How to Monetize on a local Motorcycle Rider Group Forum?

PeterBPeterB subscriber Posts: 6
Hi guys,
 
First let me say that I am very thankful I found this site. Its great to actually discuss things with people who think like you when everyone else around you (friends, family) think totally different about life. So thanks a lot.
 
So, I have been thinking about starting an online forum for motorcycle riders in my state for quite some time. This past week I finally sat down and built a forum. It cost me nothing but $10 for the domain name, the weekend and the setup/design was free becuase I did it myself.
 
Right now my forum is the only one in my state of its kind. It is a place for riders in my state to meet new people and riding buddies, organize group rides and events, post video, or just talk about anything they want.
 
 I have no members yet (except some local friends) becuase I haven`t released it to the public yet becuase I am still working out some bugs. I am ghosting a lot of posts right now and am making "ghost" members who have conversations with each other. It feels a little weird having a conversation with yourself but this will build up a sense of an established community for new visitors.
 
I have a few good plans to drive traffic and get people to sign up and start posting but I`d like to come up with a way to monetize on this online community and make it different than most forums.
 
I was thinking of selling clothing and merchandise with our logo on it and eventually getting local businesses to advertise on the forum etc.
 
Can anyone else suggest some unique ways that I could make this forum not like any other forum and generate some revenue from it?
 
Thanks a lot.
PeterB5/28/2008 2:25 PM

Comments

  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    peter,
     
    novel idea. i like your thought process and you have certainly identified a niche you are comfortable with and know well.  i highly recommend establishing a niche concept based website that focuses on your target audience.  then i recommend incorporating your forum into your website. 
     
    you need traffic and nothing beats organic search engine traffic that is free.  i cannot emphasize enough how important it is to develop a website and not just a stand alone forum.  with a website, you can easily incorporate a blog and an ecommerce store as well where you sell your goods.  you can start rss feeds and newsletters/article lists so that you can continue to stay in touch with your audience. 
     
    a forum in and by itself is limiting in its capabilities.  recently i`ve had some interesting discussions with people on creating a blog vs. a website and my conclusion has consistently been going with a website and then incorporating other mediums within it.  the same goes for forums. i just think you have much more flexibility and capability with a website focused on your subject, not to mention the google adsense revenue that you can generate as a result of having such a targeted audience.
     
    good luck to you and let us know of your progress and success!
  • PeterBPeterB subscriber Posts: 6

    peter, novel idea. i like your thought process and you have certainly identified a niche you are comfortable with and know well.  i highly recommend establishing a niche concept based website that focuses on your target audience.  then i recommend incorporating your forum into your website.   you need traffic and nothing beats organic search engine traffic that is free.  i cannot emphasize enough how important it is to develop a website and not just a stand alone forum.  with a website, you can easily incorporate a blog and an ecommerce store as well where you sell your goods.  you can start rss feeds and newsletters/article lists so that you can continue to stay in touch with your audience.   a forum in and by itself is limiting in its capabilities.  recently i`ve had some interesting discussions with people on creating a blog vs. a website and my conclusion has consistently been going with a website and then incorporating other mediums within it.  the same goes for forums. i just think you have much more flexibility and capability with a website focused on your subject, not to mention the google adsense revenue that you can generate as a result of having such a targeted audience. good luck to you and let us know of your progress and success!
    Thanks webjunky. I have thought about this but Im not sure what I could base the website on? Make it an eCommerce store? Info site? The audience for my forum is people in my state who ride motorcycles. If I started an ecommerce site selling say....motorcycle parts, would people who dont live in my state feel like they should purchase from my site because they are not "part of the community"? I thought that I would get my feet wet by starting a forum and see what ideas I would come up with for a site. I`ve had a pretty unique idea the other day that would incorprate me doing some V-logging on my motorcycle and tieing that in with what I would be selling on my site. I would be promoting and advertising the products on my site in an entertaining and inforamtive way.
  • abrilabril subscriber Posts: 0


    ·       

    Hi, the last day I found a new webpage called vismomedia, there you can host your videos and make extra money. Visit (vismomedia.com) sounds nice!
     
    Abril
  • bestclickbankguidebestclickbankguide subscriber Posts: 0
    Since you mentioned that your forum is still new, the last thing you should think of is Monetizing..
    Focus on giving great contents and attracting loyal readers and contributors to your website. Such policy will ensure a consistent growth over the long term.Create a USP different from other related forums.
    Frankly speaking, it is not easy to monetize from the forum users. They are not there to buy something but mainly for discussion..
    Most of the forum owners choose the advertisement approach. That is after your forum has grown big.
    What you can do now is to tie down special coupon discounts with your related vendors. And also introduce good useful products that has affiliate programs.
  • ArcherTCArcherTC subscriber Posts: 1
    I disagree with bestclickbankguide.  Now is a fine time to brainstorm about monetizing the site *if* your purpose in creating the site is to derive income from it, however modest.  It is *because* you are thinking about the money that you determine from the get-go that you are going to deliver a quality forum that would attract both fans and advertisers.
    That said, I also agree with bestclickbankguide that this is not easy.  To quote Shawn Hogan who wrote "Making Money with Forums": I wouldn’t suggest starting a forum and expecting it to make money in a
    few months. Growing a forum can take considerable time and personal
    effort so if you don’t have the time, energy or money to make it
    successful, you’ll be better off blogging for money."
    Google "monetize your forum" to find that Shawn Hogan article and other tips.  Best of luck!
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