Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

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marieBD12
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Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by marieBD12 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:50 pm

Have a forum and i want to attract members from northern england.
From the personal experience of members of this forum, what would be a cost effective method for advertising it?

Have allocated £400 to advertising, and so far the only thing within my budget appears to be local newspapers.
Also wondered how much some other forummers have spend in order to advertise their own forums?

Any input appreciated.
Thank you.

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KevC
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by KevC » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:19 pm

In my opinion, if your board is good enough, they will come.

I've never spent a penny on advertising.

The last board I set up has been going for 12 months and now has over 2000 members and I haven't paid to advertise it anywhere.

Good topic here on how to attract new members
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 6&t=362219

People will join if they're searching for what you're talking about and your board looks interesting enough to join. That involves content. Get the content from several members and it will look enticing. Putting a link in your sig on other boards you post on is free too as long as it doesn't contravene that sites advertising rules.

Presentation has a lot to do with it. We see a lot of new boards with dozens of empty forums or lots of forums where all the posts are by the same person. They either look deserted or like the home of someone talking to themselves. You have to make it look interesting and there are a few simple ways to do that. Keep the number of forums low (less than 10) unless you REALLY need to expand them. For instance, many set up forums for tv, film, music, books, gaming with nothing in them when in fact one forum for entertainment would do the job until such time as you have enough topics on one of those subjects to warrant a new forum for it. If it's brand new, make some fake accounts and post to get the counts up and make it look like people are chatting. It's amazing how much that will bring people in. That can be useful even on a fledgling board. Make up a 'character' who disagrees with every opinion. People will soon step in to post that they're wrong and that gets the chat going. Get a team of 2 or 3 members together to think up ideas for things to post/chat about. Get a little competition going. If people post photos a lot of the time do a photo compo with voting. Doesn't need any prizes but it gets people interested.

So, personally I think money on ads is a waste. Make your site worth visiting with content and your google rank will go up on its own. Reading one of your other posts, if your board is about fitness, sports and health, run off some A5 fliers and see if the local gym will let you leave a stack on reception. Costs you nothing. I think spending £400 on a local paper ad will be a waste of £400.
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KevC
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by KevC » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:33 pm

Oh, one other option is to look at google adwords but again that can be quite expensive for decent coverage.

If you fork out £50+/month they will target your ad on similar types of sites. They can work ok but it's pricey to get regular impressions on sites.
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by EXreaction » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:56 pm

Good advertising can be real beneficial. I once worked for a guy who had a huge mailing list, sent out info about a new site he created (just days before) and got over ten of thousand members and over a million pageviews in the first month (IIRC, it was about 1TB of bandwidth the first month since the site was opened).

Unfortunately, I can't help with the advertising stuff as I have no experience in advertising myself.

marieBD12
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by marieBD12 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:58 pm

hi Kevin,
thank you so much for the information.
think i'll follow your advice and simply try to create more interest by way of your suggestions.
if all that does not provide much membership then i will try google adsense.

again, thank you so much for taking the trouble to help.

marieBD12
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by marieBD12 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:01 pm

EXreaction wrote:Good advertising can be real beneficial. I once worked for a guy who had a huge mailing list, sent out info about a new site he created (just days before) and got over ten of thousand members and over a million pageviews in the first month (IIRC, it was about 1TB of bandwidth the first month since the site was opened).

Unfortunately, I can't help with the advertising stuff as I have no experience in advertising myself.

ok thank you.
will try sending out a mass email, unfortunately i do not a have a large list of emails but will try to acquire it.
thanks for help.

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EXreaction
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by EXreaction » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:06 pm

marieBD12 wrote:ok thank you.
will try sending out a mass email, unfortunately i do not a have a large list of emails but will try to acquire it.
thanks for help.
That's probably not the way to do it. This guy had a huge mailing list from people who were interested in the stuff he does and his websites, he did not spam a bunch of random addresses or find lists online, they were all people who signed up for the list on his sites.

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Sam
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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by Sam » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:57 pm

I have always considered Word of Mouth the best forum of advertising. If you are offering a good service and/or good information, and it is price reasonably based on its content and usefulness, people will come as stated before in this thread. My advice is get some of friends in person to help you out with the initial start up for a community, and advertise locally by simply worth of month within current communities and networks you belong to. I am not talking about posting spam topics, but tell your friends in person and online that you are starting a new forum and have them check it out. My other strategy is place the link in your signature on forums, to help establish backlinks to help Google notice your site quicker. This is just the strategy I adopted, and I found it works well to get a start. Just be sure to have some long terms plans in mind as well.

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Re: Whats a cost effective way to advertise a forum?

Post by adoi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:16 pm

yes mouth to mouth is much better but it takes more time.

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