How is forum running business?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by aprilsagar, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. aprilsagar

    aprilsagar
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    I want to start a forum soon on tech news and nanotechnology.I will run that on vbulletin.Can anyone tell me how is this business online?what are its hurdles and advantages?How much time will it generally take to build about 1000 active members.Anyone having expert experience here?
     
  2. pendelton

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    Fergal may have an idea or two I bet.
     
  3. Fergal

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    Running forums takes a huge amount of time and commitment. It is certainly not a quick way to make money online. My experience has been that other types of websites are a quicker route to online income.

    It is impossible to predict how long it will take to reach 1,000 members. There are too many variables. It depends on how well you mange the community, how well you promote it and the topic of the forum, amongst other things.

    Please feel free to ask any more questions that you have and good luck with your own forum.
     
  4. Cynthiab

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    Unless you have something special - ie a connect to the industry that others don't have - it's very difficult to get a forum up and running in the kind of numbers you need to make money. It happens but it's not an overnight thing as Fergal said.
     
  5. BlueEew

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    To answer the threads title. Well, forums are not a business. However they can be. Having a free forum hosting company, that provide free forum hosting is a business. :)

    Also using a forum to sell products for your business, that would make it a business forum. You could also have a forum connected to a business, thats sort of a business. :)
     
  6. Fergal

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    It would be true to say that forums or online communities in their truest form are not businesses because their primary purpose is not to make money.

    Saying that, there are large forum sites that are a businesses and their main function is to make a profit for the owner/s. For example Sitepoint.com is a huge webmaster community that is very much a business. It is a company that employs staff and generates revenue by selling books promoted on the forum, selling forum marketplace listings and selling advertising space.

    Other forums have different revenue models such as relying totally on advertising sales or generating revenue through paid membership.
     
  7. pendelton

    pendelton
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    Cynthia, you have a good point, but that is the neat thing about the internet, you can make those contacts that are needed to launch a forum, it just takes the willingness to motivate yourself in to taking action.

    I belong to several forums that are not businesses in the least, but communities of semi like minded people talking over their favorite subjects. Some are small and very cliquish, but, once you are in you are in. I have taken leaves from some of them for a year, and jumped right back in to the group as if I had never left.
     
  8. BlueEew

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    Yep thats right they are communitites. I would suggest the following;

    "If your making a forum for money not for your intrests, quit now!"

    They are hard to get going, it's a lot easier if you have one on a subject you love.
     
  9. pendelton

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    Think about it like a community, you have your residence and your businesses. There is a balance to be maintained for it to function properly.
     
  10. Slacker

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    Yeah it will take a lot of hard work an patience before you can start making money from a forum. They are probably one of the worst ways to make a quick buck, but in the longrun they pay out
     
  11. sarahFreder

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    its really a very tough job in online creating forum and developing it with great no of users are not very simple to achieve. you have to put up your effort and time to achieve it.

    better have a look in webmaster forum like digital point, webmasterworld, V7N etc., to get better idea of developing the forum.
     
  12. pawanjot90

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    i totally agree with you. Making a forum grow is really very hard job. Best way is to update your website content so that visitors see new content everytime they visit again.
     
  13. Technologically

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    I'm in a good position to tell you it's really hard. My technology forum is running since 2.5 months. I've spent quite some time on it and I'm disappointed with the result so far. After reading this thread I'm not really cheerful.
    I have a long term view and since I like the subject it's not all that bad, but I really thought I'd have much more traffic and posting members before I began.

    Fergal, thanks that was a helpful post. If you have any advice for me, I'd appreciate it.
     
  14. Fergal

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    I like the subject matter of your forum, I've actually joined and started posting. It's also a great domain name and the layout of your categories and forums is very well done.

    One suggestion that I would make is that you create a category for tech news and make all your news posts in there, obviously you need to be conscious of copyright issues.

    The way you post news stories in the other categories has advantages in terms of helping to build post count and provide food for the search engine spiders. However, it has the potential disadvantage of being a deterrent to discussion.

    Seeing lots of news posts with zero responses, in a particular category, doesn't encourage new members to join the discussion. You might want to look at this by creating a new category, as suggested above, or by making your news posts briefer and asking for comments, opinions and suggestions at the end of them.

    Good luck with it.

    Edit: Your forum must have some level of activity, I'm no longer your newest member, two minutes after joining :)
     
  15. Technologically

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    Fergal, thank you so much for your great help.
    I agree with you completely but I would rather prefer to keep the concept as it is and ask for comments or opinions rather than having one section for tech news.

    There is some level of activity but the past days have been slower though. I haven't been on the ball the past few days.
    At the moment it's a forum that serves as a blog and I have, for a beginning forum, a good amount of readers. New signups are unfortunately mostly spammers.
    I'm thinking about finding 10 - 15 people to swap posts. If anyone is interested, please contact me.
    We're also thinking about a new skin.

    Thanks again, Fergal.
     
  16. BlueEew

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    The way you could make a forum into a business could be by doing the following;

    Create a service that is around a forum. Lets say SEO. Then create a forum that will be the example on how good to done the SEO on the forums. Then you can sell your service on that example forums.

    Just two cents. :D
     
  17. shadow12345

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    Building a nice and professional looking forum is hard enough as it is, while managing it and making it to the top requires even more time and patience. I myself have created three fully equipped forums (Forums running SMF with a CMS bridged) so far, but none of them was a success :(

    I believe that in order to make your forum "busy", you can either have useful and unique articles that will make people come back or providing someting in return of posting. Also, running a stand alone forum is not a good idea, you should make a site and the forum is a component to it or at least bridge it to a well-known CMS. I have seen quite some persons who have just started their communities recently but up to now, the results are pretty good.
     
  18. Nazreen

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    Yes, I guess you really need patience when you're just starting your forum. When you have just launched your forum, I guess it would be good to give away prizes like the $50 award for the most helpful and best article here in businessadviceforum. You also need to advertise your forum and ask the members to promote your forum.
     
  19. Footzilla

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    More and more people would be attracted if you are holding some contests on your forum. If you aren't holding any competitions then the traffic would not increase rapidly. The more the interesting contest, the more posts and members you will get.
     
  20. upineter

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    The most of online business depend on adsvertisment. Google, Yahoo, youtube are example of that. Forum have good prospect but you should make the vision and mission of that forums. You should analize user of that forums with specify topics. After that marketing strategy, how to promote the forums. To promote your forums you can start with reward like in this forums.
     

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