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  • How did you get your forum rolling?

    I think all of us at some point found ourselves in this situation. We created a new forum and now we are tasked with the Chicken versus the Egg theory.

    I was wondering if people would be willing to share some of their tips with how they got their forum rolling?

    Did you spend most of your time posting lots of new threads each day to try and get other people to join?

    Did you create a lot of fake member names to make your forum look popular?

    Obviously, these forums with 1 million posts didnt start out with thousands of members and millions of threads. There was a time where the forum had zero posts and a handful of members?

    So what are some lessons you learned to help us noobs into getting our forums rolling?

  • #2
    There isn't a secret recipe that will help you to create a very popular community because based on what topic you want to cover there might already be competitors.

    What I learned is that content is the most important thing.
    The user doesn't care about fancy effects or a nice style, all he/she wants is to get information as fast as possible and the possibility to ask questions or to discuss those information makes a forum so popular because it's better than just a plain website with black text on white background and a single 'send e-mail to author' button with no interactivity at all.

    Obviously that doesn't create a lot of new threads because at some point most of the questions are already answered, new visitors can rely on the existing answers and they don't have a reason to register.

    At that point you have build up a community, bind the members to your forums and make them feel special.

    A common way to do this is creating usergroups with special privileges. Assign this usergroups to those members who have been helpful to the community and others will follow.


    As you can see, there are many things to consider and my post is only based on what I learned about running a successful community.
    We have just over 1.800 members and we never thought that we will get so far.
    That's the end of that!

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    • #3
      The reason i ask is that i just setup my first forum 2 months ago and thus even though i have 800 members and get more than 30k visitors a week, i am still the only person posting stuff on the forum.

      On a similiar note, my friend has had a snitz-free-ware forum for 5 years, only has 200 members and has about 25k posts, mostly from his members.

      The irony is that it took him 5 years to get 200 members, i have gotten 4 times that in just two months. I also have about 20k more visitors per week then he. But, everyday people post 20 or 30 new threads on his forum while nobody is posting on mine except me.

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      • #4
        Pay per posts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NashTax View Post
          Pay per posts.
          Can you explain further? Do you mean the website paying the member who posts?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fusion2 View Post
            Can you explain further? Do you mean the website paying the member who posts?
            Hi, yeah sorry.

            I will pay people a couple of cents a post on my forum, say if they reach 50 posts thats $3 or $4 depends on how much I am going to give away. Active posts = active community at the end of the day.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NashTax View Post
              Hi, yeah sorry.

              I will pay people a couple of cents a post on my forum, say if they reach 50 posts thats $3 or $4 depends on how much I am going to give away. Active posts = active community at the end of the day.
              And how do you manage this payment program?

              Meaning are these just friends who post or anyone who posts gets paid? How do you manage the tax aspects or is this strictly under the table?

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              • #8
                You don't pay everyone whom posts. Just the ones that you hire to post say 50 posts for 4 dollars.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sn1p34 View Post
                  You don't pay everyone whom posts. Just the ones that you hire to post say 50 posts for 4 dollars.
                  Ahh ok, but does that sacrifice quality?

                  I mean the average poster on my forum composes 1 or 2 full pages in their initial post. The people who reply average a 1/2 page. All this takes a lot of time.

                  So i wonder if someone being paid $4 for their time will actually write quality posts when 50 posts might take then several hours if they are writing for quality.

                  But, i guess if your looking to just post short things, then paying would be the way to go?

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                  • #10
                    It took me about two years of finding a subject matter that I was interested in that people were also interested in. It also helped to be a member of another board on the same topic who let me post messages asking people to join the site. They were not afraid of losing members because people enjoy posting on both since they are so differant. It's nice to have an active site again.
                    http://www.icecreamforum.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HexOnxOnx View Post
                      It took me about two years of finding a subject matter that I was interested in that people were also interested in. It also helped to be a member of another board on the same topic who let me post messages asking people to join the site.

                      Thats sort of my problem!

                      Since 2001 i have been active as a moderator on several forums. But, none of those forums allow advertising or promoting your forums on their forums (obviously competition).

                      But, what gets me the most is that one of these forums, i can honestly say that i was responsible for its startup success.

                      How?

                      Well each day i would post 5 or 10 new threads that were lengthy and well written. My two friends (who own the forum) would respond back to these threads and before we knew it, we had a lenghty discussion between us going on. Eventually this sorta thing attacted more members and more posts. Now he gets about 3 new members a day and has over 15k threads which is good for a school martial art site.

                      Where i am failing with my own forum is getting feedback. I have posted lots of threads but i dont have anyone on my forum that is eager to voice their own opinion and get the thread rolling.

                      So i feel like my threads are left hanging and that doesnt exactly motivate me to write more threads.

                      I have been getting lots of visitors, about 39k within the first month of the website release. And im making a profit from google adsense. But, if i could only get people to participate.

                      I have reorganized my forum topics a few times, trying to find the right niche. But, that doesnt seem to work either.

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                      • #12
                        Try adwords. Thats help my site out. I've only been up for a couple of weeks and have had pretty good luck.

                        Dascrow
                        http://www.tundratalk.net

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                        • #13
                          I used adwords for a while - big mistake and a waste of money....... dpending on your site niche obviously.

                          I gained more traffic on one day from a well placed link on another forum than spending €20 on google adwords over a week.

                          My forum has taken 4 years to get to where it is now and I still only have 250 active members. I get 1,100 ish uniques a day though, mostly from search engines.
                          The Paintball Resource

                          Critic My site HERE

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrNase View Post
                            We have just over 1.800 members and we never thought that we will get so far.

                            Here we are, almost 4.000 members and counting.
                            That's the end of that!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't really advertise my forum like I should... and probably won't until the main site is completed.

                              We're a nice little community right now, and that'll do until I can work up an advertising scheme and some content on the main site.
                              Ryan Ashbrook - My Blog - My Twitter

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