New business ideas can be found in forums. Forums attract certain amount of visitors who are passionate about forum topic. They ask actual questions related to their niche. You can learn a lot from forum posts and most visitors come to forums from search engine to solve their problems and learn stuff. I remember using forums to upgrade my windows 6 and android mobile phones.
Forums are hot places to learn and forum owners can learn a lot as well. Here is what sitepoint owner Matt Mickiewicz learned from his forum, from his experience and decisions we can learn as well.
- Built a website in 1998 and published tutorials on how to build a website.
- Got great attention from PC magazine.
- Get lots of advertisers spending money pre 2000 boom. (bought his first car BMW in 1 year)
- Noticed site visitors printing site pages to learn coding. Created single topic books from tutorials. Sold 20,000 of it.
- Created 60 different books. (books are printed on demand I guess).
- Later started selling books in book stores, amazon, borders…
- Forum users started selling their sited in forum posts. Moderators were tired of work load on forum. Charged for site listing 10$. as result site selling requests doubled.
- Created separate site flippa.com. current site listing price is 20$ and commission on sale I think
- Users in forum did design contests. Some clients came and asked to design logo for them for 100$. Site 99designs.com created to serve such a need to design logo, stationary, websites. Pretty good website, paid more than 1 million $ last month in october 2011 to designers. Each order gets 90 design bids. Design prices can be learned from this page.
Pretty impressive and every business idea is lead by forum activity. If there discussion in forum and activity then there is a way to turn in into business. Look for those opportunities and use them.
Get mp3 of interview here. Read related article : Matt Mickiewicz, Founder Of Sitepoint, Flippa & 99Designs, Tells His Story.