Crafting a Discord Subscription Plan Without Losing Community Essence [Creator’s Discord Guide Part 4]

Crafting a Discord Subscription Plan Without Losing Community Essence [Creator’s Discord Guide Part 4]

Creator’s Discord Guide Part 1: Should You Monetize Your Discord Community?

Creator’s Discord Guide Part 2: Discord Monetization Done Right (A Guide to Building Profitable Communities)

Creator’s Discord Guide Part 3: How to Build an Energetic Community

TL;DR: Monetizing a Discord community involves calculated risk-taking, starting with a clear and simple freemium model. It's key to begin with low prices, and gradually add tiers based on data and community feedback. The process is ongoing, demanding continuous learning and adaptation. The success of monetization lies in balancing the economic viability of the creator while maintaining and enhancing the value provided to the community.

Before you are truly ready for monetization,  go through this blog where we aim to guide creators through the labyrinth of monetization strategies. This is part 4 of our creator series.  We'll dissect some of the fundamental aspects and techniques, and equip you with knowledge to kickstart your monetization journey on Discord. Let's begin this insightful journey into the world of online community monetization.

1. Checklist

Before you jump into monetizing your Discord community, there are several crucial factors to consider. Foremost among these is to ensure that your community has recurring members. These are the loyal followers who frequently engage and contribute to the life of your community. Secondly, you must establish a strong value proposition - what unique or significant value does your community offer that incentivizes members to potentially pay? Without a compelling reason, monetization could fall flat. Lastly, as a creator, it's imperative that you've developed a routine to manage your community effectively. This routine should include regular interactions with your audience, timely content updates, and troubleshooting any arising issues.

To further assist you in making informed decisions, our tool, CommunityOne Analytics (, can be invaluable. This resource provides deep insights into your community, helping you to understand patterns, trends, and areas that might need more attention. It enables you to tailor your strategies based on what's working and what isn't, leading to a more profitable monetization process. After all, successful monetization isn't just about charging your members—it's about understanding them.

2. It’s a never ending process

Monetization is not a static endeavor; rather, it's a dynamic process that requires continuous iteration and improvement. This journey is similar to crafting a sculpture: it doesn't become a masterpiece overnight but is a result of consistent effort, refinement, and modification. The idea of seeing monetization as a 'one-and-done' task can lead to a narrow perspective that doesn't allow for growth or adaptation. Instead, consider it a journey, where your strategy should evolve with your community, audience preferences, market trends, and technological advancements.

Being open to iterative improvements allows for a more sustainable and robust monetization model. It's all about trying new strategies, learning from the results, making adjustments, and repeating the process. Your first attempt at monetizing might not yield the expected results, but with each attempt, you gain invaluable insights, allowing you to fine-tune your strategy. Don't be afraid of mistakes or initial failures; they are stepping stones towards a more profitable and engaged community. Remember, the aim is to create a win-win situation where both you, as the creator, and your community members derive significant value. Embrace the process, and stay committed to the journey of monetization.

3. It’s about risk management

Transitioning your Discord community from a completely free model to a freemium one can indeed be a risky endeavor, but a calculated approach can help you navigate this path. The introduction of monetization can be met with resistance from members who've grown accustomed to free access. Therefore, thinking in terms of risk management becomes essential. The goal isn't just to monetize, but to implement a freemium model with minimal risk and disruption. This means introducing premium features or content that add value without detracting from the existing free experience. Careful and thoughtful planning, clear communication of the changes, and soliciting feedback from your community can help minimize any potential backlash. An incremental approach—testing small changes before scaling them up—can also be helpful to gauge member responses. Remember, your community is a crucial part of your journey, and their willingness to support your monetization efforts can make or break your strategy. Therefore, balancing your monetization ambitions with the satisfaction of your community is a cornerstone of successful risk management in this context.

4. Start simple

One effective way to mitigate risk when transitioning to a freemium model is to begin with simple, straightforward packages. Instead of implementing a complex tiering system right away, start with a single premium package that offers clear, tangible benefits. The value proposition for this package should be crystal clear and compelling, providing features or content that significantly enhance the user experience. A simple approach reduces confusion and makes the decision-making process easier for your members. It's easier to grasp the benefits of a single package with clear advantages, compared to multiple tiers with various perks. This approach also enables you to gather feedback and understand user preferences before introducing more sophisticated pricing models. Remember, clarity and simplicity are key when you are first introducing your community to a freemium model. Keeping the entry point into paid membership uncomplicated and attractive can help ensure a smoother transition and lower the risk of member pushback.

5. Expand product line overtime

Over time, as you accumulate more data about your members' purchasing habits and preferences, you can begin to introduce additional tiers to your freemium model. Data is your ally in this process, informing your understanding of what your community truly values and is willing to pay for. By closely monitoring member feedback and analyzing purchasing patterns, you can identify what types of content, features, or benefits inspire members to move from free to premium access. Once you've gathered these insights, you can then design additional tiers of premium packages that cater specifically to these preferences. This ensures that each new tier is backed by concrete data and community feedback, which significantly enhances the likelihood of its acceptance and success. This iterative process of introduction, evaluation, and refinement is the key to building a sustainable and profitable monetization model that continues to provide value to both you and your community members. Remember, successful monetization is not a sprint, but a marathon, and understanding your audience is the secret to long-term success.

6. Start with lower pricing

Setting an appropriate price when introducing a freemium model is often a delicate balancing act, and starting low can be a sensible strategy. The initial pricing of your premium features should be approachable enough to encourage your members to make the leap from free to paid. The transition from 0 to 1, that is, from no monetization to the first paying members, is indeed a significant challenge that could determine the future trajectory of your monetization journey. Once this initial hurdle is cleared, the process of escalating from 1 to 2, i.e., expanding the pool of paying members, becomes a less daunting task.

To establish a starting price, look at comparative servers with similar offerings and audiences. Understand their pricing structures and how their communities respond. Then, consider your own community's composition, economic capacities, and engagement levels. If your community primarily consists of students or people from regions with lower average incomes, you might need to adjust your pricing accordingly. The right price point is not just about maximizing immediate revenue, but fostering long-term loyalty and growth. Remember, your price sends a message about the value you're offering, and you want that message to resonate with your audience's needs, interests, and capacities.

In conclusion, monetizing a Discord community is a multi-faceted and dynamic process that demands a thoughtful approach, characterized by continuous learning, iterating, and adapting. It's about taking calculated risks, starting with simple, low-priced packages with clear value propositions, and gradually introducing more nuanced pricing tiers based on user feedback and data. Transitioning from a free model to a freemium model can indeed be challenging, but with careful planning and an understanding of your community's needs and capabilities, it can be a rewarding and sustainable endeavor.

As you embark on this journey, remember that successful monetization is a delicate balance of enhancing value for your community while ensuring economic viability. Keep your members at the core of your strategies, for they are your most valuable asset, and their support will be your key to success in the world of community monetization.

Next, read how to run your community like a company and iterate community management strategies.