Discuss Communities - Online Community Management Topics

Creating a paid only forum

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Shawn Gossman

Forum Admin
Staff member
Forum Admin
Forum Moderator
Charter Member
Jun 17, 2022
Have you ever considered creating an online community that requires members to pay money in order to be a member?

In our forum culture, this seems ridiculous. When forums were at their peak, we never thought about creating a community that charges for membership aside from a premium membership feature.

But there are several modern online communities on the Internet today that require you to pay to be a part of them. Most memberships to several blogs and websites that I follow cost several hundred dollars a year to join them. I belong to the Copyblogger Academy and that cost nearly $500 a year. Most YouTube channels and Patreon communities that cost money to be a part of. And all of these communities are appropriate an acceptable to the modern masses.

So how can we judge an online community like we’re running today as a vehicle for paid membership?

Requiring a member to pay for their membership typically weeds out the members that are not going to contribute much to the community. People who tend to pay for membership generally want to be active and get some sort of return on investment from being a member of the community.

With the decline of forum activity, a paid membership structure might be ideal.

How does everyone feel about this topic? Are you for paid membership or against it? Please explain your answer.