So you have created a forum, maybe it’s a few days old or older than that and the traffic is still not getting any better. What I mean by traffic not getting any better is your unique traffic and search engine traffic. All forums have the typical regular visitors who pop in for a few minutes and post a few comments which could or could not be quality and helpful ones. You the forum owner have to market your forum to the world almost daily. Be honest, do you really think your forum will be a success if you don’t get the name out to the world every week? You can use social media, PPC, guest blog posts and many other ways to get your forum name out in the world. If you don’t have much time to market it online then why not create viral content to perhaps get a burst in traffic.
For the folks who don’t know what viral content is, check out the meaning below:
Content that spreads very fast on the Internet, just like a flu virus would in real life. The content itself can be an article, a picture, or a video, but it must be very funny, controversial or information so that people feel an urge to blog about it, to tell their friends about it and so on.
Viral content can be any type of thread that you the admin creates or from one of your moderators/members. All it takes is one catchy title with good content to get the ball rolling. Remember to add some social buttons on your forum. It’s very important to add some social buttons under the forum signatures for every post as visitors can also use these if they land on a forum post or thread that they like and want to share with their follower’s. My own blog had a few blog posts that went viral and was linked to on a few hundred websites but I deleted that blog post as it was starting to bring in the wrong type of traffic that I didn’t like. (I did this about 2 weeks ago) I’ll get lucky again with another viral piece of content that will bring in the traffic some day.
On your forum, it is important to have fresh content as in new threads everyday. Yes, continue to let the other threads go one but you need to create more threads if your moderators/members are not doing this. Get the search engine bot’s coming to your forum more than 1 time to index new content. The more threads that get indexed, the better off your forum will be. If you are running your forum on the vBulletin software, I can suggest the VBSEO Plugin (paid) that will make your forum SEO friendly and make it so your threads/posts get indexed faster. There is a ton of features packed in with this paid plugin (software) and it even runs on some old vBulletin versions as in 3.8.x (double-check with their support team on this though). The v7n forum forum runs on this software btw. The new Vbulletin software comes SEO friendly but lacking ton’s of must have SEO features that VBSEO has. If you serious about growing your forum then invest the money with VBSEO.
In fact, before I sold my forum in 2007, I used VBSEO from the beginning when I created the forum. In 1 year before I sold it, I gained number 1 rankings for 3 of my keywords. Keep in mind, just installing this software won’t give you number 1 rankings as you the forum owner still need to build backlinks and get the forum name out there in the world. The software helps a lot but the forum admin is still a big part in getting traffic to his or her’s forum. Good moderating and not having a ton of spam on your forum will help with gaining traffic. All it takes if for a few visitors to land on your forum and the first thread they read is filled with low quality posts or just pure spam. That visitor will most likely leave right away and never come back as the forum isn’t taking precautions in preventing spam or just not have active moderators.
My point is, do SEO on your forum. It could be just installing some SEO software or manually editing things if you are good with coding and editing the forum templates. Good security measures to help prevent spammers from joining, active moderators who are not going over-board with infracting everyone for the hell of it. Hey, if you really want to know my secret to my forum’s success in rankings in 1 year, all I did for the first 4 months of its birth was run referral contests on my forum. I gave away prize’s and free banner advertising for a certain time. I however did my homework and banned the members who was cheating and not following my rules. The prize’s was so good that word spread out fast and all I had to do was find a way to get the new members to become active posters.
Well, new content and helpful staff was my strong points. I moderate with kindness on v7n forum and love providing new content that most members need to know about. You need to keep members wanting to come back everyday to read new threads while getting people to help out in the older ones. This isn’t rocket science folks, get creative and find ways to make people want to read your threads or checkout what all the hype is about on your forum.
If you are a lazy forum admin who thinks your forum will be a success and profitable with not doing much then you need to park your domain and find another thing to do online. Being an admin on a large and active forum is hard, you make friends, make enemies and forum is always subject to spammer attacks, DDOS attacks and hacker’s. The forum admin has a lot on their plate to worry about 24 hours a day. The hard work will pay off once your forum is a success and you see revenue coming in that you could reinvest back into the forum or run contests.