Have you ever felt out of your depth, like a fraud, and just guessed/bullshitted your way through the situation, petrified that at any time, someone was going to call you on it? - Mike-Cannon Brookes
The truth is, you can’t ‘make’ other people do anything that they don’t want to do. Regardless of how many members you reach, the only thing standing between users paying for your community is the value of it all. There are many other things to decide when you put up a pricing wall like - how much will you charge for it, or how much of the content will still be freely available (if any). People might not find $10 too much but maybe $15 might be a dealbreaker. Some might leave once you put up a pricing wall. So many possibilities.
There is no way of knowing other than trying. If you want to experiment, go ahead put up a pricing wall, and make sure there is a good reason for it. If your community is 10K members strong then there’s at least something that you’re doing right, and people would likely pay for it. You might lose some members but that’s the chance you’ll have to take. Worst case, if things go sideways, you can always revert back to an open community and rethink your approach.
In 2018, I took a Udacity course in front-end web development and found the community managers to be stellar advocates who were really motivating. I was looking to break into tech, and got inspired and started applying for community-type jobs as a result. I landed my first gig at Khan Academy, where I led and managed volunteer groups for a year before moving onto Quora to oversee writer and power user programs, and am now doing the same at Retool. - Alina Din, Community Manager at Retool