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How did you grow your forum?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by newyorksportstown, Oct 24, 2013.


Method to grow? Choose all that apply

  1. Solicted friends and other forums members to join

    6 vote(s)
  2. Paid for content/ users

    3 vote(s)
  3. Paid for Google Adwords or similar

    2 vote(s)
  4. Purchased other forums and imported/ merged into mine

    2 vote(s)
  5. Other

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Right now I am farming out some users and content, working on creating some activity before I possibly advertise and move ahead with some tweaks to the style and add ons.

    How did you generate content, find users and generate a good community?
  2. Jeff Fuqua

    Jeff Fuqua Well-Known Member

    That's a very challenging question and searching those keywords here and on Google will get you a lot of content to review.

    As someone who has run a NFL team-based fan site, I'll offer a few things I wish I knew when I started some 13 years ago...

    1. Brand yourself. Easier said than done but, based on the look of your site, it's the default style and doesn't make me think New York or sports. But brand goes well beyond look of the site. You need to think about your "voice". Do you want this to be a lightly-moderated site where members can be rabid fans and say/do just about anything or are you wanting to hit a certain insightful fan who can talk sports with good insight? Are you wanting a board which is focused hard on sport topics or be a place fans can talk beer, women, cars, etc. with being a fan the common bond?

    There are a lot of good Jets/Giant boards out there already. I'm sure there are a lot for the other individual NY sports as well. So ask yourself "why should anyone come to my board?" I'd be sure to visit all and see what you like and dislike. See if you can offer something they don't or do it better. Define what you want your board to be as if you were creating a business. Once you nail that down, then make sure everything (mod style, look, topics, etc. reflects that).

    2. Attract visitors. I'll assume you already participate on boards since you're starting one. I'd continue to do that and ask any friends/mods you have in mind to do the same. If their contributions on other boards draws attention because it's quality content, and they are allowed to add a subtle url to their sig, then some will come to check you out. But realize you only have one quick visit to impress and you need to have something going on that makes people want to join and tell a friend.

    3. Be patient. I don't know of any sports-related board which popped up and went big fast without investing a ton of money or resources into it. Growth is generally a slow process. You can try to run contests, do giveaways, interview athletes, etc. to generate short-term interest but, bottom line, the content has to be interesting and updated regularly to keep people returning and, eventually, wanting to be a regular part of a board.

    Good luck.
    r_j likes this.
  3. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I know I haven't put any effort into branding the site and customizing yet, still at the early stages of trying to understand how I want to position the site.

    As far as the purpose, my thinking is that I found lots of team specific sites (Yankees only, Giants only) but like most fans in the area, I have several teams of interest to follow so I thought a forum to bring together all of the area teams would be a good approach.
  4. Jeff Fuqua

    Jeff Fuqua Well-Known Member

    Understood. If there isn't another board which does this already, then I'd be sure to understand why. If others have tried and failed, it would be good to know. I'm big into researching as much as I can before pouring a lot of money and time into something (though it isn't a guarantee it'll answer every question).

    If Mets fans who also love the Jets and Knicks just go to one board for each specific team now, would they prefer to go to one site which offered quality content on all teams? Maybe you can pinpoint some regulars at some team-specific sites and just ask via a private message.

    Some might like the change in atmosphere individual team sites provide. It's an interesting concept. Best of luck with it.
  5. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    0xym0r0n and Flexin like this.
  6. Yeah, I couldn't find any forums that catered to all area sports teams - everything was very team specific. I have signed up to, and asked around some boards to gauage interest - most said they would like to see good discussion on the multiple teams they follow.

    Here are a few sites I found that seemed to get what I am looking to achieve (at least content-wise):


  7. Jeff Fuqua

    Jeff Fuqua Well-Known Member

    Go for it. The ChiCity board looks active (even if vB).

    Be sure to check out a few of the add-ons by @Bob B. He's done a Pick'em and Sportsbook which are very popular on my site. He has a Survivor in the works as well.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
    Bob likes this.

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