring out how I would promote it. I probably wouldn't ask for premium membership fees though, unless it were something I really think could work, since I feel not many people are willing to pay online unless it's for shopping for actual goods, not saying that absolutely no one is willing to, of course.
 
Nymph

Nymph

Member
Likes
12
#4
I'm no fan of cameras. In fact, I'm helplessly camera shy, not that I have any particular skill I would be willing to impart in a regimented fashion that such a site demands. I'm also not a very influential speaker. I wouldn't mind doing voices, though, so tutorial based membership sites are not out of my grasp. I would imagine you need unique, quality content that cannot be found elsewhere or is scarce to find for the price you offer, even if you have to make a potential member think this, in order to be successful with one. It's not a venture I'd leave out completely, but anyone who loves to talk or be seen can probably think of some very creative ways to influence people to buy your memberships. That sort of thing isn't for me.
 
S

Spintax

Member
Likes
6
#5
I've been wanting to provide a place for community gathering built around my interest as well, but I've been having trouble figuring out how I would promote it. I probably wouldn't ask for premium membership fees though, unless it were something I really think could work, since I feel not many people are willing to pay online unless it's for shopping for actual goods, not saying that absolutely no one is willing to, of course.
I wish I could help you on this one, but my neighbors have gotten their clientele strictly through word of mouth. They say they plan on advertising & marketing once they get everything all settled, but right now, they really do have more work than they can handle -- they organized trips as well as training, and this is their busy season. You never know. People may not give you a choice. If 20 people a day are contacting you and begging for your help, you'd be doing them and yourself a disservice by not jumping at the opportunity. And once you start, it'll probably snowball. That's what happened to my neighbors. :)
 
V

vash

New Member
Likes
4
#6
I certainly took my hobbit and started a web site around it. On my web site, I have an article base mostly for the beginners, and I have a forum too on the same site. Obviously I am trying to build a community.... it is hard though lol.

Nope, I have not tried to charge any membership fee as I don't even see it is sustainable nor my site is that attractive yet to get people to pay to stay on it.

I can only see some already extremely popular forums or blogs bring out some premium membership to give them special privileges over regular members. I just don't see how a community can sustain itself if (everyone) has to pay.
 
Viktori

Viktori

Member
Likes
7
#7
I wish I could help you on this one, but my neighbors have gotten their clientele strictly through word of mouth. They say they plan on advertising & marketing once they get everything all settled, but right now, they really do have more work than they can handle -- they organized trips as well as training, and this is their busy season. You never know. People may not give you a choice. If 20 people a day are contacting you and begging for your help, you'd be doing them and yourself a disservice by not jumping at the opportunity. And once you start, it'll probably snowball. That's what happened to my neighbors. :)

Thanks for the helpful comment! I agree, I think with a good enough product or service, people will find a way to you and even stick around. I suppose it is a situation applicable to the saying "If you build it, they will come." I've already checked up on softwares, hosting services and other prices, and they aren't priced too high but it's still a significant amount, so I just hope that I will be able to do something with it, even if it doesn't yield too much profit as I'm only aiming to provide myself with a hobby that also gives back to the online community somehow.
 
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