How Are You Generating Revenue from Your Online Community in 2011?

Posted by Patrick on February 14th, 2011 in Generating Revenue

I am planning a series of articles on monetizing your online community. So, I wanted to ask you: what are you doing to generate revenue from your community? What specific programs, networks and services are you using?

I’d like to hear about things that you have tried in the last year, what has worked, what hasn’t and what you’ve learned. From the biggest money makers to the smallest. I want to know about everything that you use.

Read More Worthwhile Online Advertising Marketplace for Online Communities

Posted by Patrick on September 30th, 2010 in Generating Revenue (BSA) is an online advertising marketplace. Their publicly searchable database of publishers includes over 2,300 manually approved websites of a generally high quality. The sites primarily fall somewhere in the technology and design categories, but they do have some sites that fall into other categories, such as music, gaming and more.

Some might consider them a smaller, more exclusive AdBrite. I played around with AdBrite, a long time ago, but never had any luck. But, I have had luck with BSA.

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How Two Individual Forums on SitePoint Became Two Independent, Self-Sustaining Businesses

Posted by Patrick on August 23rd, 2010 in Community Cultivation, Generating Revenue

I was a member of staff on the SitePoint Forums for many years (from July 15, 2001 through September 30, 2008, to be exact) and I now co-host the SitePoint Podcast. SitePoint is one of the largest web development communities in the world and I am proud of my affiliation with it.

SitePoint is an example I cite with some regularity as they are an interesting blueprint to follow when it comes to leveraging the power of community for bigger things and revenue opportunities beyond just the normal stuff.

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CONTEXTWEB (formerly ADSDAQ): An Ad Network That Allows You to Set the Price

Posted by Patrick on July 3rd, 2010 in Generating Revenue

CONTEXTWEB (formerly ADSDAQ) is an ad network with an interesting twist. They ask you to set the CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) rate that you want to receive and they pay you exactly that – and only that. Nothing more, nothing less. If they don’t have any ads to run where they can pay you that amount, then they will serve a default, sending the traffic to an ad network or creative of your choosing.

Many ad networks will offer you a CPM floor or a floating default where you can set a CPM and effectively say that you don’t want any advertisements below that rate. And then they will serve only ads that pay that price or higher. But, CONTEXTWEB is different because you receive exactly what you ask for for any ads they can serve.

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How Ad Servers Help You Generate More Revenue

Posted by Patrick on May 30th, 2010 in Generating Revenue
Straight as an Arrow
Creative Commons License photo credit:
las (used to be meeza 1)…cranky today…

Earlier this month, we discussed floating defaults and floor CPMs and how can add more money to your bottom line. But, relying on them alone is relying on the practice of daisy chaining – or serving all ads that one ad network can serve and then defaulting to the next network, until they can’t serve any ads you want and default to the next one and so on, until you reach the end of the chain or the end of your networks.

This forces you to allow the ad networks to serve as many qualifying ads as they can before moving on to the next network. But, what if another network could have given you a better rate on that last impression?

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Minimum CPMs, CPM Floors, Floating Defaults and How They Can Make You More Money

Posted by Patrick on May 1st, 2010 in Generating Revenue

The way that an advertising network generally works is that they serve as many paying ads as they possibly can and then they will serve what is called a default. The default is an image or advertisement (often times this is code for another ad network) that you specify for them to serve in the event that they run out of paying ads. This is extremely likely to happen – hence why it’s a good idea to align yourself with multiple quality ad networks.

The practice of placing ad networks one after another in this chain of defaults is sometimes called “daisy chaining.” While it may not be the best you can do, it is still far better than working with only one ad network and only generating revenue from the ads that they can sell because you are further maximizing your CPM (or cost per one thousand impressions).

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How Have You Tried to Make Money From Your Online Community? I Still Want to Know!

Posted by Patrick on March 15th, 2010 in Generating Revenue
Stacked Coins
Creative Commons License photo credit: f_trudeau

Back in January, I asked you how you made money with your online community. This was for an upcoming series of articles on all of the different ways to monetize an online community.

I’m happy to say that this series is coming along beautifully. I’ve talked to a number of different people, including those behind the scenes at some very large communities, and they have been kind enough to share all of their methods with me.

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How Do You Make Money From Your Online Forums?

Posted by Patrick on January 13th, 2010 in Generating Revenue

I’m planning a series on the many ways of generating revenue from your online forums. Before I get into this, however, I wanted to start by asking you: how are you making money from your online forums?

Please go into detail. For example, if you work with advertising networks, say which ones. If you work with an ad market place of some sort, say which one. Basically, if you use a company where other forums can sign up or request more information to join for themselves, I want to know the name of that company.

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Survey: Online Forum Contributors More Influential Online and Offline vs. Non-Contributors

Posted by Patrick on January 6th, 2010 in Generating Revenue, Thinking

postrelease-synovatePostRelease, the forums-based advertising platform, and research company Synovate have released the results of a survey aimed at determining the influence of people who contribute to online forums, as opposed to those that do not. They polled 1,000 citizens aged 18 and older in the lower 48 United States from November 19 through 23.

They found that one in five Americans contribute to an online forum and that those that contribute to online forums are far more likely to help a friend or family member make a purchasing decision, recommend a specific product, post reviews and ratings online, share advice offline and online, share links about new products, take an active role in organizing an offline event and more. For the highlights and exact percentages, see the table below.

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Skimlinks Announces Redirection Through Your Own Domain Name

Posted by Patrick on July 9th, 2009 in Generating Revenue

Skimlinks, a service that I reviewed in May, allows you to generate income from links posted on your site by checking to see if the site linked to has an affiliate program.

In my review, I noted that links posted on your site were redirected through the domain name, owned by Skimlinks. While understandable, the fact that all links were being redirected through a third party domain name could cause people to question the legitimacy or safety of the links, simply due to fear of the unknown.

I also mentioned that Skimlinks was planning to introduce a new feature that would allow you to direct the links through your own domain name, which would go a long way in dealing with this issue. I received an e-mail today announcing that this option was now available.

Instead of redirecting through, you can go through or whatever subdomain you’d like. All that is required is a CNAME addition to your domain name (often times done by your web host if you are on shared hosting) and a small change to the Skimlinks code on your site.

The ability to do this is definitely a nice addition to an already solid service.