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Can You Monetize Google+ Communities?

Google+ Communities are proving a hit with users, but can they (should they) be monetized?

Google introduced Communities to Google+ in early December and they've been a big hit. Users, Businesses  and Brands are joining them in droves as well as setting up their own Communities with a diverse range of topics. You can find Communities discussing everything under the sun from Fly Fishing to SEO. Here's our G+ Resource Community for example.

However, many people who make their money online will be asking the same question. Are Communities a viable way of monetizing Google+?


1. G+ Communities as Membership sites.

Paid-for Membership sites are an established internet business model. It's a simple way to do things. You want to join the Community? You have to pay a fee. This could either be a one-off payment, or a weekly/monthly/yearly subscription, etc.

How would this work on Google+?

Create a private Community at plus.google.com/communities and then set a fee for joining. Payment via your preferred payment method (Google Wallet, Paypal, etc)


2. Events 

When first setting up a Google+ Community, you'll notice that "Events" is a pre-created category in the sidebar on the left. (discussion is another and you can add more). Use this to create a paid event, or a free
event to add value.


How would this work on Google+?


Events are already well integrated into Google+ at plus.google.com/events and there's already an existing field for tickets:


Apart from selling tickets to an event, (online, or physical) you could also create free webinars, presentations, hangouts, etc, to give that "added value" to a existing Community. Free content with added value, leading to a paid product (for example) is a long established method of online monetization.


3. Products and services

If you have a busy and active Community with great value, then it's an easy step to let people know about a paid product, or service that you offer. (online store, ebook, consulting, training, etc)



How would this work on Google+?

Easy as posting a link. There's also lots of extra opportunities for marketing and promotion using built-in features like Events and Hangouts. Do bear in mind though, that not everyone likes to be sold to and don't be a spammer!


What other ways do you think Communities could be monetized? Or do you think they shouldn't be? Let us know what you think.

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