Companies have long valued the customer insights that online communities can provide, and some, such as Harley-Davidson, have even turned them into a revenue source by charging membership fees. But ensuring the success of online membership communities can be a challenge. You have to attract enough participants to create a dynamic community and, far more challenging, create a high-quality user experience that keeps your participants engaged — and willing to keep paying — over time.
Since 2016 I’ve run an online community for members of my Recognized Expert course, and I’ve written extensively about building online revenue streams. If you or your company is considering launching an online membership site, here are six principles I’ve identified to maximize the benefit to your members and ensure they view your site as something worth paying for.