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How to get people to join your forum ?
#1
This is the most obvious question that i heard every now and then. "How to get people to join your new forum?"
Well the first thing is that there is no general procedure to follow to get new members. But there are some way that can help you get members to your new forum.

First Impression: Design & Looks
The first thing that all forum owners should care about is the design and looks. The best way to determine how is it, is very simple, ask yourself the question "Why will you join the forum??". Look your forum through the eyes of a new visitor & ask yourself these questions "Is the true purpose of this forum is highlighting in the main landing page?", "Does each and every branches of your niche (that you want to keep in your forum) are clearly divided into forums and categories??, "Are there sub-categories highlighting themselves properly through sub-forums??", "How does your forum looks? Does it looks like a customized forum makes a professional impression or simply reflects the impression of your forum scripts default looks??" etc. Once you have the answers to these questions you will definitely find your way to kick start your forum.

Professional looks to a forum is very important factor, it makes a heavy first impression to the visitor. The more your forum becomes personalized the more its better.

Note: If you have not bought any professional themes for your forum then my suggestion for them are; First of all change the default color of your theme, place a customized head banner for your forum, put a good personalized favicon image (or signature image), & lastly change all the category forum images.

First Impression: Content Wise
Content is the king factor for any blog or forum. Suppose a new visitor comes to your forum he/she gets impressed by your forum design, categories etc & then he/she does not find anything useful content inside your forum. Do still they will join your forum?? The straight answer is “NO”. If your content is truly great then the design or looks can’t even matter for your forum to grow.

The most important factor is that your forum must not look empty according to content. The more is the content the better. Forums means online discussion boards but it does not mean that you only have to post discussion type articles in your forum. Post blog type articles, how-to’s, tutorials etc in each category and sub-forum. Atleast 3 to 4 in each section this will help you to build the elemental structure of your board. Make 1 or 2 posts which are really important to the category “Sticky Topics”. After doing that make a minimum 10 posts in each category which are discussion type, focus on the hot topics of your niche while doing it.

........to be continued
"IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT, FAKE IT"
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  • Wario
#2
You are right, the design is the main part will the people sign up for your forums or will they avoid it.

You must be aware to set up it as much as possible with originality within design and the content.
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#3
...............continuing

Quality over Quantity
Your forum must not look empty. That's true. But does that mean you should post articles which are irrelevant or topics which are discussed in other forums myriad number of times? The answer is always 'NO'.
I remember my experiences over a ton of forums which i have joined. It was just by seeing an interesting article or topic or tutorial which i had found really helpful and interesting. You should make such an impression to your viewers that whenever they face any problem in your niche they must come to your forum for answers or the best possible answer.

Eye Catchy stuff
An eye catchy offer to your new members or a gift for your members when they accomplish things like 10 posts or 20 posts etc will always help you to gain members.

Inviting professionals
Inviting experts of your field to your forum to join and post, will always encourage others to join as it will make your forum more trustworthy.
Linkedin is a great medium to find and invite professionals. Join as much as groups and create connections with as mush as professionals of your field. When they post an update or article, follow thoroughly that. Make a review up or follow up story, or any kind of opinion that you have regarding it and post it in your forum. Then invite them through personal messages. If they find that interesting and profitable (as they can also gain traffic via your forum to their page) then they will definitely join and post. Remember this whole process has to be very humble you cannot force them to join, just ask them nicely.
"IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT, FAKE IT"
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#4
I think that in comparison content the looks of the forum is much less important. I have seen many forums which are not so good in design and/or theme wise but they are very content rich. And for this they attract much visits and new members to sign up.
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#5
One of the best strategy to get people into your forum site is to join other related forums then be an active member as well as helping them with their concerns in the thread to make a healthy discussions. Include your site's URL within the signature links and fill in your site within the profile.
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#6
In my opinion people choose to participate in a forum which they find interesting or engaging. So if you'll gonna ask me regarding the biggest factor that can contribute to forum engagement will always be the content, yet layout/design is important but what matter is the fact that what can I get if I participate on a certain discussion? Wink
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#7
AlyLauren Wrote:In my opinion people choose to participate in a forum which they find interesting or engaging. So if you'll gonna ask me regarding the biggest factor that can contribute to forum engagement will always be the content, yet layout/design is important but what matter is the fact that what can I get if I participate on a certain discussion? Wink

You are correct. Forum looks and design may factor but it comes to content at the end. I know a lot of forums whose desgin may be of late 90's but they just do fine because of the content they have generated over years.
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#8
avinash Wrote:You are correct. Forum looks and design may factor but it comes to content at the end. I know a lot of forums whose desgin may be of late 90's but they just do fine because of the content they have generated over years.

Exactly! Some website also have a good layout design but you can only see how few people participate in the discussion since its too usual. We participate in a forum to get information and so as to share are thought so design won't always matter.
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#9
I will emphasize more on eye catchy stuff. Not only services or products but also and more importantly content. Content is always the 'High King' in any forum.
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#10
You really are right Brian, I mean we all have the same reason why we want to participate in the forum and that's the knowledge that we will get afterwards.
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