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How to make money from your website forums?

A forum is an excellent addition to any website, as it gives users a place to congregate and get involved in discussions. It’s a place where you can get a real idea about what the users of your site want, which in turn can help you create a site that is better suited to the people who regularly visit there. The forum may end up being one of the busiest pages on your website, which represents a solid opportunity for passive income. There are many different ways to monetize your website forum, but let’s take a look at 5 of the best:

Display Advertising

When designing the layout of your forum, you should consider leaving some space for a few different types of ads. Banner ads are always a good idea, as they can easily be placed along the top or bottom of the page, and can even be added to the sidebar. As you would with every other type of ad on your site, just make sure that the content is relevant to whatever it is your website is about. A good adserver can help you manage your advertisers, serve and track ads.

Sponsored and Featured Posts

You may be surprised to learn that many of the articles you read online are actually sponsored posts created by an advertiser. There are many advertisers out there who will pay good money to have an expanded area of space to talk about the product or service that they are offering, and a full post on your forum certainly fits that bill. This must be something that your visitors are interested in, and it will help generate a higher level of discussion. This is an area where everyone wins if it is done correctly.

Contests

Who doesn’t like an opportunity to get something for free? Everybody loves a freebie, and contests will get a lot of people to engage and get involved in your forum. Attracting advertisers who are willing to give away prizes in the form of a contest is a great way for them to get exposure, and for you to make a little bit of extra income. If you can make contests a regular feature, with great prizes, you can almost guarantee that visitors will return on a very regular basis.

Surveys and Polls

Advertisers can learn a lot from market research, and one of the most effective ways to quickly gather information is through quick surveys and polls. If you come across a website that has one of these posted, you have probably found that they are hard to ignore. People love to give their opinion any chance that they get, and adding surveys and polls to your forum is another great way to engage your users while also earning money from advertisers.

Premium Sections

It’s not every user who wants to see ads or sponsored pages, so rather than have them go elsewhere, why not give them an opportunity to access an area of the forum that is free from all of that? You can charge a small fee to grant users access to a premium section that is totally ad free.

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