This is just like those discussions where everybody introduces themselves except in this case you are letting us know your path to $500 a year or $50 dollars a month. How did you raise the money to become a Ning Pro. Did you do it through Ads, Cafe Press, Donations, Selling Stuff, Membership Fees, etc.
OMG, that is awesome. No strategy on that one just the facts and that is awesome they responded the way they did. It restores my faith in the community spirit. They obviously appreciated the value of the network as a resource to respond in the way they did.
|Hey Garfield CrEatOr ... I reflected or meditated upon this few weeks. Then I found out: okay, my network is free - it shall be free in future. But i would shut down my network if the members do not honour the value of it.
Because 33% of my network are Germans and they don't like my English broadcast messages written in English - I created an own email list which allows to greet the recipient with their name .... Hey N.N. - so these are additional facts for how I could reach my members.
By the way I had a strategy. I decided for my own that I would shut down my network if not enough members will not donate a (small) donation.
When I heard Ning was going Premium only... I kind of panicked. One member came out and proposed to sponsor the cost of it with the condition of being an exclusive and only sponsor with no other adds... That was really lucky!
My networkis a small niche: hypnosis. I started with no money or mailing list. Now I have 8,000 members, and I think a lot of it has to do with my advertising policy.
I have discussed my Advertising Policy on the NC site before, but I will sum it up here:
- only active members of the community can post an ad on my site (2 pieces of content a month)
- the people who want to advertise to my member then have to join my site
- this makes my site more valuable to more people
- I get more members because of this
- then I get to raise advertising rates.
I now charge $150 a month per ad (right column, 200 pixels high) and have 3-5 ads going at any given time. That means I can get the money in a single month to pay for the year.
I also have a group where people can post ads for free to promote a product or a class, but they can't do any promotion in the blog or forum sections.
This has worked really well for me in terms of attracting thought leaders in my industry.
my 2 cents,
I run a social network for black women living in Europe.
I surveyed my members asking if we should stay on Ning or move. I also asked would they be willing to pay $1, 1 euro or 1 GBP to say on Ning. The consensus was that we stay and members contributed as little as $1 and as much as 250 euros. So we're financially viable for a while.
I also started a Business Level membership to those who wanted to advertise on the site. I did that at the same time I removed purely advertisng posts, etc, and invited those posters to take a Business Level membership. They are encourages to create special offers for members that I will send to the network. They can use their blog to sell themselves, and they can start a group based on the industry.
So far I have had many inquiries but only one taker. I will put more thought into how to fine-tune the Business Level membership and how to promote it outside of the network.