Good day everyone! This is a bit of an odd post since this is a site suggestion from those that run the site lol but I have been running some numbers and thinking about it since the beginning of this year and I wanted to explain the situation around ads and try to gather some community feedback on them.
The tldr; is we have grown quite a bit over the last 2-3 years since @kilif was kind enough to let me take over the site. We are now averaging between 1 to 2 million page views per month with about 70 to 80 thousand unique users visiting per month with ~20-25% being returning users. This is enough traffic to start to be considered a lower/mid sized site and due to this we have been having quite a few people reaching out to us about running ads, including google themselves.
For right now we have been declining these offers as we have always felt that our success should be tied to the communities success which is why we feel with the storefront with a % cut is the best way to move forward. That being said I would be lying if I did not say we where leaving ALOT of money on the table with this decision.
The estimates we get out of the AdSense calculator says we could be bringing in between $50,000-$200,000 USD a year or ~$4,166-$16,666 a month. Due to this we do not feel it is an unreasonable assumption that advertisements on the site could net at least $10,000-$20,000 a year or an additional $833-$1,666 a month without them being intrusive.
This is where my conundrum comes in. We are at the point where advertainments could actually bring in a fair a bit of cash, and since @kilif and I have no intentions on taking any for ourselves, most of this income would be reinvested into internal projects or the community directly. This would give us a fair bit of cash that we can invest into promising projects, pay the people we contract a better wage, and even more directly help out people within the community at large if they have a sudden emergency.
The current plan we are thinking of is to just run top and bottom banner ads on the forums only. Since the main site is a store front, ads just wont be appropriate there, but this still could net us a fair bit of additional revenue that we could reinvest.
And this is where I want to open the floor. There is quite a bit of good we could do with that extra income, and while it will become less effective as we bring the main site online it could provide a fairly decent stream of income up to that point that would take a fair bit of financial strain off of @kilif and I since we have really been using much of our own funds to try to grow the site. On the other hand though, we are still on the fence if it is really appropriate to consider running ads on the forums.
What are your all thoughts on this?