For those of you that know me very well will know that I am a forum owner in fact I own many forums but there is one forum that I own that is my greatest success I got into a niche that had competitors and only the second day in I was faced with legal action by one of my competitors.
6 Years on I no longer have any competitors and we have a community that is thriving and is still growing at an alarming rate. We have just short of 4000 members and the forum up till today has over 152,000 posts.
I have always worked hard to grow the forum and with the help of the members we are a recognised organisation that has the power in the niche to make big changes to not only the UK industry but worlds industry.
We get threatened with legal action often and earlier this year that was no different, our members opened up a bag of works which was a company that was offering work in Russia and for £800 you could be over there earning £6K a month…
Our members went into in-depth research and established that it was a scam and not one person that the company had received money from had actually made it across to Russia let alone had made any money.
The thread on the forum started to gain strength in Googles search results and before long we own the first page of the results and had actually knocked the the company off google for their own company name.
I received an email which told me that they were going to sue me for defamation and libel… I responded to the email with a phone a call and told the receptionist that if it was not a scam to prove t me first that it was not and then with the proof I would happily remove the thread…. she could not the thread stayed…
I told my members of the developments and the risk of legal action and they kicked off and contacted 3 national newspapers and a national radio station… We made the papers and the radio and within a week of the report the company shut down. It was a victory and proved very very good for our forum.
Since then the forum has re-branded and we are now taking the industry to new lengths, we have been approached by top manufacturers in the niche and we are the official reviewers and we now do all the product research for the company where our members are given freebies in exchange for reviews and suggestions.
Last year I was offered a large sum of money to sell the forum and I declined.. Am I mad? The large sum was in to the tens of thousands of pounds… I could have easily have sold up and re invested the money into other projects but I have not even scratched the surface with this forum and I think that I am going to make the most money in a few more years. I am in this for the long term!!
So how come my forum is the success and has grown so much and so quickly?
I listen to the members and gave them what they wanted… I watched many forums in this niche disappear as they got greedy and tried making money out of the members and that is a bad idea.. I don’t charge my members for them to participate I charge the companies that benefit from my members.
I destroyed all of my competition right from the start I have had forums start up and just cant compete with us. My members respect me and what I have achieved, I have helped members grow their businesses and keep food on the plates of their loved ones.
I have banner slots on the sites and I have companies begging me for them to advertise on the site and most of the time I decline them as I don’t think that every advertiser is of benefit to the forum or in the good of the forums direction.
When you have a forum you need to set out clear direction and let the members do what they want and let them go in the direction they want… don’t fight them, accommodate their needs and if they want something do what you can to give them it. I funded the forum out of my own pocket for many years and I had to go begging to my members one year because I could not afford the hosting… but its was all worth it.
Forums are hard work and take a lot of time but boy are they rewarding… I went to a meeting at the launch of a new product and I did not realise how important I was to this products success but I got a standing ovation, I have made a big difference to an industry and I have become the voice that people not only hear but they listen
This post was not meant to be about me gloating but just an insight to what I do and why.