by jkiley
11 replies
I am thinking of starting a forum on my site, but my question is, would it help? I am afraid that I will start it and then have 2 comments from me . What if nobody is interested in it? that would look really bad. I do get decent traffic (over 2000 users a day), but just don't know what the response would be.
#forum
  • Profile picture of the author Marty S
    Most forums that start usually are losers like how you describe here, however with 2,000 uniques per day - I think you can make a go of it. Here are some tips I posted a couple months ago that I hope you can use:

    1- Provide valuable quips of information/topics on your subject. If you don't know what that means try doing a Google search for hot topics, then start threads in your own forum very much related to the issue.

    2- Incorporate your help section or product information into the forum headings. This will not only save you time, but will soon attract surfers looking for that exact information.

    3- When you or someone else in your forum posts pertinent content, rework it into an article and submit it to ezinearticles.com and then link the article back to your forum (topics/thread) using specific key words. If they submitted it in your forum, then consider it your property.

    4- Start a blog at blogger (or elsewhere) that reiterates your knowledge in the topic and points back to the forum (topics/threads) using the forums own re-worked content. Google owns blogger, therefore Google loves blogger!

    5- Start threads by asking something controversial, or comparing products. "Do you like this productX or this productY and tell us why you think it's better. Or does anyone own productZ, I am thinking of buying it, would like to know.

    6- Everyone watches YouTube. Go there and do a search for your product/topic and find the most controversial, or popular videos. Post the link to that video at the start of a thread and just start writing opinions about it. If it's popular on youtube, it can be popular on your forum.

    7- As the owner/moderator of a forum you should read over any quality content submitted by others. If they use specific key words in their submissions, go into the comment edit mode and bold or italicize those key words. Once or twice a day is fine to not over do it. Crawlers give extra attention to relevant keywords that are emphasized.

    8- Don't spread your forum topics thin. Start with no more than 4 major subjects - the less the better. The first thing surfers to a forum look at is the number of posts, so keep as many posts under one topic - divide later when you get busier.

    9- Invite 2 or 3 moderators you have come to know as knowledgeable in this field - amongst your customers perhaps. People really like being asked to be a moderator and they can help inject initial conversations and debates. I reward my moderators (and frequent contributors) with free software, writing work, or cold cash once or twice a year as well.

    Most of all be patient, but be persistent. When I started my poker forum almost 2 years ago, it was just me and 2 other moderators I personally invited to help, exchanging a few ideas. Very slow to start but now we have: Total posts Total posts 41638 • Total topics 4873 • Total members 1706

    Forums are worth it but definitely NOT for direct income - I use mine specifically for link building strategies, new content ideas/articles (posted by members), and as direct customer service/contact.

    Hope that helps and best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian W. Wang
    A forum helps you build a community on your site. Also helps you build credibility and position you as an expert.

    However, forums can be hard to manage. I suggest that you outsource the management if you do decide on a forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    It sure is a great way to increase the user participation on the site as long as you are prepared to manage the forum, and deal with things like spam and moderating. For any big site I do, I almost always include a forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marty S
      The new phpbb3 and its modules rather eliminate spam now from my forum. Now you do need a good, experienced person to add such modules, but for ongoing management, I don't really think its necessary. Once it is set up, a capcha and human question will all but eliminate automated SPAM.

      As for taking time to moderate, that's exactly why you have moderators. I can go for several days without posting in my own forum (although that is rare) and I know it just continues to grow without me.

      I have no idea what you would actually outsource as to "manage" a forum as BW mentioned. Just set it up right, get some interest, entice some moderators, and be a regular (and strategic) poster for the first few months - it will eventually become a life unto it's own.
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  • Make sure you take a hard look at Spam filtering blocking features in whatever Forum Software you choose.

    No matter how severe the filter spammers will continually harass you. There are a lot of really stupid people out there that really don't understand how to properly use forums for backlinks.

    "Good Post" "Nice stuff here" "Good Site"... all that kind of crap. I am USA based and the vast majority comes from Eastern Europe and Asia. So I choose to BLOCK all IP's from those areas because they are not my market. Block the countries that you can not make money from... it's sad that is what you have to do, but it saves a lot of deleting time.

    I have a ton of stuff in place to stop spam and I still get idiots thinking that they are some how so special they will get their links through. Seriously where do these people come from... Evolution must be true, and they must have been left far behind... far behind.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marty S
      Originally Posted by internetmarketingiq View Post

      I have a ton of stuff in place to stop spam and I still get idiots thinking that they are some how so special they will get their links through. Seriously where do these people come from... Evolution must be true, and they must have been left far behind... far behind.
      It's true there will always be wankers, but again there are ways to limit their abuse, especially when they first sign up. I suspect you do NOT have the most up to date forum software or modules installed and I would encourage to to seek them out, because I do know how frustrating it CAN be.

      Also, if you install the capcha AND a human question, it will ELIMINATE all automated SPAM attempts which I feel is like 99% of all forum spam.
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      • Profile picture of the author dvduval
        Originally Posted by Marty S View Post

        It's true there will always be wankers, but again there are ways to limit their abuse, especially when they first sign up. I suspect you do NOT have the most up to date forum software or modules installed and I would encourage to to seek them out, because I do know how frustrating it CAN be.

        Also, if you install the capcha AND a human question, it will ELIMINATE all automated SPAM attempts which I feel is like 99% of all forum spam.
        And hopefully as you get bigger you can get a couple of your more active forum members to help with spam. Usually newer forums don't get spammed as badly, so you sort of grow into the way you deal with spam.
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        It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    It sure takes time to get one off the ground and to keep it growing. I've been working with a guy that just started a forum not long ago, he's worked his butt off and it's a slow process and he hasn't made much money at all yet. Course if you already have the traffic, you should have a slight advantage.

    I agree, finding good mod is a huge help. Just finding ones that will work is another thing. Every one wants the title, few actually do the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author enwereuzo
    Forums are worth it but definitely NOT for direct income - I use mine specifically for link building strategies, new content ideas/articles (posted by members), and as direct customer service/contact.


    Good answer here . Now the question i want to ask is why is it that majority of people that starts forum fail on their way?

    Enwereuzo.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketstriker
    Why do you need a forum?
    As for me to build community of visitors or develop close relations with clients you can use easier ways, like creating a blog, comment or feedback section etc. Forum can contribute to these goals, but in less effective way.
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