a women's medical community
This is a community online targeting women ages 20-60 who are in pre-op decision making, post-op recovery from a hysterectomy.
Funds are generated by the merchandise purchased in the store:
a paperback book from the website, nightshirts, pillow, mugs, mousepads. All merchandise is created to continue the theme of the website.
Funds are also generated by subscriptions for "avatars" in three different levels. The website is free, but to be able to have avatars a voluntary subscription is required.
First level gets the avatar ability.
Second level gets the avatar ability plus a funny plastic crown (follows the theme of "royalty" of the website) in the mail, along with custom titles for the message boards.
Third level of subscription gets all of the above plus a hystersisters.net email forwarding account along with a gift package (book and crown, shirt and crown...members choice)
Our website has been up and running for almost 3 years (3 years in August 98) and started with static content. We add a simple message board when I discovered the women were using the guestbook to ask each other questions and offer direct support. We went to EZBoard in November of 99 and UBB in April of 2000. Because of the constant pruning and upkeep, I purchased the VB license in June or July of 2000.
The website had 100 unique visitors after that first year on the net with static pages. Now, we see stats showing 2000-3500 unique visitors per day along with 12,000+ members since we started on VB (almost a year ago)
Advertising crashed and we can't seem to find targeted advertising for our forums. The store and subscriptions allow stable funds for server and tech fees but it isn't lucrative. I mostly advertise merchandise of our store in the ad banner spaces.
To be a member....This is a women to women website. The mission statement is on the front page and the site is also HON Code monitored (medically monitored for appropriate documentation). Besides being fairly high in the search engines, word of mouth from women to women and from doctor to women is working across the nation.