If you want to create an online community with WordPress, PeepSo makes that super easy. Think of it sort of like setting up your own self-hosted version of Facebook, complete with frontend user profiles, activity streams, user groups, friend requests, chat/messaging, and more. In our PeepSo review, we talked about how you can use all of these features to build your community. But one of the notable details with PeepSo is that it also gives you tools to monetize your community website once you start attracting users. So how can you monetize a WordPress community website with PeepSo? Well, that’s the topic of this post. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can make money from your community using different tactics such as eCommerce, online courses, paid memberships, classified listings/marketplaces, and good old fashioned display advertising. You might focus on a single strategy or you could build multiple revenue streams using different options. PeepSo Monetization: A High-Level Look at How It Works First off, if you’re not sure how PeepSo works, I recommend reading our PeepSo review first as we take a more general look at the plugin in that post. In this post, we’re specifically focused on monetizing your PeepSo community. One of the details that helps PeepSo stand out from similar tools is that it comes with dedicated integrations to help you find ways to earn an income from your community. These integrations let you integrate other popular plugins into your community, such as LearnDash or WooCommerce. For example, if you have a LearnDash course, you could enhance it with user groups for students, live chat with instructors, and so on. In this post, we’re going to dig into what those integrations are, how they work, and how you can use them to earn some money. In total, we’ll cover six different monetization strategies/integrations:
- WooCommerce – create/enhance an eCommerce store and/or multi-vendor marketplace.
- LearnDash – create/enhance an online course platform.
- Paid Memberships Pro – create/enhance a membership site.
- WPAdverts – let community members create their own classified listings to create an online marketplace.
- Advanced Ads – sell and/or display targeted display ads or affiliate offers (like Facebook Ads).
- MobiLoud – offer paid mobile apps for your community.
Let’s go through them… ECommerce is a great way to monetize your online community. You could sell branded merch, products that are relevant to your community, or anything else that you think might interest people. With the dedicated PeepSo WooCommerce integration, you can easily set this up. This integration helps you set up a few useful features to make your store more successful:
- More trustworthy reviews – reviews are linked to users’ actual profiles, which makes them a lot more trustworthy. Users can also see which products their friends have reviewed.
- Purchase posts in the activity stream – you can automatically create an activity stream post when someone makes a purchase, which encourages that user’s friends to buy. PeepSo also makes it easy for users to buy a product straight from the activity feed.
- eCommerce features in profile – PeepSo adds all the relevant WooCommerce options to users’ profiles so that users can easily manage addresses, see past orders, manage downloads (for digital products), and more.
PeepSo also works with popular multi-vendor marketplace plugins such as Dokan and Product Vendors. With these plugins, you could make it so that users in your community can create their own stores and sell products to other members of the community. And here’s the best part – you can charge a commission for facilitating everything! Creating and selling online courses has been an incredibly popular monetization strategy in the 2020’s. The hardest part of selling online courses is building a community of people that are interested in your content. But with PeepSo, you already have that part done, which means all you need to do is create the course content and promote it to your existing community. Or, if you’re already selling courses with LearnDash, you can add PeepSo to the mix to create a more engaging community for your students. To make this possible, PeepSo integrates with the LearnDash LMS plugin. LearnDash handles everything when it comes to creating course content and charging for access. Then, PeepSo makes it easy to integrate all of that course functionality into your community. Here are some of the features that you get access to with the PeepSo LearnDash integration
- Courses in user profiles – users get a Courses tab that lists all of the courses they’re enrolled in. They can also see the courses that other users are enrolled in, which encourages them to explore more course offerings.
- Activity stream posting – you can automatically create posts in a user’s activity stream based on their course activity. For example, when they enroll in a new course, complete a quiz, and so on. Other users can comment and react to provide encouragement.
- Study groups for courses – you can automatically create user groups for each course. This makes it easy for students to chat about the course with other people who are taking the course. You can also automatically enroll users in that group when they join the course.
- Special badges/icons – you can give users special badges or icons based on the courses that they’ve completed.
- Instructor profile and chat – you can share information about the course instructor in a special widget. This widget also lets you add a CTA for users to start a chat with the instructor.
To sum up:
- If you already have a community, PeepSo makes it easy to monetize that community by selling premium course content.
- If you already have LearnDash courses, PeepSo helps you make your courses more successful by creating a more engaging experience for students.
Note – if you’d prefer to use LifterLMS for online courses, you can also find a third-party plugin that helps you integrate PeepSo with LifterLMS. In addition to selling course content, another way to monetize your PeepSo community is to charge users for access to your community. One common example here would be mastermind groups. Because people find the knowledge of the mastermind group so helpful, they’re willing to pay simply to be part of that group. To help you sell access to your community, PeepSo offers a Paid Memberships Pro integration. You have two main options here:
- You can charge for access and make it so that users must be paying members to join the community in the first place.
- You can create different tiers. For example, free members might have limited access to your community while paying members to get full access.
You can use Paid Memberships Pro to create your membership tiers and collect payments. Then, PeepSo gives you special options to customize your community based on a user’s membership role:
- Automatic group enrollment – automatically enroll a user in a group when they join a membership level. For example, you could have a special VIP user group for paying users.
- Action control – control which community actions a user can perform based on their role. For example, you might make it so that only paying users are able to create new posts, while free users are only able to view content.
- Badges/icons – give users special badges based on their membership levels.
These options are in addition to the general content restriction features in Paid Memberships Pro. Another way to monetize your community is to let users post their own classified ads to create an online marketplace. For example, if you created a community of audiophiles, you could let people sell or swap their headphones. You can see the success of this strategy on Reddit, which has tons of subreddits dedicated to users selling/swapping equipment for various topics. To set this up, you can use the PeepSo WPAdverts plugin. With WPAdverts, you can make it so that users are able to create their own classified listings, either for free or by paying money. You can also offer upgrades. For example, you could let users create the listing for free but charge them for certain enhancements. Then, PeepSo lets you integrate these functions into your community:
- Listings page in profile – users get an area in their profile that shows all of their classified listings.
- Activity stream posts – users’ listings will show up in their activity stream. You can also automatically remove listings from the activity stream once the listings expire.
- Chat with poster – users can easily chat with the person who created the classified listing to ask questions and make purchases.
- Guest access control – you can let guests view classifieds or make them only available to community members.
[embedded content] This next strategy is a stalwart when it comes to making money from a social community website – ads and affiliate marketing. All the major social networks rely on ads as a key revenue stream and PeepSo makes it easy to do the same for your community. Beyond display ads, you can also incorporate affiliate offers to earn money that way, too. To give you more control over where, when, and what ads/offers you display, PeepSo has a dedicated integration with the Advanced Ads plugin. With Advanced Ads, you get several different advertising options that you can employ as needed:
- Insert ads from ad networks like AdSense.
- Sell ad spots directly to advertisers.
- Display your own custom ads. For example, you could promote a product that’s relevant to your community to earn money from affiliate marketing.
- Add your own custom affiliate marketing offers, either via text ads or graphics (or both).
With the Advanced Ads integration, the most notable feature is that you’re able to target your ads based on user profile information, much like how Facebook Ads works. You can target by details such as:
- Any user profile field. For example, you could create user profile fields to target by occupation, interests, relationship status, and more.
- User group membership (include and/or exclude).
- VIP details. For example, you could hide ads from VIP users as a special perk.
You can also easily insert ads or affiliate offers into the activity stream. For example, you could configure it to automatically insert an ad after every five activity stream posts. With this functionality, you could target users who are interested in basketball with an affiliate offer based around basketball that displays in the activity stream – or literally any other targeted interest. Basically, whether you’re working with third-party advertisers or your own affiliate offers, you can make sure the right users see the right ads/offers. Nowadays, a lot of people browse the web from their mobile devices. With the PeepSo MobiLoud integration, you can make sure that your community is there to meet them with its own dedicated mobile app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. To earn money, you could charge users for the app. If they find your community to be valuable, they’ll be willing to pay for the convenience of interacting on the go. As we detailed in our PeepSo review, PeepSo makes it easy to create your own online community. One of the things that helps PeepSo stand out, though, is that it also helps you create a sustainable business around that community by giving you various options to monetize your community using dedicated integrations. In this post, we shared six of the most useful ways to monetize your community:
- eCommerce via the PeepSo WooCommerce integration.
- Online course content via the PeepSo LearnDash integration.
- Memberships via the PeepSo Paid Memberships Pro integration.
- Classified ads and online marketplaces via the PeepSo WPAdverts integration.
- Targeted ads or affiliate offers via the PeepSo Advanced Ads integration.
- Mobile apps via the PeepSo MobiLoud integration.
You might focus on a single monetization strategy or you could use multiple strategies to build multiple revenue streams. If you want to try it out, you can use the buttons below: