How did you get your forum off the ground

DigNap15

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#2: Best in-class content. I'll admit, I don't know what that means, though I suspect he's referring to ensuring your forum has high value content related to the forum topic rather than a heaps of idle chat or unanswered questions. This is vital if you want people to keep coming back.

My forum is a general one in a small country (New Zealand)
I think its quite active.
Not many unanswered questions
But a lot of idle chat, unfortnunately thats what a lot for my members seem to like, quick one liners.
I even set up a forum called "Idle Chat" it gets used, but there is still lots of idle chat in every other forum.

So maybe that is why Google ranks me on page 7 when I should be on page 1
 

Dubbed Navigator

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Now most people have probably realized that a forum is very difficult to build up. Especially if you have under 100 members. Even if you have a 1,000 or more members it's probably difficult to get people to join. Especially if you're going against other already established forums that have tens of thousands of members. For all of you already have a successful forum or a forum that is "somewhat" successful: How did you get your forum from zero members to what it is now? Did you start off by creating tons of fake posts and accounts or did you hire forum posters? Maybe you exchanged posts with other forum owners or had your friends help you out. This is definitely a mystery to me that I haven't been able to figure out. So far every single forum I've tried starting up has been a complete failure.


I'm not sure why you would be bothered about having 1000+ members or 100. The vast majority of them will be lurkers anyway. Focus on the members who are actually contributing and it will pay off.

And get out of the mindset of fake posts and accounts. There is no better way of achieving early result, and long term crap on your forum mixed with more inactivity.
 

DigNap15

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Messages
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Now most people have probably realized that a forum is very difficult to build up. Especially if you have under 100 members. Even if you have a 1,000 or more members it's probably difficult to get people to join. Especially if you're going against other already established forums that have tens of thousands of members. For all of you already have a successful forum or a forum that is "somewhat" successful: How did you get your forum from zero members to what it is now? Did you start off by creating tons of fake posts and accounts or did you hire forum posters? Maybe you exchanged posts with other forum owners or had your friends help you out. This is definitely a mystery to me that I haven't been able to figure out. So far every single forum I've tried starting up has been a complete failure.

There are lots of answers
Just because you start a forum it does not mean that people want that type of forum.
Why are you starting the forums
Is there a gap in the market?
I now have 1,000 members, but my number of new members has slowed to a trickle of from 1 to 3 a day.
Of these only about 1 in tne turns out to be a regular poster.

Before getting them to join you have to get them to find you.
Or you have to find a way to advertise your forum
It depends on your demograhic
Younger ones do not look for forums, they dont even know what they are.
 

yeswecan

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May 16, 2009
Messages
90
Think about who is your target group and why they should join your forum and not others.
 

yeswecan

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May 16, 2009
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90
Now what?

What do you expect from me? This is your start-up, not mine. ;)

I can not write a businessplan for you. At least not for free :)

I gave you the most important starting point. Make research. If you can not answers these two mentioned questions in detail, you should not open the forum.

As a tip: If you think that your target group is the population of New Zealand, you lost already.

If you try to serve everybody you end up serving nobody.
 

DigNap15

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I know my market, the problem is being able to find them.
And to convince them to join a forum.
Google is not helping me here.
 

zappaDPJ

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Messages
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Google is not helping me here.

If search engine related traffic is your key to success then you need to make it work for you and everything I've read recently suggests unique, rich content will help facilitate that. In my experience the only person that can make that happen is you. If you believe there's interest in your niche then you need to fill it with the content that Google will pick up on. Set yourself a target of up to five posts a day that would satisfy a news outlet.

You should also try and reach out to other organizations that might have an interest in your niche. If it's New Zealand politics I would look around to see if you can get political organizations at a local level to engage with your forum. People are always interested to know how political decisions might affect the area in which they live.

I run a forum specific to the area where I live. The political section alone has 339,327 threads the oldest of which is less than five years old. I don't know anything about your forum but if it focused on politics I would strongly recommend you leave your personal political views at the forum door. Taking a balanced view in a political arena is next to impossible for most people but unless you are running a politically biased forum it is imperative you learn to remain neutral. I taught myself to do this by rereading everything I post before I hit reply. What I'm trying to put across is where politics are concerned your members need to know that they can post from all sides of the political spectrum without prejudice and moderation providing of course they follow the forum rules.
 

petertdavis

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I knew a good number of people involved in the niche so I would simply ask all of them individually to come join and post a few messages. Some did, some didn't. The ones that did, some of them invited other people that they knew. It was slow going for sure and many moments I felt like throwing in the towel, but sure glad I didn't.
 

DigNap15

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Messages
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I run a forum specific to the area where I live. The political section alone has 339,327 threads the oldest of which is less than five years old. I don't know anything about your forum but if it focused on politics I would strongly recommend you leave your personal political views at the forum door. Taking a balanced view in a political arena is next to impossible for most people but unless you are running a politically biased forum it is imperative you learn to remain neutral. I taught myself to do this by rereading everything I post before I hit reply. What I'm trying to put across is where politics are concerned your members need to know that they can post from all sides of the political spectrum without prejudice and moderation providing of course they follow the forum rules.
Thanks Good advice
I do as you suggest and I never comment on the threads at all.
I try to stay stricrly neatral in my moderation.
So that all of oru members know its not a biased forum.
Although it has turned out to be 70/30 right to left.
 

Soulwatcher

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Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
2,676
Now most people have probably realized that a forum is very difficult to build up. Especially if you have under 100 members. Even if you have a 1,000 or more members it's probably difficult to get people to join. Especially if you're going against other already established forums that have tens of thousands of members. For all of you already have a successful forum or a forum that is "somewhat" successful: How did you get your forum from zero members to what it is now? Did you start off by creating tons of fake posts and accounts or did you hire forum posters? Maybe you exchanged posts with other forum owners or had your friends help you out. This is definitely a mystery to me that I haven't been able to figure out. So far every single forum I've tried starting up has been a complete failure.
I honestly think these days it takes more than a forum. A forum is not enough to keep peoples interest. I have noticed that a lot of successful forums have a blog and a forum. They write articles and link them to the forum. Because most people coming to a website are looking for information.
 

zappaDPJ

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That's because all they know is Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.

While there's a lot of truth in that statement it doesn't by any means paint the full picture.

To be clear we are talking about a generation of young people brought up on smart phones. They Google and they consume information, including forum content like everyone else. What they generally don't do is contribute anything other than social content which is often wrongly attributed to laziness.

Once upon a time if I wanted the kind of information readily available on the Internet I'd have to go to a library or a book shop to get it. Now I don't, does that make me lazy? Most people will make use of what's easily available to further themselves and give little in return. Did you contribute financially to Wikipedia?

Content creators tend to be an older generation that have consumed information and want to give something back. I hope that today's younger generation will one day want to contribute in the same way but for now they seem to be a lost cause.
 

DigNap15

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Messages
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While there's a lot of truth in that statement it doesn't by any means paint the full picture.

To be clear we are talking about a generation of young people brought up on smart phones. They Google and they consume information, including forum content like everyone else. What they generally don't do is contribute anything other than social content which is often wrongly attributed to laziness.

Once upon a time if I wanted the kind of information readily available on the Internet I'd have to go to a library or a book shop to get it. Now I don't, does that make me lazy? Most people will make use of what's easily available to further themselves and give little in return. Did you contribute financially to Wikipedia?

Content creators tend to be an older generation that have consumed information and want to give something back. I hope that today's younger generation will one day want to contribute in the same way but for now they seem to be a lost cause.
You make some good points
I have given a little money to Wikipedia and I have added and edited some content.
But as regards the younger ones (say under 40), it is traditional (at least here in New Zealand) that they are less interested in politics etc.
So may be as they get older they may get interested in forums and start to contribute text rather than just memes
We still have the problem of getting people to even see our forums, let alone join them.
Especially when the most popular search engine (Google) does not rank forums very highly (see my sig)
 

Dubbed Navigator

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Jul 22, 2014
Messages
388
You make some good points
I have given a little money to Wikipedia and I have added and edited some content.
But as regards the younger ones (say under 40), it is traditional (at least here in New Zealand) that they are less interested in politics etc.
So may be as they get older they may get interested in forums and start to contribute text rather than just memes
We still have the problem of getting people to even see our forums, let alone join them.
Especially when the most popular search engine (Google) does not rank forums very highly (see my sig)


My forum barely shows up on Google at all, which although annoying, I'm still getting regular sign ups.
 
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