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Best Free Ways To Get A Forum Off Its Feet

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by gder01, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. #1
    I plan on starting 2 forums this summer, one dealing w/ relationships, and another one dealing w/ poker.
    SEMrush
    I am very knowledgeable when it comes to poker, so I feel that will be much easier for me, the relationship forum will be tough though b/c I'm a geek :cool:

    Anyway, I don't have a lot of money and will most likely use SMF. B/c I don't have a lot of money, getting traffic fast will be a key point; I don't want to have an empty forum after 2 months.

    So my question is what are good ways to get traffic to forums, besides posting by yourself w/ mule accounts.
     
    gder01, Apr 7, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. snapplekid13

    snapplekid13 Active Member

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    #2
    Hire posting I guess....

    Maybe free advertising...

    CONTEST!

    Some Ideas out there...
     
    snapplekid13, Apr 7, 2007 IP
  3. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #3
    It's still spring...

    Join several other (related) forums and get to posting. Find respect and keep it. Once you are ready to start off the new forums grab your "friends" from all other other places and convince them to all place your new site in their sigs.

    Find a related forum that's falling apart, grab one if it's factions and run ;) You may need to start the mutiny yourself...though I'd call this bad form.
    Q
     
    Qryztufre, Apr 7, 2007 IP
  4. Your Content

    Your Content Banned

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    #4
    In fact I have found posts offering posting exchange inside the Buy, Sell and Trade forums, and there is a Guy in the Copyrighting forum that was offering his posting services for free to gain experience and create a sample of his work.

    This was about 3 weeks ago so you need to browse backwards to find him out.
     
    Your Content, Apr 7, 2007 IP
  5. aboyd

    aboyd Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I'm plagarizing myself from about a year ago when I really cared about this stuff (I was deep in it with my own forums). But here goes.

    1. Get onto complementary forums and start posting. Never, ever plug your own site. Just post well, be involved in the community. But ALWAYS have a good sig. Back when I was doing this, I'd make 10 to 50 posts in a week on a handful of good forums, and I'd see 2 to 100 visitors in return.

    The nice thing is that the sigs keep working for about a month, I guess because people keep reading old topics for a little while. So I could take breaks for a week or three, still have that influx of visitors from my sigs, and then resume posting for extra boosts.

    2. Make sure users can take care of their problems. They WILL NOT tell you when they've forgotten their password, or if they didn't get the confirmation email, or whatever. So you MUST have links that allow users to resend missing passwords, emails, etc. Otherwise, you'll see people signing up and never posting.

    3. Use MySpace bulletins. Don't bother to create a MySpace account yourself, as it takes time & isn't worth the investment. But find someone here who has a good account and sends out a few bulletins a week (avoid people sending out 5 to 10+ bulletins a day, because at that rate, nobody will read the bulletins). Write up a good bulletin, and pay a few bucks to get it out there. Use more than one person, as some have better results than others. This should get you decent bang for your buck. It did for me.

    4. Google Adwords WILL drive people to your site. It really works, and you can set up budgets and other stuff to manage your investment. However, I have to admit that this was more fun back in 2005. Nowadays Google seems more greedy. For example, they will charge you minimum amounts of 40 cents or so even on search result pages that have NO ads. That's ridiculous -- you go to the trouble to find a unique search that no other advertiser has taken advantage of, and yet Google will act as though it's a competitive listing with other people vying for the top spot, and so Google will demand that you increase your bid to "stay on top." Anyway, despite my grumblings, it's still OK if you go into it with your eyes open. If you don't go with Google, Yahoo also works, and may be cheaper.

    5. Keep the forums dense rather than sparse. In other words, start with only a few forum areas. Do NOT create 20 forum areas that each have 1 post. People will view that as a ghost town and ditch it. Better to crowd everyone into 2 or 3 or 4 general areas and keep things hopping there, until demand requires that you expand.

    6. Directories, directories, directories. Do this by hand, or hire someone to do this by hand. Don't use automated tools. I did, and suffered for it. The automated tools are one-size-fits-all, and they shove data at the directories sometimes in inappropriate ways. So you have to find a way to submit to those directories cleanly -- any free ones you can find with a pagerank of 3 or more. Get listed not only in case they might drive a person or two into your forum, but also because you need at least a few sites linking to you so that Google will give your site some credit. It helps you to rise in the search results, and that'll net you a few more visitors.

    7. Blogs. Specifically, blog comments. This works like forum posts -- you find a popular blog that is close to your subject matter, and you contribute a few well-reasoned comments. Of course, you include your URL in the signature or "site" field, whatever the blog provides for you. A well-placed blog comment can get you 100 qualified visitors. I rarely had luck that good, but I did often see 10-25 visitors from a single good blog comment. If you can comment on 25 different, complementary blogs each week, that should provide a good number of curious onlookers for your site. At that point, you just have to find ways to get them to register and post. :)

    -Tony
     
    aboyd, Apr 8, 2007 IP
  6. petguide

    petguide Banned

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    #6
    Cant find it, can you help us search for it.
     
    petguide, Apr 9, 2007 IP
  7. ThatForumPlace

    ThatForumPlace Peon

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    #7
    Talk about leaving no stone unturned.

    Great post and awesome advice!
     
    ThatForumPlace, Apr 12, 2007 IP
  8. jl255

    jl255 Well-Known Member

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    #8
    i have to agree with thatforumplace. Tks for the tips aboyd!! Rep given ;)
     
    jl255, Apr 17, 2007 IP
  9. pyrad

    pyrad Banned

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    #9
    I've recently used some paid posting services for one of my sites - it's an easy way to get content. I really struggled with the making up your own users / talking to yourself business :confused:

    Some of the services are better than others - some just don't seem to repond to emails. PM me if you want the best ones. :)
     
    pyrad, Apr 17, 2007 IP
  10. chiz

    chiz Peon

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    #10
    Thanks for the advice, aboyd! I too will be launching a message forum and could use your tips. Though it's my second time to be launching a forum, I can't recall how we got traffic and visitors coming to the site so I can't contribute anything other than your tips. You got green!
     
    chiz, Apr 17, 2007 IP
  11. guerilla

    guerilla Notable Member

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    #11
    If you know what you are doing with PHP, drop a http://simplepie.org/ installation into a password protected folder. Give it a bunch of feeds to show and copy paste Poker news into a daily thread.

    Provide content and talking points. You can promote like crazy, but if people don't have something to talk about, or don't see someone else posting, they won't join in.

    Another thing you can do is comment on Poker Blogs. People WILL click your name (hyperlinked to your site usually). Rather than rely on searches or pity registrations, go to where the people you want to attract are already talking and join in.
     
    guerilla, Apr 17, 2007 IP
  12. ninjashoes

    ninjashoes Active Member

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    #12
    write plenty of articles and put them in threads, make a few responses under fake accounts, this will get the search engines started a little and maybe pull a few people in if the content is interesting

    go to other forums and invite people over, tell them you will make them mod if you know them well

    from this point on your gonna have to advertise, get backlinks and think outside the box for ways that will bring posters in

    force them to sign up to reach a certain area of the forum
     
    ninjashoes, Apr 17, 2007 IP
  13. ramagtm

    ramagtm Peon

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    #13
    hey guys:
    am planning for further study abroad, i just planning to apply thourgh this website, if any one can guide me to search right country and course. i just complete +2 in science.
    ramagtm
     
    ramagtm, Apr 22, 2007 IP
  14. sgugal

    sgugal Peon

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    #14
    Ur at wrong place dude ... Try Google to find it out according to your need ..
     
    sgugal, Apr 22, 2007 IP
  15. Le GoogelGuRu

    Le GoogelGuRu Guest

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    #15
    Great advice!

    Really to start off a new forum you need dedicated members.
     
    Le GoogelGuRu, Apr 22, 2007 IP
  16. jl255

    jl255 Well-Known Member

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    #16
    It's always a chicken and egg story.... how do u get an established forum without dedicated members and how do you get dedicated members without an established forum??

    So to further qualify googleguru's statement: u need dedicated members..... who will continue posting even when on one's responding.
     
    jl255, Apr 22, 2007 IP
  17. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #17
    Promote them to "moderator" or set up a special usergroup for "contributors"...

    You could set up a "thread of the week" promotion where you pick the very-most-bested thread (based on first post) and then give the OP something special...like access to a special forum for a week (or month, but no more then that, as you want them back to posting again). You could pick a "thread of the week" in each forum that way there will be more then one person 'promoted' and good posters will likely end up living in the special area :D

    Set up a "News Team" which would hunt down related news events and post them according to your guidelines (fair use). To have a member qualify, have them post a snippet of the news source, give a link to said source, and then give personal commentary...this should nix the duplicate content filters.

    Other contests are also a bonus.

    "perks" is the best way to keep members...
     
    Qryztufre, Apr 24, 2007 IP
    jl255 likes this.
  18. jl255

    jl255 Well-Known Member

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    #18
    very good practical suggestions, i'm sure many will find helpful....

    tks!

     
    jl255, Apr 24, 2007 IP