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Four Ways to Make Money Other than Ads

Owning a community can be a pretty fun experience, but you can't do it without revenue. Revenue can come from all kinds of places, but most people decide to stick with just ads and premium subscriptions. While this does well for some, others may find that what they are making from ads just isn't enough and that they need more. Well, here is four ways to earn some additional revenue from your forum!

1. Affiliate Programs

If advertisements aren't working for you then you may need to start looking for a couple affiliate programs. What are affiliate programs? Affiliate programs are sales arrangements where a company offers website owners payment in exchange for bringing in customers. I find these to sometimes work better than advertisements because you get to pick products you trust and want to promote. Also, since the products you promote are very niche specific there is more of a chance for your user to be interested. While adsense can do a great job of narrowing down interests, most of the ads still manage to be things users aren't interested in. With affiliate programs, you get to pick the products you like, and know your users will like. There are many affiliate programs out there, and even your web host has one. Most companies have an affiliate program, so just look around and see what you would like to promote on your forum.

2. Sell Your Own Product

If you're not into selling other people's products, then why not sell your own? Manufacturing is pretty cheap these days, and it's not hard to get shirts, pens, and all sorts of other goods made. If you don't want to make physically goods, then you can still write an ebook and sell that. Obviously different forums have to do different things, but I know every niche has some sort of product that can be sold. If you already have a forum with 200 members, then why not pitch them a product?

3. Sell Services

If you own a relatively large forum, then you can use that to your advantage to sell consulting services, or maybe even your writing skills. Depending on the niche there are different services you can sell. Be creative, and try selling any service you think someone might be interested in.

4. Sell Special Colors, Ribbons and Forum Functions

Most of you probably have a premium membership available on your forum, but why not try something different? Every forum has a premium membership available and most of them suck! So instead of selling a premium membership at a monthly rate, why not let users build their own membership of sorts. Have different colors, ribbons, sections, and forum functions available for purchase every month. This way each user gets a different look, and a different membership setup; making memberships unique and more exclusive. It also makes you look a bit more creative than you just trying to sell a normal premium membership!


If you're struggling to make ends meet with just ads, then try out of some of the revenue making methods above. Almost everyone can try the methods above, so don't hold back. So, do you know of any other ways to earn some revenue?

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