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Am I wasting my time?

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#1
I feel like I am wasting my time trying to promote my forum. People just don't leave social media to click through to the forum. I think trying to create a forum on it's own as a stand alone element is impossible. And here I was naive enough to think people WANTED a different social media platform that didn't censor or ghost them...or handicap them for having a certain political stance. Never will I understand why conservatives would use a wholly liberal platform. Well it seems they don't get the stupidity of it so off to eBay I go to see if anyone wants this, failing that I will just shut it down and forget about making money online.

http://thedeplorablesforum.com/
 
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Roo82

Active member
#2
I feel like I am wasting my time trying to promote my forum. People just don't leave social media to click through to the forum. I think trying to create a forum on it's own as a stand alone element is impossible. And here I was naive enough to think people WANTED a different social media platform that didn't censor or ghost them...or handicap them for having a certain political stance. Never will I understand why conservatives would use a wholly liberal platform. Well it seems they don't get the stupidity of it so off to eBay I go to see if anyone wants this, failing that I will just shut it down and forget about making money online.

http://thedeplorablesforum.com/
How long has your Forum been up for
 
#4
I think it is like a lot of things. People like to be with the familiar and shun the new. So a new forum has a real hard time even before social media popular to make a go at it. That often we have unrealistic expectations of the forum and everyone flocking to it. Give it time and be very active in promoting it with the members you do have.

Make yourself known as a forum owner or administrator that cares about your members and welcomes them. Be the one that is in every discussion on the forum so they are active. That will keep the members you do have and also encourage people that run across your forum to give it a try. Also people are hesitate about starting new threads. So be on your forum creating new threads yourself. Don't wait for members to do it.

Once you have enough members then it will take on a life of its own and you can relax because there is enough discussion going on to attract new members to your forum.

So to answer your question. No your not wasting your time. Just investing it in the future of your forum.
 
#5
Thanks for all the kind replies. The forum has only been up for a week, but I thought it would be generating some organic traffic from social media considering the niche is constantly saturating the media.

I am gaining one or two new likes on the Facebook page everyday. But I am finding it's almost impossible to get people off of social media, despite many groups existing for this niche on Facebook especially.

I think it has potential, but I purchased premium hosting, and have a self defeating attitude, so can't justify spending the amount I am on hosting if I am getting no traffic. I got premium VPS hosting as I needed the forum to be as fast as Facebook when loading, as I thought that would be an important criteria for anyone visiting the site.

I have been blocked from posting to groups on Faceook, as I didn't realize you are penalized for joining too many groups at once, I have been blocked from posting in groups until January 30th, and as a consequence am unable to share my forum with groups during what is probably one of the most important times to gain members for this niche! Facebook has gone out of it's way to handicap me and I am feeling a little helpless as without Facebook to promote my forum then I don't see it as having a future.

The hosting fees are due next month, and I don't know if I can fork out Australian Dollars $250 for another month. On top of the cost of hosting, forum install and help with colour design and banner upload, software purchase and domain purchase I have spent close to $900.00 and am freaking out a bit that it is getting no traffic. I think it has massive potential in the right hands, but I think for someone like me who doesn't already own a successful forum turning it into a passive income stream is going to be almost impossible. This forum is literally my last shot. I needed this risk to work, but Facebook ghosting me has put a spanner in the works.

Yes I agree, people shun the new. I think trying to create the atmosphere that the forum is popular is the hardest thing. Thanks again for all the helpful replies.

But in all honestly I think I have misjudged this niche. This isn't a niche people will have lengthy conversations about on a forum...because politics for the most part is quite dry and boring. This niche is more pure click bait entertainment, where all people want to do is express their emotionally driven opinion in the heat of the moment, in response to a sensational headline on Facebook, and don't really want to engage in any level headed meaningful discussion outside of the sensationalism. I thought I had caught onto a popular movement, but it seems people won't leave Facebook, so I will give it until the end of this month and then re-evaluate if I should keep persevering or give up.
 

CarpCharacin

Well-known member
#6
It won't get traffic right away. It takes time. You have to understand that it has only been up for a week and that forums don't grow instantly. Your forum is doing pretty good for a forum that has only been up for a week. Why are you spending $250 on a VPS? You can get a decent VPS for 10-20 dollars a month.
 

ENF

Well-known member
#7
It looks like it only started in January 10th. It takes a long time to make a forum active. My forum has been up for over 2 years and I only really started focusing on it a few months ago.
Took 5 years to hit 90k posts and a couple hundred of daily visits by members. We only use Twitter to promote content. First 3-4 years were dead and it took a lot of effort before things really started to get off the ground.

Starting a forum is a real chore and if your heart isn't in it, you'll disappointed.

The only forums I've seen take off instantly are those tied other things, like TV shows or an existing product that already has a strong following.
 
#9
I think it has potential, but I purchased premium hosting, and have a self defeating attitude, so can't justify spending the amount I am on hosting if I am getting no traffic. I got premium VPS hosting as I needed the forum to be as fast as Facebook when loading, as I thought that would be an important criteria for anyone visiting the site.
Well maybe you should downgrade your hosting plan to something cheaper until you get the membership and traffic to justify that kind of expense. I have a cheap virtual host and I find Xenforo out of the box with only couple of themes on it runs very fast even on that kind of hosting. Like @CarpCharacin said you can get hosting for $20 a month. That is how much I pay for mine.

It seems to be the case that you are putting a lot out that doesn't really matter at this point in time. Thinking that having the best of everything would make a difference. It doesn't, cut down on your cost to something you can afford without it being a big expense for you. Than you wouldn't be in such a rush to get members real fast to justify the cost.

Start cheap and as your forum grows then you can think about premium hosting and other nice touches that will make a difference at the time. Then you wouldn't feel so bad about paying the extra cost because you do have a forum that is worth the expense.
 

StarArmy

Active member
#11
As a progressive I admit it makes me feel a little warm inside to see a Trump supporter waste nearly a grand on a pointless forum but on the other hand as a fellow forum admin I legitimately feel bad for you too. I feel the plan for this forum wasn't really well thought-out of executed because:
  • The time to make this forum was within 8 hours of the "deplorables" thing becoming a meme and that it's already passed.
  • The niche isn't very unique, Trump fans and their discussions are already all over the internet
    • Also it seems like you're trying to "own" a conversation which isn't really yours to own - what makes you and your site an ideal person/place to do this?
  • I feel like you invested way too much money for startup/hosting, next time start small and basically test drive it to see if it's going to go anywhere. It's also possible the money might have been better spent on a smaller host and lots of Facebook ads (?)
  • You thought you could make money by running a forum and did this as an investment
Sorry your forum isn't working out. My suggestions:
  • As others have suggested, you should see what your options are for scaling down your hosting, worry about growing later if it starts to get busy/active.
  • Maybe come up with some sort of new angle that makes your audience more specific since Trump fandom is a very broad/general topic - something local perhaps?
  • If things keep failing, remember that it's better to plug the plug rather than to continuously dump more and more cash into a hole. In other words, at some point you may have to make a judgement call to cut your losses.
  • Understand that it is quite difficult to make a profit running a forum. In general you will need to build an audience first, and only then will you be able to monetize your forum
  • Make forums that you are passionate about and do them as a labor of love instead of as a business venture, because it's hard to get one going.
  • Join TheAdminZone, it's a community of forum admins that has a lot of knowledge about starting and running successful forums. Also there's people there that will do post exchanges to "seed" your forum with topics and activity.
  • Content is king! If you are producing quality articles and such people will notice you much better. You need to be creating things. Become an authority. Don't rely on random people on the internet to fill your site with unique, valuable material. You have to do that yourself.
 

sbj

Well-known member
#12
To be frank, you are not just wasting your time, but also your money.

You don't have a single clue about running a forum. Sorry to be the messenger.

Where is your content? In early 2000s you could open a forum and leave it as it is and wait for people to join (with little promotion). 15 years later that ship is not just gone, it is dead.

250$/m? Good God.

I am really not sure if you are trolling or being serious. This is your last shot? You need years to be able to generate enough revenue to pay off your server costs at all, let alone making positive numbers. Unless you have donators or a lucky exceptional start. Or you have like a classifieds section or some sorts of that. But for all that you need content, something others cant offer.
OR you treat it as a hobby and you don't expect anything in return, but clearly you were expecting a passive income...

Anyway. I suggest you to re-think your project before you waste more money, good luck.
 
#13
Thanks for the advice. I admit I never use Facebook and didn't realize the chasm between Facebook groups and Forums. I have always used forums and so it never occurred to me it would be this difficult to get people interested and off of the social media platforms. I now realize they are addicted to the social media platforms, with most people being on them for years and years, and you are never going to wean them off. Forums seem to attract people who either a) are thinkers that like to discuss topics in detail or b) people that want something, be it information to solve a problem or to buy and sell stuff in the forums classifieds sections. Forums don't attract the kind of people that use social media, as those want neither of these things. I only decided to start a forum after I noticed another successful forum I had been watching started off as a Facebook group only to become a forum, and it gave me the idea that maybe I could get all these thousands of people off the Facebook groups and onto my forum.

Yes I don't know the first thing about forums, but being unemployed at the moment it was kind of a last shot. All I see on TV all day every day is Trump this, Trump that, I thought with all this free advertising I could turn it into something. And I don't even live in America. That is the irony. I thought if Trump was having this much impact and getting this much attention here in a country not even having elections, then it must be a potential revenue generating niche.

If the forum disappears it's because I gave up on it. Yes, your right, you can't easily start a forum these days. Although with all the traditional platforms such as Twitter and Facebook constantly nannying their users I can see forums may be popular if you could create an interface similar to current social media platforms. Since paying for a run of ads on Facebook, I now find I have to pay to get posts to show up on users feeds.

I am not trolling regarding the host. They are a legitimate host, the currency I am dealing with is Australian Dollars so it is approx US$150 which is approx Australian Dollars $198, and not the Australian Dollar $250 figure I quoted earlier( but it feels like that). I am using this host as they are reliable, after being scammed using another forum software by a freelancer who charged me $1000 two years ago just to install a forum onto a host for a failed forum about the Softbank Pepper robot(which failed after SB failed to release the robot).

Well I see forums such as Survivalist Boards that started in 2012 now with 3,000 people online at any one time and I thought I could do something like that. All the niches I am interested in apart from this one wouldn't be commercially viable and I am only doing this for commercial reasons to be blunt. Once you wake up to the reality that the Internet is simply a people farming exercise, a cold, ruthless and uncaring tool exploiting billions for ad revenue, then you get to a point where you don't feel so bad admitting that. At least I am honest about it.

Anyway I kind of feel because of the success of 'The Deplorables' Facebook groups that the domain is quite valuable. Especially with 50 million Americans backing Trump, there has to be a lot of conservatives out their looking for an outlet to vent at all the pro-liberal media bias they encounter daily. Take 0.1% of that population and you have 50,000 people. It's a huge number. And with Gab.ai taking 2 weeks to confirm membership I thought I had a window of opportunity to create a forum for the younger generation of conservative. A mainstream alt-right forum if you like without the stigma of being a White Nationalist community, but a mainstream community coalescing around the Trump phenomenon. These people are very unorganized, and I thought I could unite them into an organized community where they could work out what they stood for. This alt-right lite faux conservative thing Trump has going on isn't working- he is inconsistent on all his stances, and doesn't stand for anything expect Trump. But I think his followers were standing for something when they voted for him, an ideal that was neither Republican or Democrat, but something in different altogether. They were standing for America first.

I guess Google wouldn't allow me to run ads on it anyway. As they don't allow ads on Breitbart, but then curiously allow YouTubers like Sargon of Akkad, Stephan Molyneux and Bearing among others to run ads on their channels, which I consider alt-right.

Yeah I get that the internet/ tech community is mostly liberal, and although I am not liberal, I am not conservative either- in a way I would say I truly was closer to Trump, in that I am the third choice, a more level headed mixture of the two extremes. Anyway I'll keep dreaming. Thanks for all the kind and helpful PMs and for taking the time to reply- it truly is appreciated. Bye for now.
 

StarArmy

Active member
#14
being unemployed at the moment
Oh man, now I really feel bad that you spent so much on your forum. The thing is that forums, even if successful, tend to start off slowly so in the beginning you can put a lot into them but they're not going to give you much in return until they become popular, which may or may not occur.

The best way to advertise is probably to join other similar communities and build [real] relationships with the people on them, and get them to follow you back to your site via personal invitations or a signature link. Basically what your community needs (what every community needs) most is a set of great core users who will be your ambassadors and forum personalities.

Best wishes on the job hunt too.
 
#15
For the benefit of other readers, let me tell you that ANY online publishing venture - including a blog, a forum, a reviews site, whatever - takes a LOT of time and patience. It took me 3 years to get my main site (mostly forums) to cover costs and another couple of years to justify my work time. Blogs are the same, you need to put in a lot of work and be very dedicated to get a blog to make you money. So many people have asked me for guidance over the years, and I've spent many hours teaching friends and relatives "what I know" but it's hopeless. If you don't have "the bug", you won't make it. If you're doing it solely for the money, you won't make it. I think 90% of online publishers give up within the first year and never see any profit. That's actually probably a conservative estimate.
 
#16
For the benefit of other readers, let me tell you that ANY online publishing venture - including a blog, a forum, a reviews site, whatever - takes a LOT of time and patience. It took me 3 years to get my main site (mostly forums) to cover costs and another couple of years to justify my work time. Blogs are the same, you need to put in a lot of work and be very dedicated to get a blog to make you money. So many people have asked me for guidance over the years, and I've spent many hours teaching friends and relatives "what I know" but it's hopeless. If you don't have "the bug", you won't make it. If you're doing it solely for the money, you won't make it. I think 90% of online publishers give up within the first year and never see any profit. That's actually probably a conservative estimate.
Thankyou!
 

=MGN=RedEagle

Well-known member
#18
Thanks for all the kind replies. The forum has only been up for a week, but I thought it would be generating some organic traffic from social media considering the niche is constantly saturating the media.

I am gaining one or two new likes on the Facebook page everyday. But I am finding it's almost impossible to get people off of social media, despite many groups existing for this niche on Facebook especially.

I think it has potential, but I purchased premium hosting, and have a self defeating attitude, so can't justify spending the amount I am on hosting if I am getting no traffic. I got premium VPS hosting as I needed the forum to be as fast as Facebook when loading, as I thought that would be an important criteria for anyone visiting the site.

I have been blocked from posting to groups on Faceook, as I didn't realize you are penalized for joining too many groups at once, I have been blocked from posting in groups until January 30th, and as a consequence am unable to share my forum with groups during what is probably one of the most important times to gain members for this niche! Facebook has gone out of it's way to handicap me and I am feeling a little helpless as without Facebook to promote my forum then I don't see it as having a future.

The hosting fees are due next month, and I don't know if I can fork out Australian Dollars $250 for another month. On top of the cost of hosting, forum install and help with colour design and banner upload, software purchase and domain purchase I have spent close to $900.00 and am freaking out a bit that it is getting no traffic. I think it has massive potential in the right hands, but I think for someone like me who doesn't already own a successful forum turning it into a passive income stream is going to be almost impossible. This forum is literally my last shot. I needed this risk to work, but Facebook ghosting me has put a spanner in the works.

Yes I agree, people shun the new. I think trying to create the atmosphere that the forum is popular is the hardest thing. Thanks again for all the helpful replies.

But in all honestly I think I have misjudged this niche. This isn't a niche people will have lengthy conversations about on a forum...because politics for the most part is quite dry and boring. This niche is more pure click bait entertainment, where all people want to do is express their emotionally driven opinion in the heat of the moment, in response to a sensational headline on Facebook, and don't really want to engage in any level headed meaningful discussion outside of the sensationalism. I thought I had caught onto a popular movement, but it seems people won't leave Facebook, so I will give it until the end of this month and then re-evaluate if I should keep persevering or give up.
I never believed the whole time and patience thing. If you don't have a plan to get 100,000 visitors to your forum that is unique and if you don't have a crowd that badly needs your forum then chances of success are little in my own personal opinion. Also if you get traffic from Facebook what stops them all from just leaving to Facebook again when you get ill or can't keep things going for a while? Sorry for the hard look but running forums is a REALLY tough business unless you already have a crowd on your hands that need a forum.

Million kudos to the hardcore people here who pulled it off. Imo they have foreheads of steel.

As far as generating funds, spending money and effort on other site ideas has always done much better for me.

I run a forum because I love to, not because its a good idea :p.
 
#19
Well I never enjoyed talking on forums. I find it tedious. As nobody really listens to each other....they just talk over each other. Your really see that with my niche.

Anyway I can't keep dealing with the hatred directed at me and my niche's protagonist by randoms on Facebook so am giving up on this forum. Paid for advertisements on Facebook don't work...nobody clicks through to the forum, and when they do they don't stay and never post. Sharing content with large groups doesn't generate any new members I have found.

This is the second time I have attempted to start a forum. I think I can safely say forums are dead.

I don't know what more I could have done. I created a site that was fast, modern software, posted relevant articles every day. Got something like over 700 likes for one paid advertisement, and get at least one organic like of the Facebook page a day. I don't know what more I can humanly do.

Websites such as Topix make it harder for forums, as they seem to have such a large reach they dominate discussion. But what always amazes me is the way people will sit there and have whole conversations despite the original post being created by an algorithm, as is the case on topix, and not a real person.

Another thing I don't understand is the way people will discuss topics in the comments sections of articles or youtube videos. I never did get the point of talking with strangers like that. I would prefer to talk to people in a forum where there is at least some semblance of shared continuity.

I will have one last shot at scaling the forum back to a cheaper hosting plan and changing the topic to something else. If that fails I will give up on forums and the internet as a business vehicle for good.
 
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n00bsaibot

Well-known member
#20
I think by calling yourself deplorable you're directly competing with /the_donald subreddit. Might be better to differentiate yourself towards more adult, serious, and polite discussion about Trump Admin. Those guys have conrnered the market on tin foil hats and trolling lol.
 
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