Community Resource Roundup: Community Revenue

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This week we have some goodies on how to monetize your forum community. So grab that cup of coffee and let’s get to work!

How To Build A Paid Community

Starting a paid membership community begins with a lot of preliminary tasks. Some of these things include: collecting prospects’ emails before you launch, guest blogging, and surveying your target audience to determine what sort of content they want to consume.

“A couple of months before entrepreneurs launch a paid community, they should set up a simple website and gather email addresses from people who might want to become members.”

The Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing: 7 Essential Resources

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways you can monetize your forum community, but implementing it successfully can be a bit of challenge. These seven resources will help you get started with analytics, tutorials, and other educational materials.

“There’s a temptation to dive immediately into affiliate marketing and generate that first dollar in revenue as quickly as possible. A smarter approach, however, is to invest a few hours learning about best practices and common pitfalls from other experts in the area.”

Study: Answering Complaints In Online Forums Boosts Consumer Advocacy More Than Any Other Customer Service Channel

In comparison to social media, phone, email, and review sites, forums provide a larger boost in customer advocacy than any of these channels. This makes forum communities one of the most valuable customer service assets for businesses.

“When you respond to a complaint posted in an online forum, on average, you receive a 25% boost in customer advocacy. Compare this to 20% for social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+), 16% for review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, etc.), 10% for phone and 8% for email.” 

How to Encourage Lurkers To Interact With Your Online Community

Getting lurkers to post can be difficult. This article establishes three solutions to this problem. You can change your tone, adjust your login and posting procedures, or reward regular posting.

“Certain people, often referred to as lurkers, tend to post very rarely, even though they may actually read every blog post or forum post. The shame about this is that those lurkers are actually rather devoted members of the community, but due to shyness, uncertainty, or possibly a dislike for other posters, they simply aren’t interacting with the community in a very meaningful way.”

3 Things All Online Communities Need

This article gets right to point— every community needs three things. Your forum should have a clear identity and purpose, an emphasis on making every aspect of your community the best that it can be (members, content, etc.), and setting up appropriate barriers to membership.

“You need to be able to keep the purpose of your community short and snappy. Think elevator pitch—but even shorter. If you can’t condense the purpose (and benefits) of your online community down into a few sentences, then it isn’t focused enough.”