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Author Topic: How are forums not making money and still kept open?  (Read 2371 times)

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Offline thatnewmommy

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How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« on: February 27, 2015, 05:33:46 AM »
You probably know that forums make money using ads.  I have read questions about pay per clicks and pay per views.  Heck. I made one of those questions.  LOL  Like many people, I don't click on ads.  Well, I do sometimes.  Sometimes I am too involved in what I'm reading or writing and sometimes the ads are irrelevant, so I won't click.  But once in a while, the ads ARE something I am interested in so I WILL check out.  These ads are mostly due to searches you have made (cookies save what you've been surfing for online). 

So if nobody is clicking, how can people keep forums open?  Well running a forum may not be as expensive as you think.

The domain name (the address you write to get to the forum - I think of it as the address to a house) can be bought for less than $5...sometimes for $1and some change.  That lasts a year.  After the year is up you need to renew.  Searching online you can find coupons to not have to pay full price which can run from $9-$15 a year depending where you're buying it from.  (pluss Icann fees).

The scripting for the forum is most probably open source (which means it's free - I think of this as the material to make the house). 

You can host it somewhere free also (this is where you're going to put your code - I think of this as the lot you will build your house).  Hope I didn't lose you! ;)

So, see...don't really need THAT much money...heck with one $5 payout  from Postloop you can get the domain.  Of course free hosting is not that great, but it is something to start off with so you can experiment if it will be a good income stream for you.  LOLOL

Where the "invisible money" comes in, is your time.  The time you need to put in to maintain the forum.  I don't know about you guys, but I always calculate my time into things.  It's how I know if I'm making enough money.  Time I put into one thing takes away time from another thing.  I NEVER sacrifice quality time because no job in the world pays enough for that.  (It's why I'm up working before 5am when everyone else is knocked out).

So, back to the forums.  An option to PPC and PPV, are selling ad space.  THIS takes more time because as opposed to, let's say adsense, instead of just putting a code they give you, you have to look for your own advertisers and then probably create the code yourself.  (Which really isn't that hard - you can look online for help on how to do this).  That way you can choose the advertising you want specifically, and you can set your own pricing.  It's also a good way to find out how much money you are actually making within a set period of time, and it doesn't go up and down like PPCs and PPvs. ;)

Offline queenbellevue

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 01:55:19 AM »
To be perfectly fair, not all forums are set up purely to make money....I think some people just want to keep their forums open because they like having a place to chat with others with similar interests

Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 01:55:19 AM »
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troutski

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 02:51:59 AM »
Most forums aren't designed to make a ton of money. They're just supposed to earn enough to handle their operating expenses, which can be less than $200 per year easily. Other forums choose to go a different route and utilize ads often or offer premium memberships. Either way, the fact still stands that forums aren't huge money makers for most operators, although some can derive a significant amount of money from their forums, if that's what they're going for and they know what they're doing.

Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 02:51:59 AM »

Offline sidney

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 03:11:47 AM »
I've seen lots of forums in PL go extinct after quite some time. So maybe the goal of the admin is to make money, and when it doesn't work out, then they close the forum. I think if related to the niche, being an affilate for Amazon can earn you a nice amount of money if your forum gets popular.


Offline lushlala

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 03:41:37 AM »
I won't pretend to know how it works lol But I think it may be a mix, sure some forum owners aren't looking to make a quick buck, while others definitely are. I've heard countless times that a lot of IT savvy students use forums to generate a lot of money over school holidays, and they disappear once the holiday is over. Just how true that is, I don't know.

Offline Alex

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 04:15:49 AM »
I guess some people use them for back links and to promote their other sites. In some ways that is good, but a quiet and abandoned forum looks bad and so it's hard to keep regulars wanting to stay and it looks less authentic. So basically it's like free advertising for your websites, which I have seen and it can't harm your SEO.

troutski

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2015, 06:51:49 AM »
On PostLoop, some of those forums are propped up completely by PL users, which means those forum owners are wasting a lot of money artificially keeping their forums and blogs afloat, which is a complete waste of time, energy, and money for obvious reasons. A far better solution is to simply promote the forum and use better marketing techniques to bring in genuine users that aren't paid to post there.

Offline Rosyrain

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 09:33:55 AM »
A forum owner can use a blended approach and use PL to get the forum up and running so that it has some interesting content for the viewers, and then blend this with other money making ideas, such as ads, and perhaps even selling things through the forum. The sky is the limit really and the owners just have to be creative. I know some forum owners actually post comments on other forums through PL as a way to earn points and money to opperate their forum.

Offline Jinny

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 02:03:39 PM »
Some of the more active forums (non-postloop) that I'm a member of started out primarily as a labor of love for the owner, around something they wanted to talk about and wanted a forum for.  Small forums aren't expensive and either the forum owner just pays or asks for donations.  As they got larger and needed more bandwidth, they added ads and paid account packages with things like no ads or extra pm storage or paid members only forums.  As they grew, eventually they went from breaking even to profitable.

Offline bsthebenster

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 02:16:17 PM »
You won't make money just like that. Having a successful forum requires a lot of time until you start getting any money out of it. Just because they aren't making money now, doesn't mean they won't make any later.

Offline Wahtips

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 04:07:56 PM »
I own a server and host 3 of my own websites. My main site is a work at home website that advertises more than penny jobs. It has articles, reviews, links to legitimate work at home, live chat if you need help finding and applying for jobs plus skill building help, it also has a forum attached to it. It took an initial investment of $5,000 for the one website and at the end of the first year I was up $1,000 in profit, from wahtips.com alone. I didn't plan on making any money at all, I actually hire writers so I expected to pay out more than make. My second site just opened after I bought my server a week ago, its an amazon affiliate website, it cost me $4. It's 3 days old and has made a few hundred dollars, I set totalsteals.com up just because I wanted to try it out, didn't expect to make anything. My 3rd website is a forum, preggomoms.com, it cost $4. I don't have any ads or anything on it, I made it because I miss an old pregnancy forum I used to be on.

I'm going to be renting out my server for extra cash, maybe. I kinda like being the only one on it. My point is I'm lucky enough to earn a nice living working at home and my websites are my hobby. I love each one and although I never really planned to profit from any of them, they make enough for me to pay for my server, my writers, and my marketing. I think forums are perfect for people who are truly interested in the subject and want a hobby but I don't think a forum alone is a smart investment.

Offline Wahtips

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 04:12:46 PM »
If you are planning to start a forum, I suggest investing in a server though, shared hosting cost me a fortune, my site would go down constantly because of other people and it was a headache going through the hosting company for everything. Owning a server allows complete control and you can rent it out which can make you a lot more than 1 forum ever will.

Offline MyDigitalpoint

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 05:14:04 PM »
Many forums are up as complementary support communities for other projects that are profitable for their owners, some other are set as personal choice to have fun or discuss topics of the owner's personal interest and therefore not necessarily seeking to monetize.

However may forums make money simply by ad-impression. Adsense and other advertising networks pay every time an add is displayed on a site, whether people click on it or not, so the more visits and browse-through a forum has, the more ad impression it generates.

This might not be a huge amount of money they make, but enough to keep forums up, and probably aiming to monetize selling services, getting clicks or else.

Offline Blair

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 11:20:14 AM »
Not every forum makes money enough to keep them afloat. If you set up a forum just to make money then you will be offline after two or three months. It is not easy and cheap to run a forum these webmasters and owners are spending money and are taking risks. That is how it is just like any venture you need money and risk

Offline dyanmarie25

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Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2015, 01:08:07 AM »
I would love to manage my own forum in the near future as well. But I know I have got a lot of things to learn and consider first. But yeah, it's a good way of making money online if only handled properly.

Re: How are forums not making money and still kept open?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2015, 01:08:07 AM »

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