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WEB/DIGITAL Question for MJ, Tom, or others with experience

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by kidgas, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. kidgas
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    kidgas Contributor

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    I have an idea for a forum like this (but totally unrelated topic). My questions are:

    How much did it cost to get up and running? As you may know, I recently started a blog and haven't spent anything yet but time. I don't want to put a lot of money into it but plan to use blogging revenues to get the forum going.

    What does it cost to keep running, hosting, etc?

    How much revenue are you getting from ads and sponsors? I want to know if it will become self-sustaining.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Luke12321
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    Luke12321 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Check out this site: Admin Zone Forums

    Can you design a message board that will make you money? Yes! Forums, blog, e-commerce site….all of these vehicles are what you make of them. As far as cost, I have visited TAZ and I would say you are looking at just a few hundred bucks.
     
  3. Jorge
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    Jorge Contributor

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    I would check for PhpBB, its free and open source. There's lots of themes out there for free so you can modify them. There are paid themes off course.

    You would also need hosting, I use dreamhost and so far so good. Others in this forum use aptohosting with success also.
     
  4. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Ditto on above ... couple hundred bucks and your in business. The 2 best boards are vBulletin and Invision PB. phpBB is FREE and is very good as well.

    Your cost will be:

    1) Hosting
    2) Board license (if you go with vB or IPB)

    This will amount to a few hundred dollars per year. If your forum grows, you will need to upgrade on hosting eventually.

    Good luck!
     
  5. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    At the moment, I am not actively pursuing revenue but this site is already in the black due to Apto's sponsorship (Thanks Tom) and the Google AdSense links. You will need about $25/mo revenue to pay for a board which shouldn't be too difficult. One sponsor could pay for that. Of course, the key is getting traffic -- if no one visits, no one will sponsor.
     
  6. kidgas
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    kidgas Contributor

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    Thanks for the responses so far. Another question: what is board license?? (and vB/IPB?)

    Thanks again. It certainly sounds do-able. For Tom: what does Apto charge for it's services since I think I might need some help doing some of this.
     
  7. Jorge
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    Jorge Contributor

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    They are the platforms used to run a forum.

    PhpBB is open source, so its free
    vB is a commercial (and more professional in my opinion) solution
     
  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    The license allows you to use their software and continually get upgrades.

    Every year you pay it. Currently vb is $160.
     
  9. yveskleinsky
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    yveskleinsky Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Do you find that there are certain topics that lend themselves to a forum format compared to others?
     
  10. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Topics that are all consuming in time and lifestyle and highly integrated within its target audience are worth discussing and can justify forums:

    Some examples:
    1) Hobbies (XBOX, Hunting, Fishing, Music)
    2) Sports (Both participation and viewed - NFL, Lacrosse)
    3) Fitness, Diets, Health
    4) Illness (Diabetes suffers, fitness buffs)
    5) Career Niches (home inspectors forum, mech engineer forum, Webmasters, marketing etc.)

    Discussable topics must have a large enough market and be highly integrated into those lives. For example, a forum for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) would be a great topic for discussion since its topic is highly integrated into the lives of its target. People with this disease live it everyday.

    Conversely, a Forum that discusses "How to pick the best audio equipment" would be a poor forum foundation since it isn't highly integrated into the lives of its target. They don't live this topic everyday. The deviation of that would be a a forum for audiophiles which is more suitable target.

    So in its simplest catch-all, ask yourself this: Does my target audience live this topic every day as well as 1000's of others? Is it deeply integrated into their life? If so, its probably a good topic for a forum.
     
  11. yveskleinsky
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    yveskleinsky Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Great breakdown of what works and why! Thanks!
     
  12. aptohosting
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    aptohosting Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Sorry for chiming in so late!! We have just brought 3 new Quad Cores online this week, and I was helping set them up.

    I would recommend if you are going to do a forum, to purchase our Medius plan. This is a $12.95 plan that will come with enough space and bandwidth to accomadate hundreds of members. The only other cost is the domain name which is $15.00.

    If you purchase the medius plan with a domain before this weekend. I will set up your forum/site FREE of charge. In addition to getting your forum online, I will help you out with SEO, learn how to use cpanel, and how to monitor your traffic. You can ask any of my clients on this forum or anywhere else, that I am with ya through every step of the process until you are comfortable.

    You will get my direct phone #, which you can contact me at 24/7/365.
    If you have any questions or concerns, just email me at tom@aptohosting.com or call me at 919-923-1176.

    Look forward to working with you!

    Tom C.
    www.aptohosting.com
     
  13. M-M
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    M-M New Contributor

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    ^^Yes, he is with you all the way. I know, because I have bombarded him with questions and he's been very helpful and patient.
     

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