The good ones post from experience too or at least take the time to do the right kind of research. Most new forums never make it past the first year or so because no one wants to join an empty forum, and the administrator gets discouraged, doing a lot of work for nothing. A lot of people aren't comfortable developing their topics, while they are perfectly comfortable joining in on a discussion already in progress so unless there are already discussions going on, no one will start one. These services can help a new forum get started. Another common tactic, which I have used in every forum that I have started, is to open a half dozen fake accounts and talk to myself until actual people finally join in. Then the alter egos can fade away. So yeah, it wouldn't make any sense to have a forum full of people who are paid for posting because, then, it might use forum software, but it wouldn't be a forum. Although I know a couple of people who have started forums in sellable niches, paid people to get them going, then sold the forums at a profit, after which they probably died because the paid members weren't there anymore. Every couple of months, I get an offer to buy this forum but I don't even respond so I don't know what they're offering. A similar thing that my wife and I have both done, as part of our search engine optimization services, might be considered spamming, except that we did it in such a way that no one viewed it that way. While most forum spammers will join a forum, then immediately post links to whatever site they were being paid to promote. That was our job too, but we did it differently. Rather than posting a link that would simply be removed by the first moderator who came along, we would join the forum and post to the topics that were there, becoming part of the forum, and contributing useful content to its threads, but keeping an eye open for an opportunity to drop the link in a place and time when it was on-topic and not seen as spam. Generally, those links would remain, but our clients would have to realize what they were paying us for and appreciate that we were giving them a link that would remain rather than a spam link that would be removed within hours or days. The problem was that, among our clients, we had a couple of law firms, an insurance company, and a sign maker, as well as clients who were promoting websites focused on various types of sports, such as football. Because of this, of course, we had to learn enough about these things, for which we had little or no experience, and largely no interest, in order to be able to participate as an actual member of these forums. At one time, I was a member of a half dozen football forums, trying to pretend that I gave a damn about the sport, despite the fact that I have never watched an entire football game in my life. When we were doing this as a part of our living, we found it best to remain a part of these forums so that the next time we got a football client, we wouldn't have to go through the buildup before we could drop our link. So, every week or so I'd drop in and make a couple of posts. As a forum administrator, I don't mind someone promoting a site as long as they take the time to contribute some useful content to the forum, as well, and it's best if they don't run away once they've dropped their link. As for content writing, a huge portion of the market is dominated by people from India, who not only don't write in English as a first language but are also likely to spin content, changing enough words in an article they wrote for someone else so that it doesn't get caught in a plagiarism filter, essentially selling the same article to multiple people. Because of this, there is a huge gap in the amount of money that someone can earn from content writing. Most of the online content marketing companies have Indian writers who will supply content for next to nothing, and when a client indicates that he is willing to pay more for better content, as I have done a few times, what they receive is the same stuff they could have gotten for far less, with the marketing company making a larger profit. While there are a lot of content marketing sites that are looking for content writers, the amount of money that the writer can make is very little, so the usual product is trash. However, there is a huge demand for quality writing. When you consider that pretty much every company in the world is online today, you've got to realize that most of these are not owned by people who want to spend their time writing content for their site, nor do they employ staff who do that. Several sites have blogs, and these blogs are rarely maintained by the business owners or their staff. Most of that stuff is outsourced, and quality writing can command a quality price. The problem is getting into the market, and persuading potential clients that you are not going to give them something written by someone who doesn't even speak English and that you won't be selling the same content to someone else. The ones who make the most money from their writing are in business for themselves and have probably spent a significant amount of time building up their reputations and business. We have a few sites in this genre listed in our SEO Content Writing category at Aviva, including a couple of the India-based ones, as well as some of the better quality services. Note how I snuck in a link.