How many users does one need to start seeing revenue?

Discussion in 'Generating Revenue' started by kelsdesj, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. kelsdesj

    kelsdesj Neophyte

    Hey guys! I'm a student intern for looking to learn about launching a forum for my internship. We are hoping to build a forum for a supportive community of musicians but I have a couple of questions before we are able to get the wheels turning.

    How many users does one need to start seeing revenue?


    How long does a forum typically run for before they start seeing profit?
  2. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Enthusiast

    How many users do you envisage joining?

    I think you will be waiting for a long, long time.
  3. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

    It also depends on what things people are willing to pay for.

    A general rule of business is don't expect a profit for 3 years.

    Also, if you're getting into the forum business for profit, it can be done obviously, but don't plan on it. A very busy religion forum I was on for years made a whole $6.11 per month on ad revenue. woot

    Without some fairly exclusive content someone is willing to pay for, it's a tough sell.

    LIke I could make a cooking and canning site today, and easily attract users, but they won't pay because an idiot and a little Google Fu can find a reasonable recipe, and YouTube is filled with demos on topics I'd cover.

    If I wanted to make money on my cooking cred I'd open a YouTube channel and set up Patreon for that.
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    There's no immediate relation between user count and revenue. As for business models, you can mix up and see what works for you.

    1. If you're going with user funding, you only need a few active users willing to keep donating a monthly 1$ or better on Patreon. It's coffeecup-cheap for anyone valueing your community.
    2. As for sponsors (stores, merchants - local preferably if your community is regional), you can sell them visibility on a timed basis (fixed sum for a month/year's worth of promotional placement - ideal for small sites. This option is surprisingly overlooked), in exchange for pageviews (needs visitors - difficult for new sites), or in a cut for sales they generate thanks to you (big potential - interesting if you your site features user-submitted or official reviews).

    A new forum needs a few month's worth of content first, before expecting visitors then participants. A frontpage with featured/recent nich-related content helps generate interest much sooner and secures a steady stream of content for visitors you're looking to convert into repeat visitors then participants.
  5. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

    How are your users generating revenue ?
    Unless you are charging to join, then they arent going to generate anything.

    The majority of forums are run for fun (or support) not profit, and they dont ever start seeing one.
  6. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    Clicking on ads would generate revenue.
  7. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

    Yes, but you dont need users for that, guests/visitors can do it.
  8. Tecca

    Tecca Fan

    One of my small sites earns around $400 monthly, passively. It only has 1k+ members, but it's the unique visitors that allow the site to generate revenue. Around 40k uniques per month.

    So by that math, it needs 10,000 unique visitors for every $100 it earns.

    Each niche is going to be different; some niches could make triple that amount with those visitors, some could make considerably less. A lot of it is dependent on advertisers and how much they pay per click, sale, etc.

    Forums are fairly hard to monetize, from my personal experience. It's doable, but the majority of your earnings would likely come from well-written articles tailored to your niche. Even using things like VigLink, Skimlinks, etc, that affiliate links that your users may post around the site probably won't earn much unless you have a tremendous amount of traffic. At that point, you're likely making much more money elsewhere and that's just side income for the site.
  9. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin

    It doesn't matter how many users you have, you need to know what people will pay for and then go for it.

    You can sell advertising, you can sell a service or run affiliate marketing campaigns. My forum in the siggy doesn't bring me any money right now (it's new), but it's main site brings about a grand in sponsored articles. So the forum is just another tool to bring in more traffic/influence for the main site.

    You'll be able to monetize properly once you get some decent traffic / DA / membership etc, depending on the metric that matters for your clients. Then you'll get people to pay to be featured there, to access certain resources, to get access in premium forum locations etc.
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