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Anyone willing to have a chat about earning money from their forum?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Machiavelli, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli Member

    Since the start of this year, I have been earning around £50 a month by adding Google AdSense to my forum. The forum has been ad-free since it began 6 years ago, with all costs covered by myself, but the migration to XenForo in January meant that for the first time I could easily implement an ad system and start to recoup a bit towards these costs. :)

    As a result, I found myself idly wondering yesterday if ever a time would come when I could rely on my forum/web site for my sole income. This is unlikely, as it is a very small local community forum, but it's a nice thought, so I thought I would see if there is anyone here who does earn a decent income from their site and would be willing to chat about it?

    I realise that this is not the sort of thing that one wants to talk about in public, but if there is anyone who would be willing to discuss it via PM (or PC as XenForo calls it) I promise it would all be in the strictest confidence! Basically, I'm just interested to know things like:

    How much you make per month?
    Via what means?
    Do you just run a forum, or is xenforo just a small part of your site and it is your other content that drives revenue?
    How did you start out?
    Et cetera.

    So it's not personal information I'm after - just general advice from people who have "been there, done that" and are currently doing quite well. :)

    Any information would be appreciated, as I would love to expand my site so that it becomes a very real and significant resource for the people in my area.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I'd be glad to answer any questions for you - although my forum has a wide audience, so I don't know if all the same lessons apply.

    The basics can be found in threads here and on the admin forums - those being you need to have quite a lot of page views in order to be able to make decent money.

    You are doing 1/2 way decent to make even the 50 pounds - so it's possible that could be ramped up. Of course, to make a real living you would need to make that every day...or more!

    I've made money from our site since the first month is was online - back at the end of 1995. However, since adsense didn't exist back then, I made the money by creating small web pages for some businesses (related) and hosting them and promoting them on my site. Soon after, I branched out to selling banner ads and listings to related businesses which were NOT on my site...that is, they had their own sites.

    At this point, I don't do much actual web work for my clients - all of the income is just from selling ads on my own and from adsense.

    Feel free to PM me if you want me to look at your site and offer opinions...
    Machiavelli likes this.
  3. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli Member

    Thanks craigiri, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. :)

    My stats for last month are:

    Visits: over 26,000​
    Unique Visitors: over 13,000​
    Pageviews: over 250,000​

    So whilst it's not the biggest site in the world, it doesn't do too badly in terms of the audience it attracts. I could definitely increase this by introducing some 'valuable content' though, I though - e.g. make use of the XenForo page system to create some useful/interesting articles, relevant to my site topic.

    At the moment, I just use AdSense - one banner at the top, one at the bottom, and a small one in the sidebar. Any tips for other systems I should be using?

    Wow, glad to hear things have panned out so well for you in this regard! (y)

    Thanks for the offer, I may just do that. :D

    Still very interested in the input of others, obviously. :)

    Thanks all.
  4. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Well, I'd say with the amount of traffic you have, it would be very hard to make it generate enough revenue to be your sole income (obviously I don't know much much money you need though).

    With the amount of traffic you get, I'd say £150-250 could be realistic if you optimized your ad placement properly. But it's also going to depend a lot on your niche. If you want specific suggestions from people, I'd post a link to the site so we can look at it. :)
    Machiavelli likes this.

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