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At what point did your forum become self-sustaining?

XrnwXrnw New
edited May 2012 in Questions

One thing I've read over and over is that new communities have a tipping point in which there is enough user content that the forum sustains itself. A new forum creator myself can only imagine such a special event occurring :)

For those of you who've reached that point, how long did it take you and how many members did you have? I'd love to hear your success stories!

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Comments

  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Our expat forum, which i ceased about 2 years ago .. Became financially balanced when we reached 5000 members. But that just covered overhead.

    Forums generally are a huge moneypit.

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • A forum can be very valuable if you use it right. I suspect you could have better monetized it

  • 422422 Developer MVP

    So whats your story?

    Very very very few forums make money... Monetizing is obvious, but large communities do not tolerate ads well.

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • One of my last projects more money came in monetisation from the site's blog than the forum, but i've always found privately negotiating adverts which work for both parties are far more lucrative than systems such as adsense.

    My current one has adsense and is, like 422 says, a moneypit. The occasional payment gets me a few beers now and then though.

    422
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Totally agree , my advice is.

    Gain sponsorship.

    And or a specific ad system tailored for your site and controlled by you.

    Donations generally never generate anything.

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    If youre in it for the fame and fortune : you might be dissapointed.

    422
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Xrnw said: A forum can be very valuable if you use it right. I suspect you could have better monetized it

    Value is one thing.

    Monetzation is another.

    One gives you a big smile the other a big headache ! You figure out which is which

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • If you can get a good product to tie into your community then you have an active customer base most marketers could only dream about. I'm not saying turn your community into a giant self-promotion, but do integrate it into the culture and don't be ashamed about helping them with what you sell. bodybuilding.com is a great example of a well used forum

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