What do you think are the largest paid communities?

(Ben Welch-Bolen) #1

Hi all,

I’ve browsed through threads but couldn’t find much. What do you think are the largest paid membership communities out there?

I am looking for one heavily centered online, ie not Costco :slight_smile:


(Sarah Hawk) #2

I don’t know about the largest (it’s very hard to get stats from communities behind paywalls) but Copyblogger have a large one.

A few members that might be able to help with advice:
@Suzi_Nelson runs a successful paid community on Facebook.
@jenfilla was working on one that I think was due to launch recently.
@Nicole_Niss manages the YEC community.

I think that @Rob_Nicholson’s CAMRA forums are subscription based.

(Ben Welch-Bolen) #3

Awesome thanks! Checking those out.

Is anyone charging more than $1,000 to $2,5000 a year that you know of?

(Sarah Hawk) #4

I’m not sure.

@richard_millington or @Todd_Nilson might have some examples.

(Rob Nicholson) #5

Yes, CAMRA is an organisation of >180,000 members who pay an annual subscription but it’s a small amount (£25/year). However, only 1,000 members have currently signed up to Discourse.

Cheers, Rob.

So, what are you working on?
(Todd Nilson) #6

Vistage International is a community for entrepreneurs and CEO’s. It requires a membership but the online community is more of an associated benefit and not the reason for the fee in and of itself. Their membership price is $15K annually for their CEO group according to this site. They appear to have other groups that charge less. Again, the distinction is that you must be a paid member to access the community, but the membership fee isn’t specifically for the community.

I can’t think of any others off the top of my head @ben_welch-bolen.

(Ben Welch-Bolen) #7

Thanks Todd :), yep I am a member there and at EO (dues around $2500), and at YEC (dues around $850 to $1k). Good organizations and awesome use for business owners.

Anyone know of any others charging $1k a more a year?

eCommerceFuel is pretty awesome, and they are doing ~$600 a year.

(Sarah Hawk) #8

@andrewyouderian is a member here, and a really nice guy. I’m sure he’d be happy to answer questions.

(Ben Welch-Bolen) #9

Yep talking to him Thursday and super excited :slight_smile:

(Jennifer Filla) #10

I did launch a paid community in March. My free community is content only right now because I haven’t been successful at getting Wishlist to play nicely with a forum and with my Moodle learning management system. The paid community is housed in Moodle until I migrate to another community platform.

The fee is $35 per month or $360 per year. Most chose the annual option. Eventually the price will go up, but probably not over $500. I’m working to create balance among different offerings. The paid community does not provide education per se, but starting in May will provide a monthly content piece, video interview and then live chat with an expert on the topic, practice exercise, and reflection piece featuring a member.

It is targeted at a niche of recently hired nonprofit fundraising researchers who need training, guidance, and, well, community! The paid community complements the courses we offer (half my current members are alumni), and the free community content complements the courses and the paid community.

Whew! That’s probably way more than you wanted to know! But the balance of paid options has been difficult to get right. I feel pretty strongly that rigorous education (measurable learning outcomes) doesn’t happen in a scalable community.

Check out Larry Johnson’s Oracle League, which will very likely rise to above $1K annual: https://theeightprinciples.com/oracle-league/

Michael Hyatt has a very large paid community that I don’t know a lot about, but I’m not sure his fee is as high as $1K: https://platformuniversity.com/

Most of the communities I have investigated are few in members - well under 2,000. Mine has 11 v.i.p. members at the moment (yes, really) and I shut down registration until August so I could figure out how to make it function well before going whole hog.

Hope that’s helpful!

(Ben Welch-Bolen) #11

Thanks that is awesome :), checking those out too and pretty impressed with what you have built :slight_smile:
Thanks, Ben

(sandra paquette) #12

Hi Ben, I’m currently building a paid community for not for profit leaders. I see that you posted the question a year ago. I’m wondering if you have any insights. I’m looking for paid sites to model mine after, although we are focused on a low monthly fee, at least at the beginning, but higher volume. Was there anyone you spoke to that was very helpful? I’m very new to this and looking for help. We are only a month into the project so still very early days. Thanks Sandra