Since this is your guy's forum (for the community), I thought a decision like this would be best made by everyone.
Recently we've lost MPerformance as a sponsor because his site shut down (he joined the military), but we've aquired two new sponsors, BimmerWorld and GetCoolParts.com. This gives us a little more money to play with every month.
My question is where do you guys think we should go with this for the forums? One option is to move United Bimmer to it's own server (at my costs from Penguin Studios we have enough now) to allow it to grow better, have less issues with speed and slow times, as well as allowing us to get the emailing system up so everyone can have @unitedbimmer.com email addresses.
Our second option is advertising. We could save a few months and buy a banner in the BMW part of CarDomain (I've been talking to them for a while, but they want like $500 for two ads, one banner at the top and one square block in the middle of the bmw pages). This should bring in thousands or tens of thousands of visitors, and my guesses are between 150-300 members, probably 20-50 active ones. Or we can do more targetted advertising. I could raise the limits on our Google Adwords campaign and on Yahoo Search marketing. If we kept the same conversion rate, and put the extra money into google alone that would give us about 50 new members a month, however I've noticed members brought in from google tend not to be very active after their first post requesting help. Or if you guys know any other sites that have banners we could look into sponsoring and investing in, that's another option.
So basically, I'll do whatever you guys think is best for the community. I want everyone's input on this, so speak up!