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How to make money, if ads/banners will disappear...

snoopy5

Well-known member
#1
Hi,

I would like to open a discussion with other forum webmasters here on how to make money with forums, if advertising like banners, adsense etc. will change dramatically in the future.

In my opinion, ads (like banners, adsense etc.) as an income source will be dead in a few years. There are several reasons for this. One are adblockers. Two is the altered user beahaviour. Look at the presentations of Gary V on youtube and you know what I mean.

Nobody wants to click on ads anymore, smartphone users will not visit sites any longer if ads make the usability worse etc. pp.

So even if you have a different opinion, for the sake of this discussion and to be able to collect new ideas, let's assume I am right and there are no banners in 5 years time on forums.

If that happens, what do we do next? How do we generate income with our forums? What will YOU do then?
 
#5
Once adblocking passes a certain point (and we are nearing it now) professional publishers will start aggressively blocking adblock users, leaving only low quality hobbyist sites available to those blocking ads.
 
#7
There are quite a lot of adblock blocking solutions out there, the IAB offers adblock detection code for those wanting to make their own custom script and there are companies like Admiral contacting publishers offering anti-adblock solutions.
 

snoopy5

Well-known member
#8
There are quite a lot of adblock blocking solutions out there, the IAB offers adblock detection code for those wanting to make their own custom script and there are companies like Admiral contacting publishers offering anti-adblock solutions.
With which one did you make your best experience? What do you think the users of your forum would still tolerate as adblocker (size/message etc.). It would be helpful for all of us, if we share our experience (good and bad) to get an idea what works best...
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#9
With which one did you make your best experience? What do you think the users of your forum would still tolerate as adblocker (size/message etc.). It would be helpful for all of us, if we share our experience (good and bad) to get an idea what works best...
From an end user POV, sites who cram ads down my neck left right and center and in the middle of content or with autoplay videos get the full whack adblock treatment.

Likewise those who try and cover half the screen with a "youre using adblock turn it off or else" message, get both barrels.

Those who display non too intrusive ads, I am happy to have display as it isn't interfering with the content, and usually those same sites have a dismissable, polite message asking if I wouldn't mind turning off adblock for them.

Put simply the rise of adblock is webmasters own fault for trying to milk every last penny out of visitors, to the point of being detrimental to the content. If they reign it in, and start putting the content first, people won't mind having an Ad here or there to help pay for it.

Eg: http://p8ntballer-forums.com/threads/collective-opinions-on-which-mask-and-why.167941/

One banner in the header, a row of buttons at the top and bottom of the page and the sidebar ads.

None of it intruding into the actual discussion.


On the other side of the coin:

http://www.givemesport.com/1004073-lewis-hamilton-reacts-to-ferraris-impressive-preseason-testing

More ads then content, 2 autoplay videos and a full screen popup ad. No thanks, remove all.
 
Last edited:

snoopy5

Well-known member
#13
I looked in the Google adsense options and there is now a new opton for mobile devices. I am not talking about responsive ads.

This is a feature which will not count for the maximum allowed ads on your site. They only appear on mobile devices and it is using a technique which does not slow down the site on the smartphone much.

So this could give some hope for a future with ads on forums...
 

Fred.

Well-known member
#15
It's getting bad...
My profit dropped badly over the last 5 years.

Does anyone know if I can stop adsense serving autoplay videos? I hate it, and everyone else hates it but it seems impossible to disable it.
 

Sadik B

Well-known member
#16
Hi,

I would like to open a discussion with other forum webmasters here on how to make money with forums, if advertising like banners, adsense etc. will change dramatically in the future.

In my opinion, ads (like banners, adsense etc.) as an income source will be dead in a few years. There are several reasons for this. One are adblockers. Two is the altered user beahaviour. Look at the presentations of Gary V on youtube and you know what I mean.

Nobody wants to click on ads anymore, smartphone users will not visit sites any longer if ads make the usability worse etc. pp.

So even if you have a different opinion, for the sake of this discussion and to be able to collect new ideas, let's assume I am right and there are no banners in 5 years time on forums.

If that happens, what do we do next? How do we generate income with our forums? What will YOU do then?
You have been listening to Gary V and you still ask this question?

The short answer is, provide value and you will make money. Tonnes of it.

Long answer,

Blocking adblock users is never going to work. I have simply stopped visiting sites which block my adblock.

All banner and display ads are going to disappear from my forum this year. I simply plan to make my site immensely valuable to users and ask them to pay for it. I sell about 20-30 paid memberships per month. My plan is to get rid of ads completely and aggressively increase value of my site for my end users and charge them more and sell more.
 

Rudy

Well-known member
#17
Paid memberships can work well on some sites, but not on others (like broader interest sites). For many it is a supplemental income. I have found that link monetization works the best on blogs and forums that feature a lot of user-inserted product links. It is non-intrusive. Link insertion can be slightly intrusive, but if styled nicely, it never interferes with reading the content. And that's it right there--by nature, we have become accustomed to ignoring ads in certain places. That is why the big media sites have become so obnoxious with advertising and presenting fake news (a la Taboola, Outbrain, etc., all bottom-feeding companies that dish out nothing but clickbait).

On another note, I seriously think the FTC (in the US) should crack down on autoplay video ads. On mobile devices, this eats up bandwidth that some of us have to pay for. Not everyone uses "unlimited" wireless plans. I'm not subsidizing some site's advertising bandwidth by footing the bill for it. This goes back to the existing laws for fax machine spamming--sending this "junk fax" to the recipient puts the burden of cost on them for toner and paper (or thermal paper). It is like the USPS showing up at your front door, asking you to pay for the printing of the junk mail they are delivering to you.

And banner ads...yes, very intrusive to the overall experience. Even with an ad blocker, there is another XF site I belong to solely as a visitor, and despite them having far more expensive hardware than our single dedicated server, the lag on that site is terrible. (One example--you have to hover several seconds over the "Alerts" tab just to get new message alerts to display.) I have a feeling that whatever is used to serve the banner ads (namely, JavaScript) is causing this side effect for visitors, even those like me who use the ad blockers. Users on that site complain steadily about advertising banners and their effect on the browsing experience. Yet the site owner requires the income to keep the place afloat. It's hard (even impossible) to turn off an income stream like that when it contributes to the overall bottom line.
 
#18
Sell fanarticles like a cup or a t-shirt with your forum logo on it. Add a shop to your site, charge everyone for selling there and or sell your own stuff there aswell.
 

ENF

Well-known member
#20
So even if you have a different opinion, for the sake of this discussion and to be able to collect new ideas, let's assume I am right and there are no banners in 5 years time on forums.

If that happens, what do we do next? How do we generate income with our forums? What will YOU do then?
We do direct banner sales because we can't use things like adsense or other publishing networks. We're not going to censor our content to appease ad networks. We flipped the table around and started selling banner ads to businesses that are directly related to our subject matter. (We've been doing this for awhile, but more aggressively since we've ballooned in size in the past couple of years.) We also keep the intrusion to a minimum and offer premium benefits [no ads] to active members who reach a certain threshold of posts within preset time periods.

I think direct sales is the way to go and bypass publishers, but I the site pushing the sales must have some marketable points and be a valuable asset to the area of interest. I'm not talking about $5-10 banner ads, I'm talking about big ad deals that net $500+ USD/month per banner/per slot, per month... none of this per click/impression bullsh*t.