Encourage People To Post On Your Forum
Starting a new forum can be overwhelming especially if you do not know where or how to find people to keep it active. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make your new forum into a busy and vibrant online community. Below are tips that will encourage people to join and post on your forum.
Be active in your own forum. There is nothing which makes a forum look dead quiet than an owner who does not post. You need to start a topic at least each day to make it clear that you are an active participant. Make an appearance in all threads on the forum as long as it is feasible to do so. This will let your community know that you are active and interested in what everyone is saying.
Contribute Your Ideas and Stay Visible
Stay visible in your niche. If your forum is on cars, visit other blogs and forums and make valuable contributions. Unless you are in the advertisement section, do not advertise directly but be an active member of as many communities as possible. Have a short note about your forum and a link in your posting signature. If you are active and useful, you will find that people who are reading the blogs will want to check out your forum as well.
Get Your Members Involved
Encourage your forum member to help your community grow. In the event the members you have are pleased with your forum and find it helpful, they will be more than willing to encourage other people to join in. Talk to them about trying to grow your forum in a sticky post and show the members easy ways to share your link with their loved ones. Your forum needs to have an HTML link with text to copy and paste. This will make it easy to share a link. There should be buttons that enables them to distribute a forum link on different social media too. If a member mentions they shared your forum somewhere, you should thank them.
Submit To Search Engines
Search engines need to find your forum. You might want to submit your forum to search engines to be listed but sometimes this might slow you down. If you are actively promoting your forum using signature links in other blogs and communities, chances are that the main search engines already know it is there. You should help the search engine to know where to list your forum by ensuring that most of the links which are pointing to your forum use the texts people will likely use to look for what you have to offer. Any time you write something for a website or a blog, be sure to include a note about your forum with a well formatted link.
Make Your Website Professional and Appealing
Your new forum should be appealing. No one wants to read a forum that is not readable or painful to look at. The interface should be clean and the colors and skins that you select should be very readable and nice looking. If the members say that something is making it hard for them to read, you need to listen to them and change it. Everything has to be customized from the smiley alternatives to member titles. Good custom options will help your forum to stay memorable.
Use contests. You should hold a few contests that will increase meaningful post counts. The contest should request meaningful posts about a specific topic and use the voting options that come with most forums to have the community vote on the winner. For the prize, you can opt to give out physical items or custom forum titles.
Allow Guest To Post
You need to allow guests to view the forums. For people to join in, your forum needs to be public. It is highly unlikely for someone who does not know what the forum is all about or what is on the forum to register as a member and take part in it. This also allows search engine crawlers to index pages on your forums.
Talk About Trending and Important Topics
Create posts for well known topics. You cannot expect visitors to create all the posts on your forum especially when you are first starting out. It is up to you to create something that is interesting, controversial or otherwise provoking that will make people want to respond or make a comment on the topic. It is also ideal to have a daily, weekly or monthly schedule where you visit the forums and create an interesting post.
Small Headers With Big Ideas
The header of your forum should be small. If your forums have large headers such as logos, web page name, large advisement, a lot of blank spaces and big pictures, it means that a user has to scroll before being able to view some or all your boards. You will have reduced the chances that the user will read anything on your post, comment or even subscribe.
There is no forum which can expect to instantly get thousands of users and posts. It takes some time for the user to visit, register and then take part on the forum. Continue working on each of the above suggestions and users will start to visit more bringing their friends with them.