Have you been thinking about trying out the new Paid Access add-on? Have a few ideas for how to start making money? Share your ideas and inspire fellow Ning Creators to start building a social business.
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Tell us how you plan to use the Paid Access feature. We’ll enter you into a random drawing to win one free year of the Paid Access add-on. Whether your idea is a revolutionary new way to raise revenue — or just plain simple and practical — we want to know. Every entry has an equal chance at winning, and it’s super easy to enter. Just tell us…
How might you make money using the Paid Access feature?
Share your idea in-depth so other Network Creators will get some great advice, or just make it one sentence and simple, like this:
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Ready to enter? Just tell everyone: How might you make money using the Paid Access feature?
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We've got a radio program that needs sponsors. If each listener contributed $2 a month we could pay our bill without begging for advertisers. Thanks for the great option Ning!
I run an NPO network that I hope will become the face of a long-term support community for scientific and popular research communication around the world, in all countries, all research disciplines, all research-publishing languages, and all areas of research-related communication. The community is already large, broad, and diverse, but most members cannot be expected to pay for membership.
I will use the Ning subscription system to seek voluntary payment at different levels that are tailored to the approximate likely incomes of members in different parts of the world (student members should definitely have free membership, for example).
Critical in this approach will be giving members a sense of being able to help themselves and others by helping us become financially independent as an NPO. To the extent that a subscription drive is successful, I will need to give social and practical rewards to the network as a whole, and must be very clear about how subscription funds are used to reinvest in the network and our members.
I will use a proportion of subscription funds to run a science writing contest that is open to all members. The funds will not be used to pay the winner, instead, they would be used to pay professional editors and translators to help the winner get their winning essay published in a good publication.
That's my starting plan.
First, let me say, I would greatly appreciate the free year membership. It would not help me earn money, but it would help me limit the amount of money that I lose on this project.
You ask, “How Might You Make Money using the paid access feature?” Rather than asking, How might you “make money”, maybe you could have asked “how can you benefit”. Some of us network creators are in this to “help” members rather than simply profit from them. With that said, even if we do not make money, we can actually benefit from the paid access feature.
1) Existing Members: I will allow all existing members to have FREE membership. It is not that I have to give them free membership, but they “deserve” free membership. I prefer to offer free services when possible. In addition, I believe that existing members should be rewarded for their loyalty.
2) New Members: I would charge new members a small fee. Possibly a dollar or two. The purpose is not to cause financial stress to new members nor financial gain for myself. The goal would simply be to help reduce the quantity of members joining the network. It is not my goal to have “many” members. It is my goal to have high quality members. The thought process is that if members have to pay a dollar or two, the people that are not serious will simply not join. I only want members that are eager to be active participants in the community.
3) Summary: Paid excess will reduce membership so that only the serious people will apply. That is a benefit to existing and future members.
The unfortunate reality, is that although the Fashion Industry Network currently is an active site with nearly 19,000 members, I believe the site may lose money each month. The site has been developed with the purpose of “helping” members of the fashion industry. If I start charging for the service, I do not think I am actually helping them. However, if I charge a dollar or two to eliminate spam, this may create a better environment which would in turn be helpful to members. Anyway, if I do not win the free year of membership, I unfortunately cannot afford the cost of this system (although I like sponsoring the network by paying the regular monthly fees, I am not ready to fork over more money at this time for this additional service).
In addition to the dollar or two for new members, I would possibly create a method for donations (if your system allows me to do both). Possibly, I would create a donation fund to save money for a network party. For example, when the fund reaches a certain amount, schedule an event in New York for all that wish to attend (unfortunately, it would only work for people that are close to NY (but my site is international). Or possibly, create a fund with donations to create a scholarship to a fashion school. However, unlike many other funds, I would most likely give the “full” amount to the student. It makes me sick to see charities charge “thousands” of dollars from sponsors to attend fund raiser events and only give the student “hundreds” of dollars for their scholarship. If I collect donations for scholarships, I would certainly pass along the full amount to the students. Or possibly, rather than a scholarship, I would use donations to create a “fashion show” and allow members to display their product to the press at no charge. OK, I need to put more thought into exactly what can be done with the donations. .. but I am sure I can think of something.
If Ning is gracious enough to offer me the free year of this service, I will at the very least create a method for members to make donations. I will then take one hundred percent of those donations and create a network event for members to enjoy or create some other way to donate the money to members of the network (scholarship, special event, or something).
Again, this paid access should not just be about making money for the network creator. It can also be used to benefit the members of the network. If we are developing “communities”, they should be mutually beneficial communities.
We are a board to find product reviews where companies can post pitches. We want to make money forming a private, pay for access group to get exclusive pitches. We will use this money to pay dues, run giveaways, and help our members become better reviewers.
I run a closely monitores site for people who understand their so-called bipolar disorder as a process of spiritual development, that is being denied and blocked by society. It's a sensitive subject with people who do not feel supported by our society and are subject to ridicule. As a result, I need to be very sensitive to them as well.
I need financing in order to give the site the time in deserves. Right now, people donate with a Paypal button on my blog, but that still leave the possibility of people signing up without a donation - a socially awkward situation, as I need to decline their registration.
Keeping all of that in mind, my set up will involve a one-time donation to sponsor my work in this area (which involves producing YouTube videos, writing articles, books, etc...and running the site). I will have a minimum donation of probably $10 , a suggested donation of $25 and a max of $250. This will help me avoid any HUGE donations which may be given by a person in a manic state.
Thank you NING! Your added features are helping me deal with a very sensitive group with increasing finesse.
We are already making money using a paywall for the entire site. We set it up as a donation, with a "suggested annual donation" as the default. About 26% of our members chose to give the suggested donation. About 57% gave nothing, 10% gave something less than the suggested donation, and 7% gave something more. With this amount, we were able to raise enough to cover the annual expenses of running our Network and the non-profit behind it in just a couple of months!
Next, we're planning to set up some paywalls around groups. The first one we're going to try is a group for yearbook orders. In order to incentive people to commit early to the yearbook, we're setting the paywall at a lower price first, and gradually increasing it over the year. Once in the group, the yearbook is "paid for", and the yearbook volunteer staff will be able to communicate with all of those who have ordered books. This will ensure that those who are vested in purchasing a book will have lots of pictures of their kids in it.
After that, we're going to look at charging for "classes". Often members of our network set up groups for the registered students in a class, so that they can communicate between gatherings. Allowing the organizer to collect money through the paywall rather than chasing down checks would be so much easier. As a non-profit, we're looking at possibly charging a transaction fee to collect those paypal payments and then transfer the money to the organizer on a given date. The organizer of the class could choose to use that service or not.
At 5 for Fairness, we'll use Paid Access to collect the $5 contribution, 100% of which goes to our collective grant account, from people who want to join. When our grant account reaches $5000, we decide which nonprofit working to make the world fair for girls most deserves our grant. We write them a check and start all over again.
We intent to use our site to attract more membership. We are going to be choosing from thousands of members with the highest invites. There will be "Five Prize" to be drawn when we hit 10,000 members. Right now, we won't be charging, and if we were to start charging tomorrow. It would on be because we want to and we will be using the revenue generated from the members would be used to upgrade the site.
If we were to start charging members, we would only charge a flat rate/yr, no monthly payment of quarterly or half a year payment. If we decide to start charging, membership and access to all areas of the network will be automatic, a paying member should and will be able to use or access the whole network.
One year payment will give members access to everything, a non-paying member will only be able to access limited portions of the network.
Right now, our site is free, we are still waiting to see how the competition is coming up! If we decide to go paid access, we will use it to or for:
This is enough for now!
I plan to make part of my Ning a resellers site for resale products such as eBooks,Software,Scripts etc.
We have been using our own version of paid access for about a year now and are excited about eventually transitioning to this on Ning.
We run a site called SchoolLeadership20.com and at the moment we have premium access for some parts of our site. To be honest, one thing that keeps me from using the "Ning Paid Access" is that you can't setup an automatic payment. In other words, If I set my time to be 1 month and the rate is $4.95 I don't think its an automatic payment. My understanding is that the user will get a message about it. In my opinion, it needs to be automatic and when it is, I will certainly use it.
@Eric - awesome idea posting this. It will generate so many ideas for all of us. If you have any update or timeline on when Ning plans on making the paid access an automatic process I'd appreciate it.