Here are 7 ways to Monetize your Forum

Abraham

Moderator
Staff member
When it comes to monetizing a forum, there are numerous strategies a forum owner can use. Depending on factors like forum domain, forum size and forum users; a forum owner may decide on choosing a mix of options to optimize the amount of revenue that can be made per month. Apart from paying the server costs and other maintenance costs, forum owners deserve to gain a recurring income for the time and effort they are investing to ensure the success of the forum. Here are 7 ways that community forum owners generally use to generate revenue.




#1 : Donations

Collecting donations is a good way to get started on generating revenue. All you have to do is have a donate button/page on your forum. This is one way where you can’t be guaranteed of a steady income, but which helps you in gauging the interest/loyalty of your users. You can also start a Patreon page to collect recurring donations from your forum loyalists/fans.


#2 : Banner Ads

You can get in touch with companies in your domain and pitch to them about the audience your forum has and the topics that are discussed most. Once they show interest, you can rent space on your forum for ads on a monthly basis. Just ensure that the ads don’t lower the look/feel of the forum or distract the users in any way.


#3 : VIP Zone

While advertisements are what allow for free consumption of content on the internet, there are users who wish for an Ad-free experience. You can provide a premium experience for users like these and charge them a subscription fee. This premium experience can be also gifted to your most loyal users, to ensure that they stay active for longer and increase the activity levels.


#4 : Ad networks

There are numerous Ad networks out there that forum owners use to monetize forum space for ads. There are two types of Ad networks. The horizontal Ad networks display ads from all different domains while the vertical Ad networks only display ads from a particular domain. Most forum owners like to go with vertical Ad networks as they pay higher.


#5 : Merchandise

Another great way to generate revenue is to create custom forum merchandise and put it up for sale. The only catch is that your forum must have a good following for this to be successful. You can also gift merchandise to your premium members, moderators and contest winners to increase the loyalty towards the forum. It is also a great way to for offline forum promotion.


#6 : Sponsored Threads

The audience that you attract to your forum are likely to be quite alike in many ways. Brands would be interested to tap into this audience for feedback, brand promotions and marketing purposes. You can dedicate a thread for a particular brand and get a chance to earn some money. Don’t let brands that have a bad reputation anywhere close to your forum.


#7 : Affiliate Marketing

Amazon is famous for its affiliate marketing program. Just sign up to it and display their ads on your website. If a user clicks on their ad and makes a purchase, you get to earn 12% of the purchase value. Likewise, there are numerous companies that run affiliate marketing programs. If these companies are in your domain, you have a higher chance of success.
 
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