10 & 10: Ways to get traffic and ways not to get traffic

Shawn Gossman

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Dec 16, 2005
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Shawn Gossman submitted a new Article:

10 & 10: Ways to get traffic and ways not to get traffic

We forum owners are always looking at new ways to gain more traffic to our forums right? There are many different methods online and offline for promoting a forum. While many of these methods work and bring in more traffic, there are also some methods that will do more harm than good. In this article, I will suggest 10 ideas to gain more traffic and warn about 10 methods you should avoid.

10 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Forum

  1. Word of Mouth – Simply inviting your friends, family and people you meet online is often one of the best ways to get more traffic to a forum.
  2. Promotion Forums – Some disagree with them but they are filled with real people who will give you real user accounts with real posts.
  3. Admin Forums – Join them to post your forum in their forum link showcase and review boards. This can help send more traffic to your forum.
  4. Articles – Create articles on websites like eZine Articles, Hub Pages and Squidoo and link to your forum where it is relevant. The more articles you create, the more likely people will find you.
  5. Social Media – Get on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the others. Make pages for your forum and promote the pages like you would your forum.
  6. Start a Blog – Create a blog related to the niche of your forum. Link to forum posts every now and then on the blog where it is relevant to the article you are writing.
  7. Business Cards – Go to a site like Vista Print and get 500 business cards created with your forum link of them. Leave a card at cafes, shopping centers, rest stops and so on. Great for local-based forums!
  8. Bumper Sticker – Have a bumper sticker made with your website link on it. Put in on your vehicle and other drivers may see it and visit the forum. This is great for local-based forums!
  9. Facebook Ads – I would say I “like” and click on more Facebook ads than any other type of ads online and it seems a lot of people do as well. I’d spend my money on Facebook ads before any other ad service when advertising my forum.
  10. Other Forums – Join other forums and add your forum link to your signature. The more quality content you post on other forums, the better chance people will see your signature link and take you more seriously.

10 Ways to Not Get More Traffic on Your Forum

  1. Spam – Don’t spam other websites, forums and communities. No one forgets a spammer!
  2. One Liner – Don’t join a forum with your signature link and only post short...

Read more about this article here...
 
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Jack_Rouse

Use The Force
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Feb 21, 2013
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1,393
We forum owners are always looking at new ways to gain more traffic to our forums right? There are many different methods online and offline for promoting a forum. While many of these methods work and bring in more traffic, there are also some methods that will do more harm than good. In this article, I will suggest 10 ideas to gain more traffic and warn about 10 methods you should avoid.

10 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Forum

  1. Word of Mouth – Simply inviting your friends, family and people you meet online is often one of the best ways to get more traffic to a forum.
  2. Promotion Forums – Some disagree with them but they are filled with real people who will give you real user accounts with real posts.
  3. Admin Forums – Join them to post your forum in their forum link showcase and review boards. This can help send more traffic to your forum.
  4. Articles – Create articles on websites like eZine Articles, Hub Pages and Squidoo and link to your forum where it is relevant. The more articles you create, the more likely people will find you.
  5. Social Media – Get on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the others. Make pages for your forum and promote the pages like you would your forum.
  6. Start a Blog – Create a blog related to the niche of your forum. Link to forum posts every now and then on the blog where it is relevant to the article you are writing.
  7. Business Cards – Go to a site like Vista Print and get 500 business cards created with your forum link of them. Leave a card at cafes, shopping centers, rest stops and so on. Great for local-based forums!
  8. Bumper Sticker – Have a bumper sticker made with your website link on it. Put in on your vehicle and other drivers may see it and visit the forum. This is great for local-based forums!
  9. Facebook Ads – I would say I “like” and click on more Facebook ads than any other type of ads online and it seems a lot of people do as well. I’d spend my money on Facebook ads before any other ad service when advertising my forum.
  10. Other Forums – Join other forums and add your forum link to your signature. The more quality content you post on other forums, the better chance people will see your signature link and take you more seriously.

10 Ways to Not Get More Traffic on Your Forum

  1. Spam – Don’t spam other websites, forums and communities. No one forgets a spammer!
  2. One Liner – Don’t join a forum with your signature link and only post short one liner posts – it makes you look like a spammer.
  3. Black Hat SEO – Don’t practice unethical search engine optimization tactics. It will get your penalized by most search engines including the big boy, Google.
  4. Lies – Don’t lie to get people to your forum! For example, don’t promise to give a person something if they join the forum and never give it to them.
  5. Bot Scripts – Don’t pay small amounts for 1,000+ back links. This is usually done with bot scripts like Xrumor and so on and it will get you penalized before anything good!
  6. Directory Submitters – Besides a few niche and forum directories, I would recommend staying away from directories altogether. An auto directory submission tool is just another way to be seen as a spammer by Google.
  7. Fake Users – Don’t create a lot of fake users just to make your forum look active. Eventually those who fake things get discovered and that isn’t the best reputation to have!
  8. Duplicate Articles – If you are going to write articles online, each article should be unique and only written once. Don’t write one article and repost it several times in hopes to drive traffic to your forum.
  9. Shady Services – Before you consider spending money on an SEO or advertising service, do some research beforehand! A service will put just about anything on their site to get your money! Don’t fall for services that are a waste of money.
  10. Waiting - Don't just wait for members by not trying to get traffic. Not doing anything will result in not gaining anything.

Thanks for reading my article on ways to gain traffic and ways to avoid gaining traffic. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it helps. Please share it with other forum owners and feel free to leave a comment telling me what you thought of the article. Have a great day!

2. Promotion forums are filled with Admins trying to promote their forums, the only good they do is for themselves.

4. Not really true, Google and other search engines do not treat them as reliable sources of information, they are looked on as purely for advertising.

9, The biggest waste of money out, unless you are prepared to bid high, Facebook ads will get you nowhere.

10, Posting a link to a rival Forum in the same niche is not good forum ettiquette, and could get you banned, giving you a bad name.



1, You've told them to do this ! Leaving a link in signature, on a rival forum is spamming !

3. By definition all SEO work is Black Hat, what you are doing all the time is trying to cheat the search into thinking your site is better than the other one
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,071
2. Promotion forums are filled with Admins trying to promote their forums, the only good they do is for themselves.


Depends of the niche. I have had a lot of success gaining traffic and members to my admin forum using promotion forums. However, I can see your point.

4. Not really true, Google and other search engines do not treat them as reliable sources of information, they are looked on as purely for advertising.

See, I have had a different experience. However, I use resource boxes to link to my forum. I don't blast it all over the article. There are ways to write articles without them looking like one big advertisement.

9, The biggest waste of money out, unless you are prepared to bid high, Facebook ads will get you nowhere.

It may have got you nowhere but it has worked for others, including me and a few of my forums. :) In fact, I had more success from using FB ads in a week than a couple of months of using Adwords.

10, Posting a link to a rival Forum in the same niche is not good forum ettiquette, and could get you banned, giving you a bad name.

If it is not allowed, sure. One should always check before doing so! On all my forums, I welcome rival forums to have their direct competition link in their signature but I expect to be able to do the same as well :)

1, You've told them to do this ! Leaving a link in signature, on a rival forum is spamming !

Again, its not spamming if its allowed...

3. By definition all SEO work is Black Hat, what you are doing all the time is trying to cheat the search into thinking your site is better than the other one
[/quote]

I won't argue that idea ;)

Thanks for the comments!
 

Sweet Jane

Participant
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Messages
60
Thanks Shawn! This is very readable, good points are made, and I'm grateful for the convenient checklist form you used. :)

Jane
 

agandl

Fan
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Jun 25, 2013
Messages
924
Totally agree with Jane and Julie - a good article in an easily assimilated format. Thanks

A.
 

Berath

Aspirant
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
38
These sorts of posts are always useful.

It's true you do need to be careful with links in your signature, the easiest thing is just to see if other posters have
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
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Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,874
Nice article!

As for the individual who complains about things like forum signatures and promotion forums... keep in mind that many forums are not super strict about links in home page fields or signatures to rival forums. Indeed, every gaming site I've ever been a member of has generally been fine with a link in a signature or the like, they just don't like rival forums linked to in actual topic content like an advertisement.

And promotion forums are great... if your site is for the type of person they attract. Have a webmaster or admin site? Then the people on promotion forums kind of ARE your audience, so nothing but good can come of you posting about the site there. Same if your audience happens to overlap with the type of people who visit promotion forums, like if it's for a young, teen/adult male tech geek audience or the like.
 

JOtstott

Participant
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
78
Really good article. Why forums don't allow others to share links in their signature is beyond me. There is nothing wrong with a little competition between forums in the same niche. To think other wise just shows fear.

As for Facebook Ads, my experience with it hasn't been that great but I didn't have the best budget at the time to be honest. I know some people who have gained a lot of traffic via Facebook Ads so I might look into it again down the road.
 

Darth_Apple

Adherent
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
269
Great article!

Regarding promotion forums, it does seem to be a very controversial subject these days. Honestly, I've tried promotion forums, and if you just go to one, write 20 quick posts, post a thread linking to your website, and leave it at that, you won't likely gain anything at all. Doing the same thing at a non-promotion forum won't really work either. The only real difference when it comes to promotion forums is that you have the added benefit of the ease of being able to set up post exchanges, and you know you're in a community that doesn't prohibit signature links.

I've found that the best way to promote at forums in general is to get very involved in the community and write great content. Whether it's a promotion forum or a forum of any other niche, great, quality content and a positive general attitude in the community will get people interested.
 

.Rogue

The Thinker
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
339
Great article!

I wonder about this point:
Business Cards – Go to a site like Vista Print and get 500 business cards created with your forum link of them. Leave a card at cafes, shopping centers, rest stops and so on. Great for local-based forums!

Can you just leave these cards at those places or do you have to get permission off the owner/companies? I'd be worried about getting into trouble just leaving them there and then a knock on the door from the police lol. :)
 

agandl

Fan
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
924
Great article!

I wonder about this point:


Can you just leave these cards at those places or do you have to get permission off the owner/companies? I'd be worried about getting into trouble just leaving them there and then a knock on the door from the police lol. :)

I think you have to use your judgement think about the places you can leave you cards to get a worthwhile return and then leave your cards with or without permission as seems most appropriate

I have been an admin on a pet site (currently out of action) but when it is up and running again we are going to be doing this as one of our promotions. I get on well with my vet for instance and I am sure that she will let us leave cards there because she knows that we don't try and solve veterinary problems, we advise people that if they have concerns they should visit their vets. We also promote it at places like dog shows, having checked that the organisers are happy. Another place is pet shops. For each of these we would be asking permission but would expect to get it.

When I have promoted other things I have found some places, like staff restaurants have been happy to have appropriate promotional material left provided it is not excessive or untidy but even then I have asked out of courtesy.

I think that unless your cards were considered to be seriously littering or promoting elicit material a visit for the police would be highly unlikely
 

.Rogue

The Thinker
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
339
I think you have to use your judgement think about the places you can leave you cards to get a worthwhile return and then leave your cards with or without permission as seems most appropriate

I have been an admin on a pet site (currently out of action) but when it is up and running again we are going to be doing this as one of our promotions. I get on well with my vet for instance and I am sure that she will let us leave cards there because she knows that we don't try and solve veterinary problems, we advise people that if they have concerns they should visit their vets. We also promote it at places like dog shows, having checked that the organisers are happy. Another place is pet shops. For each of these we would be asking permission but would expect to get it.

When I have promoted other things I have found some places, like staff restaurants have been happy to have appropriate promotional material left provided it is not excessive or untidy but even then I have asked out of courtesy.

I think that unless your cards were considered to be seriously littering or promoting elicit material a visit for the police would be highly unlikely
Ah I see. Just a little bit of common curtesy then. Thank you. :)
 
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