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Do you find it hard to promote a forum?



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Do you find it hard to promote a forum?

One thing I always found when I ran a forum was how not so easy it was to promote my forum. I tried a few different niches when running forums and I always found each time it was just as difficult as the last to promote my forum and I feel that is because there are so many forums nowadays around and so many niches are taken, that you end up being in competition with others, so it becomes more than just promotion and more of a challenge as well to be the better competition.

Do you find it easy to promote a forum? Do you feel like there is a lot of competition in the forum world online now which makes it harder to promote a new forum?

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Cristian

A forum community its probably the hardest thing to put together. Over time I worked with a lot of forums owners looking to start up their forum communities, I was hired as a paid poster there to keep on posting until a community was formed, things is, it always failed.

As soon as the paid poster stopped, so was the natural posters. A forum community needs to happen naturally or it won't happen at all. And for a forum to happen naturally, well, I don't think there are any forum formed recently in a natural way, depends on the niche and how unrepresented it is.



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jpyy

I think forums are similar to good radio talk show or a television sitcom. There need to be a few powerful personalities to draw in a crowd, along with useful information. For instance, I have noted that one forum I visit attracts me mainly because it's turned into some hangout for me, much like a social club.



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MidlifeFitness

These days, yes, it is insanely hard to promote a forum for a couple reasons:

1) Social Media - First, many people have gravitated to social media to discuss various topics. Unless you have a real specific niche, odds are it's just easier to ask and talk among friends. The fact that Facebooks have groups certainly doesn't help, either.

2) Reddit - Reddit is now the 4th largest website on the planet I do believe and with their massive user base, I think it has sucked a large majority of former forum users to it. Pretty much every forum I was a regular at would have members pop back in from time to time and mention they were mainly just active there.

3) Lack of Innovation - Forum software, by and large, hasn't changed in two decades. That lack of innovation allowed for Facebook and Reddit to swoop in and steal users. On the flip side, if you're a purist, this may actually be a plus in your eyes. All depends on your viewpoint.

4) Move to mobile - This could be lumped into 3 but I think it deserves it's own mention. Most forums, even if they have a responsive design, have a very poor mobile user experience. Considering most traffic these days comes from mobile devices and/or tablets, that really narrows your potential user base.



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Corzhens

My idea of promoting a forum is more on social media and particularly among your circle. Especially if you have active friends in social media, you can seek their help in at least giving you a hand in contributing some posts. Let's say you have 100 active friends that would contribute 1 post per week, that would be a semblance of a beehive already which can attract walk-ins. However, the response of your friends would still depend on the theme of the forum. If they are not interested then it's no use to persuade them to post on your forum. Paid posters is also a good idea although I still prefer to to rely on my circle of friends.



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Soulwatcher

I hate to beat a dead horse but the days of forums are over! Social media has taken over and it has pretty much killed off forums for good. I know what your thinking "You say that but you own a forum"! And the answer is yeas I own a forum and its for my own entertainment purposes only and I am not going to put anymore money into it then I want to lose. Because the reality of a forum taking off these days is slim to none.

P.S. I know someone who dumped $40k into paid posting and advertising and sure it got him to 150k posts. But as soon as the paid posting stopped the forum fell on its face. And was dead in a week!



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augusta

Though I run a blog, not a forum I think from the complaint on my chat forum by forum owners I know it becoming somewhat difficult to advertise forums because a lot of people are reading more of blogs now than forums and most topics can easily be read on the internet.Nonetheless, I think forum owners should be creative, review content all the time and rewards users if possible to bring them back.



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vinaya

I once created a forum. However, I had to close shortly because I found that promoting the forum is really hard. You can of course find members if you promote rightly, however, making the members active on the forum is very tough. If you do not have any reward system, the members will not be visiting the forum.



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Corzhens

You are right that it is easy to find new members to the forum. But the question is if they will stay for long. The forum has a niche and the membership is dependent on that subject matter. I would suggest that before putting up your own forum, you can test it in Facebook by creating a page with that niche. When it is up and running good with many members then you can create your forum and pirate all the members of your Facebook page to your new forum.



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vinaya

Or perhaps try post exchange platform such as postloop r the forum wheel. You can bring new members and well as have active members by using these services. The only drawback of this kind of promotion is the members will vanish once you discontinue your promotion on post exchange site. Another way to bring members on your forum is through micro job site. You cna pay people to join the forum and create content.



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WinnersPBN

Getting traffic to the forum today is more difficult compared to what it was 10 years ago, what is next to impossible is getting a great number of members to join. They are all on Quora, Reddit, Yahoo Answers.



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