Your niche network already has a business model, but I’ll bet you are always looking for additional sources of revenue for social networking sites.
I spent a long summer weekend reading Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet by Marc Ostrofsky. It’s a wealth of information on various revenue options and how they work. I paid for my copy of the book, highly recommend it as a good summary of techniques to make money online, and am NOT using an affiliate link.
Recommended Chapters on Sources of Revenue
I recommend reading the entire book, but below I point out specific chapters that may suggest sources of revenue for your niche social network.
eCommerce and Reverse eCommerce (Chapter 2)
Ostrofsky identifies seven different eCommerce models, several of which might apply to a niche network. These are: make your own product and sell it yourself; buy someone else’s product and sell it to members; or sell the product without buying it and have the manufacturer manage fulfillment and or collections. He explains how to start and manage each.
Advertising and Pay-Per-Action (Chapter 4)
If you are new to online advertising, Chapter 4 is a good overview. To learn how to run Google ads, see “7 Steps to Start Making Money with Google Adsense.” Even if you are familiar with Adsense, Ostrofsky has good pointers to help you refine your use of it on your site, such as focusing your content on one topic per page. or creating more keyword-focused pages. Find also his 15 ways to create strong keywords. Learn about Pay Per Action and Pay per Performance ads, too.
Partner Up with Affiliate Marketing (Chapter 7)
In Chapter 7, Ostrofsky gives basic explanations of affiliate marketing, how to find affiliate networks related to your niche, and how to sell products with Amazon’s affiliate network program.
Content Is King (Chapter 9)
Niche networks are prime for selling content to a target market. Ostrofsky explains how to create and profitably sell ebooks, both those you write and those you get others to write for you, to members.
In addition, learn how your email newsletter and email communications with members can be profitable. His seven ways to make money with email are: subscription newsletters, paid advertisements, direct mail to sell products/services, software to automate communication with member segments, fee-based e-courses, database marketing, or getting paid to conduct surveys of your niche.
Social Networks: The Power of Community (Chapter 10)
In Chapter 10, Ostrofsky specifically addresses entrepreneurs with niche social networks: “Money-making ideas for firms and organizations that are thinking about ways to profit from creating their own social networking site include the following:
- Subscriptions or VIP access to special sections
- Transactions, ecommerce, affiliate sales
- Sponsored search links
- Income-sharing deals with outside vendors
- Access fees to reach a wider audience beyond what users get for free
- Downloadable files (content, photos, videos, music, etc.)
- Paid referrals or links from the site to other sites
- Charge users for additional photo, video, content and other digital storage needs.”
As a bonus, find his unlimited ways to make money with Facebook, Linkedin and other social networking sites.
Resource and Supplier Guides (Chapter 17)
Among the resources Ostrofsky mentions, you might be interested in “Contextual Marketing Networks” and his recommended Linkedin and Facebook groups.
Get Rich Click is a great overview of making money online. It gives you the basics to get started in new areas, and ideas for additional sources of revenue for your niche social network.
Want More Financing Ideas? More on Business Models?
Get more ideas on financing for social network websites.
And check out this page of related posts on social network business models.