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Old 13 Sep 2009, 23:02
colochris colochris is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Obsessed with website, but I am dying need advice

Hello to all,

I run a Bowling website. You may think bowling, how boring and really for many it is. I am ranked on the first page of basically every search engine for the keywords, Bowling Forums.

Recently I have noticed my reviews section of my forums have been getting good search engine ranking moving up many pages to the first page of Google for an example for the keywords, bowling reviews taking over spots that I was told would never happen.

I have around 1480 members and have been online for 18 months.

I am dumping tons of money for advertising and I spend A TON of time online promoting my site to fellow bowlers on facebook, myspace and other sites.

I am just curious when it gets to a time where its time to kill the idea and move on? I spend so much time on my forum, that I take away from my family, I worry about my site constantly, and I just get sick trying to get more members and have this profit making site that people want to be a part of.

My site makes very little money. I do get a few site donations, but does nothing for server costs.

Having a niche is nice, but when you get no money and its hard to get members it feels stranded.

I felt like and do feel like I have a good thing going. I get 20 or so new people each week now, and the potential is there. But I just get burned out too from time to time.

I am wondering what to do if the whole "make a forum about something you enjoy and not do it for the money" idea runs out and its time to bail out?

I enjoy my forums greatly and I have worked very hard at it. It has turned into an obsessions. But I am curious if when you get a forum established, sometimes a new owner can really make something out of it when a current owner cannot?

Any ideas and advice are appreciated. I am sure most owners get a bit down on what the future holds for a forum. Its like having a car, if you sell it while its still running you make some money. If it breaks down your stuck with nothing, but then again someone can buy your car and just do a simple paint job and sell it for double what you got for it.

I have so many people say nice site, about time there is a site with no bashing, and so on. Even corporate bowling people tell me how to keep up the great work because they may need a place to go to when there forums are shut down because of all of the smack talk and such.

Thanks for your tips or advice.

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Old 13 Sep 2009, 23:21
DieselMinded's Avatar
DieselMinded DieselMinded is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Always nice to see someone passionate about there website ! hang in there ! First thing first VBSEO !

Now if it was me i would have a bigger emphasis on local bowling leagues , have league schedules and league members , photos and profiles including handicap and past year ranks ect...

Give people a reason to go to your site

add an arcade with only bowling games

to raise funds ...send a letter to bowling ball manufactures about your site and sponsorship , dont use email a letter is better
Is your forum registered? -
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Old 13 Sep 2009, 23:30
colochris colochris is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Great tips thanks so much.

I have a problem where I do worry so much about what my members think and it really is nice to have a place that people like. But it does take a toll on an owner from time to time.

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Old 13 Sep 2009, 23:39
DieselMinded's Avatar
DieselMinded DieselMinded is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Its a lot of stress , you have to be careful , giving your all and push push push is not going to get you anywhere if your focusing on the wrong things.

Ask the members what they want? and give it to them . my site has spawned an entire subculture , clothing and ect...

Give them what they want and treat them with respect and the rest will fall into place
Is your forum registered? -
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Old 14 Sep 2009, 11:28
harmor19 harmor19 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Real name: Andrew Harmor
Take a break for a couple days and let the moderators handle the unwanted posts.

In my opinion I think vBSEO is not worth the price. 1. There has been debates whether vBSEO even helps and 2. You are already highly ranked (2nd on Google for the term "bowling forums" (without quotes)) on search engines so what would be the point in purchasing vBSEO?

I noticed you had forum where users can post bowling related videos. I suggest adding a YouTube bbcode to your forums.

I also noticed you have a forum where users can buy, sell, and trade. You could add an Amazon store to your site.
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Old 14 Sep 2009, 17:14
Princeton's Avatar
Princeton Princeton is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Real name: Joe Velez
it will take time; nothing comes free

it's true what they say...
you have to work hard and sacrifice a lot to be successful in life

don't give up on it - it will take a few years but you will start seeing a good return on your investment

I'm a vbseo fan and use it on our sites but (for you) I don't recommend it at this time. I recommend waiting until vb 4 comes out and use the SEO features that come with it.

Now, I'm only saying that because you seem reluctant on spending additional money on your project but if you have the funds to make the purchase - go for it.

Regardless of what anyone says - SEO is a good investment.

Do not neglect your family. You are doing this for them - if you lose them you'll have nothing. Family should be your #1 priority.

Personally, I make it a priority to spend time with the family every day - watching tv, going out on vacations, to the movies, go to parent/teacher conference, etc.

Get a usability review on your site...
there are some things that don't work well on it.
Here's something to get you started...
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Give users what they actually want, not what they say they want. And whatever you do, don't give them new features just because your competitors have them!
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Old 14 Sep 2009, 17:28
kevcj's Avatar
kevcj kevcj is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Real name: Kevin
After the site is about 2 years old, your should be able to put some banners on it, or start selling advertising yourself.

The first 1 - 2 years is a nail biting, worry a lot, stressful time - but you can not let it consume your life. Its "only" a forum, and keep that in mind.

I suggest you stop spending a lot of money on advertising at start focusing on free forms of advertising. Such as filming tournaments and posting the videos on youtube. Visit local bowling supply shops and do interviews with people and post those videos on youtube.
political forum
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Old 22 Sep 2009, 03:46
VonDoom's Avatar
VonDoom VonDoom is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
I feel ya on this one my first forum just turned one and and although its kicking some serious butt right now i have to spend almost 12 hrs a day on it and ive noticed when im not there activity and participation go way down. ive got about 1500 hundred members myself and i always give each and every member what ever they want. Advertising is not my forte and hate every second of that part of the big picture.

Eventually there will be a point when i let the project go to the moderators and take a step back. but i do not see that day coming anytime in the near future. Just remember to think outside the box. vB is about as flexable as forum software gets. theres not much you cant do to it. Ive even went so far as to offer my Platinum supporters there own forum to manage and moderate. and email

An arcade with only bowling games sounds like a great addition. for your board. Although ive noticed just about every big board ive stumbled across is pretty stock with very few hacks. they seem to focus more on style. (IMO)

I give my members everything they ask for. but also remove anything they ask for and dont utilize.
Remind your members that your forum is there forum.

Consider doing something like i did and let your members advertise for you. I'm not talking just word of mouth either. a referral contest will work wonders.

Also provide incentives to your members with sites of there own to do a reciprocal link exchange.

If your members enjoy the environment you provide Ive noticed members are more then eager to help out and or just score brownie points either way your getting members.

Seek sponsors to provide prizes for contests. that is always a draw.

Remember an active small forum will gain more relevance in search engine placement. then 10.000 members that just read. get them to post more. Quality original content is priority number one. save your money and time on advertising (for now) and focus on getting your members to post new threads.

Its amazing what one good thread and keyword can do to your presance on google.

Good Luck.
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Old 02 Oct 2009, 09:53
glen290's Avatar
glen290 glen290 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Hi Chris, good to see a fellow bowler, i recently have started a bowling forum in the Uk and am having a hard time getting it "out there".
Recently added a facebook group and with the help of my local bowling center run a doubles tournament "sponsored" by the site every few months.
So kind of hoping this works too.
I have tried speaking to a few pro shop owners etc with a view to getting them a little section where they can have a special offers and things like that, but not getting no luck as its not big enough yet.

Bowl Uk The Bowlers choice for bowling chat
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