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How many of us have forums as a part time (or even full time) business ... and how many of us are in it not to monetize at all, but simply to expand our knowledge and meet other people with an interest in our topic of choice?

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Last Post by dojo
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He he Not only do I have several messageboards, I am one of only 4 global mods at a free bb service. I love my messageboards because I develope friendships with people from around the globe. Money is nice but friends are better and I learn so much about other cultures as an added bonus!

I am learning stuff on my own as well about how to change/modify javascript to obtain the results that I want to obtain and now I only blow up one test board a month where before it was about once a day.

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Sounds good, Bomba. I started DaniWeb out of an interest in browsing other tech forums out there. I never thought when I started it that it would become profitable at all.

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Sounds good, Bomba. I started DaniWeb out of an interest in browsing other tech forums out there. I never thought when I started it that it would become profitable at all.

I started my site because the topic was something I was interested in. I really want to start new community sites but I'm in college and have barely enough time to manage my current site.

The Washington Post is doing an article about my site and about two people (who happen to be from the DC area) who met each other through the site, fell in love, and got engaged. I think that I get more satisfaction out of helping others, although money can be nice as well.:lol:

By the way, I'm new, and I just want to say that this is the coolest community sites I've come across. Good work cscgal!

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well my point of view is that forums are a great way of gaining/sharing knowledge also to meet people where you are able to share the same intrests as you have. But if you own the forum why not also make a extra buck out of it since you are doing what you want to do. But owning a forum can be hard work maintaining and trying to increase your online community since if there are more brains there is more knowledge and opinions to be shared.

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Well I am here for the money . But I am rather clueless on how to go about it ...sincerely .
forums have been a good source of earning I know , but how to give it a quickstart I dont know .
I am still building my site ..so I dont care much now ...but in a weeks time i'll also have sleepless nights . I have invested a lot in building the forum but I am going blank now on how to promote it .
Your ideas are great but I will require something really good in my pocket by new year . I am thinking of placing live chats , some hot content etc .
Any other ideas ...cscgal ?

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I have some very bad news for you, creative writer. Unfortunately, forums are one of the least lucrative of internet sites. They require a LOT of time and maintenance, and usually profit much less than many other revenue models. (The high number of regular members on forums reduces the performance of advertising far below what other content based sites receive on average.) However, forums can also be very, very rewarding. If it is a topic you love, and you do something unique, they can definitely be profitable.

I think the one word of advice I could offer you is to offer something unique. Anyone from a 10 year old to a 90 year old can buy some hosting space for $3.99 a month and upload phpBB (a free forum system) to it.

A lot of people get caught up in all of the hacks that are available for the main forum systems out there - phpBB and vBulletin. However, the same way it's easy for you to install the "member of the month" hack, it's easy for the 10,000,000 other forum owners out there. The trick is to offer something unique that no one else has ... be creative! It will get you far :) Well, that, and a good, solid, devoted community behind you!

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Hey I have a forum which deals with the following subjects :
Health , fitness , nutrition ,fashion , beauty , automobiles, computer hardware , Gadgets , travel , tours, websites and webservices, finance , entertainment + all the news , and a jokes section and a review section embedded in each of these topics . I tried out many permutations and combinations and saw that these topics with good hits . I have a site also to compliment it with a lot of content ( just uploading it now ) . What do u say ?

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That sure is a lot of diverse content. The first thing to take into consideration is your audience. What are the demographics of your target audience? Are they guys in their mid 20s? Are they teenage girls? A site about cars and beauty most likely isn't going to fare very well - because you're all over the place with your audience. It's fine to cover a lot of different subjects - but they should all be reasonably targeted to the same audience.

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That sure is a lot of diverse content. The first thing to take into consideration is your audience. What are the demographics of your target audience? Are they guys in their mid 20s? Are they teenage girls? A site about cars and beauty most likely isn't going to fare very well - because you're all over the place with your audience. It's fine to cover a lot of different subjects - but they should all be reasonably targeted to the same audience.

Well , not exactly . My target is everyone from 20s to 50s .... u'll see that topics like beauty , gizmo , fashion , entertainment are targetted at the teens and young generation . Then for the working 30s and 40s I have finance , health , fitness ( fitness issues crop up at late 30s and 40s ) , travel and toursim. I am also implementing a councelling section for this age bracket .
I want that my site should provide people with a lot of diversified information and people should feel that "what all i want to talk about is all here at 1 place '...something on the lines of your site :cheesy: I really admire ur site .
Any suggestions onyour behalf so that I can get it all kickstarted ?

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DaniWeb does cover a LOT of territory - from software development to technical support. However, regardless of everything we cover, every section of the site is targeted to the mid 20s to mid 30s professional IT audience. When it comes to selling advertising, many big companies like those demographics and then go after us.

Good luck with your site!! I'm not so sure it's going to work - from prior experience, at least - but it's worth a good shot. After all, when I started DaniWeb, aiming to cover EVERYTHING IT related, I got a lot of negative criticism from all those who thought niche sites were best.

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DaniWeb does cover a LOT of territory - from software development to technical support. However, regardless of everything we cover, every section of the site is targeted to the mid 20s to mid 30s professional IT audience. When it comes to selling advertising, many big companies like those demographics and then go after us.

Good luck with your site!! I'm not so sure it's going to work - from prior experience, at least - but it's worth a good shot. After all, when I started DaniWeb, aiming to cover EVERYTHING IT related, I got a lot of negative criticism from all those who thought niche sites were best.

My aim is to get audience of all tastes and then carve out a niche group . I have seen sites minting money out of forums and my site is a little different in mannerisms . My aim is that if anything is "hot" in the web circuit it is supposed to be on my site . I dont want a large audience who are loyal to my site . I want that those who are loyal should get some real good matter to read and get informed about . I know I have sprayed subjects all over the place . But thats just the beginning . As we grow we shall put in many sub-sections and child forums to the existing ones . For example if we take fitness and nutrition - I have started with 2 sections of the forum dedicated to it . I know that this forum can be expanded to atleast 6-8 sections . If we get good audience for a particular section we will definately increase on the spectrum of the subject .
If you could provide me your email ID or allow me to PM you , then I have an offer that will benefit your site .

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I started my forum with no intention of earning money, but with sponsorship now it pays for itself. I may start puttin Google Adsence on and then I may make a bit of money but nothing like an Income!!!

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I started my sites with 0 intentions other then to take my interest of Movies into my other interest of web programming. So I built a custom CMS, put my knowledge of movies online and voila. When you have no expectation it is very hard to fail :)

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I started my sites with 0 intentions other then to take my interest of Movies into my other interest of web programming. So I built a custom CMS, put my knowledge of movies online and voila. When you have no expectation it is very hard to fail :)

I think I agree with you .
I have realised it & pretty soon that forums are good for oneself ...not for the money:)

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Dani's advice is sound. Forum's aren't the most lucrative of sites and you will have to differentiate yourself in the market.

If your up for the challenge, a good community is very attainable.

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Absolutely I agree. Distinction is what leads to success. That and good contacts in your field :)

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Hmm .. am I in for the money? I wish ...

I have 7 domains already and I want to develop more. I have 5 forums installed and running. I have some members too and some thousands of posts. I have spent ages creating the forums. My serious work began 1 year ago. In this time I have worked on a forum, my webmaster forum, and added almost every 2 months another one.

I have them because there are subjects I love and could discuss for ages (web design, martial arts, music, women issues). I pay for all of them. Not too much (they are still small, so I don't need big hosting plans). I pay around 30 USD for all of them. Still my monthly wage is 250 USD .. so compared to my small salary this is "luxury". I have received 2 checks from adsense so far, so I think I'm already bankrupt :D

I wish one day I could make some money from them. But, in the end I'm not here just to get money. I love what I do and I just love my forums and the people in them. I have met so many nice people from all over the world, they are pleased with the small communities and I am happy to see I have done somthing for them.

I recall 4 years ago I have started my first site (a Karate site for Romanians). There was a total lack of information for our country so I dedicated lots of hours to the project. Now it's still a small one, but considered as important for people who start out. When I first stepped in the dojo I had all the frustrations and difficulties in the world. I knew then I will make something that would help people have a better start than I had. After 4 months of training and a massive documentation work I have put the site online. After some time, developing it more I knew I love design and now I work in the "area".

From time to time I have people email me to tell me how good the info was. They knew a lot when they entered the dojo so they were better adjusting to the regime. Whenever someone tells me my small site helped, then I know I haven't lived in vain. I recall a saying: "to be a real man one needs to plant a tree, write a book and raise a child" .. or something similar.

I don't have kids yet, I am not too good with planting, but I like to think my sites are some small "books" where people can find answers and info and someone willing to give it to them.

Getting back on monetizing the projects ... The time I spent on the is invaluable in the end. I am the "freak" type of person that would spend all her free time working and tweaking. On a normal day I work on my sites for at least 8 hours (I come home from work at 4PM). On weekends ... 16-20 hours sometimes. I still don't see this as "work", although it looks like a full time job already. It's something I love doing ...

So, to end my long rant ... I am in the "business" for the ideas I have and want to share, for the people who see my work and use it, for the constant challenges I have to face (modding, tweakings all sorts of situations) and the pleasure of seeing I have once again learnt something and solved the issues ..

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