The importance of Content


Feb 14, 2005
shellspeare submitted a new Article:

The importance of Content


This article is aimed at promoting the importance of content.

Getting members to read, respond and return.

I honestly believe some forum administrators think content comes from members alone and if they plan, develop and design their communities that members will miraculously appear and start posting those quality posts admins dream about that will get them noticed by the larger search engines and listed/ranked well.

If this is you i'm afraid to say you are wrong!

Personally I would not launch a forum until every individual forum on the board has at LEAST 15-20 threads within it giving guests a reason to stick around, read, reply and return. I would also make sure at least three different usernames (be it fake ids or via a post exchange program) had responded to the threads creating the impression of interest and activity.

So you do not look like a loner ask friends to register and help you add content - if you really are alone, then make 4 user accounts and post under different names, join a post exchange, pay for posters - create the impression of activity.

Types of content:

The information highway is at your fingertips - google is your friend and a most valuable tool - use it, abuse it!

The type of content will vary to match your theme but here's a general guide;

  • News
  • Articles
  • Interviews
  • Images
  • Surveys
  • Games
  • Quizzes
  • Downloads
  • Tutorials
  • Polls
  • Debates
  • Reviews

*Remember to source the content and check T.O.S and copyrights! Also be careful of duplicating content.

*Remember you are setting the standards be it in tone or quality of content - this is on your shoulders. If you want a formal community, post formally, etc if you want a more relaxed area reflect that in your posting style..

Adding content

When adding content bear in mind your desire to start and prolong discussions..

You can do this by asking questions relating to the content --- make it clear you want people to participate in the thread -- invite them -- reply to them -- ask more questions --- invite others --- reply to others --- ask more questions... work it work it work it.........and before you know it *pow* you have a decent discussion and an active thread --- now go and do it in all your threads, and participate in threads made by others -- showing your interest...

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Jan 22, 2006
DO NOT fall asleep -- content needs adding constantly whether you have 100 members or 10000
This is so true. After a certain point, most admins feel that they don't need to provide fresh content for their members, and so they stop, thinking the members will do it for them. They think the community is self sustaining, when really it isn't, and that's when things begin to fall apart.


Jan 2, 2006
I have to make a distinction here. Content can be classified as:

  • Serious content - articles, reviews or code or whatever you provide. These are quality content that bring people to your site through search engines etc.
  • Activity content - things that promote forum posting. Not necessary quality content but those which get people to post and make the forum look active. Eg. game threads, humour and things like "what are your favourite channels?" etc. etc.
You need a mix of both to make a forum work.

Good article. Just thought I'd share some extra thoughts.


May 10, 2006
So So true

This article gives really good advice.
Its a pain in the butt to develop good content though but we have to do it:banghead:

I have brought vbulletin forum software over 2 weeks ago but I have not launched my forum yet because Iam working on content

So yes this article is so true and I like how you also stressed the idea that you have to ask members to participate in the threads its almost like a call to action that you see in salescopy

thanks for the article it was a good read and some good advice

Big Boss

Snake Eater
Jul 18, 2005
Thanks for this great article. I'm pretty sure it'll come in handy! :)