I have just opened a paid forum posting service as one of my (too) many online projects. We have already “hit” some clients and hired a team of editors to keep the content writing up. So far, so good.
I did have a nice ‘chat’ with a guy on adminfusion who was a bit shocked at the “high” price we have on our services. It’s 0.30 USD/post in the higher plans and he was totally put off by this. My short response was something like “please then go to the very cheap paid forum posting services and then come back here to tell me how much paid posting sucks”.
It would be a nice idea to elaborate on this though.
There are MANY services, and a lot of low quality posting.
When I started the service I already knew this is a very hard niche. There are some well known sites that do this and I kinda look small as compared to them. What gives me hope though is the fact MOST people who used paid forum posting were displeased with the quality of the posts. Here is what they complained about:
- the posts were made too fast .. imagine running a non active forum and having 400 posts made in 2 days .. then again nothing.
- the posts were in the general chat or the welcome forums. Of course it’s difficult having to reply to specialized topics about webmaster business, finances, cars etc. It’s easier to stick a “hello”, “welcome here” or “how cool” message in the offtopics. I am still certain people don’t pay for this crap.
- the posts were short and bland .. starting good topics and making interesting replies it’s a bit hard. Many editors take the short easy road and don’t care about quality. Well, in the end QUALITY matters.
Knowing all these problems from so many reviews made by ex-clients, helped me set a business strategy. Our paid forum posting service will not fall into the trap of low quality. Here is some of the things I was able to “force” on my editors, and these also justify the price that’s a bit higher as compared to others:
- we have good editors who post in a month’s time .. they don’t “spam”, they have a limit of 3 posts/day .. nothing more
- I forbid my teams to touch the “welcome” and “general chat” categories. I did have clients who replied to my email message and asked us to please also post something there so the forums would look more “normal”. After getting the “green light” from our clients, we started posting there, few messages, some excellent topics and quality content, even if on the offtopics.
- the posts ARE NOT oneliners. My team has a 30+ words/post policy to respect. Most of the time we get to 50+ or even 100+ words on a thread/post since we just type fast and are inspired. Of course my client won’t have to pay for the additional work, it’s something we do since we really want them to receive the best content possible.
- writing in the specialized categories takes more effort (sometimes we do a bit of a research in the forum’s topic so that we know at least something about what we have to discuss there).
This would be one of the reasons our clients pay 0.30 USD/message and not 0.20 or 0.10 as in other caases. Great quality takes effort and should be paid more than low quality spammy posts.
Another good reason would be that we pay our editors 0.20 USD/ post.
We cannot have such an excellent team of content writers and pay them 5 cents / post. NONE of these highly specialized people who work for such low payment. If we want to be able to provide our clients with the quality we promise, we also need to pay our editors well and offer bonuses for every 5 finished jobs.
Such a service NEEDS PROMOTION. Paid promotion. In under 3 weeks we have invested almost 60 USD in advertising. It’s not a huge sum, but for a very new project it’s already something. We were able to make up for this money already and are on a good “plus”, but this is not the end. As the service will grow, we’ll have to finance it more, advertise even more serious and invest a lot of money.
So, next time you think a paid forum posting should be very cheap try to also see what this would mean:
- low quality messages
- bad editors who’d work for a very small payment
- no investments into the service