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Author Topic: Build your members before building your bank!  (Read 3365 times)

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Offline InsertName

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Build your members before building your bank!
« on: October 11, 2009, 02:15:08 pm »
I'm quite new to this forum, and have found it VERY helpful tweaking my own, but I must say I have seen alot of people with forums eager to make money.

Firstly, I would suggest that if you have only just created your forum... Don't even contemplate trying to create a revenue stream, your members will not appreciatte being asked to donate or pay as soon as the forum has opened, afterall, the boards will be empty and they will be paying for nothing.

Secondly, The 8 or so forums that I saw that made me decide to post this, had donate pretty much as their main focus, taking a prominent place on the forum, instead of in a small, side block. If potential new members see this, i would assume that they would be put off and go looking elsewhere for a more "information" driven forum as oppose to newly built ones with a cash hungry owner.

And Thirdly, my one real pet peeve with these forums...

"Please make a donation to help toward domain costs" etc etc

YOU purchased the domain, the free version works pretty damn well!



Once your forums have a large base of RETURNING members, only then would i even consider asking for a small amount, and if you have provided a good service, this small amount multiplied by a great member list would infact pay off more than asking for $ as soon as you open your forum!

Offline LaundryLady

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 02:57:07 pm »
Very good points made.


And I Play:  Mafia-Mandemz

Offline Tretispker

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 07:40:09 pm »
Exactly.. Whats the point of donating... They need members to make posts.. and then once they reach 100 000 posts ( if they can ) then a free domain from SMF for free himself. Then it will work.

http://theblueforum.smfforfree3.com/index.php

For all your needs :)

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Offline ady

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 01:28:24 am »
Forum Url: www.freespirittrikers.eu
QUOTE "I'm quite new to this forum, and have found it VERY helpful tweaking my own, but I must say I have seen alot of people with forums eager to make money."

There is nothing wrong with making money from members on your forum if you use their donations properly and they can see something for it.
I run a SMF for free forum but decided the free domain name was too long winded (.smfforfree3.com), so bought myself .eu for .97p/year.................this is my first cost. I then decided to let the 18 members that I have on my forum, decide for themselves whether they like the site better with or without the adverts, by the way of a poll, explaining that to remove these ads would involve buying "ad removal credits" (25000 for $7).
The result of the poll was that they would gladly donate and help towards the costs of the ad removal credits, in fact one member actually offered to pay for 2 years worth of credits. Hence I installed a donate button linked to Paypal. Obviously there were a couple of non active members who didn't even vote let alone donate anything, but they will still be getting some (read on) of the advantages for free.
My other expense for this forum was the "extra Storage" addon, which was needed, as what you actually get is a bit on the lean side. The cost of this addon is $30, again it would have had to come out of my pocket. So again I explained to my members the situation and added that, because of their generous donations previously, we still have enough money to pay this one off fee, which is what I did.
So to sum up here, I think adding a donate button for your members to use should they wish to do so, doesn't do any harm. They can choose to ignore it or use it, the choice is entirely theirs. I also think that if your forum is seen by your members as being a good one, and they are enjoying themselves on it, they will as in my case, freely donate a small amount, sometimes a one off payment and sometimes a monthly payment.

So what happens to the rest of the donated money? Well, that goes to buying things for the club like a 3 ring camping burner and gas bottle, as an example. This can then be used by all members when we exhibit our trikes at shows and rallies. Now this is where the members start to gain. You see, at these shows and rallies  coffee's and tea's cost the earth, but by bringing our own set up (paid for by the members who are now going to use it), they only pay half the amount that the burger vans charge and so save money. Not only that, the club is still making money on the coffee and tea, which again gets added to the club funds, and is available to purchase something else.
The something else in this case..........."Club Badges"..............and guess what? there is enough in the account to pay for these, and so all the members who donated will get one free of charge, (well not free of charge exactly, if you get my drift, because in a sense they have already paid for them). Those who didn't donate however will have to pay for one if they want one.

So I don't think having a donate button placed where everybody can see it is such a bad idea. You'll be suprised how many members (if they like the content of your site) will only be too willing to donate a small amount to help towards the Domain costs etc etc. ;D

Of course, all forums are different and have different types of members. Some will be local club members like mine who live mostly in the same county, and some will have a world wide members list, where buying a coffee maker for their members to use, might not be the best way forward, but whichever type of forum you have, small donations towards the running costs do help (in my opinion) to create a better looking forum, and a nice looking forum tends to keep members coming back.

Well that's my 2p's worth! Now to make a coffee on my camping stove. ;D ;D  

« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 02:16:12 am by ady »
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Offline Suki The Saluki

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 03:12:27 pm »
That's what I was thinking when I saw about three new forums asking for donations to use the new boards, the only thing that's going to make you have donations and to get members you need to work hard and create a good forum. Most of the forums I have been on that ask for donations have badly set out codes that don't work and boards that don't fit in with the whole forum.

To get donations you cant sit back and relax thinking you will get them, you will need to work hard for a good few months even years to receive donations. I have had my forum up for 2 years and still not a single donation.

Offline InsertName

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 03:33:44 am »

Offline ady

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 03:43:44 am »
She put 16 of these out in the forums. I've reported it to the moderators.
What do they get out of doing things like this  :tickedoff: :tickedoff:
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Offline Nutz

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010, 06:39:04 am »
It's a bot, ady, which will post in any forum that a poster posts an url in. Check out the 16 posts and you'll see any url in that thread will trigger it.

Offline ady

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 09:07:24 am »
It's a bot, ady, which will post in any forum that a poster posts an url in. Check out the 16 posts and you'll see any url in that thread will trigger it.
Cheers for that info Nutz.
Does that mean these bots can post on my forum, as I haven't had any yet.
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Offline Nutz

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 09:34:40 am »
Only if 'it' registers. Captcha (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) prevents automated registrations
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 09:38:31 am by Nutz »

Offline Didnt--Do--It5

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Re: Build your members before building your bank!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 02:38:36 pm »
No point in seeing a donate button untill like 300 members for a new domain such as .com or .net even .org
Not going to say all the 5k domains out there.

I never going to put one up, no points.  Also 1 member and I rarely see him.  Different time zones lOL!
Derp a Derp

 

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