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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
How to monetize my new forum
chopin2256




msg:1559208
 6:53 am on Jul 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I recently started a music forum about a month ago.

Some stats about my forum before I ask the question:

signups/day: 3-10
posts/day: 50-100
pageviews/day: 5000
visitors/day: 150
Bandwidth: 150-200 megs/day.

For one month
Overall members: 110
Overall posts: 1300

According to awstats, 17% of my visitors bookmark the site.

The site makes me no money yet, as I have not integrated ads into the forum at this time (not enough unique visitors yet). The forum seems to be doing well, as there is much activity for a low volume traffic site. I also have people asking me if they can be mods, (i have 7 mods, and one admin right now) so I assume the forum is off to a good start. However, I can see that if I was to get more visitors in the future, bandwidth expense is going to be through the roof. The main idea of the site is to exchange, critique, and help other musicians with their compositions. So this is probably going to be a bandwidth guzzler unless I lower attachment space. I allowed each user about 3 megs of space right now. My question is:

How hard would it be to get $1/month for more attachment space from the heavy posters? I am thinking I would reduce space to 0.5 megs now, and increase it to 5 megs or whatever with the $1/month subscription. Do you think this will work if people realize they have a small amount of space? The main goal of the site remember is to post attachments and get critiqued, and people have a ton of attachments.

When should I try this method out? How many members, pageviews/day, and posts should I have before I try my $1/month plan, and do you think it can work knowing how well liked the forum seems to be?

 

rogerd




msg:1559209
 11:06 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

My own recommendation would be to let the board grow for a while before attempting to monetize it. After a month, you are still in your infancy - give people time to make your community part of their daily lives, and to develop a much larger group. That will increase your monetization flexibility.

chopin2256




msg:1559210
 3:25 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you for your input. What is your opinion about google ads in the meantime? Should I try it, or wait like you say, until the board becomes more active?

rogerd




msg:1559211
 2:56 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Unless you are in a very high value subject area, the money you'll make on 5000 forum pageviews (with the typical low CTR in forums) is probably not worth exposing your members to a barrage of ads. I would concentrate on growing the community. That's just my opinion, though - you could always try it out and see how the earnings are.

zigx




msg:1559212
 12:54 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree.

Grow the community like a little iddy biddy baby... when you have at least 20k+ members then start to figure out where the board is going, and how you can create either:

a) a premium service that is actually worth payment or
b) an advertisment campaign that fits the nature of your people.

People say that forums do not convert.... i dont belive that, i think that people just generalize about what the forum is then advertise that... have awesome conversions on forum and its because the ads are honest, straight forward, and really fit what people are looking for/like.

@ 50k members slowly put those things into effect and keep in contact with your members via email.

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