Revenue: Basics for Generating Revenue from a Forum

Kathy

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Kathy submitted a new Article:

Revenue: Basics for Generating Revenue from a Forum

You've created a forum and have opened it to registrations. Now as you look around the internet you might begin to wonder about revenue. In fact you may have built your forum with the intent to generate revenue.

Its bubble bursting time.

Most forums do not generate revenue. Or at least, most do not generate a substantial amount of revenue in the first year. Many never do. Most forum admins build a website with the mistaken notion that "If you build it, they will come." Nothing is further from the truth. There are thousands of forums on the internet that sit empty and generate little to no revenue.

What does it take to generate revenue?

Traffic.

Registering twenty members over the past month does not generate much traffic. You may put up some Google ads on your forums and log into your Google account to see your reports but in one month's time you may find your revenue is less than $2.00. Why? You have no traffic.

Revenue is generated because you have eyeballs, many, many eyeballs, looking at your website. Browsers visiting, even if they do not register, add to the traffic required. Where do you get traffic?

SEO

Research and investigate how to get your forum listed well with the search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a must to getting your website's links into keyword searches when someone heads to google. Trade links with another website. Buy advertising in Google's Adwords to tell others about your website. Yes, in most cases it takes money to make money.

Once you have traffic coming to your site, what is a reasonable stream to expect a revenue?

In my experience, on average, it takes 12,000 page views per day to generate $10.00 from Google Adsense per day. 10 x 30 days = $300.00 for the month. Notice, this is not a paycheck. And notice that gaining 12,000 page views on a new forum is not something one can expect without hard work, day in and day out to generate traffic. For comparison, 12,000 page views per day is very little in the land of the "big-boards".

While this is a reasonable revenue to generate, most forum admins never enjoy this kind of funding. The keywords utilitized on their website do not provide a high bidding war on Google among the advertisers or the traffic simply is not noticing the ads.

Passion first

While I know many forum admins that run their websites out of a deep passion for their topic and the members of the site,...

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Sculli

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Kathy said:
In my experience, on average, it takes 12,000 page views per day to generate $10.00 from Google Adsense per day.
I think this is an incomplete statement. I am sure we can agree that revenue depends on how much the keywords pay out. On my site (qcdn.org), 12k page views generate on average $1.20 from Adsense. Why? Because the Adsense ads I get are the rock bottom of the payscale.
 

Kathy

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The next paragraph explains this:

While this is a reasonable revenue to generate, most forum admins never enjoy this kind of funding. The keywords utilitized on their website do not provide a high bidding war on Google among the advertisers or the traffic simply is not noticing the ads.

I agree...which is why I said in my experience this is average....I know other sites that gain more than this. I know others that are below it.
 

hovercrafter

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Mar 7, 2006
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Google Adsense pays depending on the ads their site crawler gives you (based on keywords) and the clicks. It takes a lot of page loads to get the page impression pay. I have actually had ads that paid 25 bucks a click (only once but I about fell over). Most ads are 10 cents to 2 bucks.


Now the Google referrals are nice, especially the Firefox w/ Google toolbar. If someone downloads FF from that button (and never had it before) then you get a dollar. Also the AdSense referral isn't a bad deal. Basically if someone clicks over from your site and signs up for AdSense and their site makes $100 within 90 days then you also get $100.

I haven't done to bad using the Cafepress.com ad program. You can select which product you want to promote on your site and then you get a commission off of products people buy from that link. If you are running a smaller/closer community then you can also set up your own Cafepress for free and sell items with your site logo and make some what decent money off of it (enough to help pay for the site).
 

PoySian

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Thats a very good piece of info there.
Thanks a ton.
I myself a forum owner, do not get much revenue.
Will try to implement these tricks now.
 

hiphopave.net

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Another article that just hits it right between the eyes. From experience it takes at least 20 000 pageviews to make a decent amount (if you're unlucky enough to have very low paying keywords)
 

rich_uk

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Dec 1, 2006
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My Project for life

Revenue is possible

Yes, revenue is possible. I know of a few forum owners who make a living off their forum's advertising revenue. This is probably only 5% (or less!) of the forum admins that manage to make a living from their forums. Usually its in combination of advertising, affiliate sales, subscriptions, direct store sales and plan old hard work after years and years of taking no income while passion was poured into the community.... .

Great article Kathy especially the above part-quoted text which I could totally relate to.

I would like to add to this post some thoughts of my own situation. I have been running acapellas4u for nearly 4 yours and the first 2 were all about passion, building the site up, just continuos improvements. Then (and I'm not sure when exactly) but I guess I maybe started hitting from some negative points which come with owning a forum and being an active Admin, and I guess overtime once I first started realising that I could make a few pennies from being an Adsense member I guess I can clearly say that since then my passion and direction has been gradually steering to generating more revenue each month. And that sounds when I read it back. But that's just the way it's gone so far. I won't say how well the site does every month but I COULD go part-time in work for sure - but just how long is this ol' internet gonna be around for huh! :)

I'd just like to say that owning a forum has enabled myself to really gain such a wide and varied number of skills and experience with so many scripts and people I've met (freelancers) along the way. I feel that I have tried so many different ideas on the forums that I almost feel like I've exhausted any more avenues... there are ideas I have but I just don't know if I have the motivation..

A final message to all the newer admins amonst us (without at all sounding big-headed) is this: Enjoy your trip and it is a trip. Forum's are great fun and it's amazing how much you can learn from human behavioural patterns in owning one.. yes there are ups and downs but all of that compared to a weekly update of a MySpace site ?? nah, no thanks..

p.s Sorry if this is written poorly - I had to keep coming back from it (hiding behind the ALT-TAB world whilst @ work)
 

jaderollie

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Do not waste your time and resources building a forum community for the purpose of providing yourself a salary. You may be sorely disappointed. Build your forum community out of a passion that ignites an excitement for a new community that is needed. If the community flourishes, the traffic swells, the membership grows and if the search engines are kind, you may find a little extra in your pocket after you have paid your hosting fees. But don't count on it.

Build the site. Get traffic. Lots of traffic. Nourish your community daily for a couple of years while you see the numbers climb upward both in page views, members registering and advertising income. Build a community with passion for a topic not a lust for money and you won't be disappointed

BRILLIANT THANKS ;)
this is exactly wot i want on my forums ;)
though im gonna try to gain some money for costs, it doesnt really bother me if i dont make anything, i just want to be the best site out there ;)
 
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