I've had my social network, My Modern Metropolis, for over a year and a half now. We're projected to make over six figures this year just based on display ads (we're a part of three ad networks). Per Google Analytics, we're reaching close to a million visitors per month.

Wondering if anyone else has made a business out of their Ning network.
Also, what are some of the revenue streams you've tapped?

(Just saw this older thread on Making Money - but thought sharing our experiences in this post would still be relevant.)

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I have adblock and I was like why is there a huge blank space of doom on your network then I turned the ad's on haha now I see why.

Honestly I have one single google micro ad that displays on every page on my network that has made 78.00 bucks. Which is like 500 clicks or so in over a years time haha. But hey I am fine with making 78.00 on just the single micro ad. I am also sure alot of people use adblock on my network because the page impressions do not add up haha.

Over all though its great to see a network make alot of cash!
Thanks for sharing, Morgan. It's all about your goals for your Ning site in the end...isn't it?
Hi Alice,
Great job on monetizing your Ning, and I congratulate you. I haven't come remotely close, to your figures - - not on my Ning sites at least.

Here's the question. How much $ have you invested in advertising? With your Alexa, obviously you have a high traffic site. To say you have a million uniques a month, I'll take your advice for serious thought, any day. ;-) You'll probably get the attention of many, with these figures.

Best,
Jen
I can proudly say that I haven't invested any money on advertising. So the answer is $0. We've grown our traffic by being a part of other, bigger conversations - sites that take our content and spread it virally for us.
Impressed. Great work and excellent site. I know I can spend all day on it :)
wow, that is really impressive.

How did you grow your member base?
From the start, member base wasn't that important of a number to us. We decided early on that we'd shoot for high traffic/visitor numbers and that, in turn, would lead to more people signing up as members. Since display ads pay on impressions (or eye-balls) - the more people that come to our site, the more money we make.

That being said, the main reason for starting this site wasn't to make money, but to give people an experience. We post on art, design and photography because we want to show people how creative this world is. Also, we want to connect people in a meaningful way.
I make a few hundred a month on advertising, anywhere from $300 - $750. My site gets about 1,000 unique hits a day and it's in a small niche. I used to make double what I'm making now, but that was when Widget Labs and Scripts 4 Ning were working.

It's much harder to make money now. The open social apps would be a waste of my time, and I can't trust any third party stuff anymore.

All my site income is based on advertising that I embed myself. I had plans to do other things with third party integration that would have made me a couple of grand a month, but those plans are long gone for now. Maybe one day Ning will get some third party issues resolved and I can revisit these goals.

I'd love to find out other business models as well.

thanks,
Scott
Hi, Alice, congratulations. I have just begun to build my net of sites, and have similar ideas to make a marketplace for creativity for people. Your example encourages me.
By the way, I have technical question, excuse me. How did You make so wide right column? I need such badly...
I work with a third party programmer, basically outsourcing this kind of work. His name is Ronald Chua. He's based in the Philippines. He's very responsive and he will test your work on another mock-up site before he implements anything onto yours. He can be reached through email at nalds@lavabit.com. Hope this helps! Believe me, it took me a long time to find him!
I kinda cheated as I moved my organization over to Ning. Ning is a tool and if you have a great idea you can use Ning to take it farther. Running http://www.njyp.org/ is my full time job so it obviously makes me money :)
What a great success story! I like how your revenue stream is through dues. It's always interesting to see what works for different people.

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