*Update* Based on some feedback as well as more personal thought, I’ve decided not to pursue the idea of paid memberships. Instead, I’ll find another way.
If you blinked twice after reading the headline of this post, I don’t blame you. I’ve had some time to think about different ways in which I can generate another revenue stream and the forum sprang to mind. So with some research along with a bit of brain storming, I’ve decided that it’s time to try paid memberships for the forum.
I’m in a difficult position. I don’t offer any products. I don’t offer any services. The only thing I have to offer is my passion for talking and communicating about WordPress. On a world wide web where everyone wants everything for free, this puts content producers such as myself in a predicament. At least there is no room for GPL debate regarding this decision!
While one of my goals has always been to be a leader of or create a great community, the other goal was to see if I could make content production a full time job. I’ve made moves in my personal life to try and achieve that goal such as working one night a week at my other job to provide more WordPress time. While I have advertising spots spread across the site and the forum, it’s simply not enough income. I don’t have a ton of affiliate links to throw in anyone’s face or special ebooks to give away. All I have is a passion to foster an enthusiastic bunch of people around the WordPress software.
The subscription rates for the forum I believe are fair. Starting next Sunday, October 11th the WordPress and Other Projects forums will be locked down from the public, only to be available to paying members. The WordPress Tavern section will remain open to all registered members. I decided to opt for flexibility between pricing and the number of options to choose from. No refunds will be available for any subscription. Here is the list.
- 1 Month $15.00
- 6 Months $60.00
- 1 Year $90.00
- 2 Years $120.00
- Lifetime Membership – $199.00
These payments are not recurring and go through paypal.
No one has to tell me that the forum has been a blast thanks in large part to those participating there. I sincerely appreciate everyone that participates on the forum. For all members of the forum that registered an account between February 2009 to September 31st 2009, you will be able to purchase a discounted Lifetime membership for $79.00. Please don’t view this as a slap in the face for helping to make the forum what it is because it’s not. I had monetization on the mind ever since I launched WPTavern and although when I started, I couldn’t predict what would happen, this is one of the ways I have decided to monetize. The discount is a token of appreciation that I hope you’ll accept and continue to be part of this ongoing effort. If not, I understand and thank you for your previous contributions.
I’m hoping that these membership fees will ultimately help me to continue what I’m doing and perhaps, pay for a few more wordcamps that I can attend/cover. We can either discuss this development here in the comments or in the forum here. Update
Good Luck Jeffro,
I respect your decision, although I probably don’t have the time free to use the forums to a level that would justify paying. They were a very useful free resource, but you contribute so much to the WP community that it’s fair enough that you charge for some of it.
Just don’t start charging for the PodCast! :)