I created Benchtech Forums a while ago and wanted my forum to be different, not a commercially driven site pumped with ads, but a simple to use, visually impressive forum with a large community. I'm starting to get there but I could do with some more members, if you could have a look and tell me what you think, what would make you join, and what deters you, and let me know, it'd be appreciated.
Thanks for the advice guys I will have a look and see what improvments I can make, do you have any advice on how to get more members? I've been working really hard to promote it in the search engines and to get some content on there but I am struggling to get members. How many posts do I ideally need to see a flow of members joining? Thanks
The notice at the top - I suggest changing it - Hello there Guest! Welcome to Benchtech Forums. We're a fast growing and active technology forum, supportive and helpful to each others' needs. If you want to join a fast developing and fun forum then click here.
What's different? Short punchy sentences. Do not use AND in notice copy, except for a pair or list. Keep exclamation marks under restraint if you want to look serious.
Cut out any suggestion of negative - that you're fast growing is enough. I've also soothed a couple of minor typos.
On getting members you're doing fine. Mainly - have patience. Forums are like trees, they take time to grow, and the bigger ones take longer. I saw someone a couple of months ago at your stage now; she has just reported 100 members. That's doing well.
You can join other admin forums so yours gets seen in your sig. Don't compete, that's a bad impact and won't help you. Say sensible helpful things to support their forum. That'll get you noticed and get them checking your sig,
Mostly though just work on your content, gradually introduce nice addons to enrich user experience, make it a lovely place to be. Treat every new user like a small divinity.
Don't answer every post, that is overwhelming. Use Likes a lot though. Also if you answer constantly the avatar / name that shows up on summary pages is repeatedly yours, a dead giveaway the forum is almost entirely you and a few others. So let other names stand without reply for a day or so - but use Like.
Pick out some to specially congratulate privately. People love to be noticed and admired.
Ask your members privately what they most like or least like about your board - would they like any additional forum topic? People ADORE individual attention instead of spammy notices or stuff sent to everyone.