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GrendelKhan{TSU
09 Apr 2007, 10:15
ok.. I've been asked to take over admin for big board....
roughly

18000 members
50,000 threads
1,000,000 posts


so.... with that kind of board...
What do you think a reasonable revenue goal for the board via advertising should be per month?

I know its a range and a lot depends... but assuming all ads (like adsense) are implemented well and in various locations (like header, between posts, end of posts, side bars, footer, archice etc), I'm trying to get a realistic rough idea...
like is it more like $1? or more like $1000 or $10,000? etc

Also, I figure for broad strokes steps to "monetize" I'm thinking....

1. add subscriptions for "premium" content or features
2. adsense or other ad network in various location.

then go from there. any other "big" areas I'm missing?

Paul M
09 Apr 2007, 10:42
Is making money all you are interested in then ?

DiSpy
09 Apr 2007, 11:26
Don't plan on it... I've got a board with over 20k members and way more posts than you... It makes me maybe $10-$20/month, and costs me about $500/month.

I do it because I enjoy it, not to make money. (It's my hobby)

Some people make money on their boards, but do you really want a site with crazy ads pasted everywhere and interstertials whenever anyone clicks to browse around? I know that I avoid sites like that like the plague. I just have a few tasteful ads here and there, and that's it. I am however about to start offering subscriptions for premium services, but keeping the cost of these subscriptions to $1/month. I'm hoping this will help cover my server costs a bit, but not planning to actually make any type of profit ever.

...as Paul M stated, I hope you aren't doing this for the money... lol

Staxed
09 Apr 2007, 16:28
I don't know why everyone is always saying forums aren't the way to go to make money...they are just harder to do it that way...

I am an admin on a board that makes 5 digits (net) a month, so it is definately possible...

But...as to your question...you haven't given enough information to allow anyone to actually even make a rough guess for you (even though it would be pretty impossible to do that anyway since it depends on so many different factors)...

what is the site about?...etc...how many members and how many posts alone don't really tell us anything in terms of advertising potential...


Though like many here, I don't think having a forum for the sole purpose of making money is smart, you have to at least like the topic...but hey, if you can get the money out of it too...it's a win win...

(and the site i admin on makes it soley through subscriptions...there is 0 advertising)...so if you have something to offer that can't be found elsewhere...subscription could be a nice way to go...

GrendelKhan{TSU
10 Apr 2007, 06:42
no. money isn't all...but it IS part of it.

But I don't necessarily why that makes a difference to the question. the implication is that.... what?

Monetizing a forum doesn't necessarily mean spamming it with Ads or something "unscruptulous' even if money was the sole goal. Optimizing revenue streams is always a balance with what users/members would accept regardless. But everyone makes it seem like its bad to even try.

For a little more context: its an asian ethic group community. ie: the site is a place for that ethnic group to "hang out". So, its a niche market in that way... but topics cover...well .. everything. Many discussions end up towards, obviously, specific cultural issues...but its largely just a general open community. Many members have been there for years. I am a member, just been asked to be admin with ONE of the goals to monetize more effectively.

So, its a fun thing and I'm not looking to go IPO, but with a community of that size... know that its possible to make as much as Irisfire (if that is true) seems an ok goal to have ... would be well... not a bad thing.

NOTE: the site currently already makes a 100-$200+ a month on average on Adsense ads. It used to be higher but its been severally neglected (still using vb 3.0.6).

as said, there are a ton of variables... but I was wondering what the averages were across the board.... again: closer to $1? or the five figures you mentioned? or the $200 we're getting is all I should ever expect, etc.

So, as long as one CAN make money from a community... in a way that is acceptable to the members, I don't see why one wouldn't.

again, I was posting to get a feel for whether that was even possible or what the averages out there were to manage expectations.

good to know that irisfire gets it all from subscriptions though. is there a reaason you don't try to add some reasonable (non-imposing) ads as well? I mean... why not?

Ted S
11 Apr 2007, 02:28
There are a few major variables in ad revenue that are going to greatly alter how much you can make with those stats. What sort of site are you going to be running (scuba diving or laptops), who is going to be selling advertising on the site and how much traffic are you actually getting (not members or posts but daily and monthly visitors and pageviews)?

Without knowing a little more it's impossible to make any sort of decent estimate on what your site will make.

Attilitus
11 Apr 2007, 02:49
If you are smart you can be quite successful in passively monetizing your site (without the need for subscriptions).

I make between 100-200 dollars a month on my small gaming website with only 6k members and around under 40k posts.

Staxed
11 Apr 2007, 14:39
good to know that irisfire gets it all from subscriptions though. is there a reaason you don't try to add some reasonable (non-imposing) ads as well? I mean... why not?

I don't own the site...I'm just one of the lead admins, so it's not my call...

but if I had to guess, the site has been around for about 6 years now I believe, and there has never been advertising on it. The owner starting doing it for love of the content, then decided to earn some money off it, and now I guess he thinks he gets all he needs out of it...so he doesn't want to piss off any of the 70K+ members by throwing ads onto something that's never been there before.

Plus the fact that you have to pay to get into the 'good' forums, I wouldn't want to pay to get in and then see ads...and if he limited ads to only show to non registered members...he wouldn't earn that much extra anyway...the conversion rates on the site are pretty wild, they either sign up the first time, or they never come back most times...so advertising to the non-paying usergroups wouldn't really make a big difference (just guessing)


but anyway...onto your question...I'm not the best person at this, but I have learned a few things over the past few years running a few of my own sites. First thing...get that vb updated :D.

Then search around and check out the options of different advertisers other than adsense (real companies)...they usually pay a lot more per month than adsense if you have nice stats on your board...

If i had to guess (which i do)...i'd have to say you could make over the current $200 a month, maybe between $500 and low $xxxx depending on how hard you try. If you are saying that ads and the forums have been neglected for a while in regards to monetizing...then even beginning to put just a little effort into advertising, word of mouth, getting more members, and doing a little research on ad placement should increase revenue.

Also...the subscription are always and option as well...if you install some nice hacks that people might want to use, you can restrict them to a 'contributing' usergroup (or allow that usergroup to use more of said options)...sometimes that works out well too (but not always)...

Like I said, i am in no way an expert at monetizing a site...but I do know a decent amount about it...so if you want to talk more feel free to send me a PM (or post here...either way is fine with me)

UltimateOreo!
11 Apr 2007, 18:49
All revenue really is based on premium subscriptions and adsense revenue, so in other words, good luck.

Staxed
11 Apr 2007, 22:28
All revenue really is based on premium subscriptions and adsense revenue, so in other words, good luck.

you are about 180 degrees wrong on that...

there are MANY more ways to earn money than that...(i.e...adsense is probably one of the worst advertising systems in terms of money earning (it's just the easiest))

Shazz
11 Apr 2007, 22:41
you are about 180 degrees wrong on that...

there are MANY more ways to earn money than that...(i.e...adsense is probably one of the worst advertising systems in terms of money earning (it's just the easiest))

Yup...
Many people think they can make a TON of money off that.

Staxed
11 Apr 2007, 22:58
Yup...
Many people think they can make a TON of money off that.

private investors are always the way to go if you can get them :)

UltimateOreo!
12 Apr 2007, 01:00
Just saying the main ones.

Ted S
12 Apr 2007, 05:49
Just saying the main ones.

Since when?

GrendelKhan{TSU
12 Apr 2007, 07:35
and if he limited ads to only show to non registered members...he wouldn't earn that much extra anyway...the conversion rates on the site are pretty wild, they either sign up the first time, or they never come back most times...so advertising to the non-paying usergroups wouldn't really make a big difference (just guessing)

I'd be it was more than he thought. esp considering when people search and come into the first time...they could be clicking around.


Also...the subscription are always and option as well...if you install some nice hacks that people might want to use, you can restrict them to a 'contributing' usergroup (or allow that usergroup to use more of said options)...sometimes that works out well too (but not always)...

great tips thanks! I was thinking arcade first for limited viewing. but I know that's no gimme.

I'd love to add premier content section for subscriptions... but its hard for general sites.... not realy anything "premium". if it was a business oriented one it'd be easier (best info), but this is most social site. that said,

what kind of hacks are people using that are "stickiest"?

standard imo would be:
arcade
profile
gallery

there are MANY more ways to earn money than that...(i.e...adsense is probably one of the worst advertising systems in terms of money earning (it's just the easiest))

I know there are other adnetworks with probably better payouts... but what other "methods" or "ways" are you talking about?

or were you referrign to better paying networks?

private investors are always the way to go if you can get them :)

lol. well that's not necessarily ... "making money" just getting capital to pay for ways to eventually make more money (which brings us back to this question).

Since when?

I think just meant most commonly used. :p

still.. are you saying there are better methods?

kevcj
13 Nov 2007, 15:22
I know this is a zombie thread - but I wanted to post my experiences.

My site is banner and ad free, and they are going to stay that way. My site is also kinda small with @850 members - we just started in April. Instead of banners or ads, I have a donations link. Right now I make over $100 US dollars a month with less then 900 members. The donations pay for the server cost, plus some left over every month.

People like a banner free site. My members dislike pop-ups, and flashy ads & banners - so I give my members what they want. In return, the members make donations to keep the site banner free.

I had google banners, it took ten months of clicks to make what I do in a single month with donations. Banners are lame, they are a lame way of making money or supporting your site. Give your members what they want, and they will help support the community.

One thing I do, I post a monthly update, or semi-monthly update about the site. In this update I remind the members that donations keep the site ad and banner free, as well as where the site is going, number of members, new add-ons I am looking at, upcoming changes and so on. Kinda like a news letter but its posted in the forums - I do not like spam mail either.