If you’re an owner of a large Discord server, you probably wonder how exactly can you make money from your server.
You can make money from your Discord server by creating a membership program, allowing direct donations, and securing business partnerships. When monetizing your server, you must provide members with custom roles and perks to incentivize future payments.
In this article, we’ll break down every way you can monetize and make money off of your Discord server. Additionally, I’ll explain how to set up every option so that you can start making money today
1. Create a Server Membership Program
Server membership programs allow your Discord members to voluntarily subscribe to a monthly subscription to financially support your server and gain additional benefits.
We highly recommend using Upgrade.Chat when creating a Server Membership Program (discussed more later in the article). We’ve had a lot of success with them and the service is exceptionally powerful at making worthwhile perks for your membership subscribers.
When a server member signs up for a membership program, you’ll need to ensure that you provide them with incentives so that they continue to pay on a monthly basis.
The strongest perks are related to status and power, such as providing a role with a unique color or being able to server mute their friends in voice channels.
Some popular server membership program perks and benefits are:
- Separately displaying role for in-server status and bragging rights
- Ability to server mute other members
- Access to hidden text channels
- Access to locked voice channels
- Ability to server mute other members
- Ability to drag other server members between voice channels
- Ability to timeout other members
- Ability to change other members’ nicknames
I recommend not allowing them to gain administrative abilities for becoming a member unless they’re someone you highly trust. But even then, avoid providing anyone with the abilities to manage channels as they may accidentally or purposely delete full-text channels and cause unrevisable server damage.
You will need to create multiple membership packages to maximize the amount of revenue generated from your server. If you only sell 1 package, the people who want to pay more for more perks (especially related to status) won’t be able to. At the same time, anyone who wants to pay less won’t have an option, and therefore won’t pay you at all
Here is a complete table of all Discord server perks and what’s most commonly seen provided in each package:
|Membership Perks||Low Tier
($1 – $10)
($11 – $50)
|Separately Displayed Role||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Manage Channels||No||No||No|
|Ability to Manage Roles||No||Maybe||Yes|
|Ability to View Audit Log||No||No||Maybe|
|Ability to Manage Server||No||No||No|
|Ability to Manage Nicknames||Maybe||Maybe||Yes|
|Ability to Kick Members||No||No||Yes|
|Ability to Ban Members||No||No||Maybe|
|Ability to Timeout Members||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to use @everyone||No||Maybe||Yes|
|Ability to use Text-to-Speech||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Connect to Locked Voice Channels||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to View Hidden Text Channels||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Server Mute Other Members||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Deafen Other Members||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Move Members||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Manage Events||No||No||Maybe|
|Ability to Provide Custom Emotes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Create New Channels||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Create Threads||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Promote their Personal Projects||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Promote their Business||No||No||Yes|
|Ability to Share Affiliate Links||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to Share Advertisements||No||No||Maybe|
|Ability to Promote their Discord Server||No||Maybe||Maybe|
|Ability to Share their Twitch Link||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mentions on Additional Marketing Channels||Maybe||Yes||Yes|
For a membership program to operate, you’ll need to register under a third-party service-based management company to easily manage all your members and financials. You could do it on your own, but trust me, you don’t want to do that.
Let’s discuss a few options you have to manage your Discord membership program.
Sign Up with Upgrade.Chat
Upgrade.Chat is the only verified Discord partner with both Stripe and Paypal. This makes them highly credible and requires them to stay highly professional with their business dealings.
The biggest selling point for using Upgrade.Chat is that it has the lowest merchant processing fees. Upgrade.Chat only charges 6%, while Patreon charges 12% and OnlyFans charges 20%.
What makes Upgrade.Chat quite unique for Discord memberships is its ability to allow membership owners to create a large number of diverse perks for members such as paywall content, free trial programs, custom subscriptions cycles, and a full free digital store feature.
On top of that, Upgrade.Chat also allows members to refer other Discord members in order to earn themselves money and even more benefits.
Overall, Upgrade.Chat is by far the most credible, powerful, and successful Discord membership program tool on the market. This will significantly increase the amount of money you can make as a Discord server owner.
Sign Up with Patreon
If for whatever reason you decide that Upgrade.Chat isn’t for you, you can instead set up a membership program with Patreon.
Patreon allows for Discord integrations, such as restricting members from joining a Discord server if they aren’t a Patreon subscriber.
The tools and metrics are a lot more limited than Upgrade.Chat, but it’s still a great option.
They will charge 12% merchant processing fees, but they’re even more credible than the previous vendor.
Patreon is better known to members than Upgrade.Chat and you’re still able to use multiple tiered packages. As a result, some people may feel more comfortable paying through Patreon, although the fact that Upgrade.Chat is Paypal verified can help alleviate any concerns.
Sign Up with OnlyFans Account
OnlyFans also works to run a Discord Membership. You can use this tool to have members sign up and pay on a monthly basis.
OnlyFans comes with a few shortcomings. Firstly, you won’t have any direct automatic connections to your Discord server like the other tools do.
Secondly, OnlyFans has a bad reputation as an adult-content subscription platform, despite the fact that many other memberships take place on the platform. For that reason, however, you may not want to associate your brand with OnlyFans.
Lastly, they charge the most for merchant processing fees: a massive 20%. So if someone is paying $100, you only get $80 because OnlyFans takes $20.
2. Setup a Donations Portal
Donations are a quick and easy way to start generating money from your Discord server members. Members will donate to you when you provide them incentives (and occasionally just because they enjoy being a part of your server).
But let’s be honest, most people just want perks. People can donate for the following perks and benefits:
- 1-time abilities such as creating a server event or server muting their friend
- Forever-abilities such as access to donor text channels, permission to move members between voice channels, etc
- Ability to make an @here announcement
- 1-time ability to gain specific shoutout or privileges at a Discord server event
If donations seem like the perfect way to monetize your server, below are a few ways you can set donations up.
Set Up a Donate Bot Account
The Donate Bot is a great and powerful solution for Discord server owners looking to collect donations from their members.
The bot itself costs you no fees, outside of the Paypal fees that you’ll have from normally using Paypal as well.
All you’ll need to do to add the Donate Bot is:
- Go to donatebot.io
- Click the “add bot” button
- Add the bot to your server
- Create an account with Donate Bot
Once you’ve completed those steps, you’re ready to start asking for donations.
Set Up a Paypal Account
If you don’t want to use a bot to connect donations, you can also take donations directly through Paypal itself.
By creating your own Paypal account, you can now ask Discord server members to send donations directly to you.
All you’ll need to do is create the Paypal account and have access to the associated email you used to register the account.
If anyone wants to send you money, you can either send them to a Paypal payment page or they can email you the money from their PayPal account.
3. Get a Sponsorship for Your Server
Sponsorships are a lucrative way to start generating money for your Discord server.
To secure sponsors, you’ll need a community Discord server with over 3000 members. If you have fewer members, you’re unlikely to get any sponsorship agreements. The more you have, the more likely you are to land opportunities.
The members must also be active in the community. The purpose of a sponsorship is to help the sponsoring company to make more money than it costs them, but you cannot do that if your members don’t use the server, and therefore, won’t care about your sponsor.
I have a full article outlining this entire process, so we won’t go into all the details here. One thing I will say is that you want what is known as pure sponsorships, meaning they’ll pay you money instead of having you make money on a commission per sale.
You’ll also need to sell the sponsor with activations (explained in the sponsorship article). Some activations you can provide a sponsor as a Discord server owner are:
- Promotion of the sponsor during Discord events
- Having inclusions on @everyone Discord posts
- Having @everyone Discord post focused on the sponsor
- Changing your server logo to the sponsor’s logo
- Changing your role colors to the sponsor’s colors
- Adding the sponsor to your social media accounts
- Having your Discord bot promote the sponsor
- Changing your admin team’s name to relate to the sponsor
- Changing the server’s name to include the sponsor
If you want a commission per sale sort of deal, the next suggestion is perfect for you.
4. Signup for Affiliate Programs
If you signup for various affiliate programs, you can use your affiliate links to make money every time one of your Discord server members buys any product from that company.
Where affiliate programs are strong is your ability to sign up for many without much need to specifically hunt for them.
Sponsorships require a lot of searching, selling, and closing a specific sponsor, but affiliate programs allow you to easily find tons of companies that you can promote for money.
It’s quite easy to signup for affiliate programs, all you need to do is Google search or email a company directly about opportunities.
There are however a few Discord-specific affiliate programs. Let’s speak to one now!
NordVPN Discord Partnership Program
NordVPN has its own partnership program which is a steal for any Discord server owners who want a free VPN as well as make money selling the VPN to others.
For one thing, you’ll gain free access to NordVPN as long as you complete a certain number of sales. With each sale, you’ll make a 40% commission (with the exception of a 1-month sale, where you’ll earn 100%).
Additionally, for every renewal, you’ll earn 30% on that renewal. This means if you partner with NordVPN, anyone who purchases from you now will consistently pay you 30% of their payments for every referral. Even if they purchased from you years ago.
That’s why this is a great program for you as a Discord owner. And best of all, the earlier you start, the more you’ll make.
5. Advertise Other Discord Servers
It’s a very common practice for big servers to have smaller server owners pay them to promote their small server. The reason being is that the members from the large server are likely to trickle in and grow the small server owner’s server (that’s a lot of “servers”).
Certain servers provide this for free as long as the posting server does it on their own for the hosting server (this practice is known as cross-promotion).
However, when a server is too small, your benefits from cross-promotion are limited, and therefore you’re best off charging them instead of asking for a compensational promotion.
In fact, if your server is big enough, you can start outreaching out to small community servers with a similar focus are start telling them that you’re selling server promotion slots.
For this to work, you’ll need a rough idea of how many people will trickle in based on historical data and estimation. Having that number will beef up your overall sales process.
6. Sell Server Events Slots
Ever since Discord released the Events Tab, certain Discord server owners are now selling the ability to create an event on their server.
Event slots can be sold to a number of different people, including streamers, business owners, and even other Discord server owners.
The cost of the event varies depending on the deliverable promotion you provide as well as the size of your Discord server.
For most servers, they should expect a payment in the three-figure area ($100+).
The promotion of these services is typically best done on your website as well as at other Discord events you run. This will allow the word to organically spread with your members who would be more likely to pay for an even than anyone else.
7. Create a New Server for Paying Members
A common practice for non-discord memberships is to have paying subscribers have a private Discord server. Well, this is someone that you, as an existing public server owner, can do as well.
We already discussed having some private channels accessible to paying members, but if your server is big enough, having a full new server dedicated to paying members becomes very attractive.
You can follow either the membership package or donation model to provide this benefit (we recommend the membership route).
However, the reason this is a separate category, is that you can turn this into a one-time separate payment, isolated to any previous donations or membership members you have. In other words, you sell the server as if you are selling a real product.
Your pricing strategy will be dependent on the value the member gets from joining. That’s why you’ll initially need a decent cohort of people to move into the server before you sell it. From there, you’ll want some regular events, info products, or other services pre-embedded into the server to up the value.
Without a doubt, you can sell each ticket for $39+, up to $599 depending on the overall value you embed.
Speaking of turning a server into a product, why don’t we speak to selling products themselves.
8. Sell Your Own Product or Services
The reason why sponsorships and affiliate programs work is because the sponsoring company makes more money overall than it costs to pay you. If not, why would anyone even pay for a sponsorship?
With that understood, what if you created your own product or service. In that way, you can now use your reach to make even more money than selling a sponsorship.
This is especially true if you’ve done a sponsorship with a company in the past and it did really well with your Discord members.
You can create a similar, yet better product to now sell to your Discord members instead.
Certain products and services are hard to replicate. There are some, however, that is quite easy. Let’s run through 3 of them now.
Sell an Info Product
Info products, also known as information products, are one of the easiest ways you can start selling to your Discord audience members.
If your Discord members are in the server because of someone you do or something they’re interested in, it’s fairly easy to now sell them on a specific info product related to the topic.
For example, let’s say your server was full of people who are League of Legends Ahri mains. You can create a guide on how to climb to Challenger rank as Ahri (assuming you were a top-tier player). If you’re not a top-tier Ahri player, simply pay someone who is to create a course for you.
Make sure when you get someone to make you the course that they are selling you the rights to the intellectual property (IP) and not working with you on commission or licencing. Otherwise, that defeats the purpose of going solo.
Sell a Digital Product
Let’s say you’re still running that League of Legends Ahri mains server. Instead of selling an info product, what if you sell a cute Ahri desktop background.
You can easily pay someone to create a high-quality background, and all you’ll need to do is sell it to your Discord members.
It doesn’t have to be a background, but you can create a lot of art. And it doesn’t only have to be art, you can create and sell a lot of things. You just need to understand what your Discord members like.
Sell Consulting Services
The last one I’ll touch on, although you can practically sell anything, is consulting services. Let’s say you are the Ahri main pro, you can now sell coaching lessons to other members at a high price point.
Especially if the Discord members are there for you as a pro, it’ll become a lot easier to close with people.
As long as you can cover the trust gap, you find the pain point they’re having, and your pricing model is fair, you’ll be able to generate a great deal of money through consulting services.
9. Run a Crowdfunding Campaign
Running a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to not only have your Discord server members send you money, but also have SEO to boost your campaign and have non-members pay you money as well.
This one is exceptionally powerful to generate a lot of money fast if done correctly (but lacks the long-term consistent revenue as the previous options have).
If you do plan to start a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll need someone that people are funding.
For example, let’s say you ran a Discord server for Anime lovers, you could create a crowdfunding campaign around developing an anime based on the ideas provided in the server.
That way, your members can get excited but there’s a general theme that’s pushing behind the crowdfunding campaign.
That example isn’t great, but if you’re seriously considering a crowdfunding campaign, it better be something that your Discord members can champion behind and support overall.
The key limitation, however, is that once the money comes in, you’ll need to actually work on the project and parts of the funds need to go towards execution (even if it’s just paying yourself for doing the work).
Create a GoFundMe Page
One way to set up a crowdfunding campaign is to have a GoFundMe page. This way as well, not only will you promote it to the Discord members, but assuming you Discord members support it, your page should reach one of the top rankings on GoFundMe.
All you need to do is go to the GoFundMe page, create an account, create a page, and share the page. Boom, as easy as that.
10. License Your Server Banner
The last area that you may want to look at when monetizing your server is licencing your server banner.
Assuming you have 7 or more server boosts to get a banner slot, you can now consider selling the graphic slot to companies and people who want to promote what they’re selling/doing.
Similar to selling event slots, your banner slot can be sold to streamers, content creators, business owners, and even people working on passion projects.
The best part about this, it’s annual recurring revenue that won’t ever cost you a dime to execute. The limitation, however, is that you’re only limited to one slot at a time (if you only own 1 server).
At the same time though, having only 1 slot, makes it more valuable, and therefore you can charge for even more.