July 20th, 2006
Occasionally I have an idea to start a forum on www.dropshiparea, but the website at this moment in time does not get many visitors and from my experience of running forums on other websites I am not sure the community will be a success in a situation like this.
But many websites run forums – they add value to the website plus generate some income to their owner. Yes, it is known that forums are harder to monetize than a website, blog or other types of online property. As a rule, community members visit the forums to talk and share their experience. They are completely blind to all types of ads. But it does not mean one should not try and experiment.
- YPN/ AdSense (both – for content and search). Some webmasters disable search for the unregistered users and prompt new visitors to use AdSense Search if they want to find something on the forum.
Google has a heat map for forum owners to run AdSense on their message boards:
- Sell sticky – posts that are placed in a fixed position on the top of forums
- Sell text links – to find those who will pay for links on your forum – advertise directly, use special services (www.text-link-ads.com and similar) or both
- CPM – use adv networks that pay for banner impressions (ValueClick does not allow to place its adv in the forums as well as in blogs; other top CPM networks – Tribalfusion, Burstmedia, Casale – do not restrict it in their terms of service)
- CPA - cost per action networks (Azoogle, CJ, LinkShare): this kind of adv used to be the most efficient a few years back, but no more. But they are a nice addition to your other types of adv. Also join some in-house programs.
There are more methods to monetize forums. I do not doubt that. Would be thankful if you share them with me and the readers.
Important thing to implement on forums: install a rotating script that will serve different creatives from the pool of ads. I think phpAdsNew is the most popular on the market. It is a free and powerful script available here
Summary: Forums are a good way to make your online business less dependent on the search engine behavior and updates. It is the most valuable thing about forums – they are a never ending source of traffic. In addition to this, you have a nice opportunity to earn extra cash using the above methods. Do not expect much, but a nice addition is guaranteed. Just remember to experiment and use what works.
[tags]affiliate marketing, home based business, work from home, internet, ypn, adsense, google, forums, websites, php, linkshare, azogle, cj, valueclick, tribalfusion, burstmedia, casale, online business, monetize, earn money[/tags]