January 16, 2023

How to sell access to private group on Telegram with telegr.store

After you’ve set up your bot with telegr.store you may start adding different products

One of the most requested feature of telegr.store is selling access to private groups. If you have a private group (a chat, not a channel) you may add a paywall - your subscribers would need to pay to access the group. Since Telegram added topics to groups, that might be a great way to monetize your community.

Prepraping the bot

You must finish integration of your bot with telegr.store first to continue.

The next step is adding your bot to your private group as a member. Click on the group name and hit “Add”

Fill in your bots’ username in the form that appears. You may find your bots’ username in the dialog with BotFather or on your status page at https://app.telegr.store/bot_status

Once added, you’ll see the bot in the member list:

Hit “Edit” button in the same window:

In the group edit window, you’ll be looking at 2 things: “Permissions” and “Administrators”

In the “Permissions” menu make sure that users have “Add users” permission.

This means that all your users - not only your bot - can add someone to your private group. I haven’t figured out yet how to leave this permission on only for the bot. If you know the solution, please, reach out to me at alex.smirnov@telegr.store

Next, you need to add your bot to the list of administrators. Hit “Add Admin” and select your bot. Admins have separate set of permission. You need to enable “Invite Users via Link” to your bot.

Now let’s see if telegr.store has indetified this group and can sell access to it.

Checking the integration with telegr.store

If everything is set up in the previous step, you will see your private group’s name on this page https://app.telegr.store/private_chats

If your bot lacks persissions - adding users or generating invite link - you’ll see an error messages. If you see them:

  1. Remove the bot from administrator
  2. Remove the bot from members (do not block the bot!)
  3. Hit unlink button on https://app.telegr.store/private_chats if available
  4. Start from the beginning of this guide

If you struggle with the setup - hit me up at alex.smirnov@telegr.store

Adding the product

Go to https://app.telegr.store/product/new to start selling the access. On this page, you need to set up the common stuff for all the products on the platform:

  1. Title - the name of your product, 1-32 characters
  2. Thumbnail - a small picture of the product
  3. Description - short description, 1-255 characters
  4. Price - the amount to charge in the currency of your shop (see http://localhost:5000/store_settings). The price should be within the allowed amounts (see this doc - https://core.telegram.org/bots/payments#supported-currencies)
  5. Tags - a list of tags to organize your products

In the Product section of this page, select “Private access”. You should see your private chat name here:

This is how your product will look like in the chat with your bot

Testing

I usually use my second Telegram account for testing (since my main account has created the private group and is already a amaber of it).

When you hit that “Pay” button in the chat with your bot and pay the price (make sure that Payments are in Test mode here https://app.telegr.store/bot_status) the bot will generate and send you the invite link:

When you hit the link, the bot will approve your access automatically. When doing so, it will check that you are the same person who paid for the link.

Then you as an owner will get a notification (check that Telegram notifications are set up here https://app.telegr.store/notifications) like so:

The first message will have the link to the order info. The second message tells that approval on the membership is done.

Note the order identification (a long string of random characters like XVWCWDsexyeepckYEdTc66). If you open your private group, open its info -> Invite links and select the bot in the button of the page, you’ll see links that this bot has generated. Link names are the same as order identifications.

At the moment private group access supports one-time payments. Subscriptions are coming later this (2023) year.


Start your own Telegram store bot at telegr.store



© Alex Smirnov 2022