Simple Machines Community Forum

Customizing SMF => Building Your Community and other Forum Advice => Topic started by: luvit on April 02, 2008, 09:12:30 PM

Title: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: luvit on April 02, 2008, 09:12:30 PM
i really would like to hear from admins who live off of forum(s).
i believe most forums are NOT created to make revenue.
i travel for my job. i hate it. :) -- i would like to take a local job for less pay and have an ad-based forum as a 2nd income.

i realize a forum is a lot of work, especially in the beginning.
i believe the user base would have to be monstrous so my board(s) would have to be in demand...

are you succeeding at earning a notable revenue?
forums supporting a product you manufacture doesn't count... lol.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Panzer- on April 02, 2008, 11:47:47 PM
I don't put ads on my forum because its a sort of portfolio/tutorial site. But i have got some coding jobs off the site.. so in a way i earn money off it.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on April 03, 2008, 01:18:26 AM
I don't actually make profit with our forum, but with absolutely no ads I have been able to create a brand of it. And the brand sells.

For about a year our forum had T-shirts, mugs, etc. for sale through a professional partner, and we took no profit out of it. In the last few months, we have made a smallish profit margin in the prices, in order to cover our expences. Now, If we were to add more stuff to sale, increase the profit margins a little, and added some partnerlinks to our forum - I think we could make a little profit as well. We have not planned on doing this though, but I'd see it would be possible.

The forum has been online for 3 years, and has slowly gained fame and a reputation for being friendly, open and filled with very open minded people. And that's all it really needed. :)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: mothchick on April 03, 2008, 05:18:48 PM
I can tell you that my forum doesn't make much money from advertising other than to support the hosting for it.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ArkServer on April 07, 2008, 01:14:11 PM
I dont make a lot from my forum, but i do make a lot from my blog and software sales.

Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: rsw686 on April 08, 2008, 05:08:12 PM
I'm operating my site in the read even with ads, supporter memberships, and t-shirts / bumper sticker sales. I just don't have a large enough member base and reaching out to those in my topic isn't that easy.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: christicehurst on April 15, 2008, 03:50:25 AM
Would never need ads for a long long time. No need for it.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: luvit on April 15, 2008, 01:05:43 PM
Quote from: christicehurst on April 15, 2008, 03:50:25 AM
Would never need ads for a long long time. No need for it.
so this means you have paid membership?
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: karlbenson on April 15, 2008, 01:27:04 PM
I'm usually lucky to pay for my server costs.

2nd income is unlikely for 99.99% of people i would guess from a forum.

Too much recurring/non-unique traffic.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: deadnewton on April 16, 2008, 12:39:30 PM
is it possible to make money at all from forums? what kind of traffic are we looking at here?
ballpark ?
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: rsw686 on April 16, 2008, 01:27:19 PM
Quote from: karlbenson on April 15, 2008, 01:27:04 PM
2nd income is unlikely for 99.99% of people i would guess from a forum.

Too much recurring/non-unique traffic.

Yep if your looking for income, a blog is the better way to go.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: deadnewton on April 16, 2008, 06:16:37 PM
so does it mean that forums are not profitable? earn atleast something for food? ;)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Nekobyte on April 22, 2008, 12:07:56 PM
A Forum could be profitable... your best bet would probably be to point traffic at it from anotehr site. ie - let's say you have an extremely popular browser-based online game, with no message board in it. In theory, you could redirect or link your many users to your forum so that they can communicate with each other, at teh same time creating a huge amount of traffic and making it easier for you to make a decent amount from it...

/thoughts
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on April 22, 2008, 09:20:36 PM
Quote from: deadnewton on April 16, 2008, 12:39:30 PM
is it possible to make money at all from forums?

Yes it is very possible and there is more then one way to do it. :)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on April 22, 2008, 09:46:07 PM
Quotei really would like to hear from admins who live off of forum(s).

Sorry, not me yet. But I will reply anyway. :)

Quotei believe most forums are NOT created to make revenue.

When I started our forums it was to help people and I had not even heard of affiliates or thought about putting up ads.

Quotei travel for my job. i hate it.  -- i would like to take a local job for less pay and have an ad-based forum as a 2nd income.

I hear ya, I enjoy my job, but every day I get a little older and don't know how many more years my body can put up with the work.

Quotei realize a forum is a lot of work, especially in the beginning.

If you want your forum to be a "second job" then you have to treat it like one.
Set hours for yourself. Schedule work for yourself a head of time, such as mods you want to install or articles you want to write for your forum.
Stick to your schedule, just like you would for your main job.


Quotei believe the user base would have to be monstrous so my board(s) would have to be in demand...

I think this really depends on a lot of things. If your going to do the google ad-sense thing or something like it were you get paid per click then yes you will need a lot of site visitors every day.

We tried the per click thing and at this stage of the game, it sucks. :)
Our parts affiliates work out much better for us as they give us a percent of the sales.

We might get something like $1.50 in google ad-sense clicks for the month. This same $1.50 can easily be made with one appliance part sold through one of our appliance parts affiliates with just one sale.

There are many other way's to make money with forums. Some others that come to mind are site donations.
This month alone we are up to $100 in donations.

There are always memberships you could charge for. We do not have paid memberships, but anyone that makes a site donation gets put into a special membergroup. It just gives them a special badge to show they helped support the site.

I could go on and on....

Quoteare you succeeding at earning a notable revenue?

What do you consider notable revenue?

Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: luvit on May 01, 2008, 03:11:56 PM
notable revenue would be greater than $600/mo. then i would try to dupe this effort with another forum. i know i could build a brand and sell accessories, but i'd rather count on non-intrusive text ads for majority of the income.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: vbgamer45 on May 03, 2008, 09:10:01 AM
Forums are a little tougher. But there are people out there who make a ton if you are in a good market and have good forum. Most use a combination of ad networks/subscriptions

I have some tips on how to get some extra income from a couple different sources
http://www.smfhacks.com/monetize-your-smf-forum-and-website.html
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: thomazwrx on July 21, 2008, 05:23:54 PM
My forum http://www.scionride.com/forum is bringing in  +/- $120 a month but i recently broke even a year later. In the first months i was in the red spending money on directory's infact i made a tally sheet to keep trace of how much money i spent on hosting and web directory's it accounted to a little over $1000 (hosting $5.95/month) January 08' I made $198 but with the economy slowing it declined to $120
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: djrem on August 02, 2008, 02:00:54 PM
Quote from: thomazwrx on July 21, 2008, 05:23:54 PM
My forum http://www.scionride.com/forum is bringing in  +/- $120 a month but i recently broke even a year later. In the first months i was in the red spending money on directory's infact i made a tally sheet to keep trace of how much money i spent on hosting and web directory's it accounted to a little over $1000 (hosting $5.95/month) January 08' I made $198 but with the economy slowing it declined to $120

That sites mega confusing, how can you make money :S
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: renlok on August 03, 2008, 01:17:12 PM
no i earn nothing. I only run a forum as enjoy doing it. I have ads but there revenue sharing, so i get nothing from them.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: christicehurst on August 06, 2008, 02:31:42 AM
Quote from: luvit on April 15, 2008, 01:05:43 PM
Quote from: christicehurst on April 15, 2008, 03:50:25 AM
Would never need ads for a long long time. No need for it.
so this means you have paid membership?


We don't need that either.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on August 24, 2008, 11:37:43 PM
Quote from: luvit on May 01, 2008, 03:11:56 PM
notable revenue would be greater than $600/mo. then i would try to dupe this effort with another forum. i know i could build a brand and sell accessories, but I'd rather count on non-intrusive text ads for majority of the income.

Getting closer :)

Just started a second site (see sig line) to help us get there, lol..

Our online revenue is starting to become a greater percent of our monthly income, but I like to look at it like this.

Making money online for us at this point is kind of like finding money just sitting there on the side walk on our way to work.
Sometimes it's only 25 cents we find, but then other day's it maybe $40.00 or $50!

It's not everyday we find money on our way to work, but as time goes on it starts to be everyday that you find a little extra something.

If I ever do start making more money online day after day, week after week then I do at my day job I'm going to still keep my day job, because just just never know. :)


luvit,

How's it going? Have you started a site yet?

Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: luvit on September 02, 2008, 08:07:54 PM
hard to believe i posted this back in february.  :D

i did not start my own forum. i finally got a call about a startup company looking for my expertise.
i finally have some balance between getting paid better and traveling less.

i may be considering doing my forum idea this winter  ;)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Droog on September 04, 2008, 07:56:19 PM
I think it would be cheeky for me to make money from the forum I help with, because it's not actually my forum. I just help look after it.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on October 12, 2008, 02:43:46 PM
Quote from: luvit on May 01, 2008, 03:11:56 PM
notable revenue would be greater than $600/mo.

Count me in :D
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: DirtRider on October 12, 2008, 03:06:15 PM
Well I will just be happy if I can cover my cost from donation from my forum. So far so good but we are now only in our first couple of month running on our own hosting package and with SMF. So I have managed to pay my first years hosting with a bit of cash over for development when needed  :D     
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on December 24, 2008, 06:27:54 PM
QuoteWell I will just be happy if I can cover my cost from donation from my forum.

Donations are just the tip of the iceburg.
Most donations come from members, not guest.

Members are just the tip of the iceburg too.
Most page views will come from guest visiting your site.

Guest and members will see ads.

Ads can do more then just pay the bill for the servers. :)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ArkServer on December 24, 2008, 07:44:46 PM
Quote from: ApplianceJunk on October 12, 2008, 02:43:46 PM
Quote from: luvit on May 01, 2008, 03:11:56 PM
notable revenue would be greater than $600/mo.

Count me in :D

same here, with all my sites revenue combined.
majority of my income is selling my software and ads secundary but still quite good.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: vbgamer45 on December 24, 2008, 08:48:43 PM
Paying for me xD. Forums have horrible CPM though unless it is very large and targeted.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on December 24, 2008, 09:56:03 PM
vbgamer45, what is xD?

Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: vbgamer45 on December 24, 2008, 10:45:55 PM
I think it is like a smiley emoticion or something not sure I use it on msn a lot
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on December 24, 2008, 11:03:37 PM
Quote from: vbgamer45 on December 24, 2008, 10:45:55 PM
I think it is like a smiley emoticion or something not sure I use it on msn a lot

Oh, I understand now, lol..

QuoteForums have horrible CPM though unless it is very large and targeted.

What type (static page, blog, wiki, etc..) of site do you find gets the best CPM?
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: vbgamer45 on December 24, 2008, 11:24:50 PM
The best would be a site with great content. Content that is updated every day.
Just work on a topic that you know a lot about and build up a base.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ѕησω on December 25, 2008, 02:44:28 AM
Atm im making more then enough to host my website, however most of it is going to others becuase it was slow when it was started.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: hitkb on December 31, 2008, 03:03:15 PM
I am starting a content site that integrates a forum.  The forum is restricted to paying members (once it gets going).  Members will get additional services that is specific to the target audience.  We'll have content that we generate as well as content that the forum generates.   In a sense, it's a blog/static content/forum hybrid.  Will post URL once it's up and running.

I hope to make some money from it.  Will report back on my experience...
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: djrem on February 04, 2009, 08:31:45 AM
black hat seo forums make loads.
£100 membership for a month to get BlackHat tips.

I find it funny as by signing up you're just going to get a message saying "make a forum and charge £100 for membership"...
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Angelotus on February 04, 2009, 09:00:56 AM
I make millions with my site.






























Millions of headaches!
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: clapter on February 04, 2009, 08:49:24 PM
If you are looking for a way to make any profit from a forum here is what to do.
Put on column of Google ADs on the left or right side of your forum. Then do like Simple Machines does and sell impressions of your ads because Adsense only pays you when people CLICK on the ad and only if the person hasn't clicked on a ad at your site before, so selling impressions gives you a much higher profit margin than adsense.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: duncan on February 06, 2009, 06:59:17 PM
When we (5 people) started our forum it was with the intent of making it 100% free for all members. We also wanted to keep it clear of advertising.

Which means we all lose money on it, but as the forum is something we all enjoy running it doesn't matter. When spread over a year the cost to each of us is pretty small, even though 5 are now 3.

It's our intention to never ask members for payment or to have two tier membership levels where paying members get extra benefits.

We've seen recently more and more of our competitors starting to charge, they seem to think it's a great way to make money. We don't, it never has been something to make money from. Some of the excuses you see for charging are truely pathetic. Especially on forums that you know are on shared hosting.

In the future we may have to think about raising funds, it wont be from our members.

All the best - Duncan
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: clapter on February 06, 2009, 07:21:25 PM
I believe in keeping it free for members, but i will put up ads
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Something like that on February 09, 2009, 06:42:09 PM
I just started putting ads up a week or so ago. I've already pocketed $120. Server costs are $60/mn. I should have done this a while ago.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: thomazwrx on February 20, 2009, 12:55:13 PM
Quote from: djrem on August 02, 2008, 02:00:54 PM
Quote from: thomazwrx on July 21, 2008, 05:23:54 PM
My forum http://www.scionride.com/forum is bringing in  +/- $120 a month but i recently broke even a year later. In the first months i was in the red spending money on directory's infact i made a tally sheet to keep trace of how much money i spent on hosting and web directory's it accounted to a little over $1000 (hosting $5.95/month) January 08' I made $198 but with the economy slowing it declined to $120

That sites mega confusing, how can you make money :S

What do you mean its confusing? Does anyone else think its confusing?

In regards to some comments posted here... First you have to make a forum because you have a passion for it and enjoy it, then you should think about making money off of non-intrusive ads.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Something like that on February 20, 2009, 03:22:26 PM
Quote from: thomazwrx on February 20, 2009, 12:55:13 PM
What do you mean its confusing? Does anyone else think its confusing?

Looks totally fine to me.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: STS on February 25, 2009, 09:49:18 PM
On a forum I admin, yes, I was, for a while. I made my salary that I make now with a part-time job. With the forum I own - no. I make enough to cover website costs right now. I'd love to be able to make a living like I did with the first forum... but that was a few years ago when forums were not as common. I think it is harder now.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: aED on March 01, 2009, 11:36:15 AM
Quote from: Angelotus on February 04, 2009, 09:00:56 AM
I make millions with my site.






























Millions of headaches!

I agree with you I think i would be fired out of my job because I am always focusing on my forum than on my Job. We have a lot of members but at the end of the month its really lucky if we generate at least $ 0.10 anyway we built our forum not for income but for fun and sharing....
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Kenny01 on April 13, 2009, 03:22:23 PM
The problem is that those making money from there forum/sites will never post it here.
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on April 13, 2009, 03:53:30 PM
Quote from: Kenny01 on April 13, 2009, 03:22:23 PM
The problem is that those making money from there forum/sites will never post it here.

And those that wish they were making money will always say things like....

Quoteanyway we built our forum not for income but for fun and sharing....
;)
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: Kenny01 on April 13, 2009, 03:59:04 PM
correct  :D
Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: ApplianceJunk on April 13, 2009, 04:22:03 PM
I make more money with our affiliates at ApplianceJunk.com then I would with a full time minimum wage job.

Being I don't work a minimum wage job to start with I'm not yet making enough money that I can quit my job.

QuoteI think i would be fired out of my job because I am always focusing on my forum than on my Job.

When I'm at my regular job I consider it a break from my forums. Even though we have internet access at my work I never use it to check on my site and yes my employer knows about my site. :)

Title: Re: Are you making a living form your forum? a 2nd income?
Post by: alex30 on April 13, 2009, 11:56:58 PM
Yes and no.

We have a network of aquarium fish sites and all earnings that come from ads go on hosting and domains.

So I guess, we do make a living out of our sites because it covers our expenses.