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Journey to building a successful forum

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Logician, May 11, 2014.

  1. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Goal: Create a successful forum in a technical niche.

    **This journey is to keep track of my progress and hopefully gain some tips from those who have had success in the past with building forums.

    The beginning:
    I started working on this forum a few weeks ago. Originally I set the forum up using Phpbb, and messed around with it for about a week. Some of the issues I had was with the mods. Many of the mods that I wanted to use were outdated, so I started looking at Vbulletin and Xeforo. After a little bit of research I went with Xenforo.

    At the time I got Xenforo I had already made over 100 posts on Phpbb. I was worried that the migration would be difficult and I might lose all my posts, but was able to successfully switch everything over in less then an hour. It switched all my posts, and members over without any problems, it did require all passwords to be reset. after that I purchased a nice looking style, and a rating system add-on. I set them up pretty quick, and if I compared Xenforo to Phpbb, I would say Xenforo is a lot easier to use.

    Game Plan:

    - Generating posts. My understanding is I have to have a lot of posts in the beginning to make the forum look active. I'm mainly doing everything manually, but also using post loop. I started off with 1000 points on my post loop account, and haven't set up any rules to encourage the maximum number of users to come and post on my forum. So far post loop has not been very successful. I've only received about 50 posts using it, and I'm not sure if it's because my forum is too technical or if post loop is not very active.

    - Keywords. I researched keywords for a few days using NF and Google's keyword planner. It was hard to find keywords in this niche that had over 5000ms and was not extremely competitive. So instead I have about 300 keywords that are between 50-3000ms that are low competitive.

    -Backlinks. Since this is a long term project I want to keep it white has as much as possible, so right now I haven't done anything in this area, and open to suggestions.

    Stats:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. royserpa

    royserpa Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Interesting journey, logi!

    Good luck! :)
     
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  3. KnightRider

    KnightRider Regular Member

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    A different journey from what we are used to seeing here. Good Luck.

    Did you ever consider using MyBB?
     
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  4. Clifton Allen Says

    Clifton Allen Says Junior Member

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    Good luck with this, however, remember one very IMPORTANT THING.......
    do not build a forum for the sake of it..... build a forum because there is a NEED FOR IT.
    /wise words
     
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  5. jsmith250

    jsmith250 Junior Member

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    Good Luck with your journey!(succesuri)
     
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    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  6. karupoiss

    karupoiss Elite Member

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    This ise really awesome journal. I hope you will update it often. When I was 14 and started using the Internet, I always wanted to create forums. I used the free forum hosts that were slow as fuck and full of ads but I managed to create an active forum with more than 100 active users (in my own language). It was a pretty good feat back then.

    Anyways, keep up building the forum and update the thread!
     
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  7. kinlee

    kinlee Supreme Member

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    Good luck Lego! I wish you success with your forum! :)
     
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  8. pitbully

    pitbully Regular Member

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    That's an ambitious project brother, best of luck to you.

    The only forum I could ever get going (out of the 4 I tried) was the one where I constantly created a shit load of threads and then hired people on Kijiji (like Craigslist for Canada) to reply to the current threads and then create some of there own. It won't start to "work" for you until you've been talking to yourself for a few months and are ready to kill yourself, but the rewards are worth it.
     
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  9. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Thanks. I did consider it, but I figured it was similar to myphbb. The staff for xenforo seems to be the most responsive, and one of the main reasons I went with them. Plus I like a lot of the add-ons they have. I thought about going with vbulletin but from what i've read after their lawsuit they seem to be going down hill.

    Thank you for the response, I completely agree with you. I believe the niche I am targeting has a need that I can fulfill. In this niche I have two main competitors.
    The first competitor is ranking for 3 keywords thats bringing them over 100k visitors a month, and according to their statistics has over 200k members. My second competitor appears to have 1 keyword that is bringing them traffic which is only about 8k, 3k active members ,and the members they do have are actively posting daily. The issue with the first competitor is the majority of their forum a person has to be a pro member to access, and the forum is cluttered with advertisements. The second competitor does not believe in having any form of advertising on their forum, and after talking to the forum owner doesn't seem like they care to grow the forum.

    Haha I feel like i'm becoming a schizo with all the conversations I am having with myself on the forum. What would you say caused you to fail for the 3 forums that didn't work?
    I have an account with post loop but I'm thinking about ordering some of the fiverr gigs for forum posting.
     
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  10. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Update:

    - Created 1000 word article on wordpress.
    - added a few more members
    - added a bunch more posts
    - Created a google+ page for site, and added a link to the wordpress article on it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. noseo

    noseo Regular Member

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    I got a forum "for free" recently because another one was dying. I just had to PM everybody to come to the new one.

    Stealing the audience of another forum is, in any case, a solid idea. Be crafty.

    Making the forum the designated forum for a website ensures a steady stream of signups, which you'll need.
     
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  12. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Right now I have the homepage showing all of the forums. I'm thinking about switching it so the homepage shows recent threads. Do you guys think it would affect keywords ranking in a positive or negative way, or does it not matter?

    Update:

    - Created a Facebook page
    - Created a Twitter page
    - Took noseo's advice and started sending private messages to members of similar forum
    - Created 5 new threads targeting specific keywords
    - Customized forum (installed a few purchased add-ons, added widgets, switched site from domain.com/index.php to domain.com/

    Keywords are continuing to dance. I noticed some have been moving around for over a week. Not sure if this is normal considering I haven't added any real backlinks.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. KeijoKala

    KeijoKala Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Interesting journey, keep going. I would like to see your forum, go a head and PM me if you want to show it.
     
  14. himanuzo

    himanuzo Supreme Member

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    Hope your forum will survive in long term and you can monetize it.
     
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  15. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  16. karupoiss

    karupoiss Elite Member

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    Out of curiosity, can you send me the forum adress in PM also? I am not doing forums myself as you can check my journey thread, I am working on a whole other type of projects but I'd like to see how a forum that is starting up looks like. I understand if you don't want to send me the URL also :) Can you then suggest me to some place where there are growing forums that have just started out?
     
  17. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Probably most of the forums listed here are just starting out:

    http://www.postloop.com/sites/forums/all
     
  18. Logician

    Logician BANNED BANNED

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    Haven't received any new posts from post loop even though i have a ton of points there.

    Update:
    -
    Added more content to the home page
    - Added digital point spy add-on, basically a real time monitoring feature of new posts and threads
    - created new discussions geared towards targeted keywords

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. BuildMoreLinks

    BuildMoreLinks Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    forums are really the toughest to get started with, this is an very interesting and insightful journey.
     
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  20. jass11

    jass11 Elite Member

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    Good Luck :)
    After about a year of hard work , I am sure your returns will be awesome.
     
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