Owning and Building a successful community is no small task. What starts as a hobby will turn into a passion and then a life style, After so long of the life style you enter the Burned out stage at this point you continue to change and update the site to keep it fresh, once you have perfected the site and no longer see where any changes are for the better you enter the depression stage at this point even mundane task are daunting. Tho there are many high points along the way, keeping your eye on the prize is what continues to motivate you to move forwards. Somewhere in there you reach the point to where you do not want to do anything at all. then you sell it to move on with your life and once its gone there is a huge hole left behind, so bad that you cannot bare to even return to the site.
If i had any advice to share i would say do not spend any money on advertising , ive paid $1500 to be full page in magazines, paid for radio spots and even a tv commercial, I even appeared on Dateline NBC talking about the site and they showed screen shots and ect... the site has cruised to 50 new members a day with out no advertising and hardly no up tick in membership because of any sort of advertising. yes even national prime time television... NOTHING!
There is only 1 secret to building your forum by getting it noticed.... Google
One 2 min youtube video (google) would spawn insane traffic numbers , Good SEO is absolute Key! Google dominates the market at 80% with yahoo,bing etc making up the other 20% based on my traffic numbers.
Do anything and everything google its the only way to get noticed. Do not put your money into advertising put your money into SEO.
then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel was just a freight train coming your way.