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Old 14-03-2017, 07:56 AM   #1
Stese
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Default Raising Revenue - Ideas

Hi all,

Flashbang mentioned in another post that the forum isn't getting any significant money in. I know there is advertising on here, but many of us block that so the income would be limited.

I'm wondering if the forum could raise some additional funds by offering a 'premium' subscription of some kind.

The premium subscription could offer 'member only' boards (maybe with more 'off-topic' options, and other increased privileges etc. I'm wondering if a representative could contact some of our favorite suppliers could be convinced to provide a small discount to these subscribed members...

This would hopefully raise some capital to pay for the hosting of the forum, and associated running costs.

I'm thinking a small monthly cost of a maximum of 2.50.

Hopefully, this would allow the forum as a whole to continue to exist long into the future, while remaining free for the majority. Those that want to provide can do... What do you think?
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Old 14-03-2017, 08:16 AM   #2
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Nice idea Stese, but the problem a little is that once you have had something for free it is hard to convince folk to pay for it. I don't know how many "active" Members there are, but if we imagine there are 1,000 who might be willing to pay you would have 2,500 in the pot. I wonder if that would be enough? I agree that this is the best forum for this hobby but all the others are free. Need to see if everyone ends up charging and what the implications of not "upgrading" to SSL (what ever that is) might be I suppose. Lastly there is the Admin. as I imagine that Moderators are unpaid and there will be more work presumably in a subscription system. Personally, and depending on the benefits, I would have no issue with paying a subscription. R-
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Old 14-03-2017, 08:25 AM   #3
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From a brief look, I'd say the hosting should be less than 250 a year, depending on the bandwidth/space required (only the owner would know), and a single-domain SSL Certificate would be around 150 per year.

My idea wouldn't make the sub compulsory, only additional. This way all the current content is free, but those that want some extras, can have them.
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Old 14-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #4
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A voluntary system would be better a Paypal account that members can put in what they like when the like, those on a tight budget won't be affected, the other thought is " is this breaking something that isn't broken "
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Old 14-03-2017, 08:44 AM   #5
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another idea could be to have a non member for sale section and charge a small commission for advertising, there have been plenty of people joining up to sell items and are never seen again, this way it could generate the revenue and leave the site free for members, although i would not have a problem paying subs if needs be,
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Old 14-03-2017, 08:48 AM   #6
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There seem to be a lot of lurkers that never post and quite a few transient members. The place only has a very small number of long term regular posters.
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Old 14-03-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Anything you've got to pay for will not be popular. However there is an arrangement on YouTube where the contributor can receive revenue according to the number of times a video is shown. 'John's Amazing Trains' makes money in this way. It has to be possible to create a MRF YouTube channel in this way.
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Old 14-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #8
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My website provider gives me unlimited server space and unlimited bandwidth and as many free email addresses as I will ever need for 60 GBP per annum plus I have to pay the domain name registration fee for two sites (1x .co.uk and 1 x .org.uk) of 13.50 GBP per annum.

There are optional extrasis such as a basic user forum and shoping site at no extra cost, which I don't bother with.

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Old 14-03-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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As an avid reader of the forum, but short on posting (I will get my baseboard done soon...) I would agree that it is an incredible resource for all within the hobby. From help to get started to discussion of technical issues that leave me clueless, it is all there at our fingertips. To gain this knowledge from a book, we would all be prepared to pay money (when we have it) and treat it as our main reference point.

The key point is "when we have the spare cash", this hobby is unique in the fact that it covers all levels of income. From kids with only their pocket money, to millionaires, we all share a common interest and enjoyment.

I appreciate what is here and would be prepared to donate towards what is one of the best model railway resources online. I think it better that you were to ask for contributions through a "Donate" button where people can donate or not donate depending on their financial situation at that time. Without pressure or stigma.

Just my thoughts
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Old 14-03-2017, 02:53 PM   #10
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I like the 'donate' idea. A site which I frequent sometimes, has overcome a similar hurdle by the donate idea and uses a coloured bar across the top of a relevant page to indicate how the fund is doing that month. If there are dues to be met then a similar coloured bar could be used toward that date i.e. the month before so that donators could make good any shortfall. This way only those who can afford to, would volunteer.
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