Asking for your advice on paid advertisements...

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Tyler

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I regularly decline paid ads and partnerships on my IG account. I also keep the forum 100% ad-free, despite offers. (Forum vendors are not obstructive ads; they are community members).

While I appreciate the offers, I do not want to push paid advertisements. I also don’t want influencer partnerships for my own truck. I believe this makes the quality of my IG and forum above average. I HATE going to a website covered in ads. Or seeing paid influencer bullshit all over IG (NOT talking about having a personal relationship with the owners/employees of a brand you support, which is different).

This is a genuine question: Are my views on this appreciated by IG followers and forum members? Or am I an idiot that should be using my traffic for my own gain, because I “deserve” it (—not a sarcastic question). Let me know.
 

Thomdabeast

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It would be justified if you used the proceeds towards making a better community.
 

Tacomadad18

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I regularly decline paid ads and partnerships on my IG account. I also keep the forum 100% ad-free, despite offers. (Forum vendors are not obstructive ads; they are community members).

While I appreciate the offers, I do not want to push paid advertisements. I also don’t want influencer partnerships for my own truck. I believe this makes the quality of my IG and forum above average. I HATE going to a website covered in ads. Or seeing paid influencer bullshit all over IG (NOT talking about having a personal relationship with the owners/employees of a brand you support, which is different).

This is a genuine question: Are my views on this appreciated by IG followers and forum members? Or am I an idiot that should be using my traffic for my own gain, because I “deserve” it (—not a sarcastic question). Let me know.
I think IG and the forum are a great place to NOT have advertisements. Some use IG as a place of “business” but it’s cool to see the inside scoop of a company/ brand without ads. Im fine with it on a YouTube or something like that though

I am with you on that. IG and T3G is nice and ad free and I like that.

Use it for your YT or something if you can.
Just my 2 cents!
 

Rev N

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Tyler, I trust you to do what's right for the forum. Whatever that may be.
 

Biohazard

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I’m here because it’s cleaner. I donated $25 to the cause because I like it.

This place is kinda like a gated community (even though there is the free option), where some more mature and serious (right? Right? :eek::ROFLMAO:o_O) minded people can hang out and talk shop without the offensive hazing and boyish chatter.

Need more cash to keep it running? I’ll send more in to keep it that way. But I’m also in favor of paid adds if you’re able to maintain the same “feel.” It’s not exclusivity, it’s lack of bullshitting for the sake of bullshitting. Not exactly quite sure how to quantify :).

but hey, if you’ve got sponsors that want to drop a $5k suspension and a $4kRTT on your rig for the sake of a few adds, I say go for it.
 

Tacomadad18

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Personal vs business. If the forum is a business then run it, and the associate social media as such. If it's for fun and a personal enjoyment place, then follow that.
That’s why I like your co. Not filled with ads when I’m looking at your IG
 

KnighT4CO

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Honestly you put in so much effort on here and IG that I think you deserve to reap the benefits of it.

However, there's definitely a fine line for ads. I think TW having amazon links at the bottom of the thread doesn't really hurt anything. In fact, I sometimes use them when I see new stuff.

There will definitely be naysayers if you implemented some type of ad but seriously it's 2020, everything has ads now. As long as it's not obnoxious and it's relevant I don't really mind.
 

nickyreno

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Ads have ruined the internet and destroy the experience that it could offer. They are the vultures to our wallets and well being, and forever a road block to our goal. I fucking hate being pandered for anything, even if it’s for something I want.

Instagram influencers are a shit stain on the pants of society. I am convinced that every time one of those talentless twats says “so I’ve been getting a lot of questions...” an angel loses its wings and falls from heaven onto a puppy.
 

XxMagpulxX

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If the ads were to be shoved into the left and right margins of this page, ( At least on my computers, there space on the left and right sides) AND you could make money selling that space, I say do it. If the ads are going to go in the middle of a thread, screw that. It just takes up space and I cant ignore that as easily as say not looking into the margins. Lets be honest though. This is your forum, if you need to put ads on here to keep the costs down, do it. On the same note though, that hat that you were wearing in that video on changing the leaf springs was cool. Lets say maybe instead of putting ads on the forum and tried supplementing income by selling hats, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, beanies and such.........stickers.... U know, stuff that we could buy to help support the site and maybe put some money in your pocket for your time, or future trips around the country, I might buy some of that stuff assuming you offered it in sizes that fit my fat ass. If you need help doing anything, I would help any way that I could.
 

WarFabArmor

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That’s why I like your co. Not filled with ads when I’m looking at your IG
We just post shit we would want to see. Sure I'll mention our crap that's in the pic, but for the most part it's just stuff about us or wheeling. Let the crap sell itself. (man salesman of the year over here hahahaha).
But really it's all about what you want the account and website to do. Then decide who the target audience is based off that. That will answer the question you are asking.
 

NukedTaco

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If the ads were to be shoved into the left and right margins of this page, ( At least on my computers, there space on the left and right sides) AND you could make money selling that space, I say do it. If the ads are going to go in the middle of a thread, screw that. It just takes up space and I cant ignore that as easily as say not looking into the margins. Lets be honest though. This is your forum, if you need to put ads on here to keep the costs down, do it. On the same note though, that hat that you were wearing in that video on changing the leaf springs was cool. Lets say maybe instead of putting ads on the forum and tried supplementing income by selling hats, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, beanies and such.........stickers.... U know, stuff that we could buy to help support the site and maybe put some money in your pocket for your time, or future trips around the country, I might buy some of that stuff assuming you offered it in sizes that fit my fat ass. If you need help doing anything, I would help any way that I could.
I wouldn't mind ads on the side as they are pretty easy to ignore.
 

Icefog34

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I regularly decline paid ads and partnerships on my IG account. I also keep the forum 100% ad-free, despite offers. (Forum vendors are not obstructive ads; they are community members).

While I appreciate the offers, I do not want to push paid advertisements. I also don’t want influencer partnerships for my own truck. I believe this makes the quality of my IG and forum above average. I HATE going to a website covered in ads. Or seeing paid influencer bullshit all over IG (NOT talking about having a personal relationship with the owners/employees of a brand you support, which is different).

This is a genuine question: Are my views on this appreciated by IG followers and forum members? Or am I an idiot that should be using my traffic for my own gain, because I “deserve” it (—not a sarcastic question). Let me know.
Personally I appreciate that you hold this view point. For me, I trust paid support for products less. A person getting paid to promote hasn't always had experience with what they're pushing, and/or probably won't be completely upfront about all the pros AND cons concerning said product. I say stand your ground and don't cave to paid ads
 

SDCementTacoTruck

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I regularly decline paid ads and partnerships on my IG account. I also keep the forum 100% ad-free, despite offers. (Forum vendors are not obstructive ads; they are community members).

While I appreciate the offers, I do not want to push paid advertisements. I also don’t want influencer partnerships for my own truck. I believe this makes the quality of my IG and forum above average. I HATE going to a website covered in ads. Or seeing paid influencer bullshit all over IG (NOT talking about having a personal relationship with the owners/employees of a brand you support, which is different).

This is a genuine question: Are my views on this appreciated by IG followers and forum members? Or am I an idiot that should be using my traffic for my own gain, because I “deserve” it (—not a sarcastic question). Let me know.
Tyler, I think your view is what keeps this forum pure. What is cool is what each individual does to their truck because that is what they like not because you used a product being promoted by others or because it is popular. Many times these paths cross and I'm good with that too. Thanks for always keeping it real!
 

StormRnr

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As a YouTuber who makes money off ads on my channel and website, I feel like running a forum or website is a service to both the members and the brands that are discussed. Creating content is a service. People should be paid for services.

I don't do influencer stuff either because, 1) my social media isn't popular enough to attract it and 2) I my opinion is that influencer content isn't crafted well enough to be considered a service. I do charge for industry partnerships and run ads on my page and maintain a Patreon page. I generate a modest sum from those revenue streams that allows me to go further into time and money deficit to continue creating content I'm passionate about.

If you feel like you need an income stream to justify the effort and to provide a better community I'd suggest first a Patreon page or donation link to generate income from members. Second merch. Third curated commercial partnerships from brands you trust. Fourth, do whatever you think is best since you put the effort into creating this in the first place.

Cheers and thanks,

-M
 

midnight20pro

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Ads make sense. You have a great website here that you bust your ass on. Just as long the ads aren’t for Russian brides and crap like that. 😂
Costa Rican wives a-okay tho ya :D

In all seriousness I think it's obviously a double edge sword, especially when trying to do something against the current hyper-capitalist models. I think you'll need to strike a balance. You're an exceptionally honest person for even bringing up your thought process and opening it up for discussion. Keeping everyone informed with everything you do on here is completely unnecessary and yet you do it for transparency. I love the integrity.

Now, technically this board is centered around a passion we all share for our trucks. This makes us the perfect candidates to be marketed to because, for the most part, we're all looking for the next excuse to buy a new upgrade :) it means you'll draw attention as the site grows in popularity and gains more visibility. The added visibility to the forum will generate you tons of new traffic (and the hosting costs may not totally scale with the donation $$) but the traffic itself has value. It's why there's only like 5 web companies left all vying for 100% of your disposable attention. So since we're all on here talking about something we're passionate about, we end up influencing one another regardless. Most of us have absolutely no economic incentive to share our photos, videos or experience about a new part or upgrade besides just to share in the fun with a group of like minded people online. However, some members actually are influencers or vendors and do have an economic incentive to engage with people, share their links to yt / social; and we as forum members actually appreciate this engagement and content. So this is a symbiotic relationship that the board has with content producers and vendors, but where you gain in engagement they gain in possible revenue.

If you're cool with that relationship; leaving some money on the table then don't worry, be happy and you don't have to take any sponsorships or paid ads :)

But if you think you are deserving of some financial compensation for the time and effort you're putting into growing and managing a community, then I don't think anyone will fault you for that. Especially since you're showing us your character and putting transparency before anything else -- which is seemingly missing these days.

If you wanted to stay ad free, you could choose to run this community fully transparent by showing what your full operating costs are and how much has been generated or donated each month vs what your costs are. Then we as a community can actively track those metrics and keep the site alive, ad free, by donating as needed to keep it all going and growing. Alternatively, you could sell merch or whatever the hell you want on here to generate revenue and keep you guys sustained because this is yours, it's all yours and it's awesome. Keep up the great work and thanks for keeping us informed :)
 

midnight20pro

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ps I mention the integrity and transparency because I think its obvious if you did choose to take sponsorship or ad dollars, you would label a post or review or whatever it may be as being sponsored content. It also seems to me like you wouldn't take any deals from a vendor or affiliate that would prevent you from voicing your true opinion on something. So, I trust your judgement whether you do or do not. I think we all gain a pretty valuable service by having this community so I'm pretty sure we're all here to support you however that may be.
 

nickyreno

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My views on this aren't going to be the best in terms of growth or sustainability. I have always been critical of marketing, especially in the U.S. and on social media. If it were up to me, the internet would be no different than the public library, and access to it would be no more than the cost of a library card. I would gladly pay a small membership cost to keep the site ad-free, the amount of time I spend here is worth the cost for entertainment. That being said, I understand the reality of the internet does not lend itself to my ideals and there is a real potential and sometimes a real need for ad-based marketing. It sounds like @midnight20pro has some skin in the game here, and my rational side agrees with him 100%.

At the end of the day Tyler, you need to prioritize your well-being. And if that calls for generated income from T3G, then who is anyone to tell you that you can't.

Just, for the love of god, do not sell ad-space to a fucking influencer.
 

midnight20pro

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Nick honestly our viewpoints are more or less the same. When we link up irl I can share more details, but I worked for one of the big ugly monsters and have seen behind the curtain as they say. Its as bad as you say and then some. I would hate for facebook/instagram/tiktok/google ad networks to be on the site because of the tracking nature of those ad networks.

When I saw this mentioned, I actually pictured it sort of the days before social / ad networks and you saw sponsorships come in other forms. More like a vendor approaching Tyler saying they'd like to support one of the forums or sub forums for the month and it being a form of promotion. It would clearly be a sponsored content or promotion or whatever it may be and it would be up to us to determine what we do having been exposed to the content.

On social media, we don't know who was paid to say what and that's why it's such a successful ad platform. Everyone buys into the endorsement from someone else and jump on products as if it was their own best friend making the suggestion which perpetuates the problem.

I mention my opinion because I recall myself starting a thread about a specific product on this board. I have no affiliation with that company but I was curious about its functionality and as a result of that thread I made the purchase. I'm also willing to bet that the thread alone likely led to one or two more sales for the vendor. So here the vendor is landing 3 sales from $0 ad spend on a platform that only cost him his time. This is a great experience for the vendor as they generated sales from community engagement and it's nice for me because I get the upgrade benefit. So money changes hands here but Tyler sees none of it. Now obviously Tyler isn't looking for a commission from all sales on the board or to charge vendors for community engagement, but we can't deny that the board can be profitable for members and vendors alike... so why should we impose restriction on the person providing us with the very service to begin with.

Again, I totally agree that ads suck and paid influencers / sponsors etc is all generally bad. As well as ad networks that track / fingerprint across the web.

I'm only pointing it out because money does change hands as a result of this community and I don't think it makes sense to prevent the founder from earning some as well. I wouldn't want to see content on the board that's sponsored and not labeled such, but I don't see that happening.

Maybe Tyler uses the youtube channel for sponsored content and tells the viewers such in the videos?
 
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