5 Tips For Launching A Forum
Forums or message boards can prove to be great marketing tools for any website. Forums attract repeated visitors and provide a platform for them to share their thoughts, ideas, questions, concerns and information. Unfortunately, many webmasters who attempt to launch a forum on their website, end up shutting it down because of lack of activity and popularity.
So, you may think what is the key to setting up a successful and interactive forum?
Below mentioned are 5 simple tips for creating and promoting a forum / message board for your website:
You Need To Generate Plenty Of Traffic
If your website is receiving small volume of traffic every day, then it will become difficult for you to create conversations on your board. Keep in mind that not everyone who comes to your website will notice your forum and visit it; and the visitors who stop by the forum just browse it without posting anything. In fact, a wide range of visitors who come to your forum will only come and have a look around.
In order to have an interactive forum, it is crucial that your website should get at least 1,000 unique visitors every day. Don’t just start the forum for the sake of starting it; first work on the incoming traffic of your website and when it grows; a forum will work well for you.
Create Some Initial Conversations
Once you have established your forum, post a few questions in order to get the ball rolling. This might allure people to jump in and make some comments or provide with some solutions. If you are using a free board like PhpBB, you can also create polls for increasing the participation of people. Create a few polls and enable your visitors to vote for them.
Also, don’t take a back seat. This means that it is not a bad idea to create a few usernames n your own and post questions or answers through them. This might sound silly but in case you are lacking on activity on your forum, this strategy will help to get some conversations going. No one is going to know that your usernames do not belong to real people, except you J.
Promote, Promote And Promote
Don’t just provide with one or two links to your forum. Make sure to link to the forum through every page of your website. Also include it in your email signatures and in case you send out a newsletter, create a special newsletter edition for announcing the launch of your forum.
On the ‘contact’ page of your website, suggest that in case the visitors have any questions, they also have the option to post them on the forum instead of emailing you. As a result of this, people will browse the forum, post their question and they will also come back to see the solution given to it. If your visitors start seeing your forum as useful and informative, they will surely return more frequently and hopefully they will post on a regular basis.
Limit The Number Of Categories In The Beginning
A big mistake that webmasters often make with the new forums is that they create too many categories. Keep in mind that for all the new forums, the number of posts is going to be small in the initial days. So if you have 10 categories on your forum and only 1 or 2 of them are actually being used, it will make your forum look scarce.
Create just 1 or 2 categories in the beginning, and then once the traffic starts increasing, you can add new categories.
Ensure That The Forum Is Easy To Use
Don’t make your visitors search for information regarding how to use the forum. If they have to figure things out on their own, they will be discouraged and they will not wait on your forum for a longer time. Make sure to use a script on your forum that is clean and intuitive.
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will help you to launch our new forum. I would like to remind you again that don’t forget to promote your forum extensively. If you are successful in building an active community, it will be an efficient marketing tool for your website.