10 Incredible Benefits of Creating a Forum
Running a forum is an excellent way of creating a community. It can be a place for people to discuss issues, share knowledge, and talk about you, your product, or your service. In the long-term, providing a way for your users to be part of a community can prove to be invaluable for:
- Improving communication
- Creating a new revenue stream
- Search engine optimization
- Viral promotion
- Improving collaboration
- Customer/visitor retention
- Customer satisfaction
- Brand awareness
- Customer support
- Building trust
Forums generally get very high rankings on search engines because they're filled with content all related to the same general topic. Search engines love this because it is exactly what they are looking for. Forums will typically help boost your website's ranking in the search engines as well since there is a link to your website on your forum.
As your forum grows and becomes a community with high quality content and a passionate group of users, visitors will return regularly to learn more, ask questions, and connect with their friends on the forum.
Forums are the best way to connect with your users to truly understand their needs, get feedback, answer questions, and build relationships.
As an added benefit, monetizing your forum can create an entirely new source of income. Some monetization strategies include:
- Subscription Fee - You can charge your users a monthly or one-time fee for access to features, your entire forum, or select categories. More information
- Advertising - Place advertisements, such as Google Adsense, on your forum or RSS feed to monetize your traffic. Some ad networks can earn you $2.00 CPM (per 1,000 page views) or more, allowing you to earn money from your forum. More information
- Donations from users - You may be able to raise a substantial amount of money by asking your users to make a small donatation. More information
- Affiliate Programs - As the forum owner, you are a trusted expert in your field, so you can recommend products and services as an affiliate to your visitors directly on your forum or via rare and well-planned emails.
- Sponsors - You can contact other companies in your industry that may be interested in sponsoring your forum for a fee. In return you could promote their product or service and place their logos in prominent areas of your forum.