Increasing Traffic Promotional Techniques To Fill Up Those Member Lists.

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Old 12-07-2009, 01:14 PM
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Default I'd like a little advice/help...
My forum [link in sig] has been 'officially' open for just over a month. This is my first time doing this, so I don't really know what 'good' numbers would be for this period, but we've got the following:
  • nearly 40 registered members, 28 of which are 'active', and five or six 'regular' members who are actively posting and discussing topics.
  • Approximately 1400 posts
  • vbulletin is reporting on average about 75-95 members online over the past 24 hours.
  • Page one on Google for our main search term, 'mature gamers'.

I've been running an adwords campaign for about a month now ($30-50 per month), and today I signed up for a facebook ad campaign as well for the run-up to Christmas, which I'm anticipating being quite a good time for us.
I'm actively encouraging referrals with contests and prizes, and my members are doing me proud by being active and welcoming newcomers with open arms.

I'm now wondering where I go from here. I don't really want to invest any more money in paid advertising than I am already, as I don't run (and don't wish to run) ads on my site, and therefore fund any advertising out of my own pocket. The referral contest isn't maybe generating as much interest as I'd hoped, but it's early doors so far, and I'm going to stick with it.

Anyway, I'm trying to be realistic - I don't expect to have 300 members within a month and a half, all of which are posting themselves to death, but on the same note, this is the first time I've ever started a forum from scratch, and I want these numbers to improve and carry on improving, so I'm looking at other ways of raising the profile of the site, preferably for as little monetary outlay as possible.

What suggestions and advice do you guys have?
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:03 PM
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Looks good, however, I wouldn't consider all those guests as legitimate users. Often, they're just bots...

As for getting more members, word of mouth helps a lot, encourage your users to tell others about it. I've had several members who were referred by others. Also, since it's your first forum, get ready for trolls and flame wars. Those can cause your forum to go downhill, I'd suggest reading some of the threads in the other sections about such issues as you'll be sure to encounter them in the video game sector.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, obviously I'd estimate that as many as 50+ of those users are bots, which is why I'm not getting too excited about that.
As for referrals, I've got what I believe to be a fairly solid referrals scheme in place, it just seems that none of the existing users seem to be taking it up. I'm hoping that will change in the future.
As for flaming and trolls etc, I'm well aware of how to deal with them - I've got plenty of moderating experience on gaming forums, so I know what to expect.

My main question is this, though: Where can I go from here? This is only the first month, and obviously the forums will grow naturally, but I also want to make sure that I'm attracting as many people as possible to our forum to encourage growth.
I'm pretty much spending as much as I really want to on paid advertising already, but I'm looking for other ways to promote the forum or to move us up all-important slots on the first page in google. Obviously content is one, and that'll come with time, but are there other ways I've missed? I'm sure there are, but I'm new to this promotion lark.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:00 PM
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I'll try giving my opinion from the perspective of a possible member, which I actually am once I can ever get a hold of a job to get a decent computer (PC games should go to the top! xD).

Anyways, I will be in need of a good general gaming forum when I get back into it (too many gaming forums are just too low quality these days)... But I'm not a real big fan of the limitation on viewing threads as a guest. It makes it too difficult to absorb the atmosphere of you forum. It may be perfectly just what I've been looking for, but I'm not allowed to browse around and read posts to find out. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seemed like this happened just after viewing a few threads.

Unless you have other content (downloads, blog, etc.), I personally highly recommend against closing up the content that makes the forum great (posts).
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:34 PM
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Thank you for the input, that's really appreciated - I actually mean that.

My main reasoning behind doing that was to encourage the perennial lurker to actually take the plunge and register, even if it's just to get rid of that damn message. Once they're signed up, they're much more likely to actually get involved, because it's so much easier.
However, you do have valid points - I'll increase the number of views guests can make before the message kicks in.

Anyone got any thoughts on ways of improving advertising and promotion of the site?
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:31 PM
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DO you have a banner ad or anything? I have a new forum and it just started. Only 39 members, but I would be willing to put an ad for your website in the footer if you have a banner. If not i'll just post a stick thread linking to it.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:58 PM
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I don't at the moment, but I might be able to cobble something together - are you sure you don't mind doing this? I'd offer the same in return, but I've made a decision that I won't be putting ads on the site until such time as it becomes financially necessary.

If you're still happy to do it, what dimensions would you want it?
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Target_Practice View Post
I don't at the moment, but I might be able to cobble something together - are you sure you don't mind doing this? I'd offer the same in return, but I've made a decision that I won't be putting ads on the site until such time as it becomes financially necessary.

If you're still happy to do it, what dimensions would you want it?
I am always glad to help out a fellow admin. As for dimensions, 473 64 pixels would be great.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:21 PM
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I'll see if I can get our graphics monkey to hammer something together for that - thank you kindly, it's much appreciated. If/when I do decide to run ads, I'll be in touch to return the favour.
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