The future of SFN

Dear members,

Having run SFN for over 18 months now at a loss, we are looking for a way to make the site profitable or at the very least ‘break even’ by the end of 2011.

The most obvious ways to do this are increasing advertising revenue and/or making certain elements or features of the site paid for only. I’m not suggesting that everyone will have to pay as I believe that a level of access should remain free for all.

As much as we would love to continue running SFN under any circumstances, we must find a way to make it a viable business, and also to continually improve the site and its content.

We welcome all of your suggestions.

Kind regards

James & Catharine

Thanks Maggie!

Great idea - will ponder further - and thanks for the offer of help :slight_smile:

I think I have mentioned this before in a joke:-) As your members to each write a chapter of “life in france” :slight_smile: I am not thinking “a book” :slight_smile: That would be too good to be true lol

However why not sell it on a series in a popular magazine in England

Hmmmmm I dont really know many magazines, lived here too long however thinking WOMAN (or is it womans weekly?)
Make it around 4 A4 pages each !!! and of course we give you copyrights for the upkeep of SFN and have the honour of being published

We all have good and bad memories here so mix them up and of course the funny ones :slight_smile: Also another subject could be people who have found jobs here in France
What type of jobs are available for ex pats ? How to find them!!

My main job is marketing and communiaction, I would help if ever you asked :slight_smile:

Thanks Andrew!

Hi Catharine and James

I know this thread’s been rnning for some time and is likely to continue to do so for a while yet too… but I thought I’d throw in my 2 pennies worth: I love your site and contribute pretty regularly - it’s the only anglo-saxon contact I have. Not that that’s a problem as I’m surviving quite nicely thanks with no british TV/radio etc and have been doing so for some years now. I enjoy seeing what other anglophones are doing in France and helping where I can with info and advice plus the open debate/discussion is excellent. BUT I wouldn’t be prepared to pay for it :open_mouth: (I mean that in the best possible way and just wanted to make you aware that there may be others out there like me who are completely integrated into their lives in France and just want a bit of Blighty from time to time and who also provide a lot of the valuable info to others who need it… and are prehaps the ones willing to pay for that)

de tout façon bonne chance et bonne continuation !


Thank you Jo! xx

James and Catherine,

I’m struggling! and am rapidly becoming (phyisically)disabled, but SFN is such a useful site for all sorts of reasons and I think it can grow and become profitable with advertising space…so, I’m willing to bet on you by risking my £8 a month to advertise with you for my services as a home heating consultant specialising in eco solutions.

I figure it’ll be worth £8 a month for at least a few months, simply for all the free advice I’ve had already, and if I get even 2 jobs per month from it, it’s bound to be worthwhile.

Come on all you entrepreneurs…lets get together and make some business!

You DO get in trouble from Google - they will just kick you out. One of our nice readers thought it would help to click - did over 100 - and even though he wrote to Google and said it was all his fault - no re-instatement. Kindness that can kill

I’m all for it. Such a small subscription isn’t going to break anybody’s bank and it’s so easy with Paypal. You do such a great job. SFN is an incredible resource for all my problems, queries, where do I turn now days, and also for some humour. If I can help in any way, let me know.

I don’t know if anyone else has suggested this, but Amazon has an affiliate program

If you show something in your shopping section, like a book on moving to France, and the viewer clicks on it and buys it from Amazon, you get a cut. I am working for a non-profit who is using this to help fund a scholarship.

By the way - I also asked for donations - not one in 2 years. Well done - you have done well if you get a single Euro! Trouble is, as others have mentioned - there are a lot of websites around which undermines the market.

Pretty everyone seems to want to sell you houses or “financial services”! What a bore!

Good luck nonetheless - you have a great idea

Ah yes - reality calls James and Catherine!

I have run WoW for over 2 years and it is just stating to pay for itself. I do get sponsors and advertising now but has it been hard.

Spin offs like the Coffee Concerts and The Christmas Cracker Fair plus a pension from the UK have allowed me to “play” for the last 2 + years. But like you have decided it has at least to break even

No magic ideas I fear - but good luck - you do a great job

Hsve a look at WoW and see if there is anything you can borrow for ideas

All the best


Well, what is great about this site, is that it is English language based. For those countries with an English heritage; United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, it can be a great asset. Links to pivotal aspects of living in and or moving to France. there are so many things that one needs to know, who to contact, what to do, and say, etc. As many links that can be posted that are viable is a must.
Links of importance would be financial: loans, personal banking, international investments, taxes. Real Estate; private sales, and immobliers that are of quality. Legal advisers; everything you need to know to move to, retire to, line in France. moving companies, local and international, and those links which are of a more private interests; caring for pets, large and small animals, buying antiques, furniture, hobbies, and every day activities; horse back riding, canoeing, biking, hiking, painting among many other things. (Quality links are of up-most importance to be seen as a professional enterprise)
It would be companies which may provide these services that could be targeted for revenue to allow this site to continue operating as a viable venue for those of us requiring its services.

Understood, never known anyone to get in trouble for reminding users to click but hopefully people would take the initiative… The ads weren’t showing up on my laptop but I refreshed the cache and I see them now though so have clicked away!

Google ads are already in place Chris, we do get paid when visitors click on them, it is strictly forbidden by Google for me to encourage clicks though.



I’m only online briefly so I’m not sure if this has already been suggested, but how about getting Google Ads put on the site, say, at the bottom of each page or down the sidebar?

As you’re able of communicating well with the entire community, if we were all asked to click a few ads every month, that could start to bring in quite a bit of revenue, and it seems active members should be willing to do so, plus you won’t have to find the advertisers…

Sorry if it’s been mentioned before but I haven’t had time to read all 8 pages as yet.


I have put in place the voluntary contribution buttons on the right hand side, so we’ll see!



I think most of us would be happy to pay a small fee to keep in touch

Suppose there’s only one way to find out - seems to work well for others though & some of the printed version too - maybe set it up at a low entry cost for all to begin with to gauge the interest - then you could look at tiered pricing later when youi have enough content - did it brilliantly once people began to look more at the net than the book…