Increasing Traffic Promotional Techniques To Fill Up Those Member Lists.

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:03 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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Default Regret Advertising
I decided to advertise on one of the biggest blogs in my industry. After advertising for 3 months, the blog owner, after telling me how many hits my board was getting started her own forum this month and it's already ranked higher than mine in searches and it seems like her forum has hit the ground running, while I've struggled with mine since June. I've even seen members from my forum already on hers.

It's frustrating and I feel that by advertising on her blog that I gave her the idea and shot myself in the foot.

Any advice or anyone have a similar situation? This is really bumming me out and I really want my forum to succeed.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:33 PM
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Well the obvious question is whats her forum got that yours hasn't? There must be some reason everyone is flocking to hers and not yours, likewise there must be good reasons that Google has ranked her's higher than yours. You need to step back and objectively compare the two to see why hers is succeeding where yours isn't.

If there's profit involved you could always look at intellectual property rights. If her forum is the same as yours and only started after your advertisements ran on her site, she might have a struggle to prove she came up with the idea on her own.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:43 PM
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What does her forum provide that yours doesn't? I had a similar experience where my members flocked to the competitor because I was doing wrong. Needless to say, they came flocking back when things returned to normal, and I wasn't going crazy anymore.

Now my forum is successful and the competitor has hit a stand-still, and is barely growing.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:55 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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I think hers is succeeding because she is already big in the industry and her tips blog is all over the internet. She sends out frequent newsletters, etc. I've been in my industry for 2 years and started selling the products online for one year. I started my chat board in June. I'm not the greatest with computers, so I know I need to learn more about SEO for my site. I think that's one area I need to work on and I did notice a few categories on her site that I might add to mine. I don't send out newsletters, because that's not really my strong point. I'm not sure what to say or write in them.

Before all this happened, I was plugging along, being sure to post on my site often, reply to all that posted, start new posts, etc. I'm good at that and it seemed to be slowing building up at my site and I was pretty happy with things. After all this happened, she's really giving me a run for my money and I'm furiously working to figure out how to keep the people I have and bring in more people if possible.

You guys have given me a few things to think about and a fresh perspective. Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:55 PM
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If you feel comfortable posting links to your forum and her forum I'm sure there's some additional advice we could all offer you.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:27 AM
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Your competitor is more than probably more experienced at adding links to her website but this is no problem since you too could start using some link building methods and after a while your site could even outperform the other one because your domain name is older.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:31 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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Sure. My site is at www.facepaintchat.com and hers is www.facepaintingtips.com/forum/
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:44 AM
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now people can suggest you some idea after lookin into urls. I thinks yours PR is higher
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:40 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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What is PR?

Thanks,
Sherry
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:02 PM
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PR - Page Rank
Its a way of grading websites used by google.
A higher PR means better website.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seloqxt View Post
PR - Page Rank
Its a way of grading websites used by google.
A higher PR means better website.
A better ranked website that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryLynn View Post
If it makes you feel any better, I'd much rather join yours.

... And to be honest there's next to nothing better about her forum layout over yours in my opinion.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:14 PM
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I just took a quick look at both forums and to be honest at first glance her's does look more professional, or finished, or something.

To me the colors look very dull and the small logo at the top doesn't look right. Her's has lighter more vibrant color combination and the almost full width logo makes the forum look more complete.

So that might be something to look at.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockatteer View Post
I just took a quick look at both forums and to be honest at first glance her's does look more professional, or finished, or something.

To me the colors look very dull and the small logo at the top doesn't look right. Her's has lighter more vibrant color combination and the almost full width logo makes the forum look more complete.

So that might be something to look at.
I'm pretty sure it's just the phpBB3 default.

But that is a good point, a professional banner on your forum will definitely add some improved quality in terms of the overall look.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryLynn View Post
As others said the colors are a bit dull on your site. Also the banner could have been more professional, as this is the first image which the user associates with a website.

Also to get your way ahead from your competitor, you can implement search engine optimized urls for the thread names. It will give a boost in search engine rankings, and I would definitely think it will give better search ranking because both websites are pretty much on the same level.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:42 AM
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I'm not sure I'd worry about it so much. There's hardly any posts on her forum. Just worry about making your own better.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:31 AM
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After looking at both sites, I think her's looks better, to be honest. Though her's is an out the box PHPBB3 theme with a custom banner, it still looks more pleasing to the eye than your forum. The turquoise-like color on your forum is rather garish. I'd change it to something more neutral and less eye-blasting.

As mentioned, the banner on top seems like it's just plastered there without much stability, and it looks like really amateur implementation of Photoshop, or some such image editor.

If you're not good with computers and you're willing to invest money into your board, and I assume you are since you're advertising on someone's blog, I'd recommend that you look into hiring someone that can help with the look of the forum (you're welcome to PM me if interested), or alternatively, try to get a staff member from your board that can help, but getting results that way will likely be more difficult and could possibly net you a worse outcome. Also, you could try your own hand at it if you're willing to invest the time, practice, and patience it will take.

In short:
Her forum, though bland, looks more pleasant. Try doing something to improve the look of your board and keep adding worthwhile content. If her forum allows signature links, you can also join her forum and put a link in your signature to your forum. Just remember to make good posts that contribute to her board instead of overtly using it as a platform for promotion.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:14 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seloqxt View Post

Also to get your way ahead from your competitor, you can implement search engine optimized urls for the thread names.
How do you do this?

On the banner, it's something I've struggled with from the beginning, but that's something I can work on. I like the color of my site and it doesn't come off as garish at all on my end. Maybe computer monitors show it differently?

Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:33 AM
SherryLynn SherryLynn is offline
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I'm working on making a new banner with Banner Maker Pro. How do you know which size to choose when making your banner?
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:17 AM
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You could try this if you want:

http://i48.tinypic.com/i55e75.jpg
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryLynn View Post
How do you do this?

On the banner, it's something I've struggled with from the beginning, but that's something I can work on. I like the color of my site and it doesn't come off as garish at all on my end. Maybe computer monitors show it differently?

Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice.
You are using simple machines forum system. I found a few SEO modifications available for it. You can check them out here. I have never used SMF, so I cant tell which mod is better. Try them first on a test machine, if you are satisfied make the changes on the site.

Basically it turns links like http://<site name>/forums/showthread.php?t=48511 to something like http://<site name>/forums/ten-ways-to-use-wordpress
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