Options to monetize buddypress

Over the past 5 months I think I have tried to explore every single option to monetize a social network effectively without exceeding the 5 figure mark.

Well, now it's getting pretty close to that and I sadly don't have a confident solution.

I've gone through php fox, dzoic handshakes, amember / buddypress (failed) to now finally seeing light at the end of a long, dark tunnel with wpmudev.

I am so close, but keep on running into road blocks. To cut to the chase where I am now...

Analyzing the supporter, pay to blog and upgrades option, I have decided to stick with the supporter plugin, as Andrew also mentioned that the affiliate plugin will be based on that.

The supporter plugin is great, but I need to position a sales letter somewhere within the signup.

My current solution is as follows:

1. Hack the supporter.php file into a sales letter format with paypal buttons as mentioned here:
https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/hacking-supporterphp

2. Redirect to supporter.php once a user has completed the signup and logs in.

This so far seems like the best solution (unless anyone has any other solutions?)

I would like to have a membership site with the power of the supporter plugin, as well as hide specific content for members only (a discussion for another thread)

Andrew mentions the hacking is possible, but my outsourced programmer says this:

the plugin settings mainly dictates what is displayed to the members...
changing it to conform and use front-end stylesheet is possible but risk of making the wp-admin dysfunctional is high..

Is this true? Or, what is my way around this?

I am open to change direction to a different plugin if need be.

Thanks,

George

  • Andrew

    Hiya,

    A Supporter type plugin for BuddyPress is very high on our to-do list at the moment. I'm really hoping we can get one out the door by the end of September but we'll see.

    Andrew mentions the hacking is possible, but my outsourced programmer says this:

    the plugin settings mainly dictates what is displayed to the members...
    changing it to conform and use front-end stylesheet is possible but risk of making the wp-admin dysfunctional is high..

    Is this true? Or, what is my way around this?

    It's definitely possible to pull that off but A) I don't recommend hacking core files in general and B) you'll need a developer who knows their way around WP.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  • nightlyfe

    @georgef

    I'm curious what you mean by 'explore'.. does that mean you've run a campaign with a real product and found that some of those solutions dont convert (as in pay for AdWords, send email blast, etc -- something where you can funnel in a customer).

    I understand the idea that some of those tools might not be ideal, but it seems most of them work great for making bank online.

    I'm most interested in what's giving you confidence in wordpressmu/bp as a means to make money. Would you be interested in talking about your strategies and the customizations you're making?

    as an fyi, something like this would be easy in drupal world with
    http://drupal.org/project/login_destination
    and some actions

    in wordpress:
    just hack core (make a note of it for updates)
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/226685
    Or modify this
    http://www.theblog.ca/wplogin-front-page

    and then make a custom theme file for your destination page that looks like a wordpress sales letter

    google:
    wordpress user login homepage
    wordpress sales letter

    ( if you need this pre-email-given / first click, just do it at the theme level)

    -nl

  • georgef

    @nightlyfe

    Thanks...

    I'm curious what you mean by 'explore'.. does that mean you've run a campaign with a real product and found that some of those solutions dont convert (as in pay for AdWords, send email blast, etc -- something where you can funnel in a customer).

    I understand the idea that some of those tools might not be ideal, but it seems most of them work great for making bank online.

    I haven't reached that point yet. It's more the combination / customization of getting things to work with wordpress.

    Drupal was an option, but I wanted something based on wordpress to compliment our main blog.

    The initial idea was to have something like mashable.com, with a social networking feature attached to it, but to have the functionality of a membership site / affiliate program attached, with products varying from information products to features available within the social network with blogs.

    I'm most interested in what's giving you confidence in wordpressmu/bp as a means to make money. Would you be interested in talking about your strategies and the customizations you're making?

    sure, anytime.

    in wordpress:
    just hack core (make a note of it for updates)
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/226685
    Or modify this
    http://www.theblog.ca/wplogin-front-page

    and then make a custom theme file for your destination page that looks like a wordpress sales letter

    Thanks, that is the easy part and I do that with thesis.

    The trick is to have the sales letter positioned with the buddypress signup process and combining their information with the membership / affiliate program.

    That is probably the main problem I'm having, maintaining the social aspect attached to the membership site component (free and paid membership)

    Thanks,

    George

  • georgef

    To add to that...

    The supporter plugin seems like the perfect solution, the only problem is that a user needs to be logged in and have a blog created to make the upgrade.

    I figure that if I can integrate a plugin like hidepost for example with the supporter plugin, I have the perfect solution.

    Problem is, the supporter.php upgrade option appears in the wp-admin and I cannot create a proper sales page with that.

    My options (that I am aware of) are to:
    1. Hack the supporter.php file so that it looks like a sales letter and have my new signups redirected there after activating there account.
    2. Add the paypal code that is positioned within the supporter.php file to be placed on a separate sales page.

    George

  • Andrew

    2. Add the paypal code that is positioned within the supporter.php file to be placed on a separate sales page.

    I'd go with that one. Again though, if the PayPal code is not in the admin panel then you'll need a way for users to select which blog they want to upgrade if they have more than one. In the admin panel it's easier because the form just upgrades whichever blog the user is in the admin panel for.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  • Aaron

    2. Add the paypal code that is positioned within the supporter.php file to be placed on a separate sales page.

    I have done a similar thing with my site. I created a plugin to extend the Supporters plugin by creating "Sponsorships". My users are missionaries and I want their own supporters to foot the bill, so when a site is not a supporter, it force registers a widget that displays a sponsorship button. Anyone can click on it and sponsor that website.

    Something like that may work for you. For an example check out: http://missionsplace.com/free-websites/sponsor/?id=2

  • drmike

    Just to throw this out, we have one of our wpmu installs run a bar underneath the admin bar along the top and are planning on sticking in a project wonderful advert (well, maybe a couple) in there. We're still waiting to hear back from the PW folks. (They're communicating with my client directly and are batting around the idea. Kind of strange as they allow webcomic networks to do this.)

    I don't know how much you were looking for but with the estimated $5 a day we've been using for a test number (and I have a feeling that it may be larger than that, especially if they do a couple of small adverts in there.) that's still $150 a month.

    Just an idea. Or do that on the non subscriber blogs. We're hoping also to get PW to do a thinner banner like they do over at (ah heck, can't think of the name. Something spot. Kind of green.) and place it within the admin bar.