About eighteen months ago, I tried to purchase a forum related to one of my ecommerce sites. I had contacted the forum owner, but he was not really interested in selling, since he had created the forum for a hobby he loved. So I made a mental note to check back in a year, since you never know. I wished him well and let him know that if he ever wanted to sell, to let me know. Well a year had past and I decided to try again, only this time to find out that he had sold the site. He had lost his job about 6 months after I had contacted him, and he had been desperate to sell the site. The only problem was he had forgotten about my offer, and sold it to someone else. Chalking that lose up to bad timing; I made a mental note to check back in 6 months from then on.
In researching the new owner, I discovered that he was a web entrepreneur, who ran websites for a living. So I thought no problem; I would just contact him and make him an offer. Turned out to be tougher then I thought, since no matter how much I offered he was not interested. I finally gave up after offering him about two and half times what he paid for the forum, but it got me thinking. Why would he want to hang on to the forum? Why would he not be interested in turning a quick profit? He had owned the forum for less then a month, and was turning down a quick profit. After some research I quickly realized that forums could be monetized and while might not be a passive stream of income, since they require some TLC, they could provide an increasing stream of income over time.