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Thread: Future of VW Audi Forum - Need your help..

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  1. Future of VW Audi Forum - Need your help.. 
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    Good afternoon

    I suppose this is a bad new message really unless things improve in the next month or so but as it stands after 16 years VW Audi Forum may be looking to close .... Not the news or message I wanted to give but it is reality...

    Up until now the site has been funded by all the loyal and valued Companies that pay to advertise but for whatever reason apart from the companies that have been around since the start it is difficult to find new companies to advertise..

    To supplement this I use a number of outside advertising packages, Skimbits and Google Adsense are the main one's..

    Over the last few months this site and a few others have seen Google cut revenue, not by a few pounds but by £100's in some cases for instance for June the estimated was over £700 but for what they class as "invalid activity" I have ended up with just over £8 .. They do not provide evidence and will not even allow contact, I suspect they are up to something but proving it is impossible.. Typical Google think they are more important than anyone else...

    The server costs in the region of £400-£500 a month depending on exchange rate, and with the drop in companies and Google being *****, which over the year pay for the site and allow a bit of a buffer for the "bad months" like now, I am stumped! well and truly

    Now the "buffer" is running out and money from advertising all round will not pay for the site if it does, I may be having to top it up in future months once the buffer runs out but I can only do so much..

    I am open to suggestions that would work to save the site so please post below, but these need to be workable..

    It was suggested members donating when they get help, but that would need a lot of donations to contribute towards in the region of £6000 a year for the site, or a paying membership but what could we offer really ? I did think of a cheaper server which would help but that would make the site a pain to use speed wise... or charging more for companies to advertise but that would cause more to not renew or not start in the first place... it's difficult...

    I have now removed all Google adverts altogether, why should I generate big revenue when they don't seem to pass it on, although I am testing a couple of others, the banners now showing are from a new company and the annoying little icons that seems to appear against words are another but neither are really doing any good but it is early days..

    I am trying to get the one to allow me to replace all the old banners that Google showed but most have limits on how many I can show, but I have now emailed them so we will see..

    This is the news I never wanted or expected to give but that is the way of life and I am gutted it may come to this ...

    The two worst options I have are sell the site, but that would be almost impossible as people want a return on investment, or close it down, which I expect would be in the next two to three of months, if it does come to that I will be in touch with all the paying advertisers...

    So please, I am open to offers to save the sites future.. I may be worried for no reason, we have had bad patched in the past but got through them, and things pick up now the world is getting back to some normality, and the new advertisers may start to generate more revenue.. I will see how July goes... This is more an "asking for suggestions" before the worst happens or trying to prevent it..

    I don't suppose this will be the only site that struggles at this time.. reading Googles forum there are a few seeing it..

    Stuart
    Last edited by stuart; 02-07-2020 at 08:34 AM.
    Stuart l VWAudi Forum
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  2. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    How many active members are there? People get a lot from this site and particularly from a few members. Crashed et al. How much would the active member need to contribute per year to keep the site running? Might be worth costing it and post it. See what response you get? You may be surprised.
     
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  3. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Really sorry to hear that. Popping in to learn from others and try to help occasionally has become a bit of a habit.

    Do you not get any reports from Google to show why they think something should or shouldn't count?

    I wonder if lower direct advertising cost could draw more advertisers, and hence add more revenue.

    Can you do geo matched ads? Wondering if something like £100 each from 100 local garages offering fixed price servicing at 10% off VAG rate could be a win for all.

    Do you run the servers on something like AWS or Azure? Not sure if they could end up cheaper. I have an Azure account I could set up a test of the core software on if it might help plan things.
     
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  4. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart View Post
    I am open to suggestions that would work to save the site so please post below, but these need to be workable..
    Hi Stuart, I sent you a mail.
    Audi Q7/4M MY2016, 3.0 TDI/200 KW Quattro
     
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  5. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinxit View Post
    How many active members are there? People get a lot from this site and particularly from a few members. Crashed et al. How much would the active member need to contribute per year to keep the site running? Might be worth costing it and post it. See what response you get? You may be surprised.
    Thanks for the reply... We have about 5000-6000 active

    I will work out some figures over the next couple of days... revenue is still being generated but not at the level it was.. I need to give the new adverts chance to work so I will be looking to see how they perform over July, who knows, they may work well.. the banners at the very bottom of the site and the lower of the to on the left of the home page are the new banners, but as you can see not really related to the site but speaking to them after about a week they "learn" the site so should improve..
    Stuart l VWAudi Forum
    VW Audi Forum - Founder
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    - Email: stuart@vwaudiforum.co.uk -

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    our Supporting Companies They are all there to help by offering advice and products or services..."You support them - They Support us"

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    If you like the site and you would like to donate please click here and use the PayPal button on the right hand side

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    Please Note: PLEASE DO NOT Email or PM me with any vehicle related technical questions. I am not qualified to give that sort of advice, please ask the experts we have on the forum.

     
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  6. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAG-Abound View Post
    Really sorry to hear that. Popping in to learn from others and try to help occasionally has become a bit of a habit.

    Do you not get any reports from Google to show why they think something should or shouldn't count?

    I wonder if lower direct advertising cost could draw more advertisers, and hence add more revenue.

    Can you do geo matched ads? Wondering if something like £100 each from 100 local garages offering fixed price servicing at 10% off VAG rate could be a win for all.

    Do you run the servers on something like AWS or Azure? Not sure if they could end up cheaper. I have an Azure account I could set up a test of the core software on if it might help plan things.
    Google are like the secret service, you cannot speak to anyone, they provide no evidence or proof and I am not the only one with this issue that has happened this year, so they have done something.. makes me wonder if they are getting paid by advertisers but not passing it on ... would not put it past them...

    Thanks for the offer, the site runs on a dedicated server based in the USA and it is about the cheapest or on par with most companies.. the site software needs specific software to run so not sure if Azure would work, let me check it out but thank you....

    I think things like Facebook have caused some issues, companies get a free website with millions of potential customers..

    I have set up tracking software so I can see which adverts are clicked to exit the site, i.e click on any banner that takes you from the site and I can see when it was done and by which IP address/location, this has helped me prove Google are wrong and that is just over the month of June..

    The one issue is if for instance a member used BT for internet, that can cover the whole UK so comes back as London most the time... will do some investigation..
    Stuart l VWAudi Forum
    VW Audi Forum - Founder
    Member of the Institute Of Advanced Motorists
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    - Email: stuart@vwaudiforum.co.uk -

    If you need a Part, a Garage, a Tuning Company, or even an Official Dealer the please visit
    our Supporting Companies They are all there to help by offering advice and products or services..."You support them - They Support us"

    Ways to support the website

    Details of the VW Audi Forum Insurance Scheme, See Here

    If you like the site and you would like to donate please click here and use the PayPal button on the right hand side

    If you purchase from Amazon and you would like to support the site then please use the following Affiliate link



    Please Note: PLEASE DO NOT Email or PM me with any vehicle related technical questions. I am not qualified to give that sort of advice, please ask the experts we have on the forum.

     
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  7. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AT. View Post
    Hi Stuart, I sent you a mail.
    Thank you, will be in touch soon..
    Stuart l VWAudi Forum
    VW Audi Forum - Founder
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    - Email: stuart@vwaudiforum.co.uk -

    If you need a Part, a Garage, a Tuning Company, or even an Official Dealer the please visit
    our Supporting Companies They are all there to help by offering advice and products or services..."You support them - They Support us"

    Ways to support the website

    Details of the VW Audi Forum Insurance Scheme, See Here

    If you like the site and you would like to donate please click here and use the PayPal button on the right hand side

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    Please Note: PLEASE DO NOT Email or PM me with any vehicle related technical questions. I am not qualified to give that sort of advice, please ask the experts we have on the forum.

     
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  8. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Fingers crossed, it would be a sad day if the forum shut. Sorry I have no ideas about generating revenue from it. VW / Audi UK should sponsor it with the amount of advice that is given out!!
    Current- A6 C8 40 tdi quattro s line Daytona Grey
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  9. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart View Post
    Thanks for the reply... We have about 5000-6000 active

    I will work out some figures over the next couple of days... revenue is still being generated but not at the level it was.. I need to give the new adverts chance to work so I will be looking to see how they perform over July, who knows, they may work well.. the banners at the very bottom of the site and the lower of the to on the left of the home page are the new banners, but as you can see not really related to the site but speaking to them after about a week they "learn" the site so should improve..
    If you made a compulsory annual admin charge To every member it would only be £1 or so a year then. Surely not a deal breaker considering the amount of good advice thatís on here?
     
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  10. Re: Future of VW Audi Forum - Bad news time.. 
    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott K View Post
    Fingers crossed, it would be a sad day if the forum shut. Sorry I have no ideas about generating revenue from it. VW / Audi UK should sponsor it with the amount of advice that is given out!!
    As I say we have had bad spells before and got through them so I am trying to prevent things going wrong before they do so any suggestions are welcome, we have all worked hard to get the site to what it is now I am not giving up just yet lol...
    Stuart l VWAudi Forum
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    If you need a Part, a Garage, a Tuning Company, or even an Official Dealer the please visit
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    Ways to support the website

    Details of the VW Audi Forum Insurance Scheme, See Here

    If you like the site and you would like to donate please click here and use the PayPal button on the right hand side

    If you purchase from Amazon and you would like to support the site then please use the following Affiliate link



    Please Note: PLEASE DO NOT Email or PM me with any vehicle related technical questions. I am not qualified to give that sort of advice, please ask the experts we have on the forum.

     
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