http://www.battleforums.com - Big Board #642
BattleForums.com is a popular gaming community with years of history and massive authority in the gaming 'realm'. It resolves around 3 major Blizzard Entertainment games, StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft. Not only does it feature one of the largest forums in the gaming industry, it also has a feature-intensive resource portal filled with articles, news, videos, etc.
Why I'm Selling:
I am a web entrepreneur here in Vancouver, Canada, and battleforums.com has always been one of my most proud projects to own. But as an ambitious entrepreneur, I constantly have new ideas for new projects to develop, including one that I've been working on for over a year now (codenamed 'Rayku'). This particular project, Rayku, is something I've invested very much of my time and energy working on - something I want to go all the way with.
Anyways, as you know, it's extremely hard to find funding in this economy - even from family/relatives. Since Rayku is K-12 / school related, and the coming school year starts in around 2 months, I'm pretty much out of time/options. That is why I've decided to put battleforums.com up for auction at this time.
I am very attached to the battleforums.com community, and would like to see it in the hands of the right owner. It would also be greatly appreciated if I could possibly stay on the staff team after the sale, if allowed.
What I'm Selling:
BF features a huge gaming community forum with [currently] 1,190,949 posts and 71,450 members(pruned down from 100k+ to 55k in 2007). Just these numbers alone gives BF an authoritative stance for both search engines, and the entire gaming community. This is great for JV partnerships on events, cross promotions, affiliates, etc.
Of course, the members themselves are interesting and very much alive. Just to give some examples, one does rap shows to make his living, another graphic designs, one woman from Greece even wrote a press-reviewed Diablo 2 novel that was dedicated to BF. We are fortunate to have such a diverse memberbase.
We also have a staff team of 18 passionate, active, and loyal individuals who has contributed SO much to the community. Our staff team is mostly composed of old-timers (joined 2002-2003), and a few new faces who bring new ideas and energy to the site.
The staff team handles everything. This is why Battleforums.com does not require ANY maintainence work at all - we have someone for everything. Other than managing how much $ comes in of course .
Last time I sent a mass email to the entire BF memberbase was in 2008. We had a newsletter designed by a BF member (who's actual occupation is web designing) just recently. The staff team is currently working on sending out the first issue and setting things up.
BattleForums.com also features a resource-filled portal powered by an 100% custom, interactive, unique, and feature-filled portal system, which took months of programming work. Here's a quick list of just some of the features included in this custom system:
- Facebook-style viral invitation option during registration
- Upload/View/Edit Articles - 67 (and counting) original 400-1000 word gaming articles
- Upload/View/Edit Videos - bunch of user screen-recorded videos
- Lottery System
- Arcade with High Scores - incorporate contest module
- Misc (poll, admin panel, etc)
In addition to this, there is also an 100% custom-fitted and programmed ad system. It keeps everything nice and organized, so anyone can add/manage advertisers even if they don't know HTML. Features include advertiser mass emailing, activity stats, etc. Also includes a beta traffic system that I've been working on - more on that later.
And of course, there's the custom portal design and forum skin, with their obvious worth. A new Diablo 3 skin is just finishing up by a staff member on BF (free of course).
Amoungst all other things (t-shirt designs, vB & vBSEO licenses, advertiser lists, etc, etc), you will also have my 100% assistance for a minimum of 1 month after the sale. I will give you my cell phone number .
**IMPORTANT** 2x to 3x Potential, And Why: **IMPORTANT**
As you know, BattleForums.com majorly revolves around 3 Blizzard games, Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft - unarguably 3 of some of the most popular PC games today. The last release of any of these game versions was around a decade back - yet there is still such a following (think 1,000,000s).
StarCraft was released 11 years ago.
Diablo 2 was released 8 years ago.
Both new games StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 has been unveiled, and scheduled to be released very soon - StarCraft 2 officially announced to release later this year (around fall), and Diablo 3 to follow soon after.
At the moment, BattleForums.com is the largest Blizzard gaming community on the Internet, with extremely high rankings in the search engines. When these games are released, traffic and revenue will double or triple following each release.
When Diablo 3 was *announced* to the public by Blizzard, everyone literally went crazy. BattleForums.com's traffic grew 3x the day after (& revenue in turn), and never went down to its previous state. Our alexa ranking went straight through the 20,000s.
Information on these 2 games is very popular at the moment. When we did a Diablo 3 news article, it got us onto the home page of Digg, IGN, Joystiq, FileFront, G4TV, and numerous other gaming news sites, giving us tens of thousands of visitors in a matter of hours.
I think the potential here is very solid and apparent. If a game announcement tripled our traffic, what would 2 game releases do?
Private Cell #: +1.6042202979 (Canada)
*I reserve the right to accept or reject any offer/bid at any time, despite auction status.*
2009 NET Revenue (after expenses):
(Paypal Screen shot for May - attached on right, other screen shots available upon request)
Let me explain the above numbers.
During March/April, I entirely removed all ad network ads from the site (adsense, talkfreelance, etc), and stuck completely to private advertisers. May (latest complete month) is the month where I started to test some private advertiser promotional material. As you can see, it's working.
Basically, I paid good money ($xxx) to have someone organize a very large list of websites within my market, that have been proven to spend a lot of money for advertising - game-related buying/selling companies, poker sites (for text links), etc. I then email 20-30 each week with a proposal using a tweaked template. Through a series of unadvertised bonuses, offers, upsells, we build a long-term relationship, resulting in a monthly income amount that snowballs. I will explain all this to the new owner (and provide with all my actual and original templates, lists, docs, etc).
Overall, the revenue is having a growing spurt. I can guarantee $3,000+ for your first month after the sale, or your money back (we can put this in writing). I am very confident in my income model (which I can explain in detail), and it's apparent that it is very much working.
In addition, I have never tried CPA offers on battleforums.com. When I was researching previous listings of web forums when creating this auction listing, I realized that CPA offers are often the highest income streams for other successful forums.
BattleForums.com was accepted into Neverblue ads (CPA network) from way back, and I can definitely transfer the account over if need be.
At the moment, the only monthly expense is the VPS that the site is hosted on. We are currently with a very reliable host with amazing support - over at Wiredtree.com. They have tweaked the server numerous times to help fit our needs. The VPS costs just $59/month as BF's only expense.
BF Traffic System (Beta):
A new crucial revenue source is the BF Traffic System. This is a beta system (currently not available to public advertisers) that provides direct full-page ads on battleforums.com pages (like after you click on Google Image pictures) based on available credits and filters like unique views.
This is listed on our advertising media kit page, and I've been contacted numerous times by both new and previous advertisers to try it out. So far, only 1 has been allowed to give it a go... they never asked to renew . This was due to delays and bug fixes with the beta going haywire.
Well, it's completely fixed and ready to go now. I haven't launched this service yet, because I'd like the new owner of BF exploit it how they'd like - and also sweeten up this auction deal a bit .
Traffic screen shots has been attached on your right. I down-graded to a VPS in the middle of April, so AWstats ends there. I have gone ahead and upload the stats for May from Webalizer (both stats systems are server-side). I have also registered and installed Google Analytics , as I know some of you may be interested in that. Let me know if you'd like any screen shots from there instead. (analytics are showing less traffic compared to the server-side stats)
Here is the traffic breakdown:
January: 129,600 uniques / 510910 page views
February: 118,668 / 466,299
March: 127,983 / 462,178
April: 121,620 / 449,250
May: 117,197 / 776,937 (tracked with Webalizer only)
Average: 123,014 uniques / 467,727 page views
May's eCPM is around $6.74 (assuming 450,000 averaged page views)
DMOZ Listed: here
71,857 links pointed to battleforums.com
202,567 pages indexed
NOTE (Important): Just recently, the forum layout has been re-arranged, and some of the forums and forum names on BF was changed. Although this had no effect on revenue, search engine traffic has declined while the search engines re-index these pages (currently undergoing according to latest stats). Traffic is down around 20% at the moment.
Price: $30,000 (USD)