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Making Money With Forums

Janeth

New Member
I?ve noticed two things so far.

1.Is that most people are using websites to make money

2.It looks like most people are making money with Google AdSense.

Has anyone tried to make money with a forum?

Could a forum make as much or more money then a blog or normal website?

I have a forum on my site as well as a website and blog. I?m thinking of getting rid of the regular website and moving the forum to the home page.

Any thoughts on this?

Is there anything that makes more money then Google AdSense?

Why does everyone like PPC better.
 
Voluum

Larwee

<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
affiliate
Janeth, I wish I could give you a concrete answer that would be correct for everyone in every situation, but that isn't possible based upon your questions.

One problem is that some of your conclusions are not correct. You might have arrived at them by seeing what was the situation with some sites.

Everyone doesn't like PPC better and there are many people who make less money with AdSense than they are with an affiliate program, or maybe even on CPM.

I like AdSense because for my particular situation it gives me the best results. But I don't only depend on AdSense.

This all gets down to the old thing of what works great for one person might not work as well for another person. That is why your question isn't easy to answer.

While there are exceptions, generally speaking AdSense works better with content sites, the more original content you have, the better you can do with AdSense.

There are many people who are having better results with AdSense than they have had with other methods because they have sites that are right for AdSense. But this doesn't mean this will be true for everyone. There are people making lots of money with AdSense and people making lots of money with affiliate programs. Often affiliate programs might require a little more work than is required with AdSense.

Often people will use a combination on a site. They will have AdSense as well as some affiliate programs. Some might also have some CPM programs to get paid based upon impressions.

A lot of times people just need to test and see what works best for them. Sometimes even when something isn't working well a few changes can make it work better. The changes could be things such as placing the ad(s) in a different spot on the page or using a different size ad.

Some people do well with forums, some with blogs and some with what you called normal websites.

Often it will be easier to make more money with the right normal site than with a forum. But there are exceptions.

A lot also depends on what your forum, blog or normal site is about. It also depends on the amount of traffic you have. It could also depend on how much competition you have.

It is always very difficult to talk in general terms. What probably would be very helpful in giving you really helpful answers would be if you could let the membership see the actual website you are talking about as well as your forum and your blog, assuming they aren't of an adult nature or anything against the 5 Star rules.

If you do this, then it will be possible for people to give specific information that would relate to you rather than talking in general terms that can have all types of exceptions. They could suggest what ad networks you might want to consider as well as if you should even consider PPC or something else. They could make many useful suggestions as to if it would be a good idea to do what you are planning or not, based upon seeing exactly what you are talking about rather than trying to talk in general terms.
 

Janeth

New Member
Hi Larwee,

You have already helped a lot more then you think I'm sure.

I have a lot of sites but want to start with www.geeksonsteroids.com and the forum is http://www.geeksonsteroids.com/forum/forum.php

Both use to be a pr6 but I have not worked with either so they are now a pr4 and the forum is dead.

The reason I want to start here is that I need to get the design business going so I can make money for the next 2 months while I'm trying to get into the affiliate marketing. Once I get this site going again I'll branch out to the other sites.

Knowing there is not one set thing that works helps a lot.

I was thinking about getting rid of the site and making the forum the main site and using the .net for the web design business for the time being.

But the site ranks for a lot of keywords and I hate to mess around and loose that.
 

Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
JANETH I know you! You used to mod with me over at WebProWorld. I wondered if you were the Janeth I knew when you signed up. Now I know you are because I've seen your forum before.

Larwee - WOW! What a great well thought out answer!

Not sure what I can add except that in general forums are a little tough to monetize and also take a lot of work to build up traffic. I think your forum was pretty busy back when I first looked but I have not been there for a long time.
 

Janeth

New Member
Hi Linda,

WPW has been a long time ago. If you?re the Linda I remember you always wrote nicely written post.

The forum on Geeks was going very well for a couple months and then I got into the PPC and left that site to die a slow death.

Now I?m wanting to breath some life back into it and trying to figure out how to make money with the site without going back into the web design business.

But the more I think about it the more I think the design business will always be part of the business and I should try to run hosting and marketing ads off the site.

Those are two things I don?t want to do.

It?s nice to see your still around the forums Linda.
 

Lisa76

Affiliate
affiliate
Hi Janeth,

Even though your PR has decreased to 4 you can build that back up again with good content and linking.

Have you ever thought of just building more content around your theme to draw in more search engine traffic and THEN use that extra traffic to draw attention to your forum? Now you've got the best of both worlds. A decent PR and forum.

I had a forum for a short time on one of my sites, but I learned that it takes a lot of work to get it off the ground and make it active. I admire people like Linda who have such active forums. As far as money, I'd have to echo what others have said. It really depends on the topic, amount of activity, etc.
 

Janeth

New Member
5PillarManager said:
Hi Janeth,

Even though your PR has decreased to 4 you can build that back up again with good content and linking.

Yes, now that I'm working on the site again I'm hoping to see it go back to a pr6 on the next update.

5PillarManager said:
Have you ever thought of just building more content around your theme to draw in more search engine traffic and THEN use that extra traffic to draw attention to your forum? Now you've got the best of both worlds. A decent PR and forum.

I'm thinking you are correct on this and even though the forum is not on the home page I'm thinking if I can get some good enough information on the site it want matter.

5PillarManager said:
I had a forum for a short time on one of my sites, but I learned that it takes a lot of work to get it off the ground and make it active. I admire people like Linda who have such active forums. As far as money, I'd have to echo what others have said. It really depends on the topic, amount of activity, etc.

Is this Linda's forum here?
 

Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
Oh thanks Janeth. I spent so much time posting on other forums and moderating them, that I decided it would be smart for me to start my own and put more of my posting energy into my own sites and projects.

It's only a year old so just starting to build up with the help of some REALLY great mods.

FYI all, I started the affiliate forum over at WebProWorld from the ground up over 2 years ago. I'm still listed as a mod there, but never mod any more. They just wanted to keep my name up for consistency and because so many at that forum expect me to be there. With my carpal tunnel I have to be more selective where I post, and once this forum started getting so busy I had to give up something and sadly I gave up modding both Search Engine Watch and WebProWorld forums.
 

Janeth

New Member
Whats the best way to find a hosting company that I can mecome an affiliate for.

Does anyone know of some good honest ones?
 

Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
Pull up a chair and hang out any time you want.

I ran out of beer so you have to bring your own though. :p
(or coffee or whatever is your drink of choice)
 

Janeth

New Member
In Colombia we drink lots of beer. As a matter of fact my house is kind of like the local hang out.

Here's some pictures if it's ok to post a link here www.manuelasue.com

That's a blog I made for my daughter when she gets old and wants to know what went on in her life.
 

Janeth

New Member
I had the guys add a place for banners on the forum above the text.

I need to become an affiliate for maybe a hosting company, marketing company, SEO company, domain name company and anything else I or anyone else can think of that does not conflict with my web design business.

Then I want to rotate the banners in the header. So every time the page loads you get a different banner.

What?s the best way to do this and I?m I breaking any rules of any kind doing this?
 

Larwee

<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
affiliate
Janeth, there is a lot of talk about PageRank. Actually it sometimes gets more attention than it really should. While it might be nice for someone to talk about how high their PageRank is, that really isn't the most important thing. What is important is where you are in the search results for your keyword(s) or search term. It might be great to have a PageRank of 6, for example. But if you are on page 2 of the search engine results pages and the number 1 position belongs to someone with a PageRank of 4, without any spammy techniques, the one with the 4 PageRank is going to be getting more traffic. This kind of thing can and does happen on a regular basis.

It is possible to see your PageRank drop and still remain in the same position in the results. It is also possible to end up lower in the results with a lower PageRank. Also your PageRank might increase but you might not find yourself higher in the search results. Always notice where you are in the search results, since that is what really matters.

PageRank is only one of several dozen factors Google takes into consideration when it comes to the positions in the search engine results. It is generally known to be over 100 different factors. I've seen things indicating it could be between 200 and 500 different factors.

This doesn't mean that PageRank is of no importance at all. It is just that PageRank isn't as important as some believe it is. It also isn't as important as it was several years ago.

Don't forget, what Google wants to do is to deliver the best possible search resultsfor people conducting searches. But site owners want their sites to be at the top of the results and will do everything they can think of to try to get into that position even if they know what they have isn't the best for a particular keyword or search term.

Some people were doing things they felt would improve their PageRank. But many of these things didn't improve the quality of their page and wouldn't provide the person doing the search with better results. As a result of this, Google slowly starting putting less importance on PageRank in the determination of where a page placed in the search engine results.

Here is a link to a search engine that will show the PageRank of each page listed in the results. If you conduct a lot of searches, not just one or two, but a lot of searches, you will see that the pages with the highest PageRank aren't always at the top of the results. You will find many pages with higher PageRank lower in the results. http://www.prsearch.biz

The best thing people can do is forget there are search engines and have pages with their visitors in mind. They should do everything possible to make them the best they can possibly be. Too often people create sites with only search engines in mind. If they create them with only visitors in mind and make them as good as possible for the visitors, this will also make search engines happy. You will then have a quality site that will be of great benefit to people conducting searches, and that is what search engines want.

Don't think about PageRank. Think about where you are in the results and only concentrate on what you need to do to improve that. It is very possible to have a PageRank 4 and be higher in the results than someone with a PageRank of 7.

Possibly the best thing to do is work on the content. Improve the content. Add content. Make it the best it can possibly be. You will be providing a good experience for your visitors and some good food for the spiders.

Another good thing will happen when you have a top quality site. Others will link to you because they like your site and feel it will be of interest and/or use to their visitors. That takes you right back to the original idea of links as being votes for sites.

You could also pick up some extra traffic from some of those who link to you, and a little extra traffic never hurts. It always helps to have extra sources for traffic in addition to search engines.
 

Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
Regarding banners - you sure you want them? Text link ads convert better.
You could use text links and fit 3 wide on the page maybe (like a bank of Adsense ads) and still rotate. I think Phpadsnew will do that but have not tried it. I know there is ad serving software that will rotate text links.

I'm not really very technical or I probably already would have done it here. But if you use Vbull you would just add the PHP code in the admin interface where you want the ads to go. See how I have text links for all my clients above?
Mine are static and no ads, just links, but that's only cuz I have so many clients to fit in. In fact I have new clients coming on and not sure where I'll put them.
Oh, I know I have a couple dropping at the end of July so I can just relace some.

You would have short ads with links to webmaster related stuff.

Looking for the best web host?
Check out xyz.com for great support and up-time.

You could also have non-intrusive text ads like that after the 1st post of each thread so the ads are more down in the conversation.

Ads in forums are not usually against the TOS but you should always read because each merchant has different rules.
 

Janeth

New Member
Hi Larwee,

I?d like to have the pr6 back just because it looks better in my tool bar then the pr4. :D

I understand the importance in building a site for the visitors. When it comes to ranking a site I work more with off site things like links then anything onsite.

What ranks a site is more towards the anchor text then the links or any on site stuff.

One reason you see a lot of pr4 sites betting out the pr5, 6 and even a 10 is because the higher pr sites didn?t target that keyword.

I rank #1 now for a lot of keywords and even out rank Google for those keywords. The reason is that I targeted those keywords in my anchor text and Google did not.

I agree with what your saying and I hardly ever look at pr anymore. But it is nice to have a pr6, 7 or even 10 in the tool bar just to say you do. ;)
 

Janeth

New Member
Linda Buquet said:
Regarding banners - you sure you want them? Text link ads convert better.
You could use text links and fit 3 wide on the page maybe (like a bank of Adsense ads) and still rotate. I think Phpadsnew will do that but have not tried it. I know there is ad serving software that will rotate text links.

You are correct, guess I've found a flaw in my thinking already. I'll go with text links instead.

Linda Buquet said:
You could also have non-intrusive text ads like that after the 1st post of each thread so the ads are more down in the conversation.

The guys added those for me but added them after every post. Guess I need to get that changed.
 

Larwee

<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
affiliate
Janeth, that is what a lot of people say. The extra green looks better.

You sound as if you have the right things in mind. Too many people don't and all they want is to look at the toolbar and see a higher PageRank.

I am glad to see that you are on the right track. :)
 
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