The Forum Launch Guide


Jun 9, 2004
.Chris submitted a new Article:

The Forum Launch Guide

The Forum Launch guide

I’ve recently got back into the ‘forum game’ after a break of several years. There are quite a few resources around about how to start a community, but I thought I’d bring everything together incorporating my recent experiences.

This is…The Forum Launch Guide. Enjoy!

So you’ve setup your forum, spent ages designing a fancy logo, posted a really friendly & enthusiastic “Welcome!” message for guests…now what?

Unfortunately the forum game isn’t that simple, a community doesn’t just spring up out of nowhere!

So what should you do? Well here are some hints & tips to get your forum launched. I’ve split them into categories to make it a bit easier to read.

Empty forums are bad!

People are unlikely to join an empty forum and just start posting, there needs to be discussions going already for visitors to take an interest in and want to contribute.

> Start discussions and threads yourself - try and populate each forum with a couple of threads to promote discussion and replies. Don't be afraid of posting controversial(ish) topics, people will read them and want to give their opinion!

> Register different users yourself and post under their names – now this is a little bit controversial, you can register several users yourself and start replying to topics. This gives the appearance of an active userbase. This is quite time consuming however and you need to be careful to make your posts & users different so people don’t realize it's you in disguise!

> Use a post exchange service. The Admin Zone run an exchange team where you can exchange posts with other forums. There are other services available however.

> Pay for posts. If you are limited on time you can pay specialized forum posting services to populate your forums and threads. However this can get a bit pricy and the quality of the posts can leave a lot to be desired (hint: choose the right company, do your research before handing over any money!)

Build targeted traffic to your forum

The key here is “targeted” traffic. Paying for traffic is almost next to useless on forum’s, yes you might get several thousand hits…but how many new registrations are you going to achieve?

Instead, focus on attracting targeted visitors to your website

> Forum signatures – there is debate about how much effect these have, but if you’ve got several...

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