What are you doing for Monetization these days?

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,598
Fully agree that "posts and interaction" are the most valuable currency... But I think some forget that as traffic increases, so do costs.


It's easy to throw a forum up on shared hosting for $5 with a "new customer" promo...

I do this myself.


But growth begets growth. I don't think its wise to ignore income methods & strategies until you're faced with multi-hundred dollar (or more) monthly hosting costs staring you in the face.
 

bar22

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
14
Most of our sites use A) subscription model for access to bonus content B) a range of ad solutions (video, display, interactive). Over time I can see the industry shifting more towards subscription but right now ads pay most of the bills
 

Philpug

Participant
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
91
While I do this for enjoyment, I also expect to be compensated for my work and providing a platform for our readers. I really don't understand why site owners would not want advertisers to help pay for the site and expenses can be covered. People expect ads on other sites, why shouldn't we be different? If an advertiser wants to access you reader adn your reader is a good fit, why not?

As far as Adsence, since we did a redesign and went from XF1.5 to XF2.x, our Adsense has dropped. When Covid hit, it took a dive. The whole time our page views and time on the site has been consistant. This is very disconcerting to us because we counted on that income to cover some significant expenses. We are now scrambling to cover those losses.

We looked at alternatives and have yet to find any. We tried companies like Exioc but that was disappointing. While we have very good representation of ads from within the ski industry, we need to reach out past it an that we have yet to find an agency.
 

bar22

Aspirant
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Apr 1, 2020
Messages
14
Philpug if you have 2M plus impressions per month I can recommend an agency. If your site is smaller I've heard good things about Media Vine.
 

Philpug

Participant
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Nov 26, 2017
Messages
91
Philpug if you have 2M plus impressions per month I can recommend an agency. If your site is smaller I've heard good things about Media Vine.
Yeah, we are about half that but our demographics and their buying power is very powerful.
 

bar22

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
14
That can be a great asset. In the tech niche we've landed a few $20 CPM PMP deals with some big brands because of our demographics - mainly programmers.

Establishing strong relationships directly with advertisers is a good move if possible. Might be worth reaching out to some well-known brands. One site I think has done a great job in this area is seabreeze.com.au. They have a load of PMP deals all year round.
 

DigNap15

Fan
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
690
For me advertising is just too much extra work
And you are at the mercy of Google and how many ads they display.

Unless your forum is linked to an industry that you can get direct relationships with retailers etc
Eg I saw a Golf Cart forum with ads from Golf retailers.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,734
growth begets growth. I don't think its wise to ignore income methods & strategies until you're faced with multi-hundred dollar (or more) monthly hosting costs staring you in the face.
Hosting on someone's existing server with unused capacity can be almost free, and there's also cheap or even cost-free solutions for non-profits or public interest entities, but obviously reducing costs to zero is cheating in the context of monetization.

Income should be predictable and not strictly tied to certain types of performance so that you can plan ahead more comfortably without panicking. Sponsorships would complement self-funding and member contribution decently - many ad spenders are fed up with the rates of google, facebook and others and would instead prefer securing longterm visibility at a lower, more predictable expense rather than waste their time bidding up for ad slots.
 

Blanco

Participant
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
67
The "I show you ads" business model is broken. No doubt about it. Now you need you build an audience
There was a time you could run one banner ad and it was golden.

Now pages are traffic harvesting with ads everywhere, it's a total mess. Forums have had to do the same to mitigate against falling revenues. It's a race to the bottom and does not help the ADHA cohort!
 

Blanco

Participant
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
67
That can be a great asset. In the tech niche we've landed a few $20 CPM PMP deals with some big brands because of our demographics - mainly programmers.

Establishing strong relationships directly with advertisers is a good move if possible. Might be worth reaching out to some well-known brands. One site I think has done a great job in this area is seabreeze.com.au. They have a load of PMP deals all year round.
This may become an increasingly useful route for forum/site owners.

Any ideas what is the best system that manages direct sales advertising. You can't do this through Adsense can you?

To keep it simple, say you land one good big ticket sponsor and strike up an annualised deal, they might even pay in advance say 50% and then the rest base don clicks/CPM or what not - what is the best way to technically handle this: a plugin / suite / saas, that manage serving/billing fr their advertising or sponsor space and all the bits in-between, o you can track and collect, much like adsense or other do but for private deals?
 

DigNap15

Fan
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Sep 14, 2019
Messages
690
Yes I'd like to see some examples of how to get or contact direct advertisers.

Most companies these days don't even list their phone number or an email address
 

cdub24

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
155
The "I show you ads" business model is broken. No doubt about it. Now you need you build an audience

I rely on donations
At the start there was no way I could devote any time to running ads with Google
Or finding direct ads.
And at the start of a new fourm, you can hardly expect advertsisrs to wnat to advertise if you have no audence
And with Google reducing forums in its search results
I am so glad I have nothing to do with Googe

There was a time you could run one banner ad and it was golden.

Now pages are traffic harvesting with ads everywhere, it's a total mess. Forums have had to do the same to mitigate against falling revenues. It's a race to the bottom and does not help the ADHA cohort!
I've been 100% ad free and solely member supported for 2 years. It's been wildly successful and the site is making more money that it ever did from ads. (with the exception of the Adsense heyday in 2006?)

I'm using Paid Registrations so you pay when registering (there is a free option but we have high uptake with the paid). It used to be non-recurring but we recently switched to a subscription model at higher prices and it's been even more successful.

We have a ton of exclusive content and data which is why we have a high uptake of the paid accounts. <---- THIS IS KEY
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
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Sep 9, 2013
Messages
2,598
We have a ton of exclusive content and data which is why we have a high uptake of the paid accounts. <---- THIS IS KEY
You mean, if you have something people are willing to pay for, that demonstrably has value to them, they're prepared to pay? What a novel concept.

And it demonstrates the arguments about ads as a revenue stream were always dubious because what you were selling was not the value of the forum, but what the value represented to people not part of the community.
 

cdub24

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
155
You mean, if you have something people are willing to pay for, that demonstrably has value to them, they're prepared to pay? What a novel concept.
Yes. No one is going to pay for little things. It has to give them true value. No little forum perks.

In my case it's exclusive valuable articles and proprietary data.
 

Deathstarr

Forum Owner
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
398
I’ve successfully contacted multiple places using a contact form on their website.

This is marketing so you have to make your forum and pitch attractive to companies. Make sure to include you normal user base and monthly views.

For me I have like 18000 monthly voided and avg 50-60 users online in 24 hours. Every Sunday I send an email to users showing what’s new.

Ads are shown on these pages ect ect .



Yes I'd like to see some examples of how to get or contact direct advertisers.

Most companies these days don't even list their phone number or an email address
 

Blanco

Participant
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
67
On a Adsense note: I stopped adsense on one forum for a few months by simply removing the code being served.

When I reinserted the code, I noticed a welcome change in revenue pattern, still abysmal revenue as is adsense these days, but the desktop stuff was suddenly back on top getting better rates - in recent years it had collapse, and the mobile was no longer the performer.

The point is the existing code was not change for maybe 2 years, I don't have before and after to compare, but if the new re-inserted code had some new elements, maybe this accounts for the change in revenue pattern.

I have no info to know if google tweaks it often, but do admins update the adsense codes on a regular basis.?

It's not something I ever noticed but I will pay more attention now. The other explanation may be that one of the top geo-locals started to post better rates and serve better ads to that traffic, it is certainly noticeable that depending on your market a couple of clicks from one region is worth way more more than a 100 clicks from another. A lot more sometimes.
 

Jeremy8

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
194
I've been 100% ad free and solely member supported for 2 years. It's been wildly successful and the site is making more money that it ever did from ads. (with the exception of the Adsense heyday in 2006?)

I'm using Paid Registrations so you pay when registering (there is a free option but we have high uptake with the paid). It used to be non-recurring but we recently switched to a subscription model at higher prices and it's been even more successful.

We have a ton of exclusive content and data which is why we have a high uptake of the paid accounts. <---- THIS IS KEY

I've seen a lot of sites offer no ads as a feature with the paid subscription. I know this alone is not enough, but did you consider doing this at all? What made you get rid of ads completely instead of offering it as one of the perks?

Yes. No one is going to pay for little things. It has to give them true value. No little forum perks.

In my case it's exclusive valuable articles and proprietary data.
Have you ever had to prevent the people who can access more information from freely spreading it to the people who aren't paying?

(I'm considering a similar approach, which is the reason I'm wondering about these things.)
 
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