What are the top earning online communities

(Carl Sonic) #1

I know it’s not really possible to know the exact revenue of a community unless you own it but a rough idea of the income of some online communities would be okay.Also the monetization strategies they use.I use adsense and it’s really not ideal ( you can’t make a living out of it).I’m trying to evaluate if it’s possible to make a living out of a successful online community.

(Sarah Hawk) #2

It is, but you have to get lucky. :simple_smile:

The person you need to talk to here is @Patrick – he’s the monetization guru. Firstly, check out his book Monetizing Online Forums.

Charging a subscription or selling sponsored ads are probably your most feasible options.

(Jeff Pressman) #3

Is this thread dead? I was wondering the same thing myself. I read Patrick’s ebook and am now at least familiar with all of the different monetization strategies. But I wanted to know how much can someone make off of a successful forum that is a business onto itself – That is, it’s not an extension of an existing brand.

I know this is a very general question whose answer is based on many variables, but is there some sort of guide that gives ranges or examples of the different revenue possibilities with various types and size communities?

(Sarah Hawk) #4

I have no issue with reactivating old threads here if they continue to be valuable. :slight_smile:

The person to talk to here is @FloV – Flo’s community at planet-liebe.de has been his sole source of income for the last 6 years.

(Jeff Pressman) #5

Thanks. I’ll reach out to him. Some interesting things on that site :slight_smile:. I assume he speaks English because the site is in German.

Do you know anyone else who supports him/herself with a community?

(Sarah Hawk) #6

His written English is great – we’ve never spoken in person. I’ll call him into this topic.

Steve at @seniorhousingforum also makes a full-time income from his platform. And @Patrick is always a good one to hear from on this topic.

Also check out Rob Ludlow at BackYardChickens. Here’s a video on how he built it.

(Steve Moran) #7

My today platform is only sort of a community in the traditional sense, but it is my full-time job. I run a B 2 B site on the senior living industry www.seniorhousingforum.net. The content is free for readers. I have a group of sponsors (partners) that support the website. The key value is a content/thought leadership article we write and publish for each of the partners. They do also get a small banner ad and a partner page that helps their reach.

I am also getting ready to launch a paid subscription leadership community that I expect over time to grow larger than my main site today. It will have a more traditional community site look and feel.

I would be glad to answer other questions you might have.


(Joe Velez) #8

There are many forum sites generating $1 million plus. But, these sites are large. They have been around for at least a decade.

Large sites are moving to AdX from Adsense. More control over price floors on Adsense ads, etc. I am currently seeing a 30% increase in revenue (vs same time last year) and that’s with only 5% of slots optimized.

These days the new thing is Header Bidding. It’s claimed that most users will see 20-30% increase in revenue with this change.

Regardless of which ad publishing platform you use you should always include direct sales. Sell ad space, membership, products, services, etc.

(Sarah Hawk) #9

Can you explain what this is?

(Darren Gough) #10

Check out AVForums too. Stuart created it from scratch and has managed to find a nice balance of advertising, sponsorship and income without ruining or biasing the user experience or trust level.