WEB Starting a forum for my local area (total newb)

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Yuppy, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    This is my goal: To have the main forum for people in my area. Obviously from my posts in this forum right now I know nothing at all. I know that. I think I know how to market it to at least get members. I am confident I can create hits, get members locally.

    I already have my domain picked out I think. If I am successful I am going to buy another website (that stole my first name pick) and then link it to the other site. Anyway right now I am in the start up phase, obviously. I would like to be able to sell ads on the site and possibly generate some sort of pay per view revenue as well. Is it possible to generate pay per visit revenue in the site if I use vBullietin? Through like adsense or some sort of banner exchange site?

    I am tapped into the local MMA scene pretty well and have contacts with the 2 local fight show promoters, I would bet that I could sell them some sort of ad, since they already advertise on TV and some on the net. I'd also talk to other local biz owners to see if they would be interested in placing an ad.

    But back to my point. Is there a way to generate revenue even if no one
    clicks any links beyond selling the actual ads face to face while using the vBulliten service?

    On a sidenote, I want to eventually make some other sites as well, im working on my xhmtl, css, java and all that jazz right now. However I have decided that my area needs a local forum for local people. I feel like it is a relatively untapped market and I think I am most able to get people to register at the site.


    Also how hard is it for someone totally new to set up a vBulliten forum? I've read a few books, but nothing that complex yet.
     
  2. tryfuhl

    tryfuhl New Member

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    Pretty much selling ads is the only way unless you charge for "VIP" portions of the site.

    Maybe get some forum sponsors (the mma promoters, nightlife locations, etc) and see what they'll offer. Something like a ticket purchase or deposit for an event and you get a cut out of it. Or a special deal to VIP members for nightlife events. That way they'll pay to get the deal and you'll drive people to their locations and hopefully they in turn, to yours. Offer to help integrate your information for free onto their site if they would like. You could sell those discount or concierge cards and stuff too and cut them in on it if they don't like the idea of just getting more people there.

    Partnerships and word of mouth in local shit ftw.
     
  3. floydwall888

    floydwall888 New Member

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    Very easy my friend. Just buy the vBulliten software, set yourself up a test site, and take a month or two learning the ends and outs of it. You don't want to have somebody walk you through setting up a board; you'll have no idea how to fix things when they go haywire.

    As for promoting. The MMA scene should be a fairly easy one to advertise to. Post a couple fliers up around the fights, tell some fighters, etc. I can't help you on the "paying" part of it though, I run all my boards for free. Let me know if you run in to any problems and I'd be glad to try and help.
     
  4. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    see thats the thing, my closest friends are fighters, but their friends are promoters.

    I'm not going to charge a membership fee; but I'd like to find a way to get paid via ads/w.e

    Ok, so who should I register my site through? I'd like a 1 stop shop for domain name and web hosting.


    By test site, I am curious, do you mean register the domain and use it on there?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  5. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    Ok been reading a little more about it.....How do I make the SQL databases involved with vBulletin?

    does this come with the package? do i need any software beyond a browser, a host/domain, dreamweaver and a credit card?

    and of course a text editor.

    anyone?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  6. Robb

    Robb Guest

    I actually did the exact same thing you are doing. I created mine about 6 months ago now. We're at 400 members right now, The area I live in has a population of ~100,000 and IMO needed a local forum.

    The ways that I have monitized the site are:
    -Adsese
    -Sponsorships "a banner link to the sponsors website"
    -Selling ads to local businesses.

    On a usual day I will see about 1,000-1500 visits. With this amount of traffic I have made ~80 w/ adsense. So adsense basically pays for the hosting. The other ads are were I make the money. I also have put in a lot of time. But Im able to do that at work (lots of free time). I havent really found a way to market it yet. Word of mouth and a myspace page and adding local people.

    Also, there is a newspaper in town that I am working w/ collaborating with, they are going to link to my forum after every news article on their website. So I should see a huge amount of traffic off of that, and hopefully a good gain from adsense.

    I use phpbb, so a little different. But if you have any questions let me know.
     
  7. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    Not sure if this is taboo but if you don't mind me asking, how much income are you making off sponser ads?
     
  8. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    oh i definitely will! you seem the perfect resource. I just bought my domain and webhosting. (godaddy + hostgator hosting) so Im going to see how this goes.
     
  9. Robb

    Robb Guest

    I didnt really answer your question. What you'll need is:
    -the domain
    -a host
    -the board software
    -lots of time
     
  10. Robb

    Robb Guest

    you'll like hostgator, thats who I use, they offer a lot for the money
     
  11. Robb

    Robb Guest

    right now I have them priced as follows:

    smaller local businesses

    $50 for 6 mo.
    75/yr

    that includes a banner link to their website, and access to a "local business Q&A forum", where members can ask questions of local businesses

    ________
    I also offer the same thing, but for larger businesses/doctors offices and people w/ more money I double the price :rofl:
     
  12. Robb

    Robb Guest

    I also just started a local rental property website, it has listings of available rental properties in the area, as well as a discussion board on that site, it also has resources for landlords/renters, its coming along well, all Ive done w that is adsense though
     
  13. Browning

    Browning Active Member

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    why not just get it going and established first, worry about income later
     
  14. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    ok since phpbb is free im going to start with that, i figure if it doesnt deliver i can always switch right?

    ive got it downloaded, ive never used ftp software, im downloading smart ftp now, and ive got the phpbb downloaded. now i have to figure out how to get it uploaded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  15. Browning

    Browning Active Member

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    if you have cpanel with fantastico just use it to install phpbb
     
  16. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    :smack: i think i just managed to take the long way to do it, i already uplaoded it. im working on the install now
     
  17. Robb

    Robb Guest

    if you need any help let me know, Ive used phpbb quite a bit, i can help you w/ stuff
     
  18. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    yea im workin on the install right now.

    i had to transfer my domain from godaddy to my host, which appears to take 72 hours...
     
  19. Robb

    Robb Guest

    it probably wont take that long, hey, you have windows messenger? Id love to give you some tips from all that ive learned doing the same thing you are
     
  20. watermouse

    watermouse BeefySnax

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    you can go to phpbbhacks(dot)com and get some cool hacks for your phpbb board.

    I used to hack and crack the shit outta these, you dont need to know any coding language but maybe just a bit of php and how to read it.
     
  21. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    omg that was ez

    anyway, I need a logo now... whos a good photoshop artist.
     
  22. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    oh yea, if you guys want to troll it up for me a little or give me a Stumbleupon or digg that'd be cool too

    http://515forums.com/phpBB3/

    thanks for everyones help. thats the start of it. I'm no where near done. but i gotta goto fucking bed!
     
  23. dawgboye

    dawgboye I'm a businessman who's commodity happens to be co

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    The moment you set up the forum, you will be the victim of a constant onslaught of spammers, so be diligent in deleting posts and accounts.

    Also, make sure to implement something like captcha to reduce the ability of spammers to create accounts automatically. Require email validation as well.

    Even with all that, you will need to pay attention. I had a forum setup for a week, using captcha and email validation and within a week I had over 3,000 spam messages (this was phpBB).

    Making money with a forum is next to impossible. You have to generate massive amounts of traffic. OT is the exception, not the rule.

    You can buy a license for vbulletin (vastly superior to phpBB) for not too much. There are a lot more plugins for it as well.

    If you are afraid it might be too much to set everything up, you can always use a managed forum hosting company.
     
  24. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    4 registered online right now!! woohoo, i just got to work and checked it out
     
  25. floydwall888

    floydwall888 New Member

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    phpbb is a good piece of software to start with, but vbulletin blows it out of the water for ease of use. You'll get really tired of having to manipulate text files to get what you want in phpbb. Also a lot more people write hacks/scripts for vbulletin; and they are much more useful.

    I thought you were making a site for just local MMA fighters. Just a heads up there are a few central Iowa boards already out there. Not saying you can't/shouldn't go ahead with it, just nice to know before you sink a ton of time in to something. Glurb.com has real big following and they cover much of the state. Also, Iowalink.org is a site that spawned from a bunch of users that hated the admins at glurb (I'm the mod at iowalink) . I also started a forum for my car club, but the club was put on hiatus for now, that website is www.midwest-misfits.com . As you can see, most of the members are spammers. I gave up trying to delete them after they were showing up in the hundreds. I've got hundreds of hours of writing hacks and modifying text files in to that board and all of it could have been done in about a day using the vbulletin software :(

    Just letting you know about my site so you can take a look at how a modified phpbb site can turn out...im no pro but it's decent.
     

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