So my question is how does one make a forum based website popular? I won't reveal my exact niche but for example: Gothic Gamers.
For this example lets call it "GothicGamers.com"
Now my first thought would be to make a prelaunch pseudo "squeeze page" where they can enter in their email to be notified when we are fully launched. In the mean time just promote it through viral marketing and ingame marketing and if the person who's site it is happens to be a goth, amongs his fellow goth gamers.
That way I can build a mailing list which is a task that if done correctly, will give me a lot of leverage.
I also thought maybe giving out gifts for people who reach certain milestones after the launch. A barbed wire fence bra or whatever the goth people wear these days.
The idea would be to give a gift to the first to register, first to get 100 posts (NO SPAMMING), the first to get 1000 posts and so on. I would also provide rewards through competitions that are held and stuff like that, but thats in the far away future.
What I need to know is how to get a hype going about such a niche.
PLEASE NOTE: No I'm not gothic or opening a goth game site lol, thats not my personality.
ALSO: I have heard of autoforum posters that scrape yahoo answers and places like that to make the scrapes look like forum posts, but have seen a few and they all look pretty spammy.
I don't want spammy, I want an active forum. I have a good niche that highly interested me and I would have no problem putting all of my free time into it.
To recap: Essentially what I'm looking for is any tips on building niche forums and how to market them in such a way that the prelaunch email list building, the forum posting on release is dense so people arent' strayed away, and tips to sustainability. Of course I will make moderators and as Admin moderate frequently myself.