How to monetize a forum?
  • Hey there,

    maybe you have read my case study in my other post (see my signature) and here is a related question to it which I wanted to post to the VIP section of this forum:

    What approaches would you follow to monetize a forum?

    Currently I have the Halo: Reach Boards forum which I purchased a few weeks ago from DP. I like it and I think it's developing very well (daily increasing views, already #4 in Google for Halo Reach Forum). However, I have no clue how to monetize it OR if I should monetize it at all???

    Things I have tried so far:

    [*]AdSense (shown after every 1st post in a thread): have between 120 and 200 views every day but have not had 1 click at all --> my impression: not worth the effort.[/*:m]
    [*]CPA banner (placed in footer of forum, displayed on every page): very few clicks so far (5 or so) with no one filling out the two page CPA form at all[/*:m][/list:u]

    Some other things I do consider...:
    [*]Mailing users based on their email address in my database and if they clicked admins may send me an email[/*:m]
    [*]Amazon affiliate banner for more closely related products[/*:m][/list:u]
    Somehow I feel that with communities like this there may be some advertising blind spot with the users...?

    Any idea? Thanks in advance!!

    Post edited by Unknown User at 2010-09-30 09:43:00
  • If you have an downloadable product like an ebook or a guide of some sort which is of great interest for the forum users, than you can make some money with They'll pay you 40 - 80 cents/download. You can either post the book on the website or send an email to all the forum members informing them that they can download this awesome free ebook which they definitely need to have in order to....

    You won't get rich but at least it's an extra trickle
  • Hi Inservo,

    I just saw your post and thought I would ramble a little bit Based on my messing around in this niche.

    Here are my thoughts.

    I found the site: to be very helpful. There is a section of the forum dedicated to this very issue. You will see that many forum owners are struggling with this very issue.

    I look at the WarriorForum, digitalpoint and
    as the best examples of how to really monitize a forum site well.

    - Having enough to offer a paid membership option
    - having a marketplace section where you can charge people to advertise their products and services.
    - I think the niche the forum is in will also affect the ability to monitize the site. Some niche's lend themselves well to selling products & Services, others not so much.
    - Having enough unique visitors and page views to sell your own banner ads on the site. In order to do this you need a ton of volume. But once you can achieve it you can then attract advertisers and earn some consistent advertising income either on a cpm or cpc basis.
    - Also, as the number of registered users increase, this list becomes an asset you can use to sell products, services and affiliate products too.

    OK, enough rambling - hopefully some others will share their thoughts as well.