5 steps to revive a dead forum

Harro

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Harro submitted a new Article:

5 steps to revive a dead forum

5 Steps to revive a dead forum

As a forum admin I know it can be difficult to keep your (new) forum active.
When you start a forum, it's active.
You probably asked a few friends to come over at the start and they're active aswell.
When you've done your first advertising campains you probably got a few new members that are active aswell (and some that aren't active...).
So after some weeks you've got a few members, some topics on your forum and some posts.
But it happens often that activity drops after a few weeks or months, and you're left with an almost dead community.
Many things can cause this... People loose interest, not enough new threads to reply to and so on...
It can be very difficult to revive such a community on your own...

Thought a bit about this problem and came up with a step-by-step guide to try to revive your forum again.

Step 1: Make a bunch of new topics
Start a few topics on your forum, and try to spread them over your entire forum.
So don't only post in the "general chat" area (if you have it) but also in subforums about the main topic of your forum.
Try to start discussions!
When you only post information, people will read it and leave it.
So you have to try to get some discussions, ask for feedback or ask other questions.
In your general chat forums you can start topics like "post your pic" or "favourite music".
Polls are also good!
Topics like that can be great ice-breakers. They are easy to reply too.

Try to create a few new topics each day for a couple of days!

Step 2: Ask your friends... again...
Once you've created a few new threads you can ask your friends over again.
Tell them that you created new topics and would appreciate it if they would check them out and post a few things while they're there.

Now you should have a little more activity on your forum again... But it's not done yet!

Step 3: Do some post exchanges
Doing post exchanges will not only increase your amount of posts and threads, but also your amount of members.
Also try to do this for a couple days...

After these 3 steps you should have some activity on your forum again, but it's not done yet!
You still have a bunch of members that didn't notice the new activity on your forum, simply because they haven't visited your forum again.
So now you have to give them a reason to visit your forum...

Step 4: Install or add something new and mail all your...

Read more about this article here...
 
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Vyoma

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Feb 19, 2006
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That is a nice way of summing up of things that I used to do with my now-shutdown (read as dead) forum. It fell into times of near-inactivity, and I took action that was somewhat similar to this article and it got back into the activity zone.

The most effective of these steps is the email to members. But just do not mass mail your members saying "Hey! Hope you visit our forums again!". That would look very spammy. Try to put in some information, or service or changed layout or even a newsletter on how things are going. I got about 75% of my earlier active members back when I did this.

If you are thinking of going for the newsletter option, read around in TAZ articles (I remember seeing them somewhere) or Google for "effective newsletter" or similar such keywords.
 

dojo

Passionate admin
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Apr 27, 2005
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Good article. Thank you for sharing it. It's gonna be useful for many members, that's for sure :)
 

Samurai

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Aug 13, 2006
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Without a doubt, that is a very impressive strategy, good job! And if my forum loses activity, i'll use this method to get it back on its feet.
 

ILTK

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Aug 8, 2005
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Good article.

One thing I also do is find forums in my niche and look at the threads that seems to explode and write the thread title down, also look at view counters and write those thread titles down in a 'swipe file' that I use when brainstorming ideas for creating new posts.

Also try and get some good copywrite swipe files or buy one, they are pure gold.
 

Harro

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Jun 24, 2006
Messages
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Thanks for the nice comments!
And that's a good idea ILTK!
Could realy help if you don't know how to create a few new topics each day.
Just have to make sure you don't just copy those posts!
 

Vyoma

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Feb 19, 2006
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ILTK said:
Good article.

One thing I also do is find forums in my niche and look at the threads that seems to explode and write the thread title down, also look at view counters and write those thread titles down in a 'swipe file' that I use when brainstorming ideas for creating new posts.

Also try and get some good copywrite swipe files or buy one, they are pure gold.

ILTK, could you please elaborate on what you mean by a swipe file? I feel like I am out of the page, and I do not understand. (Sorry, if it is something basic, but as they say - it never hurts to ask).
 

ILTK

Adherent
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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
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A swipe file is just a list of headlines that has worked in the past and made people click to view an aritcle or ad.

Known ad writers for large online newspapers sometimes sell them, and they are great because they contain phrases that has proven themselves to work on a large number of people so you can use them and rewrite for your own purposes.

Try a google search for "swipe file"
 

Dakoom

Web City
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Jun 13, 2006
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758
Step 3: Do some post exchanges
Doing post exchanges will not only increase your amount of posts and threads, but also your amount of members.
Also try to do this for a couple days...

What you mean with this? For example, I say at one of my friend "Ehy man, if you post some thread in my forum, I'll post some others in yours!".. ?
 

Harro

Fan
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Jun 24, 2006
Messages
520
Indeed.
Contact other admins of forums and do post exchanges
You create eg 10 posts on his forum, and he'll create eg 10 on yours.
 

smith02

Neophyte
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
2
This is great, never thought this way before as I was always thinking that the forum I made with a lot of interest would soon be next to nothing and there is no possible way by the help of which I can revive it, now after getting these tips I see a ray of hope lets see if something can be done.
 

hvyhitter

King of the Stereo
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
178
yeah the #1 thing is a good idea.. i like making "game "threads"

for instance

1. Picture Pwnage (post a picture that pwns the one before it)
2. a never ending (what are you listening to now.) so truly your forum will never have ZERO posts
3. "The Spam thread" place where you just post random life goings on..

posting a shoutbox seriously dropped my post counts.. and the amount of SPAM in my forums dropped dramatically.

umm.. as for the trading posts thing.. I would love to get into that.. where would those be.. as you can tell I SPAM (good quality like this) ALOT.
 
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