Monetization in Telegram: how to make a channel with a paid subscription
Monetization in Telegram is easier than it seems.
Mechanics of earnings through closed Telegram channel
Closed Telegram channel allows the author to publish exclusive content, which is not available in other channels, for a small monthly fee.
Here’s how it works:
- The channel author comes up with an idea for a closed subscription project and starts warming up the audience in their communication channels. It’s important to talk about the product idea, the benefits participants will receive, the mechanics, and what will be inside the closed channel.
- In order to convey your idea well, you can create a sales page – a landing page with a description of the project, audience, price, conditions and answers to frequent questions. But if the audience in social networks is warm, and you are good at writing sales posts, you can not make a landing page.
- Next you need to create a closed channel itself and deal with receiving payments from participants. They can be accepted manually, or you can connect to the channel Paywall-bot. Manual – this means that you will dialog with each participant, send him details, track payments, add people to the channel, remind him after a month that his next payment deadline is approaching. This is a good solution at the beginning, but it does not suit those who have a lot of participants. In this respect, the bot makes administrative work much easier: it dialogs and accepts payments, debits the money and deletes a participant who has not renewed his stay in the channel. If a participant wants to return money, the issue of refunds is also solved by tech support, not by yourself.
- Participants from social networks, tapplinks, or from a link in a dialog with the bot and get into a closed channel after payment.
Monetization for the author of the project starts as soon as the first participant enters the Telegram channel. And what is good about the subscription model is that some participants pay not once, but monthly.
It turns out that the author of a closed subscription channel needs to work on both retaining participants and attracting new ones. Then the amount of revenue can grow from month to month.
Who is suited to the subscription monetization model
We are so used to subscription model that we don’t even realize how much stuff is sold and bought with monthly payment model. Books, socks, razor blades, access to movies and TV shows, newsletter services, website creation, and so on. But now the subscription monetization model is being used in music, gaming, culture, services, and online education.
Subscription channels are started by experts in various niches: designers, editors, lawyers, accountants, psychologists, fitness instructors. With the departure of major music labels from the Russian market, musicians began to monetize their work using the Paywall + closed Telegram channel model.
What content are people willing to pay for and how much
Subscription content is not a spherical horse in a vacuum. It’s something that covers a specific problem of a specific segment of the audience. And if the content can solve that problem, the user is willing to pay for it.
Let’s look at examples from different niches of what you can sell in a closed channel using the paywall model.
A finance expert has clients or subscribers who want to learn about trading or investing. The expert can create a closed subscription channel with short theoretical breakdowns, spreadsheet templates, and simple assignments. Participants in the channel watch the expert’s calculations and make their first trades – their need for training is solved, which means they are willing to pay for it.
The copywriter and editor have clients who find it difficult to write texts for social networks – no ideas, the posts are cumbersome, about everything at once, no structure, no ease. This is a problem. The author can create a channel with ideas for cool easy texts to promote and do a breakdown of each. What structure is written, what techniques are used, how the post hits the target audience, and so on. The participant of the channel for a small fee trains the observation and writes his posts according to the ready structure given by the author.
The designer can create illustrations or mobile animations for his clients as a basic service, and additionally, run a closed subscription channel for those who want to create animations on their own. Every day, the channel can include posts with micro-tasks, picture templates, or sets of micro-animations in storis for inspiration. In this way, the designer reaches a new segment of the audience that does not order visuals from him, but is willing to pay for ideas, tutorials, and tips.
How to create a paid Telegram channel and set up a monthly subscription: 8 steps
From my experience, I know that a subscription project can be launched in just 24 hours if you have a cool idea. But here are the steps I recommend you take to make sure the launch is smart.
- Think about what pains of your audience you can close with a subscription product. Important: It doesn’t have to be a one-time solution, it will be something the subscriber will pay for for months to come. To keep your finger in the sky, conduct a survey on social networks or do some in-depth interviews with your target audience.
- Spread the word about the project idea on social media and the newsletter. Ask for support and questions. Perhaps not everyone will understand the mechanics of a closed subscription project. While you are answering the users’ questions, you will formulate the value of your ideas and product better for yourself.
- Think about the pitch of content in the channel, the formats and frequency with which you will make publications, give tasks, go on the air or lead webinars. The project should not exhaust you, because in addition to monetization in Telegram, you have your main activities: orders, consultations, advertising contracts, etc. For example, in my closed channel, I did 8 debriefings a month. I shot 5-minute videos + duplicated the main thoughts with text and accompanied it all with screenshots. Format of the paid channel It took me 2-4 hours a week to prepare the content. There were weeks when I spent a little more time and made analyses for the future, because there was a difficult period for publication: a lot of orders, corporate training, or, on the contrary, vacations.
- Evaluate the cost of subscriptions and think about levels of access to content. Calculate how many participants with a minimum rate you need in the channel to make your efforts pay off.
- Create a closed Telegram channel, connect a bot to it, which will provide recurring payments and take care of the administrative routine and statistics.
- Start creating content for warm-up and sales. This can be a landing page, a landing page, or just a series of posts, selling posts for social networks or emails.
- Stockpile content for your closed Telegram feed. This step isn’t necessary, but it will help you deal with the excitement of your first launch and make all your publications on time.
- Count everything. Not only revenue, expenses and income, but also conversions, and the cost of effort and time. Analyze channels and ways to attract participants. See which post worked, from which site came more quality leads. For example, analytics peyvol-bot shows both conversions, and income from renewals, and the total projected income.
How to attract subscribers and what warming content is needed to gain an audience
First, my funnel for the launch was as simple as possible: a landing page + posts on Telegram-channel, where I had about 1000 subscribers, and in other social networks, where there were about 2000 more. I did not use any mailing list, targeting or paid promotion channels.
Secondly, I am a copywriter myself, and it was not difficult for me to quickly make a landing page for this product and assemble it myself on Tilde. And after the test launch, I strengthened the product, changed the name and rebuilt the project’s landing page from scratch. By that time I already had the first reviews, selling subscriptions became a little easier.
Third, I didn’t just use posts to attract new audiences. I spoke at niche conferences about texts and editing, wrote articles, and tried affiliate integrations and advertising in telegram feeds. But all of this was already after the first launch.
If you conditionally separate content for warming up and attracting an audience, you get:
- A sales pitch or selling project description for a landing page.
- A series of posts, emails or videos about the product itself and the “pains” it solves.
- Initial feedback and results from participants – to evoke a desire to join and get the same result.
- In-house kitchen. This may be anything, as long as the content shows how cool the atmosphere is in a closed project, how cool participants are and what interesting publications or videos are.
- Client cases. If a participant came to you and quickly solved some issue, ask them to tell you how exactly the subscription project helped them to do it. You can use case studies to enhance your branding, warm up your subscribers on social networks or reach out to external sites to promote your project and broaden your possible audience.
Three important conclusions about paid subscriptions in telegram feeds
Telegram is no longer just a messenger for communication. It can become a full-fledged platform for making money if you use bots to accept recurring payments.
You can set up and run a subscription channel in 24 hours. The main thing is a good idea, and the technical setup is simple and straightforward.
It is important for the author of the project to work both on attracting the audience and on retaining subscribers in the channel. So, in the first place, the quality and relevance of exclusive content on the subscription. As long as people feel that the content helps them solve their problems, they are willing to pay for it.