Costs of Running a Community — Ep 7

In this episode, we discuss the free and paid resources you may need when building a community. We also provide tips on how to be resourceful and economical when investing financially in your community.

Episode Highlights:

  • Social media isn’t free and it’s going to cost a little money to get started. What you want to get out of a community dictates how much money you should spend on it.
  • Communities are an investment. If you want a professional platform that will last through time, you’ll have to financially invest in your community over time.
  • In addition to the financial investment, we discussed the time investment and the value of your time, or the opportunity cost when you must choose between what you are doing and what you could be doing.
  • Kami discusses having an online community versus an offline community. She says start with an offline community to get an idea of the demographic and what the community wants and needs. Investing time in people face-to-face can attract people to your online community.
  • Madalyn gives examples of how you can use online resources to meet people and start building your community using the power of the internet. She stresses you can connect with people locally but also across the world.
  • There are resources at your disposal you can use to build your community that are free and accessible. Madalyn uses hashtags and explains how she started #TwitterSmarter in 2013 to build an online training course and community. A few years later she launched the #TwitterSmarter podcastand the #Twitter Smarter chat soon followed. Kami uses Facebook pages and groups and talks about how she used a Facebook page to build Social Media Breakfast Houston and a group for Texas Travel Talk.
  • Blog categories can be used as a landing page with a corresponding URL that takes you to a page within your site. This is an economical strategy and is also great for SEO. You can check out the one that Kami built for SMBHOU here.
  • YouTube Channels can be used to display groups of videos on your channel, and it ranks high on Google searches. Madalyn discusses how to organize YouTube playlists so people can easily access videos. You can check out the SMBHOU playlist here.
  • Kami and Madalyn discuss how building a community can cost money and how expenses add up. They break down the costs for building a website, buying a domain, obtaining graphics, running Facebook and Instagram ads, reserving event locations, using course platforms and an email list provider.
  • When purchasing your URL, be sure to find out whether you can transfer it if you’re using a template website building tool and wish to move your site later.
  • Madalyn discusses her experience in finding sponsorships vs. doing in-kind trades. Many potential sponsors want to see what you can do first, so trades are better when starting out. Sponsors may provide t-shirts, services, space or free swag to give away to your audience.

Links, Tools & Apps Mentioned in this Episode:


If you’re thinking about a starting a community, will it be paid or free? If you’ve already started one, do you charge for it? Tweet us and let us know- we want to hear from you @kamichat and @madalynsklar.

How to Reach Kami Huyse:

If you’d like to learn more about Kami, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at kami@zoeticmedia.com or tweet to @KamiChat.

How to Reach Madalyn Sklar:

If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at madalyn@madalynsklar.com or tweet to @MadalynSklar.

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