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Growing Forums

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Techius, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Techius

    Techius Newbie

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    I have some forums that I'm wanting to grow. They're not of the usual niche, whether it be gaming or sports. None of that crap. They're political forums.

    I'm great at managing a website, but I'm terrible at trying to grow a website. This is the first time that I've ever taken a website seriously as I have.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    - I've been posting content to it. I'm the biggest poster by far, in fact, I have 99% of the total posts. The type of content is obviously biased toward our side so that we can get content that way.

    - We have a Twitter account, and we're following people who obviously have the same views as us and are interested in us. We're automatically posting content to that Twitter page by the form of scraping the posts via RSS.

    - I've sent people PM on Reddit-esque sites, asking them to join. I've done the usual fear mongering bullshit to try and get them to join, but this hasn't worked, and all I've gotten are "good lucks" as a reply.

    Here's what I'm thinking of doing:

    - I'm seriously thinking of doing a pay-to-post scheme to try and incentivize people to join. I could see programme like this getting abused though.

    Here's what's literally happening:

    - I'm posting content to the forums, obviously more content on your website helps. I'm following this step, and I do it everyday.

    - I'm getting registrations, but by spammers. Out of 17 users, only 2 are real people. The rest are spammers that I've purged.

    As you can see, I'm trying to be not some generic vague post. I'm trying to most as much information as possible without blatantly advertising it. I definitely need help on trying to build the website. I think the website has potential for growth, I'm just not sure how to get the ball rolling.

    If you could me advice, please do!
     
  2. ChiefBeef

    ChiefBeef Registered Member

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    Is the content that you're posting original or other people's content?

    Making a forum popular is kind of like a news website, a youtube account, a blog, etc. but the main focus is discussion. They all require something worth looking at.

    I've seen forums grow based off original content. If there is good original content then people would want to sign up, share, and discuss it. Since your forum is political focused how about attending a protest, take photos, make controversies happen, post it on your forum, and then post a link on reddit for people to see? Definitely a lot more work but if the content was 'juicy' enough then people will want to visit your forum. If you're just posting other people's work, no one will want to bother signing up.
     
  3. Leodare

    Leodare Junior Member

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    I used to run a gaming community with 30,000 members and it has about 800,000 over posts many years ago so I know a thing or two about growing a forum. You're absolutely right, growing a forum is the HARDEST thing to do in internet marketing. Imagine how hard it is to get a stranger to sign up on a forum and then getting him to stay active and long enough on your forum is another challenge.

    I remember I was just a teen when I sold my forum because I was about to enlist in the army. I sold my site to a media network. In hindsight, it was a mistake because my site is now worth at least 100 times more, based on the fee I received. Back then, when I first started my forum, I was just a kid and I had no intention of monetizing it as it's just meant to be a community for me and my mates to chill and hang around. I had a very popular niche back then which has low competition as only kids/teens/college and young adults who play that game, and its just that few forums in that particular niche. I was a pretty reputable member on another forum before I started my forum. I left that site and a group of people from that forum came with me. I was the programmer/tech-admin and my ex-girlfriend was the moderator of my website and she referred a lot of members to my site, and her best friend became my co-admin and we formed a strong core of the community. A lot of her referrals were also very loyal members and the site sorta became their life. We would also regularly come up with referral contests and I guess it also helps a lot that I'm a pretty skilled programmer so the cheat programs I developed for that game were very popular with teens and they had to sign up on my forum and contribute to download those programs. As you know, college and University students love to socialize and gossip so they spread the word around by recommending my forum to their friends. They would go around in school advertising my site, and my site would grow bigger day by day.

    I guess the key to building a successful forum is to offer a very compelling incentive for people to join and get a core of friends or people to be your staff. Referral is the key. Damn...I miss forum building. I recently started a sports betting forum which is in conjunction with the 2018 World Cup, and I plan to ramp up the promotion at the end of this year, 6 months before the World Cup starts. You can also do forum posting exchange with other forum owners if you don't want to spend money on paying people to post. Personally, I think this is more ideal and beneficial. Let me know if you need any help and I wish you all the best with growing your forum! It's a tough journey but once you start getting in active members, you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
     
  4. blackbeans

    blackbeans Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Link to your answers from Quora answers

    Quora gets highly filtered users

    You can also 'sandwich' authoritative posts on your forum on Reddit posts
     
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  5. what_hat?

    what_hat? Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I can recommend 2 books on growing a forum: "The Proven Path" by Richard Millington and "The Monumental Guide to Building Online Communties" by mackwebsolutions

    The proven path I found particularly good. If you can't find them, shoot me a PM
     
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  6. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    For politics you can draw users from Reddit. You'll probably need to stir up a controversy and see if they follow through to your forum.
     
  7. Techius

    Techius Newbie

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    I really like this idea. I've tried offering a money incentive for people to join and participate too, using referrals as the backbone of this. I'm going to be pushing hard on this idea specifically.
     
  8. bobojonathan

    bobojonathan Regular Member

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    Facebook free basics is another way to get free traffic to forums.
     
  9. Tanyamagic

    Tanyamagic Newbie

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    This is a interesting thread!!! i've got to learn more about the community building techniques..watching the thread
     
  10. Techius

    Techius Newbie

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    I tried this. It actually did wonders, believe it or not.

    [​IMG]

    The issue I have is that none of those views ever converted into registrations. I do have rewards & a contest running but nobody has registered.

    I'm thinking about making posts register-to-view to try and incentivise people to join though that can go both ways. It's either a big success, or a flatout failure.
     
  11. stack paper

    stack paper Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yep, Reddit is a great tool for growing forums. Can direct link threads on your forum into niche subreddits.
     
  12. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think there was a journey by someone here who was making $$$ by stirring up political shit and drawing in thousands of visitors from such news aggregators.

    (As if the news media isn't doing it too ;) )
     
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