View Full Version : Is There Any Money In Sports Forums?

05-26-2006, 02:45 PM
My main site is a football blog (sorry folks, never calling it soccer even to help out you Yanks ;) ) and over the past six months it's been picking up well in traffic and is starting to see a small trickle of money coming in from Adsense and through Burst Media.

I've had no success at all with football-related affiliates despite traffic sitting between 1000/2000 uniques a day and am looking now to add something else to the site to help push it on that little bit further.

Over time has anyone had any success in monetizing a sports-based forum or are sports just one of those topics that will eat up bandwidth and give plenty of good discussion and return visitor levels but not provide any financial return for the webmaster?

05-26-2006, 03:40 PM
Well high return visitor levels should equal $$$ regardless of what your topic is.

The only downside of course is that you're dealing with a sport that is not going to get a huge US following and many ad programs have mostly US geotargetting or as in the case of YPN don't do any international traffic at all.

Your main difficulty is going to be competing with the large number of forums already out there.

However, its worth a chance. If you can built your forum to a critical mass of posts where it is self sustaining & growing then it is a tremendous asset to have, even if it is never the biggest such forum. If you use vbulletin your only cost is the $160 license, if you use phpbb (or other free software) its free. So its worth a shot.

I am going to be adding a forum to my gardening blog in a week or so. The blog gets little traffic, and there are already huge gardening forums online, but I think I got a real shot so I'm takin git.

05-26-2006, 03:57 PM
With high return visitor levels meaning $$$ do you mean mainly through CPM networks?

I know what you're saying about the level of competition out there though. There are any number of football-related forums on the go with very dedicated members and the main difficulty would be in offering something slightly different to differentiate myself from the pack while still trying to keep a broad enough base of appeal to punters.

05-26-2006, 05:51 PM
Your in Ireland, did you ever try sports betting affiliates?

05-27-2006, 03:44 AM
Yeah Cutter, I ran affiliate banners from a couple of the top sports betting firms in the UK but I got minimal interest. I think I need to plan my advertising a bit better rather than just throw some banners on the site as the payouts from gambling affiliates are quite good (around 12/$20 per signup) so they would be a very worthwhile income stream if harnessed.

Blue Cat Buxton
05-27-2006, 05:13 AM
I would anticipate a lot of UK/Europe targeted affiliate programmes (not just sprots related) would have football related promotions in the next few weeks. You should get a peak in traffic as well; what can you do to make thoe first time visitors repeat visitors?

05-27-2006, 10:58 AM
I've been inundated over the past week with UK affiliate managers pushing their programmes with World Cup related promotions.

On another tack, as Chris says, there is a lot of competition already in established football forums. Would a better strategy be to target a sub-niche with a forum such as football coaching for example rather than a wide target of European club football or UK club football?

05-27-2006, 04:22 PM
I would recommend checking out Shoemoney's ad program; however, it is closed for new users right now: http://www.shoemoneyads.com/

This way you can insert sports betting text links in a way like Adsense, which should get a better clickthorugh rate than banner ads.

Alternatively you can put together your own text links; format them like Adbrite and/or Adsense. Pay attention to the gambling ads running on Adbrite and the text copy they use.

This will require a little extra work, but I think it will help you out. I've noticed that people are bidding 50+ cents a click for gambling ads on Adbrite, so someone is earning money.

This is all theoretical because I've never dealt with gambling programs. However, I have a good feeling it might work.

05-28-2006, 02:30 AM
Good shout again Cutter, I got accepted into Shoemoney Ads a couple of days ago but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I actually only heard about Shoemoney on here after he ragged you out for believing Markus Frind's revenue so if I get any joy out of his ad system I've kind of got you to thank in a roundabout way :)

05-28-2006, 08:14 AM
Be sure to listen to Jon's new radio show, that talk about Markus a little bit.