How to make money from a forum ?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by simplyjo, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. simplyjo

    simplyjo
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    Hi Friends,

    I am sure many of you have forums of your own.
    How do you make money off forums ? And what do you need to ensure that your forum is "right there" to help you monetize from it ?
    Which niche would you choose and how would you promote it ?
    I am sure Fergal can share some useful tips here ...He has done a terrific job here at BAF !

    Jo
     
  2. GekiDan

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    A few ways are looking for advertisers and adding Google Adsense on it.
     
  3. firstchoicecar

    firstchoicecar
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    Great moderators and proper optimization of the forum site itself.
     
  4. Fergal

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    Thanks for the kind words Jo :) As regards to niche, I would say that you only start a forum on something that you are passionate about. Forums take a lot of hard work and they are slow to grow and become established. It is much easier to be motivated and to put in the work required, if you are passionate about your niche.

    The most common ways of making money from a forum include;

    • Selling ad space - either through a network such as Adsense or selling the ads yourself
    • Charging for premium membership - normally this is only practical once you have been established for some time and can offer something that your members value, in return for premium membership
    • Affiliate marketing of products or services related to your niche. E.g. promoting hosting affiliates on a webmaster forum or Amazon products on almost any type of forum.
    Selling your own related products and services.

    You might also find this thread helpful - Profiting off traffic to my forum.
     
  5. Scottypops

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    Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, and selling text links.
     
  6. GekiDan

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    Selling text links are not allowed by Google as far as I know.
     
  7. Fergal

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    That's true GekiDan, Google do not approve of text link sales and they will penalise your site in their search engine if they catch you doing it.
     
  8. GekiDan

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    But some people do it behind the wall... :)
     
  9. simplyjo

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    Thanks, Fergal. This is sound advice.
    I believe to start a forum, the motive of earning should not be primary - since it is, in my case, I guess I am better off without one !?

     
  10. Fergal

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    Honestly Jo, if income is your primary goal I think you would be better off putting your time and resources into another type of site, perhaps a blog or a niche directory.
     
  11. Lingua21

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    The other obvious one is the possible dosh that you can make out of the forum when you fancy selling it on, provided of course that someone is willing to pay the right kind of money for it.

    It's probably worth also taking about some of the other benefits you gain which can sometimes be more valuable. For instance, the business knowledge that you gain and the ability to network with business people from a range of different types of sectors who share similar interests.

    Cheers - Mike Dove

    P.S. I forgot to mention selling targeted email lists and the kudos you gain by for example having 'successful global business forum owner' on your profile/C.V.
     
    #11 Lingua21, Aug 4, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  12. Shole

    Shole
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    Ever tryed my tutorial on how to increase your visitors/members?
    If you increase your members registration (example each day 2 members register on your site) you can earn with advertising (adsense bidvertise infolinks and so on) It was made for (Back then when i made my first forum) a SMF auto hosting site...here is the link http://ihost4you.com/forum/index.php?topic=59.0
     

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