How I used a Premium Section To Make Money On My Forum

In a recent article I listed 5 ways to make money from a forum and one method which I listed was having a subscriber/premium section on your forum.

What is a Premium Section?

A Premium section is basically a forum in which only special members can access it. Those special members being the ones that have paid a fee set by you to see the forum. The Premium section will usually contain unique information that cannot be found else where on the web or perhaps access to downloads in which regular members do not have access too.

Setting Up Your Premium Section

Setting up your premium section is very easy. It only requires you to create a sales page, create a premium forum and create a premium member group.

The sales page is where you will give information such as the benefits of buying a premium membership as well as the prices. You will also want it to contain a link to Paypal or whatever payment method you request for your forum.

You will then want to create a premium members group for your forum. This group will have access to the forum of unique information I was talking about earlier as well as the rest of the regular forum. It’s also good practice to give these members a different color of username so that they stand out from the crowd, maybe a custom title image or maybe some extra mailbox space on the forum or extra signature space.

Creating the forum is super easy, it’s just creating another forum you just have to set up the permissions of the forum to allow the premium members in and keep the non-premium members out.

Deciding a Price

Deciding the price of the membership is the hardest task. You will have to think to yourself how good is your information you are providing in this forum? How will they benefit from this forum? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself when deciding a price. You also need to take into consideration if you make it too high that people may not buy and if you make it too low you could lose money. It’s all about personal feeling at this stage. Roughly, I usually set mine about $20 for a lifetime.

Advertising the Premium Section

In order to make the sales you will have to advertise your sales page to the rest of the forum. Create announcements, create blog posts, post on twitter and other social network sites, and most importantly have the page visible and not hiding away. In order to generate sales you need exposure so it’s best not to hide it away.

Watch The Money Role in…

Now you have your subscribers section set up you can watch the money role in. I find it’s a great way to make money of your forum and if set up correctly you could make a decent bit from it. You just have to make sure you have the member base and the activity count to do it.

Time For You to Talk

Do you have a subscribers section? Do you feel it’s a good way to generate money from your forum? What price do you recommend? Post your thoughts below.

Why another blog about forums? Great question, we are just a couple of forum owners who have built ours forums from the ground-up. We just wanted a blog for real life forum owners, with real life experiences.

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  • Shawn Gossman December 21, 2011, 1:44 am

    Great article! However, I find that it is hard to get people to purchase premium memberships. I mean people want to get something out of spending money these days. Sure, there may be a few who want to contribute to a hosting server bill but most people want more. So I think enhancing a premium membership with extra features and less limits would be a smart thing to do as well.

    What do you all think?