How to realistically make money off of a forum

by Kanoa
29 replies
Ok I started a niche forum on polygamy and it has been doing great as far as visitors (a million a month and more), But membership sucks and people just aren't really posting, nor are they donating or subscribing to a monthly payment deal.

Now I admit going into this, I had no idea how to build a website or anything, but just went for it! So after a while when we were getting over a million visitors a month, I tried to figure out ways, to start making something off of the site. Yet ALL have been in vain. I even tried to find business partners to go 50/50 with, but , everytime low and behold, the people who responded just wanted to get the pay, but not put any effort or money into it.

Many of them had excuses saying times were hard to they still have a life to live ect. Well to me the whole point of trying to be in business is so you can have a life, money, time with family ect. I have also found many times people who have been interested in polygamy related businesses do want to be in business, but much like me have NO idea how to get things going.

I eventually want to be able to open a store up online to sell related items and so on, but got to first raise money, to do it. So I know a good partner with some know how and money to invest, could take us where we need to be, but how do I find them? More so when it is a niche market (1.5 million people in the US live it and a LOT more world wide!), but it is enough people to make a market for.

So if you were in my situation, how would you go about making the site more successful? I already have adsense, but it isn't really paying any more than a few cents a day. I am really stuck here.
#forum #make #money #realistically
  • Profile picture of the author Tim Fuhrman
    With that kind of traffic you should be able to make money. However, you need to pay attention to what they are talking about in the forum and see what the needs and wants of the forum members are. If it is your forum you may want to start asking questions yourself to see what they may be interested in buying.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Originally Posted by Kanoa View Post

    Ok I started a niche forum on polygamy and it has been doing great as far as visitors (a million a month and more), But membership sucks and people just aren't really posting, nor are they donating or subscribing to a monthly payment deal.

    Now I admit going into this, I had no idea how to build a website or anything, but just went for it! So after a while when we were getting over a million visitors a month, I tried to figure out ways, to start making something off of the site. Yet ALL have been in vain. I even tried to find business partners to go 50/50 with, but , everytime low and behold, the people who responded just wanted to get the pay, but not put any effort or money into it.

    Many of them had excuses saying times were hard to they still have a life to live ect. Well to me the whole point of trying to be in business is so you can have a life, money, time with family ect. I have also found many times people who have been interested in polygamy related businesses do want to be in business, but much like me have NO idea how to get things going.

    I eventually want to be able to open a store up online to sell related items and so on, but got to first raise money, to do it. So I know a good partner with some know how and money to invest, could take us where we need to be, but how do I find them? More so when it is a niche market (1.5 million people in the US live it and a LOT more world wide!), but it is enough people to make a market for.

    So if you were in my situation, how would you go about making the site more successful? I already have adsense, but it isn't really paying any more than a few cents a day. I am really stuck here.
    You're getting a million visitors a month? 999,999 of them see the sign up landing page and jump ship within 10 seconds just like I just did.
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    • Profile picture of the author IanM723
      After reading your description, I think that it definitely should be possible to monetize your forum. The traffic seems extremely focused. What about allowing outside advertising for the site? You said you were using AdSense, what about trying to target businesses that might cater to polygamists and approaching them as advertisers? With 1 Million Views per month, I think there would definitely be interest there.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
        See I have tried to talk to a few companies about that, but they want the site to have more members posting. Sadly people read stuff on there all the time, but getting them to post is like pulling teeth! lol
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        • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
          The forum has been operating for a year. It took about 6 months to get the traffic to a million. I was hoping people would post comment, post ect, to generate income, but people are shy I guess?
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  • Profile picture of the author phpg
    But where is actual forum? I only see the link to signup to create a forum ... Something's off here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Are the visitors to the FORUM - or to the signup page you are showing here?
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yeah, I see no forum either. Why would people join this?
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  • Profile picture of the author bluebrain
    The easiest way to monetize it is to put Adsense ads on it.

    You could also find out what your main demographics are (sex, age etc) by putting Quantcast code on your site. Then put offers (via banners) on your site directed at thos demographics (for example women might be interested in Weight loss products).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Ok thanks I will check that out!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
        Hey guys I apologize I just realized what you were talking about. Somehow I fubared my link. I fixed it, so it could lead to the site. Thanks for letting me know about that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Shields
    With that kind of traffic you might be best looking into cpm ads. All you need for that is those huge numbers viewing the ads, no clicks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Originally Posted by Stefan Shields View Post

      With that kind of traffic you might be best looking into cpm ads. All you need for that is those huge numbers viewing the ads, no clicks.
      I was trying to check that out but everyone I applied too said my site didn't fit the criteria that they deal with (ie they aren't comfortable dealing with a site that focuses on polygamy). Do you have any suggestions on who is more about the numbers than the subject?
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCodex
    My traffic demographic subscriptions didn't even register that you have any traffic and you lack an Alexa entirely.

    So how realistic is that you can make money?

    Well, let's start with being honest with ourselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Actually I am being honest. I use forumatic and they show you your website stats (ie visits to your forum). The only one that shows up via Alexa is the subforum which says that ones Alexa Rank: 157,706. I have only been using this site name for a couple weeks. I also use Societypl and then societypl.forumatic however all three lead to the site you looked up.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
        Copied and pasted from forumatic "416139 Pageviews
        Pageviews since 2014 / 02 / 01" So yes I have a way to keep up with the number of people coming through. But I am trying to figure out how to monetize it. So please stay on topic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Right now I am offering people a penny for every post they start and paying out when they make $50. A bunch of people have read it, just not too many takers yet...
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      • Profile picture of the author chaotic squid
        Originally Posted by Kanoa View Post

        Right now I am offering people a penny for every post they start and paying out when they make $50. A bunch of people have read it, just not too many takers yet...
        A penny for every post? So 5,000 posts for a payout? Doesn't sound very enticing to me. Maybe a few random larger bonuses to the more active posters would work better, say $20 per month to the top 3 posters or something similar.
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by Kanoa View Post

        Right now I am offering people a penny for every post they start and paying out when they make $50. A bunch of people have read it, just not too many takers yet...
        Because you need 5000 posts to make a measly $50.00, I have been on this forum for 2 years and only have 1000 posts. And, who has 5000 things to say about polygamy.

        Your problem is your business plan, you need to rethink it. if you are getting 1 million visitors and no one is participating then they are probably getting to your site via false pretenses. How are you getting these visitors, and please do not tell us they are finding you naturally.

        al
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        • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
          Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

          Because you need 5000 posts to make a measly $50.00, I have been on this forum for 2 years and only have 1000 posts. And, who has 5000 things to say about polygamy.

          Your problem is your business plan, you need to rethink it. if you are getting 1 million visitors and no one is participating then they are probably getting to your site via false pretenses. How are you getting these visitors, and please do not tell us they are finding you naturally.

          al
          I got these users via different polygamy groups. The rest I have no idea. I am a polygamist and got on a TV show after that the site picked up.
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  • Profile picture of the author affguy89
    You should be making money from ads at least, even if it's through a network. Appnexus, google, media.net, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug9
    Something is fishy here. I think you need to analyze your statistics better.

    In the first place "Pageveiws" are not visitors. Find out what percentage are real people and where they come from. Can't you put Google Analytics on your site?

    Have you checked all the other polygamy sites on the web and analyzed who is making money and who is getting lots of action? I wouldn't want you think polygamy is a huge thing on the net when it might not be.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Originally Posted by Doug9 View Post

      Something is fishy here. I think you need to analyze your statistics better.

      In the first place "Pageveiws" are not visitors. Find out what percentage are real people and where they come from. Can't you put Google Analytics on your site?

      Have you checked all the other polygamy sites on the web and analyzed who is making money and who is getting lots of action? I wouldn't want you think polygamy is a huge thing on the net when it might not be.
      There is like 1 person who makes a lot of money from other polygamist. He doesn't have a forum though, he is some kind of advocate. The rest are all mormon cult deals.

      For analytics to be functioning on my site I'd have to be on the plan that cost around $200 a month. I just simply cannot afford it. The problem is I am not too computer savvy when it comes to building forums, so I went through forumatic. I just really think I jumped the gun on the launch.

      I had a lot of people who was also said they were going to be a part of it, but after a while they started going back to facebook. So now I am just trying to keep it up and hoping people will start getting involved again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    One issue you might face with this type of forum is social/family stigma. Some people living in plural relationships/marriage have not announced this to their own family, so they won't be talking about it publicly on your forum, for fear of retailiation from friends/family/law. And, most of your forums are public, so anyone who wanted to post, would have to do so in front of the entire world. Have you considered making many of your subforums private, while keeping a subforum for 'general chat polygamy' as public so that anyone coming in from Google search (or clicking through from another site) would have a chance to read those posts. Emphasize the privacy issue for anyone signing up, by addressing this in your forum header. This could improve the number of people who sign up, if they know they can post in privacy without interference by others, such as people would not know who they are.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
      Originally Posted by Samuel Adams View Post

      One issue you might face with this type of forum is social/family stigma. Some people living in plural relationships/marriage have not announced this to their own family, so they won't be talking about it publicly on your forum, for fear of retailiation from friends/family/law. And, most of your forums are public, so anyone who wanted to post, would have to do so in front of the entire world. Have you considered making many of your subforums private, while keeping a subforum for 'general chat polygamy' as public so that anyone coming in from Google search (or clicking through from another site) would have a chance to read those posts. Emphasize the privacy issue for anyone signing up, by addressing this in your forum header. This could improve the number of people who sign up, if they know they can post in privacy without interference by others, such as people would not know who they are.
      I do have private members only groups. I even have private groups for the men and women, so people feel comfortable talking to one another. As far as emphasizing privacy, that's a good idea! Thanks for that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kanoa
    Also agmccall I agree with you, I DO need a business plan. I never wrote one out period, so that was mistake number one. I need to start looking things up and so on, on business. I have noticed something though the other polygamy forums aren't really getting a lot of posters either. Though they have had a lot of members in the past. It seems as if everyone is going to facebook groups. So I have to find a way that will make people more interested in my forum and want to post vs facebook. This isn't going to be an easy task though as people LOVE facebook! But then again nothing worth having is easy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
    I noticed how most of the forum posts are started by both site admins. And, it's good that site owners are taking such a active interest in the site. However, if more discussions were started by someone who wasn't staff, that could encourage others who are not members already to sign up and post. Possibly you could invite someone from your community who shares a similar lifestyle to have members of their family post on your forum. Another thing, you could allow people to post anonymously or without sign up. You would need to moderate more heavily and even have posts set to approval for guests who are first posting to prevent an influx of spam.
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