How to launch and run a successful forum

Purres

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Hi all, I have less experience on creating a forum, I can create websites or blog for posting daily posts but managing is quite different. I'm interested in starting online community from scratch , maybe in IM niche, I have read some articles and watched some videos on Youtube but I still do not clarify how to make a new forum go right directions and success with it. I would to hear your ideas, all your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

ulterios

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Hi all, I have less experience on creating a forum, I can create websites or blog for posting daily posts but managing is quite different. I'm interested in starting online community from scratch , maybe in IM niche, I have read some articles and watched some videos on Youtube but I still do not clarify how to make a new forum go right directions and success with it. I would to hear your ideas, all your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Starting a successful forum from scratch these days can be extremely difficult if not impossible. There are new ones that start up every day and there are many that also fail every day. I have been a member or staff of hundreds of forums and see many of them fail or not last long. They are kind of like a living thing and they need traffic, new members and advertisers to keep going on. One small thing can completely kill a forum off so they are fragile. However, it can be done if you are willing to put the time needed into it as well as money.

First off you will need to use a good native forum script for it to work best. Something like vBulletin, Xenforo or even myBB will work well. Xenforo and vBulletin are the best and most powerful forum scripts, though they do cost money. Stay away from the WordPress forum types, they don't have the features and functionality of good forum scripts.

Next, you will want to have decent hosting for it. You don't want extremely slow load times or downtime as that can discourage members from joining or being active.

Then you need to make sure that you have the time to dedicate to it. A successful forum takes a lot more time to run and keep up than a blog or website. You have to be willing to be check/using/etc. the forum all throughout the day.

Then one of the biggest things is getting traffic to it and getting new members and advertisers to it. This is that hard part! You will need a good amount of active, quality members to be using the forum regularly. You might have to put out some nice money through AdWords or Bing to try to get some traffic.

One thing that you should do is to do some research before you decide what niche you want and if you are certain that you want to get into that particular one. The IM niche has some big forums out there already so starting a new one from scratch can be a difficult task. A niche that doesn't have lots of competition would be easier for a new startup forum.

Good luck and I hope this helps.
 
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Purres

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Purres
thanks for your helps, I have new ideas from reading your advice, but in the case, I don't have more money to go with adwords or Bing ad, do any free options to advertise or get traffic for my new forum? I also need to increase new members for my forum.
 

ulterios

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You are most welcome my friend, I am glad I could be of help.

Since you are looking for free options then you can try several different ways to try to get advertising or traffic for your forum. You can always use social media promoting and posting, which can get a nice amount of traffic if done right.

You can also try to perhaps do some guest blogging or posting. Find some blogs in the niche that your forum will be in and see if they might be interested in you writing a posts in exchange for a link or two in the article.

You can try to do a banner exchange with sites in the same niche as yours will be in.

Blog commenting on blogs that have topics covered that are in the same niche and so on.

The hardest thing is going to be getting enough members to join to keep the forum alive and active. If people come to your forum and don't see much activity or the posts are old then many will not want to join because they think it might be a waste of time.

The first thing is to get it built and going on experience, a forum isn't as easy to build as you might think if you haven't built one before. Sure it's easy to slap one up, but getting everything laid out well and functioning properly can be trying at times. Once you start building you can start marketing it as "Coming Soon" on the social sites to start to try to get interest.

The success of a forum is usually measured on how many members you can keep coming and joining AND staying active on the forum. It will be a lot easier if you are not in a highly competitive niche where there are already lots of big forums. A niche where there is less competition will be easier to start. Sometimes it's best to start in one smaller part of a niche, then grow and expand if the forum does well. Adding new sections along the way can be easier at times.

Good luck my friend.
 

Ron Killian

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Hi all, I have less experience on creating a forum, I can create websites or blog for posting daily posts but managing is quite different.
Curious as to exactly what you mean by "managing is quite different"?

If it means your not keen on spending the time managing, as ulterios already said a forum is going to be ALOT more work, ALOT, more than a blog or awebsite. Did I say ALOT?

Just keeping the spammers and junk posts out will probably be a full time job+.

As ulterios already said it's going to be difficult just to get members and even harder to keep them coming back on a regular or daily basis. That is the biggest hurdle, keeping the forum active. Plus getting "good" members that post quality content or replies, ones that actually add value to a forum. Sadly, you will get so many members that post useless crap that make's little to no sense and adds nothing to the conversation. Or the short ones liners, just to pimp their sig.

The biggest question for you is, what the heck would you want to start a forum? Maybe you heard or read where some one said a forum can be an amazing thing?

Not trying to knock or give you a hard time, just don't think you realize how much time it will take.

A forum is the LAST thing I'd ever start and I've been online over 17 years. So many better (and more profitable ways) to spend your time.

Just my opinion. :)
 
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