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What do you Use to Monetize your Forum?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Woodcs82, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. #1
    What do you Use to Monetize your Forum?

    Please list companies - i.e - Google adsense,yahoo,casale media, valueclick, info links, etc , what do you use on your forum to monetize and what works best?



    Thanks, :cool:

    -C
    SEMrush
     
    Woodcs82, Mar 10, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. qantar

    qantar Active Member

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    #2
    For now, I didn't monetize my forum yet as it is brand new. I will try it thoug later just to support the cost for domain and hosting. But from what I read, CPM works better for forums as it has low CTR click rate.
     
    qantar, Mar 10, 2010 IP
  3. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #3
    Zero ads. I make most of the income from selling subscriptions to the site. Forums don't imho do well from Adsense. Of course a few exceptions exists like DP probably because the webmaster genre has expensive clicks. You're imho better off with CPM based ads on a forum if you can get into a good network.

    You should experiment yourself with a variety of methods to see which one works best on that particular forum.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 10, 2010 IP
  4. dcristo

    dcristo Illustrious Member

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    #4
    Direct ads and affiliate offers.
     
    dcristo, Mar 10, 2010 IP
  5. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #5
    I haven't yet nailed down income from affiliate offers. I know that makes me less than perfect as a webmaster but one day I'll get it figured out.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 10, 2010 IP
  6. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #6
    I have a network of 7 forums in different niches. They each make between $300-$1200 a month from adsense.
     
    Agent000, Mar 10, 2010 IP
  7. Woodcs82

    Woodcs82 Guest

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    #7
    Thanks guys/girls...

    Rectangleman - the subscription things seems like it might be an a good idea

    -C
     
    Woodcs82, Mar 12, 2010 IP
  8. Tearabite

    Tearabite Prominent Member

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    #8
    Now i'm monetizing with Adsense and Kontera - ads are shown only to anonymous members. It's been slow for that last year but the last two months are on the upswing - nearly $5k Feb. I've also just started using Chitika Premium, but so far it's only doing about $300/mo.. but i'll take it..

    I used to also sell premium subscriptions, but we "lost" the ability to get the content that everyone was willing to pay for (long story), so since then i've been focusing on the advertising, and it's finally paying off..
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
    Tearabite, Mar 12, 2010 IP
  9. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #9
    To me this is part of the problem with subscriptions. Most believe it's about custom content but it's not. It's about community. The question is how much can you get people to pay in order to be part of that community and to feel special?

    If you rely on custom content then you're relying on something that can be stolen or given away by someone else. Community can't be stolen by anyone. It's just there.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 13, 2010 IP
  10. Tearabite

    Tearabite Prominent Member

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    #10
    exactly! We were relying on custom content on how to get private info from members of a certain popular social networking site (no 'hacking'.. just 'loopholes'). That's the only reason people paid - and they paid well, $14k in our best month.. averaging $7k/month.. But, people would steal the content, report us, a few members even went and started carbon-copy sites, and recruited our members and lower subscription fees.. Between the constant issues, and the "how to's" drying up, it just didnt work anymore.
     
    Tearabite, Mar 13, 2010 IP
  11. alzack

    alzack Active Member

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    #11
    How can you manage a lot of forums?

    Do you host all those forum in one hosting? or separate hosting? Can you recommend some hosting which are reliable to run forum.

    I'm planing to start a forum but I fear the performance of the hosting.
     
    alzack, Mar 15, 2010 IP
  12. Sunflyer

    Sunflyer Active Member

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    #12
    for me CPM affiliate networks best for my forums. I used adsense but got to few clicks so dropped them. Now using 100% CPM networks. CPA didnt work either for me, but I guess its work. It all depends on your niche and demographics
     
    Sunflyer, Mar 15, 2010 IP
  13. Ibn Juferi

    Ibn Juferi Prominent Member

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    #13
    I use Adsense for forum and exploring other ways to monetise. Planning to give premium member but I think not ready just yet.
     
    Ibn Juferi, Mar 15, 2010 IP
  14. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #14
    Not sure where you heard that, but webmaster related ads pay very little. We *do* make money simply because of the volume of pageviews we have. If we had the same volume in a different niche, the income would be 10x what it is from AdSense.

    That aside, how to monetize your forum really going to vary from forum to forum based on industry, traffic, do you have something unique enough that your users would be willing to pay for it, etc?

    Test the water... try affiliate programs, try AdSense, try paid subscriptions (if you have something unique to sell). But don't overwhelm your users with ads. One of the major reasons this forum was started was because my SEO forum hangout was getting more and more ads and it was to the point it was becoming very slow. http://forums.seochat.com/ loaded themselves with so many ads, DP Forums was spawned. There aren't as many as there used to be, but there are still too many imo.
     
    digitalpoint, Mar 15, 2010 IP
  15. Nuno Brito

    Nuno Brito Active Member

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    #15
    I use Adsense, BurstMedia and currently trying out Kontera.

    Before, I would use the ads from reduxmedia and bannerconnect but they were giving really low quality ads. I have a significant number of daily visitors (>7000 unique visitors per day), a very strong community and really unique content that gets us around ~40k Alexa even thought without having many users without alexa installed on their machines for sure.

    I see lots of folks reporting huge incomes, yet, I still have to work quite a lot at each day to see it going over 20~30 USD per day. On my case I don't think that subscriptions would work for me.
     
    Nuno Brito, Mar 20, 2010 IP
  16. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #16
    My own experiences. My webmaster related sites make $1-$3 per click normally. Nowhere near your volume here though. Part of the problem is transparency with Google though. You never know what percentage they keep on clicks. For all you know Shawn they could be shafting you.

    Getting shafted is never an issue with subscriptions. You pay a set fee to the payment processor and that's it. Another reason why I prefer that income method.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 22, 2010 IP
  17. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #17
    For us, we are closer to $0.50 per click overall, but you also need to take into account a huge number of advertisers that choose to pay per impression here, so when you take those out, it's probably closer to $0.30 per click for the ads that are PPC.

    There's huge variation on individual ads (as expected)... I've seen some individual click pay over $30... but in the end when it's all averaged out, it's closer to $0.30 overall.

    But yeah... in the end subscription based revenue gives you more control. I just don't think subscription based income works for the majority of sites... people want stuff for free, and unless you have something truly unique to offer, people aren't going to pay for what they can get for free elsewhere.

    For me, I'd love to be able to generate 5x more income from subscriptions vs. ads, but we are no where remotely close to that. Ads are just kind of a nice bonus income more than anything.
     
    digitalpoint, Mar 22, 2010 IP
  18. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #18
    50 cents per click is still very good imho. There a lot of genres Google pays .05-.25. Somehow I have a lot of those genres so I know.

    This is where people fail the model imho. Subscriptions imho are not about gettings something free. It's about status in the community. Example is on my own forum only upgraded member can give out reputations. That gives upgrades a high demand. Simpler things like larger PM boxes, username change ability, and group icons are also in the mix. None of these things cost the website anything and technically it's not an item purchase by members either. Do you realize Shawn how many people here would probably pay $5-$20 per year for these token abilities at DP? You'd almost certainly make more this way than from ads. You currently have your pricing structure imho very high.

    Also offering removal of ads for paid members almost certainly offsets the lost income from ad display. Most members won't make you $5 in year from ad display anyways.

    I know username changes are a pain for your DB but another option is signature links. Require membership for sig links and you'd get daily signups by the buttload. The great thing is that everything I stated is within VB and could be setup within minutes.

    If I were you I'd reconsider your pricing model. And yes I would subscribe at the price points I outlined above.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 22, 2010 IP
  19. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #19
    Yeah, I know a ton more people would sign up for premium membership if we lowered the price. It's intentionally not lower though. Premium membership should be just that... premium. It's not intended for everyone to have and lowering the price on it only degrades the overall value of it (the less people that have it, the better it is). Instead, I like giving people things that actually give them value vs. selling pointless things (selling people the ability to give rep or paying to change their username kind of falls under that category in my mind) for very cheap.

    Obviously we *do* have some pointless things rolled into our premium membership (like the ability to change user titles), but that is more like a free thing just because. No one is going to pay for our premium membership just to change their user title. On the other hand, there are premium members who get premium membership just for one of the items they get... Extra signature links, directory listing, highlighting and sitckying of sale threads, ability to search deeper in the keyword tracker, etc. are all items that I know for certain people have purchased premium membership just to get access to one of those items. You would be amazed at how many premium members we have that have 0 posts... 95,000+ registered users on the keyword tracker alone... in order for them to get the extra functionality, they have to create a forum account, link it to their KW tracker account and become a premium member.

    And there's actually a reason I haven't even officially announced premium membership yet or give people an easy way to sign up for it... I have a to-do list of things for it before it's "officially" announced (just like how the directory stuff was added... there is more coming).
     
    digitalpoint, Mar 22, 2010 IP
  20. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #20
    Good post but keep in mind you can have more than one tier of membership.
     
    RectangleMan, Mar 22, 2010 IP