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Are Forums worth buying?

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by Brum26, May 2, 2012.

  1. Brum26

    Brum26 Regular Member

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    Hi everyone,

    If any of you have read my other thread in this section then you will see that I have been looking to buy a website and haven't been having much luck. I just wondered if anybody has any experience of buying and running forums? I came across one yesterday that I considered buying but somebody else got in before I made up my mind.

    I understand that a new forum would take quite a while to get going but what about an established forum? Is there money to be made with them? Would you buy an established forum ahead of say, an authority site in the same niche?

    Also, if anybody has any recommendations of where I might find forums for sale then let me know.
     
  2. headlines

    headlines Newbie

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    how much money does this forum itself generate in revenues?
     
  3. trustedfire9

    trustedfire9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    yes worth buying but depends on niche and other factors .... don't buy warez forum buy forum can monetize with adsense
    and affiliate ... can be in any niche health,freebies, or anything .....
     
  4. Nacho22

    Nacho22 Newbie

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    Forums can make tons of money on autopilot if you hit the right niche. I would suggest buying vbulletin forums if your going to buy one as they tend to make more money and have many ways to monetize and tons of addon support. The last thing you want to do is buy a site that could be open to attacks and such due to lack of solid script base. But, if you have the money I would highly suggest buying them as an investment. Just remember you will need hosting and the bigger the site the more the hosting will cost. So, make sure its making money :)
     
  5. bhedbri

    bhedbri Registered Member

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    I agree with everything Nacho has stated. I have several large forums. 2 Which are ranked in the top 6000 of Alexa, and several others with tens of thousands of users. It all depends on the niche. Adsense can make a lot of money for a forum, but selling ads direct are what made the most for me. I too am always looking to purchased established forums. If anyone has one for sale, let me know!
     
  6. Brum26

    Brum26 Regular Member

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    I bought a 3 month old gaming forum very cheaply yesterday. It only has about 90 members but I figured I will give it a go and worst case scenario I can flip it for more than I paid.

    It is a vbulletin forum and I have setup Postloop today to try and help make it a bit more active. I do see the potential with this and forums in general so would also be interested in buying a more established forum.
     
  7. bstbuyer

    bstbuyer Registered Member

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    they take months to fill up and people get board easy
     
  8. maddy_i5

    maddy_i5 Junior Member

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    Its depends on the niche, you can make it popular and then flip it for big money.
     
  9. poweronics

    poweronics Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Interesting !!!
    Would you share how much revenue it was generating for the last 3 months?
     
  10. apoorv

    apoorv Regular Member

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    Forums have a number of variables that you'd want to consider before buying.

    In most markets, there is a certain number of active users that you'd want to have if you're buying a forum. For instance, a forum with about ~200 users and about 10 of them active wouldn't be worth a lot. A forum with ~1000 members and 100+ active on a daily basis would be a good buy -- with proper administration and marketing, it'll grow very fast.

    The best thing about forums is the user-generated content. Over time, because of the sheer volume of content, you'll see the site rank for numerous long-tail keywords that will attract a lot of traffic. You can monetize that traffic in almost every niche. It is very difficult to make any money from the active members of the forum though with conventional mediums. However, as you can see with BHW, you can do it if you want to.

    The number of users isn't the only concern -- a forum can be started quite easily and often, a group of acquaintances can beef up the post count and the activity levels. You need to also gauge the sustainability and the growth in the future. Is it going to grow at the same rate? What are the numbers you expect in the next, say, 1-2 years?

    Also, when it comes to forums, do not generally rely on the numbers generated by direct ad sale. Many a times, these are fake and I've learned that the hard way. Once you buy, no one pays the $200-300 the forum was supposedly generating the next month. Change of ownership is also something people are averse to, especially if its a small and tightly knit community, so you'd have to make sure that the current owner helps in the ownership change and makes sure that the activity remains the same.

    There are other things as well but these are the ones I can think off the top of my head right now. A good forum can be an excellent buy.
     
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  11. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Senior Member

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    Very good points raised by apporv. I have done the mistake of buying software related forum without proper research. The members lost interest after the ownership change. All the activity came to halt and I had to introduce contests, incentive posts in order to develop the interest again and it was like starting from scratch.