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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hello,

    I am new to both this community and the whole marketing business but know some of the basics such as getting listed at google and whatnot.

    Ok, let's get right to the question. I started a community yesturday and it already has about 8 members. Not bad, but I only have 2 posts, me and another member. What I want to do is increase traffic, increase members, increase recurring visits, and increase some cash flow. Right now, I'm making nothing from my website, I'm actually loosing $85 a year for my vBulletin license.

    My site is wide open for the members, and it's not really specific on the topic, it's more or less just a place to go and talk about anything they want to talk about. Problem is, without any regular posters, I have swooped myself into a pit of dispair as I watch yet another community of mine fall into the hands of failure. (I hoped that moved you to want to help me!)

    Ok, so, in simple. How do I increase traffic, increase members, increase recurring visits, and increase cash flow all with spending little to no money? If you want to see the website, feel free to see it at http://forums.melchior.us. Any suggestions and comments are also welcome.

    Melchior...

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    The only thing I can think of that is almost certain to draw the posts out of people is, unfortunately, also the best flame bait around:

    Politics.

    I wouldn't suggest Politics if you had a board devoted to any other particular topic, since it tends to drown out all other issues. But you said yours isn't specific as to topic.

    I will warn though, that politics IS *major* flame bait! So if you want a flame-free board, pick a different topic even though it'll be more work to get posts.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> How do I increase traffic<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    For one, make sure your threads can appear in Google. It's amazing how many boards are totally Google-proof. Some even exclude G-bot with robots.txt for some reason! Just by being indexable you make it at least *possible* that people looking for info on the specific topics being discussed on your board can find it.

    On a big, constantly changing board, all that spidering may eat up a lot of bandwidth. But your board is just starting out and only has a few posts so the bandwidth effect of the Googlebot should be minimal at this time...

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

    [This message was edited by Leader on December 29, 2003 at 09:21 PM.]

  3. #3
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I might as well make a forum section for it. I could delete it later should the need arise. Thanks again!

    If anyone can think of anything else that will aid me, please let me know!

    Melchior...

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Glad to be of help!

    Note: I edited my first post to add another suggestion for getting traffic. I see you were reading the original and posting as I was typing that edit so I thought I'd let you know to read it again...

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

  5. #5
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Yeah, I saw it, thanks. I have set it so you have to register to post, but can be a guest to read anything. I've always done this, it seems stupid not to. Thanks again!

    Melchior...

  6. #6
    Full Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I think your biggest problem is not having a specific topic. Why would anyone want to join a forum if they have nothing in common with the next member except for an internet connection.

    I know I wouldn't, I joined ABW because of my current attempt at becoming successful at affiliate marketing I'v joined computer hardware forums because I'm a computer geek.

    Basically I join forums that relate to my interests because I could care less about the ranting and raving of anything and everything from some random person on the net who is talking about something that has nothing to do with what I'm interested in. That's what the "lounge" type forums are for on the large topic specific forums... at least you already know some of the posters to some degree and where they be coming from in their rant(that community thing).

    If there is no specific topic then there is usually something the users have in common such as the host site(blog, news, regional news, charity organization, whatever). But I rarely see those get as active as a topic specific site.

    Pick a hobby or interest of yours that may be popular or lacks community on the web already. Post to yourself under different names to get it rolling(not too much). People don't stick around an inactive or empty board.

  7. #7
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    Well, I was thinking of converting over to a gaming forums site since the designs I have looks like a gaming site (the whole "cool" thing is what shouts in my mind for both gaming sites and my forum's design). Something like a forum from Unreal Tournament to the age old Monopoly. I could probably do this very easily as well.

    Thanks for the suggestion! Just a few questions. Firstly, what do you mean by "post to yourself under different names to get it rolling"? And also, is gaming a little too popular? There seems to be so many for that topic that I may just be the next to join the large community of communities only to fall off and fail?

    Melchior...

  8. #8
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    What I mean is if there are no posts in a forum someone who is browsing will see that and think that it's a dead board rather than a new board.

    Post news about the page/forum/game/topic in such a way to maybe spark comments or questions. Make a few aliases for yourself and inject a few comments in reply to your own posts just so it looks like there are people posting.(nothing elaborate) Don't overdo this so it looks like someone talking to himself hehe.

    You are right about making a community where there is already a huge base of communities. All the big games have them, clan pages, portals, etc. Especially something as big as Unreal Tournament. Something unique would probably be more successful.

    Some examples what I consider successful communities with a wide range of forums would be:

    The Ars forums at arstechnica.com(topic focused on the hard core nerds with supporting site with a range of easy reading technical type articles).

    hardforum.com - parent site being hardocp.com.. hardware enthusiast/overclocker type theme but has many other sub niches that would fit the profile of the community members such as paintball, car audio etc(not listed on main forum listings though, in pulldown menu).

    shacknews comments system, evening reading and first post comments are part of a DAILY routine for hundreds of not thousands of readers there, topic supposed to be gaming but overall they post about anything since there are no real forum topics.

    These 3 mentioned do have a parent site that people found them by though with related articles about their interests.

    Come to think of it I can't think of any stand alone forums off the top of my head except for maybe this one I found for my specific motherboard which died off as the piece of hardware it focused around became obsolete.

    Of course if your forums provide enough unique posts that are full of good information about a very popular subject such as Unreal tournament then it may have a chance to survive beside all the big clan/portal/game news sites which already cover it. Might be better off finding a different topic with hard to find communities but also isn't a dead topic.

    Not trying to dampen spirits or anything, but in my opinion I think it would be tough nut to crack without a supporting home site people can find your forums with or isn't already saturated with large communities/forums already.

    Abestweb is a good example of a forum standing on its own(at least as far as I can tell... is there a home page? hehe). The internet has tons of "internet marketing" and affiliate sites.. most without forums that are decent(ie: no spam, useless fluff from those who promote nothing but internet marketing ebooks etc). There is real information here from people who are starting out, semi-successful, and very successful. There are also merchant specific forums with participation from the affiliate managers. I don't even remember how I found this forum but it has really helped me form a foundation of where and how to start. (can't say the same for those other places which are basically spam from "internet marketers" claiming big money results or people who assume you already have an email list of 50,000 opt in subscribers or a marketing site pulling hundreds of thousands of uniques per month).

    anyways.. I guess my point is find a need to fill(ABW) or something people can't help but to post about(politics) or a niche that doesn't have a huge community base already that won't die when the next cycle comes around(Unreal tournament or a specific but very popular computer motherboard which a year later is obsolete..be more general or fluid.. topic motherboards.. forums - manufacturers or popular models) The motherboard idea being just a suggestion as it's for a certain type of computer nerd.. the structure is what I'm getting at(your games idea is basically the same but VERY broad).

    I feel like I'm rambling.. so I'll stop here

  9. #9
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    Thank you once again for the nice abundance of information in your post. Now comes the fun part of pinpointing a topic I wish to pursue! :-)

    Melchior...

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