πŸ“’ Community Q&A - How should we monetize Hashnode/Devblog?

First of all thanks for being a Hashnode member. You motivate us to work harder everyday and therefore a big shout out to all of you. πŸ™Œ

We've been running Hashnode for more than 4 years now, but the love and traction we are seeing right now is better than anything we have seen before. Ultimately, a business has to make money and we think this is the right time to start thinking about it.

We have a bunch of ideas, but we need your help. I'll outline a few of the potential monetization options -- please go through them and write down your ideas/suggestions/feedback in the comments below. We would like to involve the whole community in figuring out a suitable business model for Hashnode.

Here is what we have in mind so far:

πŸ’‘[Devblog] Buy us coffee

We charge ~ $2/month (buy us a coffee) for a premium account. It'll give you certain privileges such as:

  • Ability to create multiple team publications
  • Ability to integrate Adsense (we can discuss this further)
  • Private blog posts (for your eyes only)
  • More customizations with custom CSS & JS
  • More integrations (e.g. ability to add Mixpanel and similar options)
  • Deep Analytics
  • Static Pages, Custom 404 pages and so on
  • Early access to new features
  • Pro account badge
  • ... and so on

There will always be free accounts. Pro account will be a way for us to raise money directly from our users by providing premium features. If this makes sense, we can discuss further and decide final list of premium features to offer.

πŸ’‘[Hashnode] Marketplace

Marketplace is another monetization option. We'll build something like Upwork inside Hashnode and help developers monetize their skills. For every transaction, we will charge a small fee. There is a lot of scope for improvements here and we believe we can create a better dev-centric marketplace inside Hashnode.

πŸ’‘[Hashnode] Recruitment

With Devblog, we are onboarding smart developers into the platform everyday. We can build a hiring platform in Hashnode to match developers with tech companies and charge the companies a fee for every successful hire. Hiring is still very difficult and tricky -- this has the potential to go big and if done right we can build a very successful business.

πŸ’‘[Devblog] Training and Courses

We already have authors who are using Devblog to publish articles on various tools and technologies. We can enable authors to release paid courses and tutorials and help them make money -- these courses can be both video and text based. Like the marketplace, we can charge a fee every time we help an author make a sale.

πŸ’‘[Devblog] Revenue Sharing via ethical ads

Hashnode is turning into a network of independent dev bloggers. Although our promise is to keep Hashnode ad-free, we can consider inserting "ethical ads" into the blog posts and share the revenue with authors. I don't want to go down this route, but we would like to know what all of you think. If you feel comfortable with this idea, please provide your feedback and suggestions. If the majority of the community doesn't agree with this, we'll not pursue the idea. But if this gets traction, we are happy to discuss more and figure out a way to make this happen. But be assured that we'll never insert ads into your blogs without your consent.


We are still brainstorming and discussing these options internally. If you have any feedback or ideas for improvement please add a comment. If you have a different idea, we are more than happy to hear it out. Do post it even if it sounds silly! πŸ˜‰

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19 answers

I think for $24/yr, it's worth supporting the community you've created. The only suggestion I'd like to give is for the blogs to reflect the user more; allowing us to post personal tips/rants/etc. without the requirement of it being a public post on Hashnode.

Blogs are personal. A company can use it for branding, but in most cases, it's just seen as an ad in this case. However, when someone contributes to a community, a blog can be the center point of who they are and what they're capable of doing... without pulling punches. Although community posts are fairly indicative of that, the blogs should act as the door to a much more concentrated and direct personality - and the curator of that blog should never feel as if they're being hindered in sharing more than what would be a typical story or question.

I would recommend taking the "Story" model and expanding it, by offering something with a much more personal touch, with permission to manage comments, etc.

I originally played with it when you first launched the blog for us to test, and I'll be examining the entire system - from top to bottom - within the next couple of weeks. Any feedback I can give at that point, I'll share with you as well.

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Hey,

HashNode team must have put a lot of thought and effect in brainstorming all those monetization options.

But I want to share my feed on the above ones.

  • Drinking coffee to healthy, so πŸ‘πŸ» for that, but don't charge on creating a publication. Why? Because many people prefer to create different publications for different topics and write in those respectively.
  • Creating a recruitment platform is tricky in itself and building third-party integration will steer you away from the main focus of HashNode.
  • Uploading training and courses seem like a good plan, but before diving in paid courses maybe allow users to first upload short videos for example 15 min and see how users use the platform for the same.
  • Allow users to create meetups and organize events.

Assuming you will be using Stripe for accepting payments, can also make possible that it accepts Indian cards too.

Rest, you guys are doing an awesome job!

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Although our promise is to keep Hashnode ad-free, we can consider inserting "ethical ads" into the blog posts and share the revenue with authors.

If you are going to use a platform like codefund or similar to them I have no problem with inserting ads into blog posts. Their ads are developer-focused and they kinda look nice.

Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 10.55.08 AM.png

Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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Finally, I know how Hashnode is going to make money :p

Sandeep Panda All ideas are good except the last one "Revenue Sharing via ethical ads" Even its opt-in feature, I feel a bit odd about it.

Making money from blogs by putting ads or popups is not our business model. We are committed to offering a paywall-less and ad-free experience to publishers and we are going to stick to it

Best of luck Hashnode Team.

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I'm definitely leaning into the "Buy us a coffee" and "Training and Courses." The other options feel like you're stepping into saturated markets, and I'd rather see this platform keep a focus on content... not hiring, payments, jobs, etc.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

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