25 Jun 2020

Forums’ second wind: how to earn on them

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Zoomers are skeptical toward forums and consider them a total atavism. Most think this format is no more relevant and only was popular at the dawn of the Internet. However, we dispute this view.

Apparently, forums don’t enjoy popularity they had 10-20 years ago. They are now replaced by social media groups and Q&A services (like Quora). This said, the very forum format is not dead yet. Users keep on checking out some threads to talk and find answers to what bothers them.

For us it means such websites do have traffic and, which is more important, they allow some kind of monetization. Today we’ll discuss how one can earn on a forum they own or visit for communication. Those eager to create their own forum can use WordPress-powered forum.

Let’s get to it!

You chat on a forum

A forum is a thematic thing. Basically, it’s a website that brings together people sharing common interests. You might have a hobby, passion, or valuable experience in a specific field you would like to share with the others.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Find a forum you feel at home on and read its rules carefully.

2. Choose a thread where your topic of interest is discussed.

3. Find user questions that mention products or services (e.g. “Choosing the best mascara“ or “Where to buy a genuine smartphone“).

4. Find a relevant product or store that could help a user.

5. Add a link to your answer and explain why you advocate for that very product, service, or store.

If a person follows your link and makes a purchase, you will get a reward—a fixed amount or percentage of the order amount. If you want to learn more about how affiliate marketing really works, please resort to our introductory text “What is CPA marketing” or guide “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: Where to Start?”. Generally, your call is to share an affiliate link to a product or service and get paid when someone follows it and makes a purchase.

You can get affiliate links in Admitad Extension. Check out our text “Admitad Extension. Lite and Pro” for instructions.

Assume you installed Admitad Extension and feel geared up to work. Here are some examples that will help you figure out how to use affiliate links on forums.

Women’s forums

Mostly, such forums are devoted to cosmetics, fashion & style, health (including healthy food and sports), relationship, psychology, home decoration, and lots more.

Assume we have found a forum that suits us. Next:

1. Find a question which you could help with. In our case, in the Beauty/Makeup section a user asks which eye pencil forum members like the most.

2. We’ve got a front-runner: let it be Maybelline Lash Sensational. Google it. From the stores the search engine suggests, choose ones tagged with a green sign AD Lite.

3. Go to the product page on the store website. You need to get an affiliate link that will lead a user to it. For that, click the purple icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, open the extension, and open the Lite tab. There, you will see a Deeplink, our affiliate link. Copy it.

4. In the forum thread, write, “I really love the Maybelline Lash Sensational. Here it is:https://lite.al/OfrLdQ”. Also add small personal review.

Gardener forums

There, people talk about everything related to gardening, plants, and groundwork. Beside greening, people often discuss construction.

1. Choose a forum and find a topic you need. As an example, we chose a thread where people discussed soil and fertilizers for various plants. Find a question of a user looking for high-quality vermicompost.

2. Find the product in search (you can specify a city or town). From all the stores, select those tagged with the green round label AD Lite.

3. Go to the product page on the selected store’s website. Now you need to obtain an affiliate link you will share on the forum. For that, click the purple AD icon in the upper-right corner of the window and enable the extension. In the new window, go to the Lite tab and copy a Deeplink by clicking the green Copy button.

4. In the forum thread, write, “I found great vermicompost here: (add affiliate link). 2.5-gal packages, good for flowers.”

Electronic enthusiast forums

There, people discuss gadgets, follow tech news, share tips on repairing and buying smartphones, PCs, headphones, and other devices.

1. Go to a forum where people talk about smartphones. A user specified device parameters and an amount they are ready to spend.

2. Assume we own a device that could suit them and we are ready to tell the question user about it in an honest review. Let that smartphone be Xiaomi Redmi 7.

3. Find the device in search and select AD Lite-tagged stores. There are lots of options. Compare prices and shipment terms to choose the most optimal one.

4. Go to the product page, enable the extension by clicking the purple icon in the upper-right corner, open the Lite tab, and copy an affiliate link.

5. Write an honest review and share your experience, “Xiaomi Redmi 7 is a fair device. Very cost-efficient! Over a year of everyday use. So far so good. Once charged, remains alive for a day. Started lagging a bit recently, but I updated the Android system and apps now run smoothly.” And don’t forget to send an affiliate link.

Gaming forums

Gaming forums are usually devoted to discussing games so it doesn’t make any sense to advertise a game to those who already play it. But, there are some threads where gamers seek fresh experience and games similar to those they’ve already tried. Such matters also live on console- and PC-related forums. 

This is how gaming forums look like
This is how gaming forums look like

1. On the forum, find a question of a member seeking a recommendation of a good game.

2. Recall the games you’ve played recently, what has excited you. For instance, you want to recommend World of Tanks.

3. Google it. An affiliate link to an online game can only be obtained on the game’s official website. It will be the first on the results page, tagged with a green label.

4. Go to the website, enable the extension, open the Lite tab, and copy the affiliate link.

5. Get back to the forum and leave a comment going, “Try World of Tanks.LOTS of armored vehicles and battlefields, glorious graphics, perfectly-selected soundtrack. Friendly even for the weakest PCs. Couldn’t stop playing for the first two weeks.” Send an affiliate link.

You’re free to choose from a wide range of forums and product categories. Apart from cosmetics, gadgets, gardening stuff, popular groups include apparel, footwear, books, building materials, travel (flight ticket and hotel booking), and food. You can use everything that is distributed online. Monitor placement stats in your extension (by visiting a website to which you shared affiliate links), or in your account on the Admitad website (there, you can also withdraw your rewards).

You own a forum

This may be either a standalone project or a spin-off of an online magazine or portal. Owning a website and having access to its code, you can make all the links on your website affiliate, including those people leave in comments and threads. If you cooperate with advertisers directly (e.g. placing their banners or carrying out special projects), you can just add their websites to exclusions so that the links to their websites won’t turn affiliate.

You can do all that with Moneylink. For that, sign up on the Admitad website, specify your forum as an ad space you will use, find Moneylink in the Tools section of your account, and follow the instructions. If you want to learn how to deploy the tool on your website, resort to the corresponding section of the Help Center or read “How to install Moneylink.”

General rules

These rules mostly concern who will publish affiliate links on third-party websites. It’s critical to realize that you are not supposed to spam by sending squadrons of random links. What you need to do is provide users with noteworthy content. In this regard, your reviews and comments must be helpful (even if they are based on your experience rather than objective knowledge).

· Read forum rules. Some don’t allow active links, some forbid mentioning brands. It would be a bummer if moderators remove your answers after so much having been done.

· Make sure what you say carries enough sense. Your comments must be helpful. Don’t drop anything like, “It’s OK.” Nobody will listen to you. On the other hand, don’t fall into composing an essay. Be succinct and honest.

· Contribute. Moderators and long-staying members don’t like it when a newly-regis tered guy starts spawning only affiliate link-carrying answers or even answers with ads. Help a forum grow. Comb through the threads and join a talk with other members. While you may gain nothing from that directly, but readers will respect you.

· Check out recent questions. It’s especially relevant in the field of season goods or fast-demanded-fast-forgotten products or services. For instance, it would be a weird idea to recommend a cutting-edge smartphone to a person who asked a question 20 years ago. However, there are all-time-relevant topics, including “where to buy classic literature”, “how to earn Italian (or any other language) online”, “how to cook a cheesecake at home.” People will keep referring to such threads, even if the last question was asked a few years ago.

· Choose products that can be bought online and shipped. You must agree that it would be wrong to lead a person to a product that is out of stock or cannot be shipped. Also, take note of the store’s region of operation. If you can find out where a question author is from, select stores that ship to the author’s city or town.

· Don’t write ad copies. People drown in ads everywhere. It only annoys. We come to forums to chill and talk to the like-minded, to share some thoughts. So don’t copy product descriptions from websites and promos. Use your own words—they can be way more beneficial.

Have any ideas on how to monetize forums? Comment on this!

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  • Shakil Ahmad

    I have not getting a single pie from admitad attached sales programs even i have above 4k above traffic in 30 days and 200 clicks on Redmagic programme. Anyone kindly suggest any profitable strategy.
    Best Regards

    • Admitad Academy

      Hello. We need some more information about your strategies, so we can give you piece of advice. You can always contact our support or get help in our Help center.

  • Zareer Lawyer

    Covid-19 has virtually thrown in a spanner in the works.
    I have set up a BLOG on http://www.blogger.com @ http://www.sportsandpastimes2020.online
    This was on 18th, 19th-20th March.
    After that I was stuck as the office which deals with Admitad was in a contagion zone, so all was sealed. Finally when I managed to get some help, I then attended a live Admitad webinar on April 29th then on 1st July.
    Yet I do not still know how to get my blog off the ground inspite of putting or putting adverts on it.
    Please Help ME ?
    Someone ?
    Thank You
    Zareer Lawyer