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We've been given a reprieve as Nings new owners have decided not to increase pricing, as previously foretold (thank goodness!).  At least not at this time but you and I both know, nothing stays the same forever.  While Ning personnel work on re-establishing platform stability, I thought it might behoove us to prepare for a price hike down the road and just "how" we're going to meet those goals.  You should be earning money anyway on your site - but it sounds as if many of you need more.

Well, here Ning talks about how to raise money from PayPal to sponsorships and Google Adsense but I thought I'd do a call to action to get you up off the couch.  A rate hike will come and if we put our heads together, you'll be ready and raring to go.

Personally my site is very small and my members quite generous in working to keep the lights on.  Even ones that are gone for a year, return and throw down on the table for our little 'home'.  I know many of you, though, were very concerned over the previous rate hike announcement.  Let's see if we can't rectify that situation.

I'm really reach out to you Creators.  Give us your stories.  What has worked and why?  Did you involve third party apps such as Evenbrite, EventBee or Amazon Web Services ?  Partner with other sites?  Fundraisers?  Contests?  Event or registration fees?  Give away prizes?  If you sold merchandise, explain to us what 'type' and what worked.........and what flopped.  We may have a solution for that too!  You never know. 

Good luck!

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  • I recently started working with the owner of https://sponsorama.com/ It's a new platform and it's super cool. It isn't ads. You work with someone who will sponsor your site, events, podcasts, ebooks, or whatever. You establish your own terms and work directly with your sponsor to determine how they will be mentioned and what the rates are. Plus, you have total control over who you work with, so you can find a sponsor who is befitting of your site.

    Right now, they're trying to get people with larger sites/ brands to sign up as both sponsors and publishers, but when I spoke to the owner, he thought some of the established Ning networks would be a good fit. I'm happy to provide his direct contact info if anyone needs it, but you can sign up directly on the site. Think of it as an airbnb, but for brands to network. very cool concept and it's still in the early stages, but I can't wait to try it. I needed to wait until my redesign was done before I signed up, but I plan to be both a publisher and a sponsor- generate income and raise awareness. 

    On the other end of things, I raised a few hundred in donations when I announced to my members that I was designing a new site. I just used the PayPal donate button. Prior to announcing the redesign, I made $10 from one person once, over the course of about 4 years. 

    The most lucrative thing for me has been Taboola ads so far, but you need a minimum of 500,000 hits per month to get in.

    I'm also a fan of Project Wonderful, because there is no minimum threshold for hits and you can choose to approve which ads appear, but none of them have been spammy for me. I just let them auto-approve. They really put you in control over which ads appear on your site, which is very rare in the industry. Also, they tend to have a ton of super tiny networks and those low volume sites don't always get bids. As an advertiser, you can search for them and post your ad free... a very cool way to grow your site.

    • Great tips!  Yeah, if your members aren't supporting you, you're running the site and paying the costs out of pocket.  No one does that long term......unless they're loaded.  *lol*  

      Even Wall Street Journal and NY Times are charging now.  Even if it's $1 a month, nothing good is free anymore.

      Thanks JustAsking!

  • This probably doesn't apply to many networks, but there used to be this fan fiction site that raised their funds by hosting a Silent Auction.  Readers would donate money (anonymously) for their favorite authors or artists to make them a graphic or write them a story. The highest bidders would win the services of the person they bid on, and all proceeds went to the fees.  (They raised almost $800 that way.)  Of course, this could be tailored to fit your site. Doesn't have to be writing and/or artwork. 

    • Cool idea Diane!  Would be stellar if you could turn that into an annual event; especially if it was around this time of year........long before the holidays (?)  One hand washes the other.

  • Someone posted this comment but then took it down.   The more I think about it, it's the smaller sites with older (seniors) membership who may have the harder time raising money.  After all, the older we get, we don't need to purchase as many things - and we hit fewer and fewer ads on any website.  A great # of seniors are also on fixed incomes with little to spare each month, much less in terms of supporting a site they enjoy.  It's a difficult predicament - and this deleted comment could be a solution! 

    So okay - here goes.  Just be wary of shipping costs.  Name being withheld (unless you decide to step forward and claim it)

    One thing I can offer as an Idea is having an auction has worked for us.. and that is when members don't have money to donate they can donate an item.. put it up for bid with other site members.. give it 30 days .. once time is up we acknowledge the winner ask for their information to give to the person holding item.. that way item is not shipped twice to me and then the winner.. but we make sure money has been entered paypal first.. we note pay attention to shipping fees destination if European.. sometimes we offer too help but depending on item weight.. maybe a book or something homemade vase etc..

    • awesome tips! Thanks!

    • Thank you KOS. thought about and when I re read it sounded a little complicated.so I deleted it. but works out .. we even got 300 bucks for an item one time.. but for most average $20-$50 a very special person here in creators donated a word program and it helped site make it last year at the last minute.. every little bit adds up..

      I will add that we have added a section in forums for this "Auctions for site" have to say our auctions have slowed down seems last year was a big strain on everyone. but it can work.

      most had no issue with shipping as usually a few bucks..but we ask anyway..  

      • Another I will add .. our site makes a monthly magazine with articles submitted by members is free to them to read and download and I build these with word uploaded to Scribd.. but we offer advertising in our mag for $10 a month or 6 months for $50 this has also slowed down but helps.. our site does not link to other social sites but some on mine have their own (.com) with items they make and want to advertise. so if you don't make a magazine maybe offer a subtab list for them little banner short descript.. more short term sponsorship thing.

  • I do blame NING for some of the downfall of activity .. as we lost allot of chatters when chat was changed it was messed up for almost 9 months . and when sites glitched up on them or act like bricks on their slower speed pc's or issues with wifi on phones.. they will go back to Facebook.. so now we have to work much harder to secure our site fees ..

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