How To Make Money On Somebody Else’s Forum (Part 1/2)

One of the toughest tasks in affiliate marketing is finding targeted traffic that doesn’t break the bank. No doubt about it. It’s tougher than installing a flog, tougher than researching ‘o chosen keywords of the fat, and a whole lot tougher than scouring Affbuzz.

I see a lot of people exploring PPC platforms as if they’re the center of the CPA universe. You’ve got another bunch of guys who will spend Monday to Friday resubmitting disapproved ads on Facebook. But what’s the end goal? Surely it’s to find targeted traffic, right? To find traffic that backs out. Well, if you step away from those popular marketing hubs, you can find a lot of untapped traffic sources where the costs are still low.

Forum marketing, for me, is one of the most cost effective methods of reaching a targeted audience. The clue is in the name itself. It’s a forum of people who have already registered on a site because they’re passionate or interested in the subject matter.

Qualifying traffic is so important. If you find the right niche forum, you’ve already qualified that traffic. You’ve simply gotta find an offer that catches the imagination of the crowd at hand.

I hate to mention his name again. I really need to branch out, I know. But for this post, I’m gonna need to go back to my favourite CPA niche of the last 3 months.

So I was on this Michael Jackson forum…

And this was about a month after his death. It was a booming community with I can’t even remember how many active members. Something like 20,000.

It got me thinking. Every single email in that forum database has a relation. Nobody’s going to sign up at a Michael Jackson forum, when he’s still alive, without having some genuine affection for the plastic fantastic himself.

That’s 20,000 targeted emails. You know what else I like about Michael Jackson’s fans? The fact that they’ll bend over backwards and take one for the team if you tell them that filling in your unrelated zip submit will bring his black ass back to life.

I didn’t go that far, obviously. A man’s gotta have morals.

This is where monetizing a niche forum really excels though. If I asked you to write down three character traits that you’d associate with a Michael Jackson forum owner – what would you put?

Obsessed?
Devoted and black?
Middle aged cuckold fanboy?

…how about CPA marketer?

Yeah, didn’t think so. Most niche forum owners are there for the community factor, it’s as simple as that. Their payment comes in the form of posts, threads, new members and the self-satisfaction that comes from having a bold fucking username.

But what most forum owners don’t realize is that there’s a lot of money to be had in their forum database. And where they don’t realize it themselves, we as affiliate marketers, have an open window to hop in and monetize their database for them.

I know for a fact that if you email a mid-sized forum owner with a simple “Hey, nice board. I was wondering if you could drop your members a sponsored email? Willing to send $300 to your Paypal today.” Most will bite your damn hand off. A typical forum owner won’t stop to consider why it is that you can afford to spend $300 on a long-forgotten function in his vBulletin admin panel. A typical forum owner won’t care. You know why? Server costs! Bandwidth costs! In this case, probably Jacko memorabilia costs!

Straight up money will sway the large majority of forum owners. It beats the slow trickle of Adsense clicks, and it gets them thinking: “What if he wants to send ANOTHER email tomorrow?” “I could make money posting his links on vBulletin!” You know the drill. People like quick cash. Most of you probably making a living on the fantasy.

Forum owners value their sites less than CPA marketers. A forum owner, more often than not, will judge value by active members. How thriving is his community? If he’s got 100,000 registered members, but only 100 of them actually post – he’s likely to think that anybody with business acumen is going to also judge his community on those same factors.

But if I’m looking at a Michael Jackson forum of 20,000 registered members, my eyes are firmly on the emailing possibilities. I could care less how many middle aged Californian housewives are posting their top ten tracks in the Off Topic Room.

If you have a CPA offer paying out at $1.60…and you’re converting a mere 1% of that original memberlist – that’s still $320 revenue. All from jumping on the sack of somebody else’s hard work. Start looking at more realistic conversion percentages and it’s easy to see how an affiliate marketer can afford to pay a nice fee to the forum admin for the privilege.

This should get a few ideas flowing for monetizing niche forums out there. I’m gonna split the post in half and reveal how to actually do it without screwing up like a complete retard next time. Happy hunting.

Pro tip: Don’t try this on Wickedfire.

About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

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