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How To Start a Forum (Guide)

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by howard_hughes, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    Occupation:
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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!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  2. CashInHand

    CashInHand Regular Member

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

    Jayroo Regular Member

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    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?
     
  4. chowyoungfat

    chowyoungfat Regular Member

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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
     
  5. lvsniper

    lvsniper Registered Member

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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
     
  6. ineedwavsamples

    ineedwavsamples Newbie

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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...
     
  7. TurkeySub

    TurkeySub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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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?
     
  8. troybh

    troybh Junior Member

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

    TurkeySub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. paincake

    paincake Power Member

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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.
     
  11. TurkeySub

    TurkeySub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    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.
     
  12. LiamLC

    LiamLC Regular Member

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

    FidelCastro Newbie

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

    greentitanium Senior Member

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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.
     
  15. rlugo29

    rlugo29 Junior Member

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

    xplicit BANNED BANNED

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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.
     
  17. cyrsss

    cyrsss Regular Member

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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
     
  18. paincake

    paincake Power Member

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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...

     
  19. RedMango

    RedMango Power Member

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    *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?
     
  20. jeano

    jeano Newbie

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    You can also use some other forum software like phpBB