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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
Do Forums Make Money?
iCyborg




msg:3771019
 10:35 am on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am looking to start a forum and though I don't expect to make it lot of money (I am looking to make money from clients that I can get from forum), I still feels that forum should also make some money on its own. Now I am just wondering what kind of money forums makes ?

My forum/service is a broad niche service and PPC pays $2/click but using ppc can drive clients to competitors. I just want to ask from someone who is having forum that what kind of revenue a forum generate as compared to say a blog, keeping all parameters same.

 

trillianjedi




msg:3771033
 10:58 am on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

what kind of revenue a forum generate as compared to say a blog, keeping all parameters same.

The problem is the parameters are not the same. A blog (with comments switched off) requires no moderation type maintenance, whereas a forum does.

A forum will generate more content than you can on your own (ultimately when it's up and running), which can mean more traffic, in particular long-tail traffic.

So in general forums are more time-consuming (and therefore more costly/less profit) but produce more content. A blog is only as time-consuming as you want it to be and for the articles you want to write.

Both can make money. If you're looking at gaining clients as your primary revenue stream my gut feeling would be to run a blog rather than a forum for the simple reason that a blog is an easier route to personal branding and personal branding is what will get you clients (in my experience of my own niches).

You probably want to be busy doing client work, not moderating other peoples discussions.

iCyborg




msg:3771131
 1:57 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

You probably want to be busy doing client work, not moderating other peoples discussions.

That's my biggest concerned, I don't want to spend lot of time moderating and if I am, the forum better make money :) but the niche is such that its Impossible to get on top at the top for main keywords and I need to focus on long tail traffic only. I am trying to blog daily but have few subscribers and a blog also need promotion too.

What I am thinking is, may be I can block the comments in my blog and ask the readers to ask questions in the forum, is this a good idea ?

rogerd




msg:3771224
 3:49 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I don't want to spend lot of time moderating

The more successful your forum, the more time you will need to spend moderating. A forum requires a heavy investment of time to get going and keep going. If you don't have a great love for the topic and enjoy interacting with people, a forum isn't a good project.

>>ask the readers to ask questions in the forum

This is a fine idea. vBulletin will actually auto-post new blog entries by checking your feed. Forums are better for building community than blogs, which can be kind of one-sided even with comments enabled.

rogerd




msg:3771228
 3:50 pm on Oct 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

See also: [webmasterworld.com...]

jchampliaud




msg:3773682
 12:24 pm on Oct 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just want to ask from someone who is having forum that what kind of revenue a forum generate as compared to say a blog, keeping all parameters same.

I have a small forum (but no blog) and it never made much money so I took down the ads.
My suggestion would be a blog. What you could do is take questions from readers and post the questions and answers on your blog. Kind of like a Q&A page. I've found those to be good money makers and the SE love them.

netchicken1




msg:3773790
 7:26 pm on Oct 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

You might find that your forum needs a lot of seo work as well. I get good indexing in google and good traffic but I spent along time rewriting the code to make it seo friendly.

Part of the problem is that forums seem to like bling, and dilutes the keyword density of the posts.

Another is that regular forum users get adblindness, so I only have the adverts show to guests, one of the perks of being a member is no adverts.

travelin cat




msg:3774367
 5:05 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Although the forum may not make any up-front money, in the long run, the extra content will provide your site with more viewers which can convert in to customers of one type or another.

littlebiggirl




msg:3798168
 11:15 am on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do you guys have experience with affiliate programs offered companies like Amazon? Please share your thoughts/experience. We're planning to have a forum-blog site and put affiliate banners and links on it. I'm wondering whether our prospective users will click on the ads and make purchases or just visit our site to comment/chitchat.

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