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If you monetise your forums you might find this useful/interesting

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by CyclingTribe, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member


    I haven't actually had time to read it all yet but I have read Patrick's book on managing forums and enjoyed it (and took some useful info from it) so I expect there will be some useful content for those of you who are looking to monetise your own forums (either to cover costs or maybe even make a living from it).

    Let me know what you think if you decide to read it. (y)

    Shaun :D
  2. kprojects

    kprojects Well-Known Member

    Thanks - going to the beach for a week tomorrow.. somethin to read :)
    iFroggy and CyclingTribe like this.
  3. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Thank you for sharing my book and for your kind words, Shaun. I really appreciate it. Thank you for checking it out, as well, kprojects.

    Once you have had a chance to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have any questions about it or anything else that you'd like to know more about, please feel free to ask here. :)

    Thanks again,

    Digital Doctor and CyclingTribe like this.
  4. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    A great book by a solid author!
    iFroggy likes this.
  5. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Well-Known Member

    You going to be reviving your network anytime soon?
  6. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Hey BamaStangGuy,

    Thanks for the question. I'm not sure what you mean. My network is doing fine. If you are asking if I have plans to launch any additional sites - I have a lot of ideas, but nothing specific at this time. I've never really been about throwing up a bunch of forums. Time is a precious commodity. Right now, I'm really focusing on a few key projects and not looking to expand (by number of sites, anyway). I feel pretty good about where we're at and I'm really proud of the communities that I manage.


    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  7. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Forgot to say: thank you, Brandon. :) That is very kind. Would be cool if I could get back to Topeka this year!
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  8. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Well-Known Member

    Was referring to a few sites that weren't, such as a sports forum you add that I do not see listed anymore.
  9. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I did a speed read of the free download - my take is that it would be very useful for a couple types of people, but maybe less so for others.....

    Those who are just starting forums or communities and have little experience with this stuff will find virtually ALL the options presented in their proper light. The same goes for those who do not have a background in sales and marketing but may have run a forum for years...and not had ads in it, or just used adsense.

    It is probably less useful to those who have large communities and have already experimented with them over the years.....since, presumably, they have already found out a lot of what they need to know from experience.

    It's great to have a tome on all this stuff for those now and in the future who want to monetize without having to make ALL the usual mistakes or oversights.
    iFroggy, CyclingTribe and ragtek like this.
  10. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts, craigiri. :) I appreciate it.

    What you say is definitely true: a book will be more useful for some than it will be for others. If you have used all of the methods discussed in the book, are familiar with all of the terminology and all of the best practices for those methods - in essence, if you already know all that there is to know about monetizing online forums - then the book won't be very useful for you. It all depends on your level of experience, which can vary.

    We're all at different places in our experience. For example, I've had a couple of people who founded and manage some massive communities (one over 6 million posts, another almost 10 million) and have experimented with monetization tell me that they found it useful. So, I guess it all depends on where you are right now. I've been managing online forums for 12 years and I enjoyed writing it the book and collaborating with others, as it reminded me of things that I once knew and forgot and I also learned some things in the process of digging deeper into the various methods of monetization.

    In a way, I think it served as a good reference for me. When I evaluate methods of monetization that I might be thinking of launching, optimizing or changing, I may refer back to it just to make sure that I am keeping everything in mind that I should be keeping in mind, as it can be easy to forget stuff that you once knew. :) So, hopefully it offers some value there, as a reference, even for those with experience.

    Thanks again,

    intradox and Brandon Sheley like this.
  11. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    Hi Patrick, I skimmed through most of the book and I found it very well compiled. You have clearly put in a lot of effort in it and it shows. The great thing about this book is that it lists all options in one place which can be really useful for someone who hasn't much experience with monetization. Most of the stuff you mention we have experimented over the several years of running forums. I was about to dismiss your e-book as one of countless other free crappy ebooks until I spotted your section on vertical and horizontal Ad networks. The fact that you mention Net Shelter, IDG (both of which we run on different sites) shows that you have been there and done that! (y)

    You missed just one point (or perhaps I missed it in my speed reading) which would be monetizing the newsletters and emails which get sent. Newsletters and emails which are going to be sent any way offer a great opportunity for potential sponsors.
    iFroggy and CyclingTribe like this.
  12. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Hey Sadik,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. We did mention the possibility of advertising in email newsletters, very briefly, but didn't go into detail on them specifically, just because I felt it would be largely repeating what we had already discussed in that chapter. No worries, in any case. You are right that they offer additional opportunities to monetize!

    I'm glad that you found a reason not to dismiss it in the very first chapter. :) Haha. It's funny that you mention that, and "free crappy ebooks," though.

    One of the things that I pondered with this project was how to distinguish it from the sea of free ebooks. Most free business ebooks tend to be marketing teasers or gimmicks. I'm a professional writer, a published author and I take writing seriously. I have been managing online forums for 12 years and take online community very seriously, as well. I've never written a free ebook or white paper prior to this. So, my approach to it was that of a "regular" (whatever that means) book, with the same diligence as I put into my first book. Even though Skimlinks sponsored it, I had full, unquestioned editorial control. I decided every word in the book and who was allowed to contribute those words. It was the only way that I would have worked and they wanted that, too.

    Beyond just me and my approach, the book was in development for 9 months. It was professionally indexed and a second set of (experienced editor) eyes went over the writing, helping me to tighten it. I would guess that these facts are not true for a lot of free ebooks. So, I'm thrilled that it showed in your reading.

    When you offer something for free, people sometimes view it in a certain light. If they pay for it, they assign value to it. If it is free, they don't. We discussed selling it, for this reason, so it wouldn't simply be dismissed by people with free ebook overload. But, in the end, we decided to offer it for free.

    In any case, I don't want people to think "oh, that was good - for a free book." I want them to think "that was great - I would have paid for that." I think this is important because your time is worth more than that. Even if you don't pay for something, if you spend time on it, you are giving something up because your time has worth.

    Thanks again,

    Brandon Sheley, ArnyVee and Sadik B like this.
  13. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    Interesting, I was recently approached by Skimlinks (I'm using Viglink) and wasn't sure if I should try Skimlinks for a while to see if I can maybe increase revenue. I'm going to read this book to see if it can convince me or learn anything new.
    iFroggy likes this.
  14. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Thanks for checking it out, dutchbb. I appreciate it. While I love Skimlinks, I will say that this book will not attempt to convince you to use them over VigLink.

    When Skimlinks approached me with the idea for this project, they made an interesting pitch. They said that they wanted me to mention their one and only competitor, VigLink, in the book, right alongside them. So, when you read it, you'll see that when Skimlinks is introduced into a chapter - there is VigLink, right next to them. Neither is recommended over the other. They wanted a truly independent work. As I said above, I had complete, unquestioned editorial control and final say on the work. But, I should add that there was only one requirement that they placed on me: that I mention VigLink in the work.

    So, to summarize: they paid for the work to be created, but agreed to have no say over the final work and to simply publish whatever I turned into them, except that they insisted that I include their one and only competitor. I think that is pretty crazy. I don't know if there are a lot of companies out there that would want such a thing. But, I think there is some integrity there.

    Thanks again,

    dutchbb likes this.
  15. ArnyVee

    ArnyVee Well-Known Member

    I use Viglink as well and haven't really looked elsewhere as it has been doing okay for me. But, I am always looking for ways to improve myself and my communities. So, I'm definitely going to read Patrick's books :)
    iFroggy likes this.
  16. ShadyX

    ShadyX Well-Known Member

    It looks to be a very interesting book, when I get some spare time (hopefully soon) I will download it, read it and leave my feedback.

    I found my own success in monetizing my forum and websites but it would be really interesting to see what someone like you has to say on the matter and hopefully expand my success further :)
    iFroggy likes this.
  17. dojo

    dojo Active Member

    Well, I read it and it's REALLY GOOD. You should also read Managing Online Forums, same author. really good stuff.
    yavuz and iFroggy like this.
  18. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Thank you, ArnyVee, ShadyX and Ramona. :) I appreciate it. Congrats on all of your success.

    Like you, I am always looking to grow and learn further. I've been doing it for 12 years, but there are always things to learn. I learn from my members, I learn from situations I face, I learn from conversations like this, I learn from books, blogs, fellow practitioners, conference talks... wherever I can. It's a constant process. :)

    Thanks again,

  19. intradox

    intradox Well-Known Member

    I've read the first 20 pages or so and have so far learned a bit and came out surprised by the clarity and overall quality of a free ebook. Was hesistant to check it out as many free "ebooks" are mearly selling pieces but this is actually quality content.

    Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed resource on forum monetization!
    iFroggy likes this.
  20. iFroggy

    iFroggy Member

    Thank you, intradox. That is very kind of you to say.


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