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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot nwingate's Avatar
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    Smile What NOT To Do...

    I see a lot of posts from people asking, "can I make money on a forum" or "what topic should I start". I'm no expert but I thought I would share my experiences to date.

    I have 3 forums, and I've learned a ton about what to and not to do.

    My first forum started in Sept www.contractortalk.com . I currently make about $200/mo off of this site and that numbers seems to be rising monthly. I have a great intrest in the subject and love to focus on the business of contracting instead of the work/trade for contracting. The site is also very unique with little competition

    My second forum was started at Christmas, www.diychatroom.com . This was a bad move and I make $0/mo off of it. The only reason I started the site was to have a place to send all the homeowners that kepts asking the contractors questions on the contractor board. I don't have a ton of interest in the topic and I've been thinking of trying to sell the board soon.

    Last week I launched www.W3Talk.com . Yet another webmaster community.. While this seems totally foolish to most people it was a topic I had interest in and it was a test for me. My contractor board is about the best out there and one of the only ones that focuses on all the trades. But theres a problem, most contractors aren't online and there are very few advertisers for the subject. With www.W3Talk.com I decided to go to the other extreme. Start a board that has a huge amount of advertisers and surfers and see if I can compete.

    From my experiences I can tell you that if your going to start a forum you MUST have a HUGE intrest in the subject and that it takes a lot of work. Don't do something stupid like me and start a forum on a topic you care little about.

    Its not unrealistic to think that you can make money running a board, in fact I know several people who make a couple thousand a month off of their forums... but its the exception and not the rule. I know of no one who started a board with a topic they had no intrest in that was successful.

    Well, thats my 2 cents... Good Luck!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Good post Nathan. Those are some nice looking forum sites you have there too. What kind of money you looking get for www.diychatroom.com ?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
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    Not sure yet, It doesn't cost me anything to run since its just sitting on my server so I'm not going to rush into anything.
    I probably can't get enought money for it to make it worth selling so I'll probably try and trade the site with someone.

    I like your successvibe.com site! My next project was going to www.inctalk.com . I love the business world/wealth building topics. I'm a big on Rich Dad Poor Dad and all those type books!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks! I'm really into that type of info too, which is why I thought it might work.

    I was just asking about the diy forum because I like that kind of stuff. Maybe sometime down the road I'll make you an offer.
    Last edited by Tombot; Apr 8, 2004 at 06:14. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    Nwingate,

    Nice forums and good advice.

    Fergal
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot nwingate's Avatar
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    Thanks Fergal!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru Mike Panic's Avatar
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    similar story to nathan - i laucnhed http://www.iphotoforum.com in feb of 03 and had 173 members in the first 2 weeks - and now 14 months later have 1400+ and 64,000+ posts and i make decent money from it

    well i figured hey, this forum stuff is pretty easy... so i bought realityshowforum.com and therealworldforum.com in sept of 03 - the first made perfect sense because a new reality show starts every week and ive been a fan of the real world since it started..

    both were bombs... 7 months into it i only had 60 some members on RSF and barely 1000 posts, 30% of them by me... and never put time into promoting TRWF... so i sold RSF and TRWF just sits now... as i figure out if i even want to put time into it
    MikePanic.com Photography | Web Design | Social Media | Content Creation | Espresso

  8. #8
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwingate
    I currently make about $200/mo off of this site and that numbers seems to be rising monthly.
    Is that just from the ads?

    Sean
    Harry Potter

    -- You lived inside my world so softly
    -- Protected only by the kindness of your nature

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot nwingate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanf
    Is that just from the ads?

    Sean
    Yea, thats from ad revenue.

    Did you think that was from memberships?

  10. #10
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I run a forum that I couldn't care less about and it's doing well! The ghost site in my sig has a new forum I started on January 12th of this year and so far so good. At least one new member signs up every day and there are a healthy number of posts to boot. And I couldn't care less about the supernatural! The reason it does well is that I do everything else like I care. I promote it very well on the homepage and moderate it for bad posts. I also recruited a couple of good users to moderate with me. I help those who need help and NEVER MAKE A SUPERNATURAL RELATED POST!

    Now having said that, I'm a firm believer that you have to be very interested in your topic for it to be successful. If I was an active poster it would probably be doing even better. Plus I would spend more time promoting it and trying to drive traffic to it. If that site wasn't one of my pet projects it would have died a long time ago...

    ...Actually, it did. The current forum is the second forum on this site. The first one I set up when the site was launched 3 years ago or so. I set it up and never even looked at it again. It grew to be fairly popular (so I was told). But then the trolls came and there was nobody there to fight them. I was told within 4 weeks of the forums reaching peek popularity all but a handful of users had left. Literally just five or six were remaining out of hundreds. One sent an email to the site owner begging for help (she really couldn't care less about her forums. I'm not even sure she knew they were there! Long story...) but found none. Fortunately I also managed to get an email from a truly resourceful member who managed to track down another website I run and email me from there. He informed of the problem and I immediately cleaned up but it was too late. The forum were deserted. They were dead. So I made forum 2.0 (upgraded from everyone.net to phpbb 2) and made sure a close watch was being kept. But, if I had bothered to even so much as just monitor the older forum I could have a community five or six times as large right now.

  11. #11
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwingate
    Yea, thats from ad revenue.

    Did you think that was from memberships?
    Not really, I was just wondering what you were doing to make money from the forums

    Sean
    Harry Potter

    -- You lived inside my world so softly
    -- Protected only by the kindness of your nature


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