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How to create a growing forum

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by DarrenC, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. #1
    I have just this month launched the holiday home owners forum, and would like some advise.

    The forum was created in September, but have been adding content so it doesn't look completely bear.
    SEMrush
    I have sent an email to clients and subscribers of my holiday home owners newsletter but so far only a small number of people have signed up. I'm trying to add new content every day to keep it fresh but do you have any other ideas and tips to create a growing community style forum.

    Thanks,
    Darren :)
     
    DarrenC, Nov 2, 2004 IP
    SEMrush
  2. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #2
    If you figure it out, please share... :) I'm about to put together another forum (completely unrelated topic), and I'm not exactly sure how to get it jump started. Obviously, I don't have the free webmaster/SEO tool user base to draw upon.
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  3. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

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    #3
    Shawn, sure will :) I thought that my clientbase (over 3,000 subscribers to my newsletter) would rush to such a forum (since there isn't any other related forum) but its slowww.
     
    DarrenC, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  4. T0PS3O

    T0PS3O Feel Good PLC

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    #4
    Do like Shawn does; trick people into signing up by creating vague tools that cause problems and need explaining :D

    Only joking of course.

    Announce something (a change to the site or change in policy, post interesting industry news or whatever) and ask them for their opinion. People are always up for giving their opinion.
     
    T0PS3O, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #5
    It's a forum for eating disorders, and the only approach I've come up with is to use some SEO super powers to rank #1 for all the related terms... like plain old "eating disorder" (which gets a lot of traffic). Ranking for things like "eating disorder forum" is easy, but rather pointless IMO.
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  6. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

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    #6
    Yeah I agree. I actually rank #1 for holiday home owners forum from an old attempt at a forum, which I took down, and since it's getting cold out I thought people might have more time to participate lol so redesigned it.

    I get zero hits from the KW's

    SEO the forum and then contact different eating disorder organisations and websites and ask them if they want to link to your forum, so that the members or visitors can communicate with other members who may have an eating disorder.
     
    DarrenC, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  7. Help Desk

    Help Desk Well-Known Member

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    #7
    Get hot women to post their avatars. It's worked for some!
     
    Help Desk, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  8. payoutwindow

    payoutwindow Peon

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    #8
    visit The Forum Zone ... its a decent site dedicated to forum owners and growing a forum .. might get some more help over there.
     
    payoutwindow, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  9. flawebworks

    flawebworks Tech Services

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    #9
    flawebworks, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  10. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #10
    Posting news articles works for some but in both these cases there won't be a steady flow of these.

    But wwhhomes, you've got atleast one new member by posting here! I'm still waiting for my activation email but when it comes...
    I've linked to you from NZ Holiday Homes to Rent
    How about a link exchange section?
     
    sarahk, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  11. Percept

    Percept Peon

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    #11
    Percept, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  12. Fishing Forum

    Fishing Forum Active Member

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    #12
    I think the first thing to do is write a few articals (good ones) so that the forum looks active at first then go old AdWords whilst you try to get your keywords listed ( plus AdWords you can see if you are targeting right words for traffic )

    As for getting guest to sign up well thats the golden egg there are loads of ideas out there but I think it depends on the forum subject i.e web forums people will sign up as they know its not a big deal but other topic my not have quiet so web savy guests

    Sometimes it just takes time and a bit of luck

    I have one and was off the back of another related site , but its still grows slowly but nicely in my view :p
     
    Fishing Forum, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  13. Help Desk

    Help Desk Well-Known Member

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    #13
    I get pretty turned off when I see the post count being pretty low. Keep posting any idea or article that you may need. Either come up with a free product or offer support for an existing one.
     
    Help Desk, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  14. leeds1

    leeds1 Peon

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    #14
    I had an offer as follows (and still do)

    15 posts - an anchor link on every page of the forum for 2 weeks
    30 posts - 1 month
    50 posts - a banner ad

    My is a business forum and is damm hard - even after 6 months it justs ticks along - probably 30/40 posts a day - not like here !!

    People like to be involved with the forum owner - so I always post to new posts and get involvement - hope this helps
     
    leeds1, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  15. Percept

    Percept Peon

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    #15
    I'm a webdesigner so I pay more attention to this but MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT USING THE DEFAULT FORUM THEME. All I need is a splitsecond to recognize the default forum theme from phpBB, invisionboard, vBulletin, ... , it makes the forumadmin look like someone who doesn't want to "invest" in the forum and if the admin doesn't bother to invest in the forum, why should I as a member ?
     
    Percept, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  16. disgust

    disgust Guest

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    #16
    I don't think it's pointless. I noticed a big change when I started doing this for one of my forums. "widget forum" and "widget forums" get only maybe 50 searches a day on the keyword tracker tools, but I've noticed they make quite a difference. even if you only get half of that to click once you're in the #1 spot, and only half of those to register, that's still 12 or so new registrations per day, which is really pretty decent for a new forum :)

    we've also do incentive based things to get people to sign up as well. it does increase those joining, but a lot don't post... including people that don't post, I think we get a few hundred registrations a day

    when you're actually just starting things up, some people have suggested creating multiple fake accounts and start some fake discussions to make things look active. it might work, if you want to spend the time on it. if you don't, at least get some friends to sign up and post a few times or something
     
    disgust, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  17. Fishing Forum

    Fishing Forum Active Member

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    #17
    MMM not sure I have the same view point as you as a great content is far more important than a super looking site ( but every things does help )

    look at this one
     
    Fishing Forum, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  18. Percept

    Percept Peon

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    #18
    It doesn't have to be a complete re-design but I've seen enough out of the box forums where the admins hadn't even changed the logo of the board.
     
    Percept, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  19. Nick W

    Nick W Peon

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    #19
    Nick W, Nov 2, 2004 IP
  20. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #20
    Also have links to the major players in your forum, if they look at their logs they may visit you to see what you are saying about them.

    If there are no decent forums which you are competing against then an intro email or call would be valuable. In the case of eating disorders I would imagine you could get print media interest.
     
    sarahk, Nov 2, 2004 IP