• Quote of the Day
    "The voice of negativity says, 'Get real'. The voice of possibility says 'Get started'."
    Donna Satchell, posted by littlerabbit

David Baxter

Mar 26, 2004
1. DEFINE YOUR FOCUS! I cannot emphasize this enough. How many gaming {or insert general genre of your forum here} forums are there already out there? What can you offer that everyone else isn't already offering with an established community? Why should anyone leave another forum to come to yours?

2. DEFINE YOUR FOCUS FOR SEARCH ENGINES. Search engines don't know anything about your site other than the text on your pages that they can scan (spider), parse, and index. What does your main index page offer up as spider food?

3. BUILD CONTENT. Write articles of your own. Start threads that you think others would be interested in reading or replying to. Build content for visitors and more food for spiders.

4. BE PATIENT! All forums start slowly and build slowly initially. At some point, if you persist and have something to offer members, you'll reach "critical mass" and you'll see your progress accelerate.

5. READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN FIND ABOUT SEO FOR YOUR FORUM SOFTWARE. There are huge differences in how search engine friendly different software is. Pay close attention to optimizing the forum title and thread titles. Make sure your forum descriptions actually give spiders something to index (I don't mean the forum meta description tag but make sure that is something that will grab a searcher's attention too).

6. SOLICIT AND CONSIDER FEEDBACK FROM THE MEMBERS YOU HAVE. If your existing members hate your smiley collection and want more, think about giving them more. If they find your avatar or signature rules too restrictive, think about changing them. Make your members feel important. Show them you value their contributions. Make it easy for them to recommend you to their friends. Let them know you want them to keep coming back.

7. BE AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF YOUR OWN FORUM. Make sure you visit and post every day, especially in the beginning. A forum with an absentee Admin just looks like an abandoned forum. Why should prospective new members care enough to join and post if you don't?

8. DID I MENTION BE PATIENT? Follow the above. Then read them again and follow them again. An average forum with any competition at all make take a year or two to really take off. If you're not in this for the long run, don't bother to be in it at all.

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