Start Making Money With 3 New Ning Apps

Start Making Money With 3 New Ning Apps
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One of the most common questions I hear from Network Creators is, “How can I make money?” Or, “How can I make this a full-time job?” Lately, many of you are also asking, “How can I cover the cost of a Ning Network?”

We’ve come up with a solution… well, actually four solutions. And we’re working on more. Open a storefront, provide pay-to-play games, collect donations, and advertise are all options we’re spotlighting on our Revenue Generation page. Some of you are already using these solutions to make money. However, in the past it has sometimes been difficult for Network Creators to integrate these solutions into their Ning Network and provide a great member experience.

To make it easier, we’ve been focusing on cutting favorable deals for you with our partners, making installation as easy as possible through new Ning Apps, and helping you better integrate the new apps into your Ning Network (including on your Main Page).

I’m most excited about the new CafePress App. It’s simple to set up, create branded merchandise, and begin earning 10% on every sale. And it’s a great way for your members to show their support – and wear your swag with pride! Even better, we cut a special deal with CafePress to help you cover your Ning subscription fees. Sell just 4 t-shirts (earn $8 in commissions) and get Ning Mini for a full year. Sell 40 t-shirts, or earn $80 in commissions on any type of CafePress merchandise, and get Ning Plus for a full year. That’s 60% off the annual price for Mini or Plus! Install the CafePress App on your Ning Network or learn more about the special deal.

If you choose to fund your Ning subscription through CafePress, your app will include a personalized appeal to your members and a progress meter to encourage purchases. Here’s an example of the Main Page app for a Network Creator earning his Ning Mini subscription:

Of course, it’s also dead-simple to set up a storefront to make money and create custom designs. After setting up their CafePress Shop, Duke City Fix sold more than 40 items in a span of less than three weeks! (Read their story on Ning Creators)

Get creative. Or better yet, have your members get creative. Hold a design contest and sell merchandise designed by the winner. Hold a photo contest once a month, ask your members to vote, and feature the winning photo on merchandise in your CafePress store.

We’ll keep on working on more ways for you to help you cover your costs, make money, and maybe even turn your Ning Network into a full-time job. We also would like to learn from you – please comment with your ideas and money-making success stories on Ning Creators!

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35 thoughts on “Start Making Money With 3 New Ning Apps

  1. sue

    can someone please help! i just added the donate app this weekend and posted a message to members to encourage them to donate (if they can) in order to keep our site live. but i was just looking at the pricing again and saw that apps will not be available on ning mini. have i read this right? i was hoping to use this to raise enough for the ning mini and then go onto the plus if funds allow. now it looks like i won’t be able to run either. would appreciate your input as i am getting close to giving up altogether! thanks.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Sue! You might want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. You can also submit a ticket in the Help Center if you are having specific problems. The new plans haven’t started yet, so you still have time to use the Donate App. Hope this helps.

  2. Andrea

    Ok I have tried an tried to get CafePress to set up on my site but its not working. That fact that it will help pay for the site is wonderful IF it will set up. Any help on this would be wonderful. I am fighting to keep my site open and I will pay the first month but after that its unclear.

  3. Chris Mooney-Singh

    Well, also as an educator and arts organisor running a non-profit arts company and youth arts festival, I also find this a sudden and also an inappropriate way of converting free members to paying ones.

    It seems like a cheap trick and shows lack of Ning integrity. You have designed a concept the social communities like, then suddenly it becomes business. Most of the groups I believe on your lists are social networks or non-profits like us.

    It is impossible and inappropriate according to our charter to make engage our largely under 18 membership in a paying concern. Increasing the video library function is now only available for pro members. This is a real cost killer. Suddenly kids video poetry performances, one of the attractive points of our own site is too costly a feature to add to. They and we neither do not have the means to up keep such a stiff annual tariff. Let us not even mention the ethical issues of extracting cash from kids.

    If you had this plan from Day 1, then I say Shame on Ning! for adopting this business strategy. You targeted the wrong sector of population in the first place and I believe it will have serious repercussions of membership. You can’t have max membership in the online world these days and charge such high pricing. Who will accept it in a largely free global internet world? Especially in the social networking world. This is a real shame because you developed a unique concept (which is why we are here) but then marketed it to the wrong sector who don’t have the means or the inclination to pay.

    I also believe your product selling apps and pricing are largely geared to a North American/European market, not less affluent Asia where I am writing from.

    What do you have to say to each of these points. Do you have credible answers for the rest of this forum to weigh in on?

    Please eeconsider.

    Chris Mooney-Singh

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Chris! You can always embed video that’s posted on other sites like YouTube. Hope that might be an option for you. I know that this change won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I hope your group can find a way to continue.

  4. Heather Cosidetto

    It seems a great deal of thought and work have gone into unveiling this new pricing structure and all the attendant apps and tie-ins, but I have to say, this is the first I’ve heard about it! One month notice is very short indeed, and I would like to echo the sentiments of Victoria Gillis (as an educator who was using the site to share information with a group of fellow educators and students, I’m pretty disappointed). I’ve been singing the praises of Ning for months now, and introduced many proactive people to its possibilities by inviting them to be members on our non-public and non-profit site… and now it looks like I will have to relocate elsewhere.

    I really hope you will revisit what is provided for Ning Mini… if it is an option for non-profits and such, why withhold the support for groups and photo/videos? If I want a blog, there are plenty of free sites out there… Ning won out because of the ability to have those few extra features that wordpress and blogspot do not, that is to say groups, and multiple users. If I lose that feature (how do you expect a non-profit site to afford $20 per month? Or a private site to generate $20 per month revenue?), than there is no reason for me to remain. PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR PRICING STRUCTURE FOR SITES THAT ARE NOT PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE! thanks!

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Heather! We’ve sent out email messages in the past two months and included messaging in the Ning interface. You’ll also have 30 days after July 20th to choose a plan, so you have more time to consider it. Also, we’ll shortly be announcing the details of our education sponsorship, which I hope you’ll consider as an option. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. Wally

    Hi! I love Cafepress and have been using it since 2006. I really would like and integration. My group is in Spanish and with the app I can’t use accents and special letters that are necessary in Spanish. If I’m going to sell something related to my group then I need it to be orthographically correct. Also can you expand the available products? For example, the journals, data CD and buttons are the most popular items on my shop, but they are not offered on the app. Meanwhile I think I’ll keep my Cafepress shop and link it to the group.

    A question, not related to Cafepress, but don’t know where to make it… Will we, the creators and administrator, will have a way to difference the members that pay and the ones that doesn’t pay in the group? Most of my group members agreed to pay an annual fee and I would like to difference them from the ones that are not going to pay, like placing a graphic on their profile photo or something like that. Thanks!

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Wally. You may want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. We have a lot of discussions on there about these issues, and it’s where we look to get feedback and share ideas for how to improve the product.

  6. Charolette

    I belong to a website We Want Sarah…..I am having issues with pages partially flashing, parts of them. ALSO when I go to try and get to another page using navigation bar such has MAIN PAGE, it goes there then takes me back to the previous page flashing… wont STAY on the MAIN PAGE….

    What is the problem? I am not having this issue on ANY OTHER SITES ……



  7. Alethia

    I attempted to apply the cafe press app. I clicked on the link to add to my network, but I son’t see anything. I didn’t direct me to do anything else. What am I doing wrong? Help!

    1. Eric Suesz

      You can submit a ticket in the Help Center if you are having specific problems and we’ll try to get you some one-on-one help. Hope this helps!

  8. Francisco

    It would be great to have better tools to upload pictures and video via mobile. Facebook makes it very easy for us. To be able to compete we need this basci tool too. Send an email is not as easy as uploading. Pls, consider this feature soon…

  9. Anthony

    Thank you Ning. I was just talking to my team about setting up a storefront and here you go making it simple for me. MUCH APPRECIATED!

  10. Afke Post

    After a lot of hard work we have almost completed our ningnetwork. Actual plan to go online is july 1st
    however I have just heard that the new offer of products starts july 20st
    Question is can we start july 1st against the prices as offered as from july 20th

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hey, Afke! We will being accepting payments on July 20th, when the new plans will be available for purchase. At that time, we’ll credit you for any unused portion of your monthly services and apply it toward the new plans. This answer on Creators might help clarify it. Hope this helps!

  11. Dwan

    Yes I agree, every little bit counts. I new at this and don’t really know where to start, but I think this is a good thing. D.L.A.


    just wanted to know, what about those who already have a cafepress store? How do you intergrate this into my network?

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Andy! CafePress doesn’t currently offer that ability in this first version of their app, but we’ll let them know that you’d like that ability. Thanks for the suggestion!

  13. Rob Wright

    Hi, my request is a little off topic and going in a different direction. Will NING offer an Affiliate Program as part of the new features. I would like to have my members earn money or features spots on my site by refering members to my site. I know we have the invite feature they can use, but that does not track how many members that they refer to sign up.

    I know there are sites like commission junction and other sites that offers this, but it would be great if NING offers this to site owners. Especially, for the Ning Pro members. This would definately in increasing memberships to NING sites if the members had a financial incentive.

    As it relates to posting ads on the site. It would be great if we could track how many impressions or clicks that ads we post on our site receives. I know I can tell with google or commission junction ads. But if I place an ad directly from and advertiser, it would be good to see the CPM’s or Clicks internally.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Good points, Rob. I don’t think we have plans for an affiliate program, but it’s something we might be able to add if enough people request it. Great suggestion about ads and impressions. I’ll also pass that along to the product team.

  14. Noah Solis

    My cafe press shop isnt working, it keeps resetting and making more and more shops, how do I fix this?




    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Jojo! You may want to check out the Creators Network. It’s full of people who are very helpful. We’ll do our best to set you up with someone either from Ning or someone who offers services for Ning Network Creators.

  16. Victoria Gillis

    Well, you may get a lot of questions on how to make more money, but I am an educator – and I don’t focus on money first and foremost [obviously, just look at our paychecks!]. I am more interested in using technology to deepen students’ learning. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to fit into the “new” pricing guidelines. I can’t afford to pay for the Nings I have now; they are all professional in nature. I’ll have to go back to Wikis and Websites – hopefully, they will come up with Ning-like sites so I can once again help students learn through technology. I am disappointed in the folks at Ning and sad to leave my Nings behind, but have no choice.

  17. Amit

    This is terrific !
    On the side note, can you ask cafe press to replace the word “NING Fees” to “Network Fees” ..
    Overall, a commendable job done !

  18. Thunder X

    this is wonderful news indeed! thanks a million for this. cheers to the ning team once again!

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