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Are competitions vital to the success of a forum?



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Are competitions vital to the success of a forum?

Some forums tend to die out pretty quickly and right now with social media increasingly getting more popular, forums as a whole are getting a lot less popular. However, could forums survive by regularly hosting competitions? I've noticed that when prizes for competitions are pretty good cash prizes, the activity for these competitions increase rapidly. This is especially true now because people tend to want to earn money online. If posting competitions are used then this can increase forum activity by a lot. This may also mean that people might stay on the forum if they like the community? Do you think competitions are vital to the success of a forum?

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neilarmstrong

Competition is one tool to keep users engaged. The success of a forum also depend on the focus or niche. Some wordpress.org forums host hundreds of thousands of topics and posts. Due to the growth of self-hosted sites using Wordpress, such forums have grown even without competitions. I am pretty sure there are hundreds of other niche-based forums that are running well even without competitions. If a forum is struggling in keeping its audience engaged then it is hard to say what can revive traffic in a sustaining way. It depends on many parameters --- niche, user-base, interest, and the usefulness of posts. Thank you for posting a great question for discussion.




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galegatling

Well said. Without competition, I guess there'll be no point in doing debates or arguments on some forums since there is nothing to say anymore. People won't even care at all. But with competition, specially on good topics, it will help the forum owner retain it's users or visitors since they are indulged in a good exchange of views and ideas. As long as they keep it healthy of course.




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RedVelvetJuliet

Debate is a good one. In real life, it's the same for debaters too. People don't do all that research for debate club for nothing. They at least get recognition at the end of the year. Commenting on forums alone is a difficult thing for many people. It will help draw interest if people know they can get something out of it. However, if your forum is just a bland one and exists just for the sake of existing, even contests can't help establish a user base. As OP said, you need a strong niche, and you need to know what your particular mission is. Knowing what your mission will affect what you say and how you carry yourself. People pick up on that even online, and if they know you're not serious, they won't be serious either. I have seen the most seemingly mundane blogs/and or forums get a ton of members, because they had an organized goal, and they put their best foot forward. The contests are merely an aid, not a solution.




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peachpurple

Yes, competitions are essential in order to enhance the traffic of a forumsite and also giving out bonus points or money helps the members to work harder in the forum. I like Forumcoin and Postloop the best because these forum sites have a bunch of friendly members who do not stab others in the back and very active in promoting other forum sites, giving members more chances to earn money too.




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Neiltarquin

Yes competition can generate a good population to a site because humans are naturally competitive. With a gimmick like that in a site will encourage user and members to be more active and referal will be faster.




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lordrenly

Yes, I agree because people in general tends to be more absorbed into things with clear goal and target. Competitions are one of those things that can attract causal posters and can engage regular posters. Even without prizes that are too expensive, a lot of posters love the idea that they can obtain something by doing fun things.

The details, though, is the homework of forum owners as badly designed competitions, while can generate more activities, can blow out your budget faster than you expected. The idea is to organize a competition that gives you more bang for your buck.




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overcast

I think forum requires regular interaction from owner to the members. And this can be only possible when there is some sort of activity. In case of contest it forces people to be active. And they can add their value to the forums. I have found that some of the best things around happen with the forum competition. You can see that it can be really good option to make use of the contests and competition.




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Corzhens

Competitions certainly would attract attention and cause the community to be more active. However, it depends on the kind of competition and the prizes too. There are several forums that I know which have an ongoing competition (I will not mention what kind, to be fair to them) but I am not interested. It's not really prize though. And speaking of the prize, if it's too small then no one would care. And if it's too big a prize then people might think it's a joke or a scam. Nevertheless, competition or contest can definitely arouse interest in the forum.




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wallet

I think that competitions are essential in order to enhance the traffic of a forum. As a forum owner, you should know how to keep your users loyal, offer them a good payment on a post or giveaways, and in some cases a contests with points help. In the other words, you should offer and not only take, I think that would be a fair change for everybody! You get traffic and a user will receive something for its work!




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PedroP

It's a great idea but how do I fit that within my niche? I will launch a blog about Spirituality soon and somehow competitions don't quite fit the theme. I'm sure others might run it this as well. How can we fit traffic attracting strategies within our niche's particularities?




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RedVelvetJuliet

I mean you could potentially make a competition with that idea. You just need to be creative and a people person. You need to know what attracts people emotionally. This is how real estate agents and sales reps are successful. They are confronted with your challenge every day. Perhaps you can start a contest about who can stick to a meditation routine the longest (People can verify that they meditated that day) or people can write about the best way to overcome depression or meditate and give every day examples. The best submission could get a prize of your choosing. I am only giving you suggestions, but I hope you get the point.




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PedroP

Oh definitely! Those are some good ideas indeed. I only asked because spirituality and competition are not something that usually go along nicely. Many people seeking enlightenment like myself avoid competition with others you see. Still, i could make a competition disguised as another activity like you mentioned.Still, fit within my niche and stimulate people to return to the site all the same. Good ideas.




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keen2write

Yeah, some die out I had one which died out a little lol. But I have a new one now and will be doing similar on my forums with competitions and prizes. It's just finding the right niche as well and the right audience to share with like mine is a tech forum it as many different subjects to the forum.




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galegatling

Oh. so sad to hear that. Was that one in registered to platforms who do pay for post?
Tech forums are becoming popular specially the ones with gaming related to them.




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Fuzyon

If you can handle the pressure then competition is definitely useful. Sometimes companies and forums especially get stale and not upgrade due to the lack of competition making their site fade into obscureness after a while. Competition is healthy to keep both competitors on the edge.




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vinaya

Reward schemes can help forums stay longer, however, the reward system may not work always. I was once in a forum where the admin offered to pay $10 for a user every week for earning a maximum number of points through posting. The forum was shut down just in a month. The reward system did not help him. The members of course posted in a hope to earn the reward, due to which a lot of threads were created and existing threads also got new life. But it did not bring traffic the owner.




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RedVelvetJuliet

I think competitions are a pretty good idea in general! Have you ever taken care of little kids or remember when you were one and someone assigned you or them a tedious task? Their eyes immediately light up when someone says a prize is at stake for completing said task. We have all experienced this feeling at any age. We want to be compensated for our work. People have no incentive to stay on your forum. When you do things like "Art contest for flair" or "$$$$ Prize to first place", people like that because they know they'll be appreciated and will get prestige and/or money. Even for simple things like getting up in the morning to go the bathroom, the best of us need extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is necessary when you need to jumpstart a situation. I have seen this play out so many times.




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DenisP

Competitions are definitely a great way to not only keep your current userbase active but attract new users as well. If the forum has recently had a decline in activity, competitions with attractive rewards could be what it takes to convince users to stick around for a while. Not only this, but if it is interesting enough and the rewards are good enough, current members may end up mentioning it to people they know who might be interested as well and that will bring in some new traffic.




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Dhanidhamy

Competition should be considered vital and should be as one of the things that make a forum productive. Competition brings about best results and different ideas from different individuals.




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coolavender

Competitions or events can help motivate forum members to be active on the site but this is just one of the ways for a forum to be successful. Forums can hold events that will not necessarily have members competing with each other. It can be one that involves enticing members to be active and giving points that can be exchanged for little stuff around the site. Some forums, for instance, allow you to accumulate points by starting and replying to threads. The points can then be exchanged for domains, hosting plan, or even cash.




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arachnophobik

Competitions are just a way to keep the users coming back for more, especially if they're the competitive type. You can try out other methods besides competition that may also work, like posting potentially viral content. A success of a forum is heavily reliant on its community, so unless you have a solid community then the forum will likely die off some day :/




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MariaC

Off course competitions can offset ones business model whatever it is. Do something different. Provide something unique to your audience. Trust me there's a whole lot of market for forums than ever before.




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Soulwatcher

Competitions do not work, (#1) most people simply can't be bothered to enter (#2) it's going to have to be a HUGE prize to get people interested enough to to spread the word. (#3) 99%~100% of the people are going to leave and not come back unless you offer another huge prize to get people interested again. And in the end the money could be spent on quality content that is going to get people to find and join and stay on your website. And if you have the money for both then go for it =).




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Corzhens

I regularly receive invites from forums via my freelancing friends and usually it is about a contest or competition. Just today I received one with a total prize of more than $2,000 for the winners in the forum’s contest. But I am not really interested although I already have an account in that forum but I have the notion that the competition already has a winner even before it started. Do you get what I mean?




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