Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount
How to earn money from your NING network?
4.58 (91.67%) 24 votes

Eventually, most of Ning Creators face this question. However, it isn’t easy to give a definitive answer because every network is unique and every community sets different goals. Nevertheless, we can certainly point you in the right direction. All you need to do is just figure out which statements below are true in regard to your network.

Collecting Donations is your best option if…


  •  Your network has an altruistic mission;
  • Your members joined to be social activists or support a noble cause;
  • Your network represents a non-profit or charity organization;
  • You collect money to kickstart your business idea;
  • You wouldn’t like to limit the access to your website or its content and want to introduce monetization steadily with no enforcement;
  • You want your members to support your network voluntarily.

Asking network members for Donations is a perfect way to raise funds needed to maintain communities or implement charity purposes. It is pretty much the most organic and unobtrusive monetization technique that doesn’t force network members to pay, rather offering a chance to contribute to a common cause. Remember Wikipedia? You’ve probably noticed that every once in a while they launch fundraisers to support their site. It doesn’t oblige you to donate but gives users an opportunity to do justice to the service they frequently use free of charge.

The Donation feature powered by Ning allows you to set up a “Donate” button on your website and accept voluntary payments from members of your community. Thanks to multiple options, you are free to spread your message and describe your purpose the way you see appropriate.

Useful settings


  • Donation amount: you can specify the minimum and maximum donation amount, as well as the default value;
  • Currency: decide what currency the donations will be accepted in;
  • Name and Description: give your fundraiser an appropriate name and explain why your cause or mission is important;
  • Testimonial: write a couple of words to express your gratitude for a donation that appears on the screen as soon as the payment is made or offer some valuable content in exchange for a member’s contribution.

Additional features


  • Monitor your Donations statistics in the “Analytics” section of Ning’s e-commerce platform;
  • Accept donations via PayPal or Stripe.

Good to know


Collecting donations online is, first and foremost, a good way to raise funds for charity, provided your network members are active enough. It is also a good bet if your goal is to provide financial support for your community, given most of its members are highly engaged and enthusiastic about maintaining it.

However, if your primary goal is content monetization, donations are unlikely to guarantee the success of your undertaking unless the network members are highly motivated to invest in your content or support you as an author. This, of course, sets higher requirements for the quality of content.

But if you feel confident that your followers have enough incentives to contribute to your network’s development and realize a moral leverage enabling you to ask for donations, there’s no reason not to try it with your website. But remember, the ultimate success of your fundraiser depends solely on your followers’ generosity, so don’t expect donations to become a steady source of income for your site.

Running Google AdSense banners is your best option if…


  • You have a high number of monthly page views, but few members sign in and participate;
  • Your network generates a considerable amount of traffic, but members are not active enough.

Introducing Google AdSense banners to your social network might be a good idea if its traffic indicators perform well. This option suits the networks that provide little unique content but draw enough public attention due to other reasons.

Connecting Google AdSense to your Ning network allows showing banners in different places of the website. The locations where banners show up are all configurable, so you can decide how to ensure the best visibility and performance of your ads.

Useful settings


  • Complete toolkit provided by Google AdSense allowing you to control parameters like type of ads, size, style, text, etc;
  • Ability to place banners in different locations on the pages of your Ning network.

Good to know


To be able to monetize your Ning network with Google AdSense you will have to purchase a custom domain. In other words, if your domain name is “………”, you will need to switch to “………”, etc.

Paid Membership is your best option if…


  • Your members are highly engaged;
  • Your members visit on a regular basis;
  • Most of your members actively participate on your network;
  • Your network is a one-of-a-kind community online.

Paid Membership feature provided by Ning allows charging new and existing members for accessing the network. The abundance of embedded settings we’ve implemented provides the flexibility needed to introduce monetization to your website.

The membership paywall limits the access to your site for everybody who hasn’t paid the membership fee. As soon as the payment is approved, the user gets access to all of the content on the website for the period specified by the owner.

This monetization option is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as niche communities. It provides an opportunity to monetize traffic in a quite efficient manner but sets high standards for the content presented on the site.

Useful settings


  • Accessibility: decide whether you want to charge all members or new members only;
  • Price: regulate the membership fee the way you see fit;
  • Date: set the date starting from which the membership paywall will be applied;
  • Subscription period: choose the period within which the members will have access to your content.

Good to know


If the content you share on your network is truly unique, you will find this monetization option rather effective and profitable. However, it implies a certain degree of responsibility. Once you apply Paid Membership to your network, you will have to maintain your content properly, regularly post new information and be available for your members most of the time. In other words, you will be obliged to keep people interested and entertained. Otherwise, they might lose the incentive to pay for their membership, and your monetization endeavour will eventually fail.

It is also a good idea to motivate outsiders to join your network by offering them something as a gift – a t-shirt, an exclusive product, a discount – anything that could help people make the first step towards you and your business.

Paid Access is your best option if…


  • You have unique content some members will value;
  • You are an expert or celebrity. You have fans or followers;
  • You provide members with online access to events, conferences or concerts;
  • You can provide valuable training or education;
  • You have access to exclusive music, videos or written content.

With the Paid Access option, you can easily decide what content on your network will be visible to everybody free of charge and what content will be available only after payment. This means you can limit the access to your most valuable content and provide it for a fixed fee.

Ning offers enough flexibility to achieve a balance between paid and free content, so that you can keep your followers engaged and encourage them to try your premium stuff. Thus, you can provide Paid Access to only one specific article or blog post, as well as entitle a particular group of members to have access to certain content.

Useful settings


  • Price: set any price for your content – it is totally up to you how much to charge;
  • Subscription period: decide for how long your content is accessible after payment;
  • Accessibility: charge a group where members can have direct access to a celebrity or expert, take online courses, etc. or charge for the access to a specific article or blog post;
  • Visibility: make your content visible to all, a group of members or selected members only.

Additional features


  • Collect payments via PayPal or Stripe;
  • Keep track of your payments statistics thanks to a new Analytics tool;
  • Take full control over your transactions with Ning’s ultimate e-commerce platform: check the payments’ details, make refunds, monitor chargebacks, etc.

Good to know


By setting up Paid Access, you will create paywalls around your content. Before you do it, make sure the content you provide meets the highest quality requirements. Monetization of your network will be successful only if something you share represents a real value for your network members.

Therefore, your content should provide applicable solutions to typical problems and accurate answers to the questions people are facing within your area of expertise or industry.

It is also recommended to apply for Paid Access if you know exactly how to attract public attention to your website in the first place. Be prepared to give away some content for free at first. This will enable you to get people interested in your network and encourage them to invest money in your premium content.

So have you already decided how to monetize your Ning network? Hopefully, we could help you figure out which monetization option is the most appropriate for your online community. Now when you know how to make money with Ning, it is time to get yourself together and focus on your further business strategy. Or maybe we have just given you a hint for a lucrative business idea? In any case, don’t hesitate and contact Ning’s support center to activate the selected monetization tools on your network!

Just remember, it’s all up to you now. You can use Ning’s monetization tools the way you like. We did our best to provide everything you need to explore, experiment and discover new ways that will bring revenues your network deserves!

Gregory Mount

Gregory Mount is SMM specialist at Ning.