Advice on creating a forum or bulletin board for website

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Hi there,

I would like to start a website, very basic but with an online forum. In fact, I'm not even interested in the website so much as having the forum itself as almost a standalone on the website.

Here's an example of something simple that would work: http://2ketodudes.com/ and their forum https://www.ketogenicforums.com/. Of course, I can email these guys and ask for advice and I might do just that but also would like to hear what veterans have to say.

I have a .org domain and I would like the site/forum to eventually run on donations in addition to advertising. I feel that I have the marketing skills to get it out there because I started a business with my husband and was able to successfully market that business. My husband has taken over that while I venture on to other things.

I'm stuck on how to make money on the forum itself. I guess through ads but just not sure which forum options are best. I've looked at proboards and vbulletin. Any others that I should take a look at that are low costs to start up? Because that is a factor as well.

Thanks so much for you're feedback!
#advice #board #bulletin #creating #forum #website
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I started a forum in February this year. I'm using phpBB. It's not as easy to use compared to a blogging platform like WordPress. It also takes more effort to maintain a forum.


    It's not easy to get people to register and post on a forum. Unless you're in a really specialised niche, or have a lot of friends who can post on your behalf, then it may be impossible.


    Even when you do get good posters, often they leave. I had one make 300 posts then they decided the forum was rubbish. People are really picky these days.


    Monetising a forum is actually quite easy. You can post ads, or use inline text links. But don't worry about this until you have at least 5000 posts.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by brettb View Post

      I'm using phpBB.
      Same, here. Just built a forum for a client using this and added 60 extensions. Great script.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Respa Baby View Post

    Hi there,

    I would like to start a website, very basic but with an online forum. In fact, I'm not even interested in the website so much as having the forum itself as almost a standalone on the website.

    Here's an example of something simple that would work: 2 Keto Dudes - Ketogenic Lifestyle Podcast and their forum https://www.ketogenicforums.com/. Of course, I can email these guys and ask for advice and I might do just that but also would like to hear what veterans have to say.

    I have a .org domain and I would like the site/forum to eventually run on donations in addition to advertising. I feel that I have the marketing skills to get it out there because I started a business with my husband and was able to successfully market that business. My husband has taken over that while I venture on to other things.

    I'm stuck on how to make money on the forum itself. I guess through ads but just not sure which forum options are best. I've looked at proboards and vbulletin. Any others that I should take a look at that are low costs to start up? Because that is a factor as well.

    Thanks so much for you're feedback!
    What's the goal of the forum aside of making money?
    Also can you share the niche?
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  • Profile picture of the author Respa Baby
    Hi there. Sorry for the delay, I'm a plaintiff in a lawsuit and it is sucking my time. It would be a very specialized forum for homeowners that are having problems with their mortgage servicers. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act "RESPA" is a remedy for homeowners to get information and errors corrected on their loan. If the servicer doesn't comply, a homeowner can be awarded damages. I saw the need because as someone that considers themselves savvy in consumer affairs, I was clueless about this statue. Had I known about it earlier, then I might not be in litigation three years after the problem started.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    That sounds like a great niche for a forum. People with problems will tend to sign up and post away. On the downside you might have serious competition from a related Reddit (if there is one) or FB page.


    My own forum is chugging away. It still gets people posting (who aren't me). phpBB is pretty good these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Respa Baby
    There may be a Reddit and Facebook but in my opinion, nothing beats a forum for organization. There is a loansafe forum that would be my main competition but there isn't a focus on just RESPA.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Respa Baby View Post

      There may be a Reddit and Facebook but in my opinion, nothing beats a forum for organization. There is a loansafe forum that would be my main competition but there isn't a focus on just RESPA.
      If you type in "RESPA" in google and look at the suggested searches... I would use those for topics. Load in some content for each, maybe ask your attorney to stop in and make a psot or 2 allowing for a link to his site, ( try and work a deal here ) and go from there
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    • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
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      Originally Posted by Respa Baby View Post

      There may be a Reddit and Facebook but in my opinion, nothing beats a forum for organization. There is a loansafe forum that would be my main competition but there isn't a focus on just RESPA.
      My curiosity would be the number of people with a need for your forum. Have you done any market research like the number of related searches or advertisers in the niche?

      You may have every person searching for answers land on your board and still not pay the bills if the need is too small.

      It sounds more like a "passion" project borne of your own issues. That doesn't mean it can't be profitable, It just doesn't seem to me like something that would generate a "profitable" amount of traffic.

      Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author samncube21
    I recommend taking a look at free-forums and proboards. Both are free with good functionality. But as others have said, depending on you niche and goal you will have to weigh it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    I just upgraded a phpBB forum to V3.2.5 and added 20 more extensions, now totaling 60 and expanded the forums and sub-forums to 565. That's not a typo. Still have 50 or so, to add. lol

    Running like a top, so far. :-) I love this script.
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