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I have always thought and seen a lot of debate and conjecture about this issue, and as such, decided I would voice my thoughts about how to make money from forums.

 

What are your opinions on how you make money from your forums?

 

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I have been on quite a few forums: some big, some small, some active, some more dead than alive. From what I have observed, the surest way of making money from a forum is through selling premium memberships. That kind of money is hard cash in the pocket. I believe there is one very big and very active forum where there is only one kind of membership - paid membership.

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Adsense only works well with high traffic forums, and even then it can be overdone or it looks ugly as. I have had success on 1 forum previously, but it can be hard.

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I remember reading about one forum that started strictly on a paid membership basis only. It has grown to more than 100,000 paid members the last I checked. The subscription, if my memory serves me right, is only 10usd per year. Not really much but when you multiply it by the number of members they have, that's a lot of money. The problem is I cannot remember the name of the forum now.

 

Does anyone remember?

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There are plenty of ways when it comes to making money from a forum. But it shall depend on your activity in your forum. The best option is Advertising. I have seen advertisers buying ad space for a banner which cost more than $300 a month, and costly link ad space in some high traffic forums. The other option is premium upgrade memberships. But you should be able to offer something with the upgrades.

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One point I see on yours that I have never had work well for me is Adsense.  Just doesn't convert well on forums.

 

Yep. It can really only convert decently if you have a ton of traffic. Most forum owners don't and sometimes will never get to a point where they have enough traffic to make it worthwhile. People always seem to put it on them first thing anyway, though.

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Forums can be a good way to generate revenue because if you have one that brings in a lot of traffic people will pay top dollar for advertising space. The trick is finding the right "niche" and sticking with it.

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Forums can be a good way to generate revenue because if you have one that brings in a lot of traffic people will pay top dollar for advertising space. The trick is finding the right "niche" and sticking with it.

 

Good suggestion. Now what do you think would be the right niche? I mean, do you have some kind of guidelines to help you know whether you have found the right niche? Or is it simply a matter of hit and miss? Like keep on hitting even when you are missing, until such time that you make a real solid hit.

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Just look for a niche that you think could be popular.  

 

Then use Google's keyword research tool to see if it get's enough search engine searches per month to be worth going after.

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Yeah there are heaps of popular genres...just be careful not to choose a genre that is over-saturated already or make sure you have a unique twist to your site.

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Yep. It can really only convert decently if you have a ton of traffic. Most forum owners don't and sometimes will never get to a point where they have enough traffic to make it worthwhile. People always seem to put it on them first thing anyway, though.

 

Its not just the traffic, but rather the quality of the traffic, and your niche. I used to make more than $500 a month from a blog with less than 100 unique visits every day. It mostly depends on your niche. The better your niche and keywords, higher the pay rate per ad.

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Its not just the traffic, but rather the quality of the traffic, and your niche. I used to make more than $500 a month from a blog with less than 100 unique visits every day. It mostly depends on your niche. The better your niche and keywords, higher the pay rate per ad.

 

Wow, really? That's actually quite impressive. 

 

What kind of advertising were you using? And was it because people were actually buying products through you or through affiliations, etc? 

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Its not just the traffic, but rather the quality of the traffic, and your niche. I used to make more than $500 a month from a blog with less than 100 unique visits every day. It mostly depends on your niche. The better your niche and keywords, higher the pay rate per ad.

 

500usd a month from less than 100 unique visits per day?

 

Let me do some simple arithmetic. Make it a round 100 uniques per day and you will have 3000 uniques per month. Round the income up to 600usd and you will get an average of 00.20usd income per unique. If you are selling affiliated products, which normally give you a 10% commission, to be on the generous side, then you will be selling products worth about 2usd to the uniques. 2usd of product sold to every single unique visitor every day. That's quite a feat.

 

So what's the secret?

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I'd still say Adsense even if you have a small userbase, as they will still generate revenue for you. But they are strict and doesn't approve sites easily. But you could have normal members and premium members like deviantart use. So I guess you can try and invent a cool feature which people would buy the membership for to gain extra features. Donations are also a good way, but some people may think you only put donations for your own needs, not for the forum itself :/ But if you have a active userbase, you could try offering services e.g. graphics design, coding help and you could earn good cash.

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The main reason why I always hesitate to go into forum projects it's the difficulty to make decent money out of it. In order to make good money from a forum, you need a huge community and in order to reach that it will take quite a long time. However, I think you can use forum best to promote CPA campaigns such as Free Stuff offers.

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The main reason why I always hesitate to go into forum projects it's the difficulty to make decent money out of it. In order to make good money from a forum, you need a huge community and in order to reach that it will take quite a long time. However, I think you can use forum best to promote CPA campaigns such as Free Stuff offers.

 

Actually you can make big money from forums too, but you are right with the fact that it may take some time to get back your investment. An easier option shall be to start your own blog.

 

Promoting CPA offers may sound good at the beginning, but I'm not sure whether the community shall like to see CPA ads all the time.

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Its not just the traffic, but rather the quality of the traffic, and your niche. I used to make more than $500 a month from a blog with less than 100 unique visits every day. It mostly depends on your niche. The better your niche and keywords, higher the pay rate per ad.

 Wow nice stuff I'm impressed. The day I do that is the day I'll be happy with my site haha.

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The primary revenue sources are paid membership and adsense. But even I have found adsense to be really tough on approvals and even if they approve, the ads spoil the beauty of the forum! If you can get specific sponsored ads there is nothing like it! 

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I have been on quite a few forums: some big, some small, some active, some more dead than alive. From what I have observed, the surest way of making money from a forum is through selling premium memberships. That kind of money is hard cash in the pocket. I believe there is one very big and very active forum where there is only one kind of membership - paid membership.

 

I also agree with Victor Leigh. Paid membership is the sure fire way to earn a sizeable income for forums; otherwise, it will be quite difficult to do so.

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One point I see on yours that I have never had work well for me is Adsense.  Just doesn't convert well on forums.

I was just about to ask whether adsense works, l remember a few years back Ebay was selling tons of websites packed with adsense ads and l bought one of those but lt did'nt work out due to me not putting the work in and the rest is history.

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