How To Start a Forum (Guide)

howard_hughes

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Ever wanted To Start Your Own Forum?

Tired of trying to generate content yourself or paying others to write articles? Don't sweat it. A forum is a great way to have lots and lots of free unique content. You can monetize it with ads or just flip it for $$$$ after couple of months!

Here's a step by step guide to start your own forum -

Installation

1) Get a good hosting, (I'm writing this guide for GoDaddy).
2) Get a catchy domain name.
3) In your GoDaddy Account > My Products > Hosting
4) Click manage account
5) Content > GoDaddy Hosting Connection
6) Message Boards/Forums > Simple Machines Forum > Install Now
7) Select your domain and click "continue"
8) Fill in the following

Database Description: (you can leave as is)
Database password: (something you'll remember)
Confirm db password: Retype Pass

9) "Install it into a folder:" erase whatever is there (If your forum in not the home page then You can move your forum to a /forum folder later)

10) Fill In

Admin Name: (this will be YOUR username on your forum)
Admin Password: (this will be your password on your forum)
Verify Admin Password: (retype above)
Email: (your regular email address)
Forum Name: (this will appear on the top left of your forum)

11) Click "Finish"

12) GoDaddy will automatically set up your forum and it should be live in about 10 minutes or so.

How To Get Members

Getafreelancer - Post a project saying you need 500 active members in your forums, pay only after 10 days to avoid getting scammed by profile generators.

Social Sites - Create some "hot" profiles on twitter, Fb etc and invite friends, friends of friends.

Forums - Join forums in similar niche and pm other members (I'd be better to outsource this)

Video Sites - Go To YouToob and download vids in your niche, watermark them and reupload. Yes it requires some work but the returns could be really good.

Spam - Scraps tons of emails from facebook, ask someone on BHW to send mails for you. Invite people to join your forum using a girly name (ex - Kathy21 has invited you to joing xyz forum)

Monetization

A few good ways to monetize a forum could be Adsense, Chitika, CPM banners, CPA, Affiliate Ads etc.

If your forum grows big then you can probably flip it for big money:)

Good Luck!
 
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CashInHand

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this is actually really good, but it would take alot of work, how much do forums go for?
 

Jayroo

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this is actually really good, but it would take alot of work, how much do forums go for?

once u have it set up, and choose moderators etc, wouldn't it just run itself in the end requiring minimal work to have it updated every so often?
 

chowyoungfat

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yeah there was/still is an auto forum generator around here for sale. That could be a good start. Scrape other forums and use a content spinner? heh
 

lvsniper

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I have started forums n the past but didnot know about the "how to get members" and "Promote" part. Maybe I should do that again.

Awesome post
 
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question. is there a way to start a free forum with this method and then change it to a paid membership forum later on? i see cats doing this, and once the get at least 10,000 members and a lot of content, they charge 10 bucks a year for membership and can quit there jobs...
 

TurkeySub

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What would be a ball park estimate on getting 500 active members?

Also, if you have done this in the past, how well does it work to get your forums hot and heavy?
 

troybh

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cool. Is this same simple method available with hostgator. Anyone wanna make a guide:D
 

TurkeySub

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cool. Is this same simple method available with hostgator. Anyone wanna make a guide:D
It will work with any host, the only thing you will need to setup your own forums instead of using the auto install option.

Though, hostgator does have 'Fantastico' in their cpanel control panel which will auto install the forums mentioned here for you.
 

paincake

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What would be a ball park estimate on getting 500 active members?

Also, if you have done this in the past, how well does it work to get your forums hot and heavy?

It really depends. If you came across an empty forum, would you register and post stuff?
You should find a few people who are passionate about your forum topic, and ask them to join it and participate. The more content you have, the more search engine traffic you get as well as people wanting to participate.
As chowyoungfat said, another option is to use auto forum generator or get copypaste content yourself.
 

TurkeySub

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It really depends. If you came across an empty forum, would you register and post stuff?
You should find a few people who are passionate about your forum topic, and ask them to join it and participate. The more content you have, the more search engine traffic you get as well as people wanting to participate.
As chowyoungfat said, another option is to use auto forum generator or get copypaste content yourself.
I am mainly curious about the Hire a freelancer thing - I was trying to see what the costs would be to do such a thing.

As for the empty forum thing, I find it hard getting people on a forum even with a crap ton of content - been there and failed that lol.

I would be curious how well the hire them method would work.
 

LiamLC

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have you actually done this, because from my experience it's a lot harder than that.
 

FidelCastro

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forums are lots of work at the beginning, try to get good mods. time consumming
 

greentitanium

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i actually put an Ad on BHW for a forum writer not to long ago. some one to create threads and subforums for me. that is VERY hard and also getting people.
its not as hard to get hits to your forum.
ITS VERY HARD to gain momentum with the forum.
the getting people to join and participate.
 

rlugo29

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Is it possible to add a forum to an already existing AB???
 

xplicit

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Getting active members is a mofo.. I have tried everything the OP mentioned to get members and I only see a few who actually sign up and get active.. Most freelance sites will die after they make the posting quote.

I have a UFC forum that has 300+ members but none are active, and I am on there all the time posting new threads and all.

So getting members is the hardest part of creating a forum.
 

cyrsss

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"
How To Get Members

Getafreelancer - Post a project saying you need 500 active members in your forums, pay only after 10 days to avoid getting scammed by profile generators.
"

Can u explain in detail plz ?

How to know fake profiles or real 500 active users
 

paincake

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Real members will make posts. That's why he said to wait for 10 days, to see if there's any activity...

"
Can u explain in detail plz ?

How to know fake profiles or real 500 active users
 

RedMango

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Getting active members is a mofo.. I have tried everything the OP mentioned to get members and I only see a few who actually sign up and get active.. Most freelance sites will die after they make the posting quote.

I have a UFC forum that has 300+ members but none are active, and I am on there all the time posting new threads and all.

So getting members is the hardest part of creating a forum.

*dons a flame-proof suit* Can people who are interested in UFC use a computer?

A friend wants me to help him set up a forum, but it does sound a little complicated. Any more ideas on getting members to stick?
 
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