I Need Everyone's Help

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Requests' started by branchd77, Dec 27, 2016.

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  1. branchd77

    branchd77 Administrator Staff Member Gold Supporter
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    My survival forum has really grown over the past year. Thank you to all of the contributors and staff who help fill the forum with great content and for helping keep spam down as much as possible. Currently we make zero dollars from the forum and I have been paying for all of the server costs, marketing, web developers, software, etc. to make this happen.

    With the current rate of growth 2017 our community will grow exponentially and because of that costs are going to rise. We need a better server, some bettert anti-spam software, more efficient security and backups, marketing, etc. These costs are going to outgrow what I can afford to contribute.

    What I am asking everyone in the community is for suggestions on what we should do to help the forum generate some money. I have given this a lot of thought and I will share my current thoughts with everyone.

    We have thought about putting together survival kits and gear and selling them directly from the forum. I like this idea and I am very exprerienced with ecommerce. The drawback to this is that I live in the United States, about 50% of the members are in other parts of the world. It would be very expensive to ship these supplies outside of my country. I know people will pay that to help support us but I don't want to overcharge anyone for anything that they can get cheaper in their area.

    We could places advertisments around the site and sell them to other companies in the survival niche. I don't really like this idea but that's what most people are doing. I think it takes away from the experience to place ads around the site. If I did this it would have to be at a minimum and may not generate enough income unless multiple ads are displayed.

    We could create a special title and profile for members who donate or subscribe to the premium profile. If a member joins the paid profile they could get things like a gold border around their profile picture signifying they support the comunity or other similar perks. It won't give you anything monetary but it would boost respect for anyone who is a supporter.

    We could refer people to other people's products directly, like a recomendation. I would have to be choosy and only refer people to products that I would use myself.

    We could just ask for donations and leave it at that. A leaderboard or anonomouys donations could be taken and help keep us going.

    I am open to any suggestions. Please understand I probably won't be able to make everyone happy and ultimately I will have to do what is best for the forum. Thank you for your support!
     
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I don't think I can be of much help in this regard, I run a forum myself, & it is free. I don't see any more benefits from a payed forum than a free forum. Therefore I would suggest you switch to a free forum.
    Keith.
     
  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I run a British forum myself and this also is free, I did belong to a forum that you paid a site donor fee once a year, it was about £5 per member but again the trouble with this is members aren't just in one country and exchange rates may be a problem.
     
    hollowgirl likes this.
  4. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    You must advertise on this site. Plus you must get this site's name out there in as many locations as possible.

    Some survival sites have gotten so enormous that individuals get lost in the place. New preppers heading into such sites can easily get lost and receive terrible advice -- I've seen info presented that was 180 degrees away from being correct. This MySurvivalForum has the ability to bring its own uniqueness to the mix. I avoid the behemoth sites -- others will be doing so as well.

    See if the manufacturers of the products you intend to sell will place your website's name on their website creating a mutually beneficial arrangement. I imagine trying to shoot for getting your name on the big search engines would likely be expensive and troublesome. Some recommend social media -- me, I'm not so sure that such applies to the survival area of interest. Places such as FaceBook are a nest of flaky elitists with an agenda diametrically opposed to anything that has to do with common sense.

    I did a simple web search and found sites that list other sites. Yes, I found lists of survival sites. Try to get this site listed on survival site listings. Some of these listings are old, so look for dates. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is looking for a survival website to join. Where would a person go to find others with their own beliefs, ideas, and questions? Me, I found this site online, therefore I recommend your multiplying the number of places on which your site is listed so that one searching would be very likely to receive this site as a search result.

    Me, I'm not good at financial matters. Whereas I'm good at math, I leave the books to my wife who is far more orderly than myself. The above is the best I can offer. I wish I could provide specific information, sorry. :(
     
    hollowgirl likes this.
  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I dislike advertising on prepper forums, between members is one thing but commercial advertising is something else. I would prefer to pay a small annual fee to the site upkeep.
     
    hollowgirl likes this.
  6. branchd77

    branchd77 Administrator Staff Member Gold Supporter
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    I don't want to force anyone to pay anything, maybe just donations. This forum has cost me several thousand dollars so far and I plan on it being very large. That costs a lot of money and I don't have it to spend right now. I appreciate the inuputs and will have to figure something out.
     
  7. Ricky Lach53

    Ricky Lach53 Active Member
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    Try selling "exclusive" newsletters or eposts regarding everything survivalist to the members for more detailed handbooks and such.
     
    hollowgirl likes this.
  8. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    What about product reviews? You can approach a company and review their product for a fee. In such a review you can state availability, durability during SHTF, unique uses for this particular product that relates to the community. If there is enough traffic to the site it might be worth it for some businesses. Perhaps you can even put a "featured products" tab at the top. This way you don't spam people with adds, people can choose to read which reviews they want if they are interested they can directly order from the supplier or manufacturer. I know this sounds daunting but you can start small with a local manufacturer or start up just to get it going. Hope this helps!
     
    Ricky Lach53 likes this.
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