Too little information to answer.
Ask yourself these questions:
* What can they get in your community they can't get anywhere else?
* Is your community going to see a value *more* than what the people in the community provide, i.e., are there tools, processes, vetting, moderating work that you do, that provides high value
* Are they going to save significant time, effort, money if they join your community?
If you are able to answer yes to these, then perhaps charging would work.
There are negative consequences too. Would be happy to help over a call.
Starting an online paid membership community is really seductive. I am in the same process. Among the many things I've learned is that to make it work, you need a very large following. And to develop this following, it's necessary to be very active on the social media that best connects with your target audience.
There are so many other considerations that I have decided to postpone the launch of my community until next spring. Happy to share my experiences with you...help you learn from my mistakes.
I would say probably not. The freemium model could work down the road but you need to build a community first before trying to charge for content. Happy to jump on a call. I built a community of 2,000,000 consumers on an app/website and sold the company profitably.
if its a community of people that like to pay to feel exclusive - sure it will work - otherwise no it will most likely fail - you would need to be providing information or value others cant get anywhere else - usually with business executives and leaders
Communities have value and power in their size - so growth of the community is key to success
how do you grow a community - just focus on being part of the community, a great source of information and discussion of like minded people - remove spammers, focus on quality and let the community grow -
once it grows you can find so many avenues of monitization - depends on the community and how you choose to try and monetize it
There's no fixed answer for this. I see some folks note that you need a big following - that's *absolutely* untrue for a niche market. Yes, very very small markets may not be worth the effort but you do not need a huge following to be successful. You can target your prospects very easily via Facebook.
Do your research - what's the demand for the keywords you are targeting? Why would people want to pay for your site? What value are you providing that isn't available elsewhere? Keep in mind that just a community likely won't be enticiing - you need content that isn't available anywhere else. Few people are interested in committing to forums these days.
It has worked, sites like 'webmasterworld' have done these things in the past.
If you have a niche audience, that's loyal - you can segment the site and charge a membership fee.
It's a tricky line to walk, you'll need something of value to offer the 'premium' users without upsetting the free users be excluding them too much.
The best method would be to segment one particular subject first, see how that goes - and move on from there.
If you are looking to move from a free, open online community to a paid one first decide what fee model you want to use: one-time member fee, yearly, monthly subscription, etc. Then pre-sell. Inform users that you will be undergoing a transition but their loyalty has earned them an exclusive offer. Set a date to end this initial campaign but keep an eye on sales in case you need to extend it.
These campaigns are most effective when users can put a value to the service or product that they receive but your asking price is below that value.
If you would like to learn more, set up a call and lets discuss the best way for you to move forward.