Hey guys, well I'm trying to come up with decent ideas for the premium section in my forum (Xenforo powered of course). We have a main news blog that covers things like tech, gaming, autos, aviation, tv entertainment, etc. Kinda like a geek's paradise somewhat. I ruled out blocking ads, because I know a lot of people are running ad blockers and it wouldn't be a big selling point. So I have others ideas such as:
Custom User Title (with money image)
Increased inbox sizes
Ability to Open/Close own threads
Monthly drawing for free stuff (gadgets, etc.)
Any other ideas? I don't plan to charge much either.
Private forums - I disagree with this one. What will be in that private forum that would be so good people would pay to see? And if it's that good wouldn't you want it opn to everyone to bring in traffic?
Custom User Title - This one is a great idea.
Increased inbox size - This one is okay, but I can't see my folks using it that much.
Ability to Open/Close own threads - This is another thing I have as default. But if it's not default for your site I think it would be a great draw.
Monthly drawing - I have mixed feelings about this one. As the items/prizes would come out of your pocket I'm not sure what you'd be gaining. Of course that depends on the prize, but you'd have to post publicly that "Contributor X won this month's prize of Y!" Hell, you could set it up so that a monthly contribution of $5 (or $10, whatever) gives them an entry into the contest. Make it known any additional money is used for site expenses. Holy crap. The more I think of this the more I like it. A lot. I think I'm stealing this idea...
Hoffi has some good ideas but I know what you mean about adblockers. It's hard to monetize your site strictly through ads these days. Thanks, Chrome & Firefox!! Persoanlly, that's the only one I have right now but like you I am looking for other ways to help out pay for stuff.
Hahaha @ Brogan's timely response. Some nice ideas here. Luckily my site is not dependent on forum revenue for sustainability. Most of the revenues come from the blog, and I don't plan to charge much for the premium membership, just want them to feel special for a few bucks
I'm actually starting a monthly contest, but I had to download a donation manager to do so as this doesn't work for that, unless the users only have to purchase 1 entry per month or whatever. I'm going to be giving away swag and prizes whose value is based solely on the amount I get donated.
I know there are several threads on this topic already.
On my forum we have site supporters.
They get more PMs.
Site Support tag below their username.
Username marked in bold red.
We do have a private forum which just explains how to obtain free decals.
It hardly is every used come to think of it.
I don't block ads and no one really cares that they are there.
They understand that it takes money to pay for a site.
But members become site supportors because it gives them a warm and fuzzy feeling.
A sense of ownership. And it's their forum just as much as it's mine.
They even shame people into becoming site supporters.