Affiliate Summit: Monetizing Communities

    July 10, 2007

At the Affiliate Summit in Miami today Lee Dodd, President, Zydeca Partners and Jeremy Schoemaker (ShoeMoney), President, ShoeMoney Media Group spoke on how to monetize community and social networks during a panel discussion.

A member of the audience asked how to start a forum on their Web site. ShoeMoney recommended starting topics yourself and tracking the results in a reverse funnel using Google Analytics. Lee Dodd said to make the forum prominent on your site when starting out.

ShoeMoney gave some general tips on monetizing a community saying he uses analytics everyday and is constantly tracking his site, registration numbers along with the number of visitors. He said he was a fan of user-generated content and prefers it to editorial services.

He talked about the ringtone industry and his own site that sells ringtones called He said the industry has changed and noted that the subscription model is very popular. The downside is that the ringtone market has become fairly saturated and many people are wary because you are billed for the rest of your life until you go through the process of canceling.

As for offering incentives to members of their sites who move from registered to premium status Lee Dodd said to provide upgrades free of charge and to allow members to have their own avatars. ShoeMoney said he provides subscribers with software.

When it comes to monetizing a community they said not to be concerned with that until you have at least 1,000 visitors to your site per day.