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  #1  
Old 29 Apr 2007, 02:09
SmashinYoungMan SmashinYoungMan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Question Okay, I'm swallowing my pride...

...how do you folks with big boards do it? I'm proud of the two sites I created in my sigóboth having won BOTM both here and at vbulletin.com despite having no active community to speak of. SpaceBuffs.com especially has some very nice backlinks pointing at it, hence the high PR. It has links in both the Yahoo and ODP directories, as well as some nice science sites and major university sites. I have a link to the site in my sig on various forums which have a topic similar to SpaceBuffs.

Still...nada. I can't convert visitors. I'm not sure what it is I'm doing wrong. The frustration has caused me to completely give up promoting the sites and adding any content, and I pretty much keep both up and running just so I can have them in my design portfolio.

I love working on forums, both my own and for clients. I'd love to one day have a successful forum of my own, instead of abandoned eye-candy. Any tips on how to drive traffic to the forums and convert said traffic would be GREATLY appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 29 Apr 2007, 03:36
Coux Coux is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
now that is a $1,000,000 question if only i could answer.
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  #3  
Old 29 Apr 2007, 05:16
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no mods no mods is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Well first off those are some beautyfull skins, some of the best ive seen. One reason your sites may not be to active is cause there not usuall topics, ive never seen a vbulletin about science. But that makes you unique, it also means you might not have as many members. The best thing to do it to not give up, just keep pushing your sites, and hopefully some day they will catch on and become active. Forums are all about luck basically, some people get all the members, some get sqaut,.
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Old 29 Apr 2007, 06:29
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Adrian Schneider Adrian Schneider is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Find a few other people passionate about the topics and get them to post actively on it with you. Even if it's just four of you, others will be far more likely to join and chat than if they only hear the crickets. Paid posting is another option, for the same reason.

Again, I agree that the topics aren't very common, so your chances are far lower than usual.

Just keep at it. Remember that starting up is the hardest part. From there, things get better exponentially.
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Old 29 Apr 2007, 06:58
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no mods no mods is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
I do paid posting (give me a certain amount of money, i make a certain amount of posts) and member getting, meaning I mkae good, legit posts in whatever section you want, and not the ones that are like "hi" or "thats pretty" and I can garuntee at least 5 members . Send me a pm if your interested *your more likely to get people to join if they see there are active members there, even if its just the two of us, haha.)
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Old 29 Apr 2007, 07:57
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Hornstar Hornstar is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Real name: Matt
Well there is no secret. its all about content and then seo IMO

im using vbseo to do the seo side of things, www.gamerzneeds.net/forums you will see vbseo in action, the link is in the footer on my site, as im not sure if im allowed to post it here.

as for content, if your not passionate about posting, then it will be tough.

here are a few ideas. create several accounts, and on the other accounts, just post lots of stuff up. on your main account, be yourself and make good original content that people are likely to search for in the search engines.

just because your site is about xyz does not mean you cant talk about another topic that has nothing to do with your site.

good (active) communities have a main focus where people go to get the content, and a place to enjoy the community as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 29 Apr 2007, 08:10
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no mods no mods is offline
 
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Hope I dont sound to noobish here, but what is SEO, ive heard the term a few times now, but have no idea what it means.
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Old 29 Apr 2007, 08:26
Coux Coux is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
search engine optimization
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  #9  
Old 30 Apr 2007, 17:31
SmashinYoungMan SmashinYoungMan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Thanks for the support and suggestions, all. I believe I've been taking too much of a "if you build it, they will come" approach, and you obviously have to be a lot more proactive than that. I did take a lot of time acquiring good backlinks, as I said, but that isn't enough in and of itself.

I believe the biggest difficulty is getting those first dozen or so truly active members. I think a board needs at least that many to become "self sustaining" and attract and maintain new active members.

I've thought about doing the paid posting and creating multiple accounts myself thing, but that just feels too dishonest, in my opinion. I'm not knocking those who do, as I realize it is a rather innocuous means to an end, but I just can't bring myself to do it personally. lol

Regardless, I'm going to put a real and sustained effort into making it work. I have an Adwords account that I need to dust off and create a SpaceBuffs campaign for, and see how that goes.

Anyhoo, thanks again!
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Old 01 May 2007, 00:32
cheekymonk3y cheekymonk3y is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Get yourself an anime or gaming addiction. Its easy to get 20 initial active members by just posting a few ad threads in other anime/gaming forums. and it just steamrolls from there. well, thats the case in my case. And with your brilliant designing capability, you could easily make one of those sites that get 1'000'000 posts in a year. If you ever make an anime or gaming site, though i doubt you will, contact me cause i'd love to help you. Your biggest problem is you choose arbitrary topic matter for your forum. soz, for bad spelling but 2.30 am
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  #11  
Old 01 May 2007, 01:25
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El Burro El Burro is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Two brilliant skins. The best I've seen.

Perhaps you should concentrate on Graphic design.

I'd love you to make a skin for my forum !!!
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  #12  
Old 02 May 2007, 04:13
sanjay369 sanjay369 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Here are some suggestions that I have found to work:

Find every relevant link site like http://www.thespaceplace.com/links.html or http://www.assabfn.co.za/spacetides/links.htm and ask for a link, offering a backlink on a separate subdomain will greatly increase your chances

Search social networking sites for like minded people and invite them to your forum

Integrate a wordpress blog into your site using the vbulletin bridge and write articles with pictures and video embedded. Then go and comment on other spaceblogs with your blog URL displayed. Your blog entries will serve as the first-post of a separate article subforum, so if anyone wants to comment on your blog- they are automatically registered on your forum. If you need help with the writing solicit great posters from other forums- with your design skills, they will want to be involved.

good luck and feel free to PM me for community building help- I am sure the size of my community would qualify my advice as valid.
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Old 02 May 2007, 21:41
QsKGlobal.com QsKGlobal.com is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Real name: David
The only reason my community has been a success is because of our work. We make Halo videos which drive traffic to our sites, we also host videos, offer editing support, and have affiliates that are high trafficers. Halo3Forum.com announce many of our videos which increases our stats every time.

My advice is to advertise more, maybe start some contests, or offer moderator positions. Maybe talk to high traffic forums about getting sponsored links on their site. In my opinion, search engines don't do enough for a forums unless they are HUGE resource sites with over 50,000 pages indexed on each search engine.

Even though my forum isn't a 'big board' for 3 months and 934 members...we do pretty good.
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  #14  
Old 03 May 2007, 02:21
SmashinYoungMan SmashinYoungMan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
I was actually contacted by the Science Channel tonight. They want me to help promote Space Week that is coming up via Space Buffs. They're giving me access to clips from the series to display on my site. SB, by virtue of having some very authoritative backlinks, draws some high profile attention, but I can't get the damn forum off the ground. Heh.

Again, thanks for the pointers, all. I'm definitely going to put some of the stuff suggested here into action.
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  #15  
Old 03 May 2007, 14:26
axg axg is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
I agree with the others, it takes time to get noticed. It is definatly not over night. So be patient, and stick with it. They will come slowly.

On another note, the skins are by far the very best i have ever seen.
Hmm, if you do this on the site, contact me. I may want a skin made for my board.
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