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A thought for revenue

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Sue and I really like this site. We've both noticed threads asking people to click on links, and the potential in the future for having to charge for access.

One of the areas we like the most is the Picture area. We were talking last night, and had a thought that perhaps TCS may want to explore the idea of doing "The Cats of TCS" Calendars and selling them to offset some of the costs of keeping the site up. Most of us buy calendars anyway, so it's not a huge reach that we'd buy a calendar from a place we know.

Food for thought anyway.


Since we're pretty new, if this has been explored before.......our apologies.




Jeff & Susan
post #2 of 23
Anne and I have discussed this, however the logistics of printing out a decent calendar has always stopped us from pursuing it. It is something though that has been in the backs of our mind for quite sometime.

The cookbook the community put together earlier this year was quite a success. It was to raise money for ferals in Israel, so who knows, perhaps an online calendar would be the way to go here?
post #3 of 23
Hmmm... I didn't know anything about a cookbook, must have been before my time! I would have bought one, and would definately purchase a calendar
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Anne and I have discussed this, however the logistics of printing out a decent calendar has always stopped us from pursuing it. It is something though that has been in the backs of our mind for quite sometime.

The cookbook the community put together earlier this year was quite a success. It was to raise money for ferals in Israel, so who knows, perhaps an online calendar would be the way to go here?
Gears meshing....Wheels turning.....


How about....

An online calendar that can be purchased through PayPal or by check to an address unlocking a code so the Calendar can be downloaded and printed at the purchasers home. Cost would be negligible to put it online, and the purchaser would also have the option of making it a destop image on their computer.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Anne and I have discussed this, however the logistics of printing out a decent calendar has always stopped us from pursuing it. It is something though that has been in the backs of our mind for quite sometime.

The cookbook the community put together earlier this year was quite a success. It was to raise money for ferals in Israel, so who knows, perhaps an online calendar would be the way to go here?
I'd like to again suggest that a tcs cafe press store be considered by Anne and you. While you get commission checks versus immediate money, and they get a base price per item, you get - their quality products from totes, teeshirts, posters, postcards, stickers, cards with envelopes, calendars and mugs...so many options to put your graphics on. They do the production, the shipping, the billing and provide the 30 day money-back guarantee. They also ship worldwide I believe

Iow, the tradeoff of waiting a bit for your money and getting a per centage, is worth having them do the billing (and deal with merchant fees that you'd have to pay with paypal or any other merchant account)...no headaches...just the fun of sizing the graphics and placing them on the items you feel they work on best (there are size restrictions depending on the type of item ie. an oval sticker works with a smaller image than their largest size poster).

I can't say enough about how happy my rescue group has been with the quality of product.

I hope you will reconsider them! Any one else reading this with a rescue group that needs to fund raise, do check them out..it is free to open an account.
post #6 of 23
We actually do have a cafe press store. It just needs revamping right now, and has been on the back burner for some time. The merchandise offered there, never really moved initially. It is something that Anne and I have discussed from time to time, but other things got in the way. Perhaps it is time to redo it and start it up again.
post #7 of 23
I have got a computer program that allows me to make desk calendars. I am not sure of its potential for this, but if you want more info you can PM/email me.
post #8 of 23
Great idea! Perhaps we might have a contest -- the best 12 make the calendar.
post #9 of 23
Thanks for the great ideas everyone! The cafe press shop will definitely be back. I also think they offer quality products - the only problem is that I find their base price a bit on the high end, leaving very little margin for profit. We have looked at alternatives - but they all require you to print masses of items in advance.

The issue of funding has come up again recently. Ad revenue is very low on the forums. Most advertising companies do not pay per view on forums. Many won't even offer per click campaigns, and those that do strictly prohibit site owners from encouraging users to click on the ads (and rightly so - it wouldn't be fair on the advertisers and those clicks wouldn't be worth much). The ads that you currently see here are what is knows as CPA or Cost Per Action, meaning we only get money is someone actually purchases something from the advertiser. Being that Click Through Rates are very low on forums (here as well as elsewhere on the internet) and that even fewer than those who click actually buy something, almost all of the ads that you see here bring us zero income.
So as much as I love the forums - they are making no money and costing a lot of money, being the most resource consuming part of the site/s. They require a lot of bandwidth and what's worse, a lot of memory and processor resources. So much so that we are experiencing major problem now on a daily basis, as some of you may have noticed. Our hosts suggests upgrading the server - which won't be cheap...
So any ideas for additional income from the forums are welcome Right now I am seriously thinking about new models for support for the forums - mainly optional paid membership with added benefits.
post #10 of 23
If you do t-shirts/ sweatshirts I will definately buy one, as long as I can pay via PAYPAL.
post #11 of 23
I have a few cat care books at home, but I have seen various topics discussed in the Feline Companion forums that I haven't seen in any of these books.

Maybe the information in the archieved threads could be put together to make a TCS Guide To Cat Care, and have sections on things like:
Feeding cats
Care of orphaned and abandoned kittens
Multi-cat households
Cats and dogs living together
Litterbox behavior
Aggressive behavior toward humans
Common problems in older cats
Blind cats
Cats and kids
When to get a second opinion
And maybe also have a section on feral colonies and how to handle ferals safely and etc.
post #12 of 23
I just wanted to add that this site, www.ehow.com has also published a book of some of their hints that can be bought in stores. Sometimes I find it's easier to find information usiing the book instead of the site. Maybe TCS could do something similiar?
post #13 of 23
Hi Anne, and All,

It's quite a dilemma, for an organization that is primarily internet-based, isn't it? My son is working as part of an organization that offers technical support (web hosting and application development) for animal rescue organizations. We've talked about how my organization (based in a local county) raises funds, v. how his (based, well, on the web) might do so.

I value the community and the information on TCS. I suspect that a first step would be, to be sure that the leaders of TCS are supporting TCS to the degree they are each able (which I am sure they are doing); then I think we who are sorta "regulars" here should step forward. I have not so far offered financial support, but I will do so now -- I'll donate in the next seven days, and I'll consider making a "pledge" donation.

I don't think that it hurts to come out and *say* once in a while, around the site, that TCS survives on our support, please donate if you are able. (In fact, the more I do in fundraising for nonprofit causes, the more I realize that people NEED to be asked and that usually, they feel honored to be asked -- provided they believe that the cause is a good one).

I'm gonna have to review some of the discussions about raising revenues here, before I go mouthing off any further, but I promise to work on thinking up some ways to affect the "bottom line" here!
post #14 of 23
Good idea Lorie! An e-book is certainly an option for the future. It will take quite a bit of time to create it but I think it would be a good potential for revenue. I was thinking more along the lines of several shorter e-books, as it's hard to read a lot at once off the screen.
post #15 of 23
Have you considered affiliate programs? For example, Amazon will pay commission for purchases, when the customer originated at one of their affiliate sites. I think it would be fairly easy to set up, they do all of the record keeping, and all "we" would have to do would be post the link. I know I spend a fair bit of money on Amazon.ca, and if even a small percentage went to TCS, that would help.

Here's a handy list, the "other programs" section has some potential areas where affililiate programs work.

Affiliate programs
post #16 of 23
Actually we have many affiliates Amazon, Petsmart.com and many of the ads running on these pages.

You can see many of them in the shop section here -
http://www.thecatsite.com/cat_shop

Problem with affiliates is that unless people buy something, we get nothing. With most affiliation programs the revenue per advertising space is too low. The rest of the sections on TCS are bringing in revenue from ads and affiliations. The main problem is with the forums which overload the server more than any other section and do very poorly when it comes to affiliation ads or even Pay-per-click ads.

Just wanted to thank everyone on both threads on this subject, as well as to those of you who pm'ed and emailed me about the subject. I am honored and thrilled to have such wonderful members here who care so much about the site! Thank you!
post #17 of 23
I just merged the two revenue threads. Thanks again everyone!
post #18 of 23
One way to handle the problem is to not just try to get more money, but to use less. If possible, you may consider switching to a less resource-intensive messageboard system.
post #19 of 23
VBulletin 3 is extremely efficient. It's a matter of the activity level on the boards which I'm very happy about and wish to encourage.

We are currently developing a new system for generating revenue which will offer an optional paid subscription. I will post about here seperately when it's operational.
post #20 of 23
One thought - although the vast majority of members seem to reside in the U.S., there are many from other countries, so if an annual membership fee were to be introduced, it would be helpful if we could pay by credit card, and for countries with many members, like the UK or Australia, by direct debit. Naturally on a secure line.
post #21 of 23
Paypal is quite popular, and secure ^^
post #22 of 23
Paypal will be our choice and it will be an automated process I think. Looks like VB3 has a built-in mechanism for paid subscriptions, so there will be no waiting for someone to manually validate your membership.
post #23 of 23
Here is one way you can help out if you would like:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35545
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