Why should you monetize a server.
Minecraft servers can be expensive to host and maintain. Most people can't afford to pay for long-term servers with their own money.
Consider the costs of hosting a Minecraft server. Depending on how many servers you have and their specifications, this can add up to quite a lot. There are many other costs associated with large servers. Here are just a few:
custom plugin development
These are just a few of the many expenses. Unexpected expenses will add up, adding up to quite a large amount at the end of each month. Server monetization is not just a way to make extra income, but it can also be crucial to the survival of a server.
There are many ways to monetize a server. While not all options are viable for every server, this guide will show you the most important.
There are some things you should be aware of and considerations you should make with, especially when it comes to money.
Marketability is the most important factor in your server's potential monetization. This can be reflected in many different ways, including the server's appeal and the community. The potential for money-making of a server is directly related to the number and investment of regular players on your server.
Your server will be more popular than the rest and attract more players. You must give players reasons to join your server and stay with it for longer periods of time. In a world of thousands of Minecraft servers, you have to make yours stand out. This is an important aspect to consider, regardless of whether you are creating unique builds or gamemodes or something entirely different.
A strong sense of community will also encourage your players to spend money on your server. Minecraft Terms of Service prohibit you from purchasing in-game benefits for real-world cash (we'll get to that a bit later). Fostering a sense of community on your server will make your players more attached to it and much more willing to donate money or get cosmetic perks to keep it running.
Marketing is equally important as these two. Marketing is essential if you want new players to find your server and join it. Make sure your server is included on the online Minecraft server list. In-game rewards can encourage voting for your server. To increase your server's popularity, you should advertise server-wide events and giveaways.
The Minecraft Commercial Usage Guidelines prohibit the sale of in-game benefits for real money. These guidelines are easy to understand and digest, but the essence of the guidelines is that any in-game benefit, including commands, plugin functionality, and items, cannot be sold for real money.
This does not apply to things that do not affect the gameplay. You can still sell cosmetics and ask for donations. These are all allowed. These are allowed as long as they don't affect the gameplay in any other way than cosmetics.
The most direct and basic method of monetization is the generosity of your community.
Donations are small payments to your server that don't give you any perks. Why would a player spend money on something that doesn't offer any benefits? It's simple: investment. If your players have enough fun with the server, the community, and you, asking for donations to help cover the costs of running it is a great way to ensure this. Even for smaller servers, it is important to clearly state that the donation is a donation and that the player will not be given any in-game perks. This will ensure that there are no disputes over misplaced purchases.
You could also set up a subscription donation program. Some players may want to set up recurring gifts. A $5 donation per month would be an example. However, it is important to communicate the subscription information clearly to avoid any confusion or disputes.
The second most popular and straightforward way to monetize a server is selling cosmetics in-game. These can be in the form rank, one-off purchases or bundles. Minecraft's Terms and Conditions don't prohibit you from selling cosmetics.
This could be a color name, a special effect around the player or a custom trail that follows them.
Make Money with Your Minecraft Server
You can now set up Tebex (formerly known as Buycraft) on your server by following the Terms of Service. Tebex is a webstore provider that offers many features such as payment management, package creation, and more. Tebex allows you to connect to your game server via a plugin and allow donations to be made through a custom webstore. All of these features can be viewed on the Tebex website.
CraftingStore is another webstore and donation provider. CraftingStore has a different game selection, but it offers many features such as Discord integration, an automatic checkout process, and the option to use a CraftingStore sub-domain. The CraftingStore dashboard allows you to modify the HTML and CSS of your webstore. This provider should be compared with other providers via the features page.
Playerlands is another webstore provider. It has a unique gamelist and dashboard. It will hook up to your server via a plugin for purchasing and point towards your webstore. The webstore can be used as-is or customized to your liking. Playerlands offers a great alternative to traditional webstores. It has custom domains, team accounts and allows you to add promotions. All features can be found on the official website.
We recommend that you review all three webstore hosts.
Youtube and Twitch can be great ways to make some extra income, but for Minecraft servers, exposure is the best thing.
If your server is interesting, entertaining, and well-known enough, you might get noticed by Youtubers or Twitch streamers. This will mean that more people will hear about your server and see it - both those who are familiar with it but also those who are unfamiliar. Even though the audience for the Twitch streamer or Youtuber who covers your server is small, it's still significant and there are potential new players discovering about your server.
Once your server is more popular, selling merchandise can be a great way to make extra income. A well-developed community will often have a custom logo or style that can easily be transferred to everyday items, such as T-Shirts. Many services allow you to upload your own artwork and print it on different items. RedBubble is a popular choice for this.
It is important to understand how to properly and legally monetize a server community given all of the costs involved. You can turn your server into a profitable business with the right amount of effort and perseverance. When collecting donations for your server, it is important to consider any local taxes. We recommend that you contact any local tax experts to discuss tax obligations in relation to income earned from your server.