First let me say that I am very thankful I found this site. Its great to actually discuss things with people who think like you when everyone else around you (friends, family) think totally different about life. So thanks a lot.
So, I have been thinking about starting an online forum for motorcycle riders in my state for quite some time. This past week I finally sat down and built a forum. It cost me nothing but $10 for the domain name, the weekend and the setup/design was free becuase I did it myself.
Right now my forum is the only one in my state of its kind. It is a place for riders in my state to meet new people and riding buddies, organize group rides and events, post video, or just talk about anything they want.
I have no members yet (except some local friends) becuase I haven`t released it to the public yet becuase I am still working out some bugs. I am ghosting a lot of posts right now and am making "ghost" members who have conversations with each other. It feels a little weird having a conversation with yourself but this will build up a sense of an established community for new visitors.
I have a few good plans to drive traffic and get people to sign up and start posting but I`d like to come up with a way to monetize on this online community and make it different than most forums.
I was thinking of selling clothing and merchandise with our logo on it and eventually getting local businesses to advertise on the forum etc.
Can anyone else suggest some unique ways that I could make this forum not like any other forum and generate some revenue from it?
Thanks a lot.