26 June 2017 Ben

How to effectively monetise resources

Resources come in a variety of shapes and sizes... news, publications, products, essentially anything that used by a visitor to increase their knowledge can be classed as a resource. Resources are really important in meeting one the primary objectives most membership organisations set up to achieve: Establishing the organisation as the must visit knowledge hub for the industry. Not only this but professional bodies and third sector organisations are now starting to use the resources to support other business objectives like membership recruitment. How? They key is effectively marketing and monetising key content within your website.

Only 7% of people within the UK said they’d paid for an online news/resource in 2016

University of Oxford

Understand your audience

As a professional organisation, a visit on your website is likely someone who’s looking for specific information that a search engine, friend, email or social media post has suggested lives somewhere on your site. Most of your visitors, and in fact most visitors to any website will expect content to be given for free.

Paying for online content is increasing year-on-year and if you get the balance right, the it could prove a valuable revenue stream for the organisation.

Determine the value

Firstly, the value is not defined by the author, or even your personal opinion. There are a couple of sources available for finding the value [2] But the below list is what we use when helping our clients:

  • Rarity: How unique is the resource? The harder to find the more likely a visitor will pay.
  • Importance: The more important the content, the higher the value.
  • Demand: The greater the demand for the resource. The higher the premium.
  • Source: How reliable is the source? The stronger the source for supplying quality information the visitor will assume the resource is also high quality.
  • Lifespan: How long is the resource likely to be current and in demand for? The longer the lifespan, the higher the value.

Once the value has been established, a monetary value should be added to the resource. Look at the prices of similar resources from similar sources. Remember; as the voice of your industry, your authority and pre-vetting of resources to appear on your website can normally allow for a slightly inflated price.

Free access to members?

A lot of professional organisations are starting to use the valuable content as a key benefit of membership; giving access to paid for content as a perk of membership. If one of your primary objectives is to increase membership recruitment, then this might be something to consider. Using a specialised resource library module that’ll allow you to allocate role-based pricing is something that we’d recommend.

Below is an example of a good resource library from the British Parking Association:

342 resource-library-image 

As with anything that you can do, there are also a couple of DO NOT’s when creating your resource library. The below list should give you a couple of pointers:

  • DON’T be greedy: If you price a resource too highly then you might not get the sales expected. Always get a second or third opinion on the price before adding it to your library.
  • DON’T price everything: No-one likes a website or company that tries to take their money at all points. Make sure there are a good portion of free resources to wet a visitors appetite and build up their opinion of the quality.
  • DON’T forget to archive: Always remember to achieve or remove cost for documents as they begin to enter their ‘end of life’ cycle.


A professional organisation is only as good as the quality of the information they provide, and having a well-structured and effective resource library can be the first step in communicating this to the masses.

Are you successfully monetising resources using some of the steps above? Or maybe you've tried a couple but haven't quite had the effect you were after? Why not leave a comment below and share what's worked/ missed the mark for your organisation? Feel free to get in touch to chat about effective ways of marketing for your association.

 View more like this: User journeys - how to get people to your key pages

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