What types of advertising does everyone run on their forum? How many ads is too many? Do you just stick with AdSense and YPN or do you do graphical campaigns? Anyone with IntelliTXT?

What is user response like? What is considered going too far? Most importantly, at what point do you think it becomes a significant deterrent to members?

I think you have to weigh the benefits of having ads (or more ads than you want) against the amount of revenue these ads are generating. If the revenue allows you to add a lot of great content like paying professionals to write insightful articles, for instance, people will still want to come to the site to read the articles (especially if the content is unique and can't be found anywhere else).

I think well managed ads help your users. Personally, I'm not going to let 'junk' advertisers on my site. Just good ones with clear advertising objectives. Everyone is a consumer of goods related to your site and good sources for items are welcomed by users. I frequently click on good ads just to see what's there.

If I were to put google ads on my site, they would be obscure unless someone was specifically looking for them. Most of the links from google are junk anyway.

If I were to put google ads on my site, they would be obscure unless someone was specifically looking for them. Most of the links from google are junk anyway.

I agree that some Google ads can be deceptive or unprofessional, but this is sometimes the fault of the site administrator for making the ads less distinguishable from the content or for choosing colors that clash with the site theme. I like what daniweb has done in terms of google advertising. I think it blends in perfectly with the theme but is also clearly an advertisement.

I think that tasteful CPM type ads are a lot better than Google ads as they look a lot better and are clearly ads. Some people truly think that google ads are just links

What I do is use ad management software for all my ad spots. I rotate Google with direct CPM campaigns when advertisers purchase from my media kit.

rather than selling a bunch of banners + text links I thought I'd wait until my forum grew enough to sell entire topics.

I have dollar amounts in my head that I'd like to earn and my plan was to sell 10 x text links at a low dollar amount on the homepage, then offer entire topics for considerably more inside the forum. probably seperated by other topics rather than having them all lumped together. (like commercial breaks... lol... seemed appropriate since my current forum is based around a tv show). I figured I'd limit myself to only 5 topic sponsors.

I Felt this valued added was good for the sponsor (own topic, good exposure, then can post threads about their site/company and talk bout it whenever they want... almost like a blog opportunity on someone elses site) and I thought the forum would benifit by it because it would cut down on spam by sponsors, they could basically advertise all they want as long as they keep it in their own topic.

but I haven't done it yet, it's just my plan.

I am not a fan of thread advertisements. I know quite a few forums allow advertisers to purchase sticky threads in certain forums. I see two problems with this. The first is that it requires the end-user to actually click to see an ad thread, knowing full well that they are clicking just to see an ad and no real content. How well would this convert?

The second problem is that you are mingling advertisements with site content. You're sending the message loud and clear that spam throughout your site is perfectly okay as long as you are getting money for it.

I wasn't actually thinking sticky threads in content rich topics, I was thinking dedicated forum topics for sponsors.

You could be right, but on an entertainment related site to have entertainment related sponsors with their own topics might not be that bad. It's not like I'd be advertising Glad Bags on a car site :)

Still, you're not doing in-your-face advertising. You're requiring the visitor to make a conscious effort to do extra clicks to see a page that only contains an advertisement and no content. If you were a visitor, and your Internet time was precious, would you click for that? Click once, shame on the webmaster. Click twice, shame on the surfer. (Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.) What I'm trying to say, albeit badly, is a surfer might click on one of these ad threads to see what it offers. But once they find out, they'll be unlikely to go back.

Agree with Dani on this one. Content is THE ONLY thing I can offer in my small community. This is why I think ads in topics is not something I would like to do. It would ruin the entire idea of an informative place.

I try to set some banners on my forums now. The prices are small, since the forums are small. I have only 1 spot I am willing to place ads in, the headers. I don't want to turn my forums into ads only places, so I have to be really careful with what I do.

I own two forums. I've found that selling banner space to be more lucrative than adsense. My forums are in a really small niche, so advertisers are willing to pay more for adspace, because the traffic is very targeted.