Monetizing        ForumsBest practices for monetizing forums using Skimlinks
So, you are thinking about using SkimLinks & SkimWords on your forum,great! Adding new forms of revenue to forums can be t...
1. Install & Configure                        Skimlinks offers a range of customization settings, so make sure you’ve expl...
2. Test, inform your team & review  We recommend trying out your configuration settings on a test forum or non-  premium u...
3. Disclose Skimlinks to your members    Let your members know you’ll be rolling out Skimlinks before you do; what it    i...
4. Roll out, monitor reaction & tweak settings    Roll out Skimlinks to wider forum base, monitor for reaction, and tweak ...
How to deal with questions?If members become publicly vocal about Skimlinks in a negative way (such asstarting a long thre...
We love feedback, tell us what you think and share              your stories with us!                 Get in touch! »
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Best practices for monetizing forums using Skimlinks

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At Skimlinks, we know that forums are tight knit communities that are built on trust, and that readers are understandably sensitive to advertising. So we’ve put together a ‘Best Practices for Forum Monetization guide’ that provides a step by step guide on how you can customize SkimLinks and SkimWords to provide the best user experience possible. We suggest a gradual roll-out, where you select the right features for your community. We also highly recommend disclosing your use of Skimlinks products to your readers - we actually financially encourage you to do - because honesty and transparency is key, and the feedback we’ve gotten is that our service adds value to the reading experience.

Let us know if you have any other best practices for forum monetization, or if you want to reach out and checkout our services!

-Jo Harris, Skimlinks Product Manager

www.skimlinks.com
www.skimlinks.com/contact

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Best practices for monetizing forums using Skimlinks

  1. 1. Monetizing ForumsBest practices for monetizing forums using Skimlinks
  2. 2. So, you are thinking about using SkimLinks & SkimWords on your forum,great! Adding new forms of revenue to forums can be the lifeblood thatkeeps communities online, helping to fund admin and development thatgoes on behind the threads.However, these types of communities are often sensitive to the arrival ofnew forms of monetization that work within the content so changes shouldalways be implemented with care, well disclosed and gradually rolled out.We encourage all forums and communities to follow these best-practiceguidelines when integrating Skimlinks on their sites to ensure that they (a)maximize their revenue potential and (b) keep their members happy.Suggested ‘staggered’ rollout plan: 1. 2. 3. 4. Install & Inform Disclose Roll out & Configure team, test Skimlinks monitor & review reaction
  3. 3. 1. Install & Configure Skimlinks offers a range of customization settings, so make sure you’ve explored all of the options so you can really tailor it to your members.Disable posts Usergroup and forum level Member disable Activate for Link stylingby usergroup control option older threads for SkimWordsOur forum plugins allow You may want to enable Skimlinks’ forum plugins offer Another option in our forum You may want to add ayou to disable Skimlinks Skimlinks for selected a feature allowing members plugins is to only activate subtle change to linksjust for posts by a particular usergroups or forums to to enable/disable Skimlinks Skimlinks on threads older added by SkimWords, sousergroup. For example, if start with, so your premium for themselves, which should than x days, so you may they are recognizable by theyou have members who are members’ links and/or words be either mentioned in your want to just capture revenue community (such as a slightlysponsored, you can ensure aren’t converted into affiliate disclosure or communicated for traffic that is browsing different link color, removingthat their content isn’t linked links. You can configure privately to objecting older posts. This option does the underline, or bolding theby Skimlinks. Or you may product visibility (SkimLinks/ members. This is important reduce the revenue potential link). It’s a good idea to letwant to ensure usergroups SkimWords) at a usergroup/ as it may be only a few users of Skimlinks as much of your your members know how theysuch as admins and forum level as well. within a usergroup who activity will be in actively can spot added links in yourmoderators always have ‘non- object to having the service discussed posts, so perhaps disclosure statement (if youmonetized’ content. This can on, so you can give them an look at individual user, or are running SkimWords).avoid conflicts of interest for opt-out option. usergroup disabling beforeparticular usergroups within activating this feature.your community.
  4. 4. 2. Test, inform your team & review We recommend trying out your configuration settings on a test forum or non- premium usergroup. This will allow you and your team to see exactly how Skimlinks will act on your site. Before you roll-out Skimlinks on your forum ensure your moderators understand what it is, how it will work with the site and why it is being implemented. They need to understand what Skimlinks looks like on the page, so they don’t think it’s a user adding an affiliate link themselves. Mods can help respond quickly should any questions arise about Skimlinks within the community and provide support for your decision to rollout. Review the results of testing with your team. They can help you spot any issues prior to launch.
  5. 5. 3. Disclose Skimlinks to your members Let your members know you’ll be rolling out Skimlinks before you do; what it is and why you’re using it, so they don’t get any surprises. We’d suggest a sticky thread/announcement at least a few days before you turn on Skimlinks. It’s important that they understand your need to earn enough to provide the service they enjoy, and still provide the member the option to opt-out if they’d like.
  6. 6. 4. Roll out, monitor reaction & tweak settings Roll out Skimlinks to wider forum base, monitor for reaction, and tweak settings as necessary. Encourage users to give constructive feedback, both positive and negative. Tweak settings based on feedback Depending on your members feedback, peel back its coverage by tweaking the settings. Usergroup control Product control Members vs other visitors Identify the unhappy users If it’s the whole usergroup If you can’t satisfy the first and help them disable reacting, disable a product members through usergroup, Skimlinks, so your revenue for them - SkimWords (turns forum or product control, opportunity is not overly words into affiliate links) is consider informing the affected. more visible than SkimLinks members that you’ll only turn (turns existing links into on Skimlinks products for affiliate links) so you may non-logged in members, or decide for a particular even just on older posts. usergroup to turn off just SkimWords for them.
  7. 7. How to deal with questions?If members become publicly vocal about Skimlinks in a negative way (such asstarting a long thread about it) you will need to make a decision whether ornot to get involved. Unfortunately there will always be users who don’t likeadvertising in the community and its important to resist the temptation to bereactive to a small number of complaints.Do inform your community that you are actively listening to the thread for theirfeedback. Be a part of the conversation. Reiterate why you’re using Skimlinks,seek input from our team if you need further input, or consider pulling backyour Skimlinks coverage following the steps listed above.Let members know that you have taken their feedback on board, taken action& made changes for their benefit, and ask that they give Skimlinks a chance.
  8. 8. We love feedback, tell us what you think and share your stories with us! Get in touch! »

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