Starting a new forum, how did you get yours off the ground?

Dannymh

Active member
#1
So my current site has been around for about 15 years and we built traffic organically but we also had a core team of mutually interested people in a vacant niche.

Now with my current idea, there is still a fairly big opening in the specific niche, but I am curious as to how anyone who has recently built up a forum and traffic have gone about getting their initial traffic and get their forums going?

Regards
Dan
 

Aayush

Well-known member
#2
Talk to people in your niche, find out where they hang out, what do they want and give it to them on your forum. Seems simple but is actually a lot hard in practice.
 

~kevin~

New member
#4
Literally begging people to join.

Lots of work, youtube videos, pictures, content, working 12+ hours a day... etc.

It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to get a forum off the ground.

My first forum, it took 6 months for the traffic to be somewhat steady. It was probably a year before things really took off. therein lies the problem. A lot of people are not willing to dedicate a year of their life on a gamble. There is no promise that ever after a year the forum will take off.
 

MoonShadows

Active member
#6
I just started my forum for backyard greenhouse enthusiasts. Luckily my business deals with a number of farm stands, nurseries and the like. I am having business cards printed and just made up two flyers to distribute at these places. I also plan to advertise in the Hobby Greenhouse Association Quarterly Magazine.

Business Card
Biz Card.jpg

General Info Flyer
Hobby Greenhouse Growers - Large Flyer copy.jpg
Flyer with Tear Off Tabs
Hobby Greenhouse Growers - Tab Flyer copy.jpg
 
#8
I hung out on somewhat similar forums, posted where I could and built up a reputation as a knowledgeable person, then one day set up my own forum. There was nothing quite like it existing. To start with, I posted a lot of cool content myself, but publicising it on the existing forums quickly attracted an audience and became self-sustaining once there was enough unique content to drive Google traffic. It's now 12 years old on the 29th Dec. Not sure it would be as easy now though.
 
#11
For me "off the ground" would be where I have enough daily visitors creating threads and responding to them that the forum could continue to grow and flourish without me doing all of the work. In other words, the members and their content will attract new members. I realize that burden falls on me now and for probably quite some time into the future as I work to add relevant content, keep the handful of starting members interested and engaged and market my forum wherever I can. When will that time will come when my forum is "off the ground"? I don't know, but I don't think it will be any time in the near future, but I'm in it for the long haul. One of my friends who runs 2 successful forums, one five years old and the other 10 years old, told me you know your forum is "off the ground" (he didn't use that exact phrase) when you don't always have the time to post because you spend your daily forum time doing things in the background.
 
#13
Another thing I did within the past week is install the Resource Manager Add-on. I plan to put articles, videos and other resources about greenhouses that hopefully will interest my members and potential members.
 
#14
I just visited your forum. How long have you had it? How have you promoted it. One thing I did notice is you have twice as many members as you have messages. That is unusual. Do you have a lot of inactive members who just come there for information.
Site is 3.5 month old.
Started as interest to share knowledge.
Around 30 like minded people join togather for the good cause to share knowledge with all.

I invited around 50 peoples via facebook whatsapp. Discussed idea and plan about it.

After that 30 people left who showed interest for doing this by investing money.
Out of this 20 were interested to invest and 10 to share knowledge + invest

We started forum on 7th Sept 17.

All people did marketing by sharing links in groups and on fb wall.

Some people did posted unique content, which attracted users.

Maximum users are not familiar to how to use forum so they only do visit, download or read content and goes back. Hardly few ask questions or reply or share there content.

We are planing to make posts on how to use forum
How to share content
And some tours for website to make user understand everything.

Theme we use is still buggy, once it is stable and modified, further guidelines for user will be made.

Now many people knows about it, still we are increasing our reach to peoples.

Civil Engineers are little more busy people so they wont visit daily but come back as and when they are in need of help.

I too busy person, but when i get some free time i do post on my website as well as at xF.

Running a forum is not a job of 1 person, unless you have a team of people who wish spend there free time in contributing, forum is dead.

My team spent 10 minutes a day at any time of day on forum.

I think my forum is not yet off the ground.
 
#15
@Dnyan Deshmukh That's a lot of members for a forum that's 3.5 months old. Sounds like you started with a good plan, and I think having a section on "How to use the Forum" AND mention that in the welcome email when someone joins will go a long way. For the present members, you could send an announcement to all registered members. Videos that walk members through how to use the forum (along with the video text/transcript) could be very effective.

Unfortunately, I don't have a team, but I do have access to some like-minded people through a Hobby Greenhouse Association. I have to be careful about "marketing" within the association, so it will be slower spreading the word, but I hope to enlist some of them to help me as well.

I would be interested to hear about your progress, and don't hesitate to ask me as well either here or through the Conversations area of this forum.
 
#16
I just made up this video to be able to send to people. I also figure it will be found on YouTube by people searching for hobby greenhouses, backyard greenhouses, diy greenhouses, etc. Looking for anyway to advertise my new forum. Think outside the box.

 
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#17
For your case in particular, you will need to focus on areas for your niche as your forum is very focused. The population who would be interested in it is limited primarily to civil engineers and people in similar professions. SEO related to keywords used by the community would be a key focus. Another area is other sites which are frequented by the population of people you're looking for. You could buy advertisements on those sites or, if you're looking for free options, try to find sites/blogs where you could guest post and provided a link back to your forum.

Just posting your link about in general communities won't get much return due to how narrow your site is.
 
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