How much money can you make from discourse forum?

(Charles Wilmott) #1

Can you make a good income from a discourse forum?

I know it depends on your niche but I like to know if it is possible?

Many thanks

Old topic containing newly deleted post still appears at the top
Is there anybody being able to profit from a website based on discourse
(Lisa Wess) #2

The tool you use isn’t the deciding factor on income for any forum or community.

So yea, it’s totally possible - but the software itself isn’t a major factor in general.

(Kevin P. Fleming) #3

All of it. Also, how long is a piece of string?

(Charles Wilmott) #4

I’m just wondering can it earn enough to pay the hosting cost through ad senes?

(Kevin P. Fleming) #5

The answer, as already pointed out, has nothing at all to do with the software itself.

(Charles Wilmott) #6

Thanks I’ll just have to try it and see what happens

(Charles Wilmott) #7

I think profit from forum comes down to a few things now

  1. Community size
  2. Affiliates. You can’t really make a living from adsense money is to low
  3. Time you spend on community forum management

This is the best formula I could think of so far

Community Size divide by 2% conversion rate X Affiliates Commission divide by the time spent working on the forum = Profit - Hosting Fee = Profit Margin

If you we’re making money from adsense for example at the moment for every 1,202 adsense views I get I make £1.95. If 10,000 people visit my forum a day. I make £16.22 x 30 days = £486.68 per month

If you have 10,000 people visiting forum a day. How much management time would
that require? I don’t know?

I don’t think there be many people making a full time living from their discourse forum.
Apart from hosting companies or web companies.

But if discourse makes a very good self automated community with very little community management time to maintain the forum. then that would be really good!

(mountain) #8

I guess I’ll bite here. But please know I have limited knowledge on this.

Why would someone open a forum for profit? I am trying to figure this out; I can’t wrap my head around it but I know it’s probably just me. I am guessing that’s because all web projects I get involved in are for love of the subject. Any money I make from amazon links or donations go right to hosting. I use zero ads so the end experience makes members want to come back. I give the option for members to treat me with something from my wish list, but completely optional. I can understand eventually doing it with profit in mind if it becomes a full-time job and you need to pay bills and living expenses.

I hope I’m not deviating from the topic. But I agree with those above. It’s not the tools themselves, but how you use them. Any forum software used in a creative way will do what you want. Macguyver was onto something!

(Jeff Atwood) #9

I don’t know if profit is always the goal; sometimes they just want to cover the hosting fees, such as $20/month or what have you. I’m sure anything extra is nice as well.

Ad hosted has not been a priority for us, or our customers, to date – but as we push into lower price points over time (and what if there was a “free” option) it might be.

(Charles Wilmott) #10

One forums I know is having to do a car boot sell to pay for their hosting costs because
their forums traffic keep’s on growing and growing.

But their not a product based niche.

It would be really nice if you loved community you’ve built and be able to work on your community full time because it can pay for your living costs too! :blush:


Whether a forum is for profit or simply for sustenance, ad placement is an important question. I’m someone very familiar with running Vbulletin forums, and I get how those work with ad placement be it sold ads, adsense or even sponsored forums for companies who want to support/focus on specific forum sections, etc. What I’m looking for now are some sites that implement various ad models or someone who might have some experience with that in order to understand options of utilizing to this platform.

(Spirit) #14

Great idea to use excess material and convert / exchange it into cash / hosting fees (which community if you can say, please?)

I am currently living my life close to these principles by not accepting ANY activities I don’t like - I may have started privileged / well off and just riding it out whilst adding back what perhaps money is rather quick / excellent at taking away…

(AstonJ) #15

I hope this does’t happen.

One of the main reasons we did not use IPB back in the day is because they had a free hosted version. When we choose a forum platform we want it to be a premium product, something that differentiates us from those who may not be as serious, professional or experienced - usually the type of people who opt for ‘free hosted’ versions.

Break away forums can be a problem - disgruntled or opportunistic members (and sometimes mods) who PM your members telling them about their ‘new’ forum promising them the world (modship) and before you know it a bulk of your regular members have gone. This happens - I have seen it mentioned lots of times in the private areas on admin forums. Breakaways being able to use the same platform for ‘free’ just makes the problem worse.

This is also one of the reasons why I think allowing mods to see emails is a bad idea.