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NEWBIE - need some help on generating traffic to new forum

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by pityocamptes, May 7, 2010.

  1. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    I apologize ahead of time if this is the wrong forum. Been a lurker here for a while. Anyways, I have a new forum I started, not selling anything, and do not know how to generate traffic to the forum. I considered an email spider, but after reading some posts here I do not want my IP to cut me off or get into any legal problems. My funds are low, so I'm not sure how to pursue this. Any advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
     
  2. kez1000

    kez1000 Supreme Member

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    divert people from twitter and facebook and youtube..

    also you need to scrape some content from other forums because no one wants to join
    a dead forum.

    just off the top of my head
     
  3. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Thanks! I have tried going to other sites, but unfortunately once you even try to do a backlink to your site they f#cking ban you!!!!!!!! I have tried the youtube thing, but only one video. Not too much viewage. My forum is a survival, breaking news site, and i wonder what sort of things would bring peoples attention in for a youtube video? I have realized that a short and sweet video is the best to go, but content? Not sure.

    Also, what exactly is a scraper, how does it work, and where can I find one? Thanks!
     
  4. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @pityocamptes - The following suggestions are based completely on my thoughts about what will work. I had thought about doing a forum for another project I had, and this is what I mapped out in my mind would be necessary to get it started. I'm sure there is a lot of room for people that have done this to critique the pros and cons of my suggestion.

    So here we go. First off to answer your question about the scraper. Scraping is just stealing..ahem..I mean borrowing...content from another site. For seeding your forum you don't neccessarily need to automate that since you'll only need to do it the one time to set everything up. Depending on what your forum is about, it's probably better to do it by hand anyway. You need to scrape enough content to make your forum seem active, but not so much that it will be hard to keep up the facade.

    Just set up your forum, create some fake profiles on your forum, then go onto other forums and just copy and paste the posts from the other forum into your fake users posts. It's a lot more work doing it manually like this, but you'll have a much better chance of making it look real. As your getting your first users, you're going to need to be logging in with your fake user accounts to make replies to keep the forum going.

    Since your niche is news related, you don't even need to only scrape from forums. You can scrape the content from news articles as well. Just copy the article into a post of one of your fake users. Then use the comments from the article, to create replies from other fake accounts.

    It will be too much work to continue artificially inflating your forum for very long. So you need a real userbase as fast as possible. The faster you get your new users to start making their own posts the sooner you can abandon the fake accounts. The sooner you can abandon the scraped threads is also better as well. They need to get buried by the new content, and possible eventually even deleted in a site maintenance upgrade or something. Otherwise you have the potential of an embarassment if the true author of the post comes across your forum.

    As far as getting those new users, thats a toughie. Definately do all the seo and backlinking you would do for any site. Forums aren't going to be a good choice though, for the reason you've already been running across. I was thinking to make fake facebook profiles for your fake forum users. Then work on getting friends, and promote the forum through those profiles. The same thing with other networking sites. Myspace might not be what it used to be, but it's not dead either.

    The biggest problem with this method is it will take a lot of work to start. It might be easier if you can get a few friends that you can trust, to help with the fake profiles at first.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  5. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Hey, thanks!!! I would not say that my forum is dead, per se. Its just that it has been going through spurts. I get members who start out posting, and then peter away. Or those members that register but NEVER post, they just lurk. I was wondering, I am on a VERY small budget, what sort of promotions might get some involved, sort of like a competition, and that might bring in others? I have read that some use this method to generate traffic and posting. Does that sound resonable? Any other ideas? here is my site, maybe some could take a look and comment on what they think it needs or lacks. I really don't know what else to do??? I have written articles for a few of the big online article databases, and backlinked them, whenever I could, but I didn't see any increase in traffic, so I don't even know if it was worth it... Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  6. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well if your do have the few users that are posting, but then peter out. You need something to keep them interested. The contests might be good short term idea, but then they'll still peter out again.

    I think you're best bet would be with the fake user accounts. Based on the feedback you already have of what topics seemed hot. Log in under fake accounts and post something on a controversial hotbutton topic. You may even need to use 2 or 3 accounts to create a fake discussion. You are going to just have to stay involved with the threads to keep the interest going. As more users chime in, you can back off. As users start losing interest your fake users need to get more involved. If the niche is good enough then eventually you'll have enough users to keep it going on its own. There is a critical mass level that you will need to reach before the forum will support itself naturally.

    Again, go onto facebook, myspace, etc. and try to actively recruit friends to your forum. Even myspace didn't just grow on its own. The founders originally went to the bars and clubs in LA and actively promoted the site to bands in the area. Eventually it got enough momentum to take off on its own. You don't need to go that far, and your not trying to creat a myspace, but you will still need to recruit your initial members somehow.
     
  7. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Thanks! I have actually made flyers of my site and I have passed quite a few out at gun shows, fairs, etc. I don't think I had much luck, no increase or traffic after the passing out of flyers. Do you know of any other "cheap" mass advertising ideas? I am going to try the recommendations you suggest. I hated making fake accounts, but I think I have no choice. The only thing I worry about is if the moderators look at the log and see me as the admin (IP addy) and fake user with same IP addy. I guess I could use a proxy... Thanks again!
     
  8. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Thanks! My phpbb board has an SEO mod, but perhaps that is not what you are referring to? Do you know any free SEO sites? Like I said I'm on a small to nil budget. :( Thanks again!
     
  9. IMATA

    IMATA Junior Member

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    Hi there,

    I can't tell you too much about SEO optimization for the forum itself, as I've never worked with this kind of sites and I'm sure there must be a number of ins and outs that come with practice. I'll tell you what I would do on a budget:

    1- Check for sites and blogs in the top 20 for your main KWs. Contact the owner and offer to write premium content for them (of course, linking back to your site, which will be good for SEO and direct traffic). Many of these authority sites actually give you the chance to submit articles, for example. Point is, submit premium content frequently to authority sites in your niche and start building a relationship with the webmasters if appropriate. Down the line, you might be able to do JVs of different sorts as well.

    2- Same thing with large ezines or even groups in web 2.0 sites? (never tried this last one, but I believe it should work). In a word, look for large followships and get your content there.

    3- Traditional article (content) marketing (including video, press releases, web 2.0 sites, etc). Optimize those properties and redirect the traffic. Very labor intensive if done alone and manually and less high impact, but it does work.

    4- This one I've 0 experience with but I'm about to give it a try and it would be a good fit for your subject I believe. Take a look at a thread by Megalomaniac Midget regarding the new changes in Facebook involving their API & Facebook connect (can't find it right now; moved to Jr Vip??) . I'd both build a site especially for this and include this technique within the forum itself. Again, I've never tried this, so I can't be sure if it will work, but it's definitely worth a shot IMO.

    5- Have in place a system for:

    a- retaining subscribers
    b- giving an incentive to current subscribers for spreading the word and making it easy for them to do so

    Good luck to you
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  10. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    HOLY SHIT!!!!! I was getting ready to throw in the towel, and I find out that my site was referenced in TIME MAGAZINE, MAY 19. 2010 edition!!!!

    How do I take advantage of this golden opportunity??? Thanks!! God bless!!

    Gold Fated
    By David Von Drehle Monday, May. 17, 2010

    [​IMG]

    One particularly grim day in the middle of the financial collapse, as the value of my retirement account plummeted like Wile E. Coyote off a cliff, my brother asked me if I had considered buying gold. Without thinking, I said, "I'm not quite ready to dig a bunker in the backyard." Which was a silly thing to say about a perfectly reasonable investment, one that has appealed to figures as diverse as Cleopatra, King Midas, the Rothschilds and the villain in Goldfinger. On reflection, though, what struck me was that my brother immediately got what I was saying. Gold is an element, it's a commodity, but it is also, for many people, an extreme political statement. When you are no longer willing to buy anything they're telling you to, that's the time to buy gold. Don't hunker down for the apocalypse without it.

    Gold is the color of anxiety, a hedge against fear. Its price tends to soar when times are stormy and crash when the rainbows reappear. Not surprisingly, when the subprime bubble burst in 2007, a 21st century gold fever gripped the U.S. and convulsed the globe, prompting buy orders from kitchen-table investors as well as high-flying traders like David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital. Profits have spiked at gold-mining companies.
    (See pictures of modern-day gold prospectors.) http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1903119,00.html

    High gold prices--north of $1,100 per ounce, roughly double the pre-crisis price--have pried open jewelry boxes from coast to coast, as would-be sellers decide that the sentimental value of old gifts and bygone bling is no match for quick cash. People have been trading in their rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches at pawnshops, jewelry stores and heavily promoted buying events in the conference rooms of suburban motels. Or you can monetize your memories in the comfort of your own living room, for just as suburban domesticity once begat the Tupperware party, fiscal chaos has now given us the gold party, at which friends gather to have their trinkets assayed by merchants bearing rolls of green. "As long as the price is up, people keep coming," said Bob Jenkins, a Gold Stash for Cash party promoter based in Overland Park, Kans.

    There is nothing arbitrary about the grip of gold on the human imagination. It is an amazing metal. Gold can be pounded into a sheet so thin that light passes through it, yet the sheet doesn't crack. Gold can be stretched into wires thinner than a human hair, yet those wires still conduct electricity beautifully. Implant it in a human body in the form of a medical device, and it will resist the growth of bacteria. Gold is beautiful, pliable, ductile, strong. The Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age all came and went, but gold is forever. Contrast that with, say, collateralized debt obligations, whatever those are, or the concept of collecting insurance on bad investments made by other people--so-called credit-default swaps. In a world of unreal investments, reality must finally have its day, and there is nothing more real than periodic-table element No. 79--favored shelter from the financial storm.

    This pattern is as old as legal tender: gold is the contrary indicator of peace and prosperity. And the reason for this relationship is simple. When it comes to money, gold is, well, the gold standard. As other forms of stored value--paper banknotes, government bonds, inked entries in bank ledgers--came into widespread use, they were understood to represent actual amounts of precious metal. Someone with a pocketful of paper could, if so moved, exchange it for actual gold. When times were good, very few people felt any desire to do so. Gold was heavy and cumbersome compared with paper money. However, when times looked bad, the abstract symbols of value tended to break away from the underlying metal, because a government facing a crisis could print banknotes or issue bonds a lot faster than it could find more gold. The result is inflation, which eats away at the value of money. A really badly run government, like those of Weimar Germany or modern-day Zimbabwe, might create so much money that it becomes virtually worthless; in Harare, you can meet homeless trillionaires. Gold, however, never goes to zero. The menace of inflation leads some conservatives, like Texas Congressman Ron Paul, to talk about gold-backed money as "honest" money, in contrast to the money we have in our pockets. The U.S. cut its last link to the gold standard in 1971, but it was effectively finished prior to World War I by a series of credit shortages that led to bank panics. Gold may be honest, and tangible, but it is not nearly as powerful an economic tool as the more abstract forms of money that have taken its place.

    The miracles of the modern world weren't wrought by gold; they were wrought in large part by abstract money, because it has an attribute that gold can't mimic. It can grow. The Fed poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy to refloat it, backed not by gold but by the full faith and credit of the U.S.

    If everybody had to carry bags of precious metal around to buy things or if every ledger entry on a banker's computer screen had to be backed by a gold bar in a vault somewhere, economies would grow a lot more slowly or, in a panic, they would shrink. On the other hand, this engine revs only if people have faith that those ledger entries, those pixels, those scraps of green paper, represent actual value. Abstract money is an awesome thing--as long as people believe in it. But suppose that belief were to collapse one day and all the customers of the bank tried to empty their accounts at once. They would discover that the money wasn't there.

    (See pictures of the global financial crisis.)
    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1845923_1774401,00.html

    On survivalist blogs and websites with names like Guns, Grub and Gold, they have a term for what will happen next: TEOTWAWKI, which stands for "the end of the world as we know it." When that time comes, along with freeze-dried food and water-purification tablets and plenty of ammo, a person is going to need some gold in his camouflage pockets. "Tangibles trump conceptuals" is among the key precepts of leading survivalist author and blogger J.W. Rawles. "Modern fiat currencies are generally accepted but have essentially no backing," he explains. "Because they are largely a by-product of interest-bearing debt, modern currencies are destined to inflation" and ultimately "to collapse." Rawles advises investing first in farmland, next in "useful hand tools" and finally in precious metals like gold.

    Thus, as global finance has grown ever more complex, gold has become a badge of mistrust in the modern political economy. A stack of gold coins in your gun safe, as an online survivalist put it in an anonymous post, signals that you won't be caught flat-footed when FEMA opens concentration camps, or when the U.N. imposes the new world order, or when terrorists wipe out the grid, or when the Mayan prophecy comes true, or when Israel attacks Iran and World War III ensues. Gold dealers have clearly figured this out; they advertise heavily on the radio talk shows of such doomsday-minded libertarians as George Noory, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones and G. Gordon Liddy.

    The problem with doomsday investing is that it's difficult to cash out. And you can be wrong for decades. An ounce of gold sold for $675 in January 1980. The price in January 2001: $265. The price of gold hasn't gone up any lately, as the global economy slowly recovers, and central bankers are serene about inflation. According to a blog on the Wall Street Journal's website, gold has lost "luster" with China's government, and the International Monetary Fund is selling a big chunk of its stash. Is this the end of gold fever for now? That depends on which way the fear index goes. Here's something to watch, though: on some survivalist blogs, a hot debate has recently opened, led by skeptics questioning the utility of gold. The smart play for the well prepared, they now argue, is silver.

    Read more:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1987605-1,00.html
     
  11. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @pityocamptes - the fake users is just for seeding the forum initially, and then to give your first members the impression that there is already activity in the forum.

    It's kind of like the dance floor at a singles bar. No one wants to go out and be the first one on the dance floor, but after a few couples get it started then before you know it the floor is packed with couples.

    If you already have a few mods, and you already have some members then you might be past the point of needing to use fake accounts. What you need to do is talk with your mods about it, so that you and they can start interacting on the forum more. You need to start good threads that are interesting and likely to get other members to enter a discussion about it.

    The suggestions IMATA made seem really good. The way you asked about SEO sounded like you might not know what it is?? If thats the case you really need to start searching the forums and additionally search google. Most of the advice on this forum will assume you have a basic understanding. Anyway, SEO is search engine optimization. It is everything you can do to your site to make the search engines like it and decide it is a relevant useful site. SEO is how you give the search engines the information it needs to index your site properly so that when someone searches for your keywords, your site is shown in the SERPs. SEO usually means your onsite optimization. Off site optimization is mostly concerned with getting backlinks, and making sure the backlinks are anchored with the right keywords to help with your position in the SERPs for your keyword.

    Like IMATA said, SEO for a forum probably has some difference for SEO for a standard static website or blog, but it should have a lot of similarities as well. You'll definately want to make sure there is some content on your main pages that contains keywords related to your niche, be sure to fill in your meta tags, and definately build backlinks. What else might be needed, you'll just need to do some searches for "SEO for forums" to see what else you can learn.

    IMATA and Goober both made a good points about offering an incentive not only for new members, but especially for existing members to help recruit for you. You'll have to figure out what would be a good incentive yourself, but it doesn't need to cost you anything. Some kind of extra status for the existing members, some free ebooks, access to a special forum, just use your imagination and knowledge of your members to come up with something.

    Good Luck. :)
     
  12. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Thanks!! I have some new wind in my sails...
     
  13. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @pityocamptes - Well if they gave the actual url of your website, then you can be in for a huge surge in traffic. You better get with your mods so that you and they can become more active and try to engage that traffic to sign up and participate in your forum. Still do all the SEO and backlink building, but any media attention will give you a huge start.

    Good Luck.
     
  14. pityocamptes

    pityocamptes Newbie

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    Thanks again!!! All my mods are aware. My SEO does contain key words and my meta tags do as well. Anything other, from an outside SEO service that may improve it? What do they normally cost? Any reasonable but good SEO sites? Thanks again!!!
     
  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    You probably don't need to worry about using an outside seo service. You can do most of your seo yourself, and then just outsource your linkbuilding. Here's a thread giving good basic instructions for basic seo.
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ch-engine-optimization-practices-newbies.html

    Once you have all your onsite seo taken care of then go to the bst section and look for link building services. I'd start with some bookmarking packages first. Then do some directory submissions. Then get some article submissions. Then some profile backlinks. Don't start looking to set up anything like a linkwheel until you have a substantial amount of backlinks already in place. Once that is done then look into a service for setting up a linkwheel or other linkbuilding structure. Linkwheels can really hurt all the seo you've done previously if not done right. Really check out the reviews for the service, check out other threads the seller has posted in, and check the shitlist.

    Be sure to check G00B3R's signature. He has a linkbuilding service offered in the bst forum.