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Since we are in the age of technologies and websites, everything has become more ephemeral and somewhat remote. People are looking for a faster, easier and more dynamic way with the help of the internet, and they want to make money from it. That is why we put together some ideas on how to monetize a forum and make money online.
Before starting, here is a brief definition of what a forum is. An internet forum is a site where several people interact with each other on a certain topic asynchronously, thus creating a thread of conversations. A quite viable mechanism for those people who want to take advantage of it and need extra money.
Therefore, in this article we are going to talk about the different types of forums that can be created, depending on the taste and inclinations of each one, and how we could go about starting to monetize it. Let us begin.
Types of Forums
There are different types of forum that you can choose depending on the audience you want to target. There are discussion forums, virtual spaces where ideas are discussed and doubts are clarified, in addition, arguments are developed and the acquisition of knowledge is confirmed.
You can use a forum for any activity that requires debate or discussion. The most important thing in its use is to specify very clearly what each space is used for and correctly moderate the communication dynamics.
And we can also decide how we want users to participate in it. Let’s see the example:
The public forum is one where everyone can participate without the need to register. They can read and send messages freely, without any restrictions. In general, this type of forum is great if you’re just starting out, as there are more chances for people to participate in it.
The protected forum is unalterable for unregistered users. That is, if you want to send messages, you must first register. This type of forum may be more recommendable when the topic to be discussed is very sensitive or when only the opinion of a certain number of users is required or certain requirements are met.
The private forum is only accessible to users registered in one of the following groups: administrator, moderator, and member. To have access to this type of forum the administrator must allow you to enter.
Create a Forum & Build Your Own Online Community
Once we have learned the different forums that we can focus on, we can move on to the next step: How to create a forum? There are different ways to create it, since it can be a paid, free, expert or novice forum.
Fortunately, the Internet has an incredible variety of companies that support and facilitate the possibility of creating a free forum. Using a free forum creation service gives the new user the possibility of getting rid of programming problems, but they usually force the use of advertising on all web pages.
On the other hand, the installation of a forum on a server is usually the most chosen option by people who have basic knowledge of web programming. These forums are usually programated in PHP (Personal Home Page), Perl, ASP.NET or Java and work with CGI (Common Gateway Interface) or Java. Forum data is stored in a database or in text files. In this type of forum, the administrator is the one who must decide what options and features his forum will have, without the need for advertising, unless he wants it.
Some forum creation systems are: phpBB, XenForo, vBulletin, Invision power board, MyBB, SMF, YaBB, Ikonboard, JavaBB and others. Some CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Liferay include their own forums or integrate forums from other systems.
How to Create a Forum Website
After having collected this information, we will give you practical advice on how to create a forum. If you haven’t created one yet, the general recommendation would be to look at the free options for creating forums, such as MyBB. Many of them are more efficient and have a better reputation than other paid forum systems.
In its forums there are always people answering problems, it has a lot of plugins and designs. You will also see that modifying the design of the forums is very easy. And the codes are easy to understand, as well as their structure.
There is another important factor that is hosting. You can find many good hosting providers, and many comparisons on the Internet.
So well, how do I make money with a forum?
Earning money with a forum requires a lot of time and effort, particularly if you’re a novice webmaster. As a rule, beginners choose to put CPM advertising and exploit the announcement forum. It is not necessary, but you will have to be clever.
Most forums tend to have very general topics and are not very specific. If you already have your forum created and this is your case, unless you have many users and a lot of demand, it would be much more difficult for you to monetize.
As we mentioned before, it is more advantageous to define a theme for your forum, and in this way it is possible that other websites or brands are interested in your content and you can reach an agreement with them.
Join an Affiliate Program
Now let’s take a quick look at some resources that you can use regardless of the theme of your forum. You will need to sign up to Partner Network, while having an optional Adsense account.
Briefly, Partner Network from Admitad enables you to access 3.000+ brands worldwide while providing long-term partnership and development opportunities.
That is, suppose there is a high demand on your forum where people post their latest experiences after subscribing to an online entertainment platform.
If this platform is within the Admitad list, when someone clicks on that link and purchases something, you will get a commission.
Let’s clarify that the commission varies and depends on a certain advertiser, but believe me, it’s worth your attention. Just give it a try.
Also, if there is a platform that is in great demand but is not on the list, you can contact them and request that they include it, commenting on the reasons.
There are also other services, such as ConvertSocial monetization platform. That is, when you have a blog or channel you want to monetize, ConvertSocial enables you to collaborate with any of 100,000+ stores and brands in just one click. Creating a referral has never been easier.
All of this is automatic. Here you already have a sample of all the work that you would save, and although at the beginning it is all uphill, when your forum grows a little the panorama will change.
On the other hand, you have the well-known Adsense, it is a product of Google’s online advertising network. It helps publishers to earn revenue by placing ads on their websites. And they can be text, graphics or advanced interactive advertising.
There are many tutorials on the internet on how to use this app. But in this article you’ll find a quick tip on how to use your advertising and not pollute your forum.
You will get more out of these advertisements if you manage to place them at the top of your forum, so that it is the first thing that each user who enters there sees.
The double face of this situation is that it can only work with visiting users, since a recurring user will be so used to it that they will not notice it. The good thing about this is that you also have an option so that only visiting users can see it.
I Just Have to Advertise!
No no… earning money with a forum is more than just overloading it with advertisements.
In the early stages of your forum you will need many hours to be able to create topics and generate interesting debates. No one is going to do that job for you.
Start by moving the forum with topics that you know are of interest and that will generate responses.
Once you have been able to form your community, you are going to have to think about keywords. It may be a bit tedious at first, but it is the way in which you will be able to get ahead with your forum.
You will have to create themes thinking in searches. It’s not just about the content you create, but how you can encourage engagement so your users expand and improve your content.
There are many applications and websites that will facilitate this task, it is only a matter of researching and the words will begin to emerge.
Keep in mind that the words must be related to the topic you chose, perhaps it is something obvious but it is worth clarifying.
Security Is Important
As we mentioned before, to start monetizing a forum you need to add ads. But don’t flood it with them! It is very important to exercise some caution, as it can often be confused with spam.
In addition to the spam with which you can self-sabotage, there are also the irritating and well-known spammers. Basically, they are users who fill your forum with messages in a very uncomfortable way.
That at some point spammers arrive on your forum is almost inevitable. So below you’ll find tips to easily avoid it by adding security features to your forum.
- First you need to keep your software or plugin and theme up to date;
- You should also get an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate which is usually free;
- Add a password that is not easy to hack or guess (but should not be forgettable);
- Choose the secure hosting provider and pay attention to user access and administration privileges;
- Always remember to make a backup of your forum content;
- Make sure your web hosting service protects you against XSS (Cross Site Scripting) attacks.
We hope that these tips and data will help you to safely create content in your forum and a friendly interaction with your users.
Tips on How to Effectively Monetize a Forum
Coming almost to the end of this article, we’d like to give final tips and some last recommendations for the creation of your forum and the beginning of its monetization.
Going clean all the way we did, we should say that you must keep in mind what style and theme you want for your forum. It’s generally recommended that you look for current issues that are fashionable and trendy.
Once this is done, choose the provider and the system that you think is most convenient, remember that there are also good free offers. Although if you decide to pay for them, your results will probably be different and who says, more efficient.
Add advertising, it may be the fast track, but to get out of trouble and start with your monetization it will help you. Remember that you will not see results overnight, it can take time, and it requires patience.
Very important: do not invade with advertising your forum. As we mentioned, and keep in mind, it tends to create a lot of visual pollution and would normally scare off your users if you clutter your forum with ads. Be careful, smart, but be careful.
Be constant, interact with your visitors, make them participate, leave them their place and let them do it within your community. Find the approach that you think is correct, after all, it is your forum.
Monetize a Forum Conclusion
Creating a forum and learning how to monetize with it is not something that all people choose to do. Since it is something new, which not many dare to do for fear of failing.
Keep in mind that you will not see your results from one moment to the next (unless you are very lucky) but that doesn’t make you give up. Find your right audience depending on your style.
Also, be patient, everything comes in its own time and, at the end of the road, it ends up giving you very good results. But for that you need to be consistent and, more than anything, have confidence in their work.
We hope this article has helped those who are interested in starting down this path. Or that it has at least created some incentive for them to start doing it. It is not an easy thing to do, but sure is worth it once you start seeing your revenues go up.
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