The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

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Jim_UK
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Jim_UK »

gilb29 wrote:but if i add some content in there do you think it will still attract people if add plenty of posts?. if that makes sense. when people look all they will se is me posted 100s of posts.
You could create some other "you" accounts with different usernames and make some posts. I resorted to that in the early days and had a user called "Grumpy" (me of course) that made a habit of posting quite controversial items. That always prompted a response and it was a long time before they realised that I was "Grumpy" (wife already knew :D )
Even several years later they will sometimes ask what has happened to Grumpy and it was about time he made some fresh posts.

Jim
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Unfortunately they will not let you anywhere near it!

InformationAddict
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by InformationAddict »

My site has been up a month and we have about 19 users.

So far, I've sent email invites out to all my friends who i thought may be interested in the subject at hand for the website/forums...and then asked them to forward the invite to any other people they might think would be interested. That did help gaining some members, but no one has signed up recently. Also, i need to mention, that i had a group of like 5 friends go on there and start conversations and make some posts before we sent out the invites...I think that helped, as other's mentioned, to make sure you get the convo's going first, otherwise no one wants to come to a dead forum.

My girlfriend had a great idea to have a "Question of the Week" on the site in order to a) start more conversations and b) to encourage users to come back to the site regardless regularly.

I've been tempted to create fake accounts to have some fire starter type people like "Grumpy" (which is a hilarious and fitting name from your description by the way), but i'm also concerned that I will lose the respect of the other members. ONe of the forum rules is that user's can't create multiple accounts, so for now, i want to do my best to follow that as well....but having a 5 way person conversation with myself could be a lot of fun!

You guys have given me some real good ideas of how to get more members, so thanks, i really do appreciate it. I think i'm gonna try a few out (visit more forums related to the topic of my site and participate but w/o spamming).

An idea that one of my friends had was to email/phone some college campus clubs who are religiously affiliated (the site is for people who wanna to talk, listen, and learn from others about beliefs or non-beliefs systems), let them know about the site, our intentions, and see if they'd be interested in passing it on to their members or plugging it in one of their next meetings. I also was thinking of maybe printing out simple business cards and dropping them in stalls and such, with just a link. Then again, i'm not sure who'd want to touch something laying on a toilet. :)

The great thing is that i'm not trying to sell anything, as far as making money goes, and my intent is to allow people a safe place to come and talk about tough topics. So i think i have an advantage because they know i'm genuine and not just trying to solicit traffic for the sake of making any $$$.

One last note...its funny cause some of my friends i've told about the site, they get really pumped on it, and want to go invite others, such as college professors, but then they haven't done anything so far. I guess that's the difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it!
http://www.nonConforums.com (Organized Religious Anarchy)

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Nagathi
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Nagathi »

I run a forum for a specific hobby. In fact, it's not even for the entire hobby, just a specific part of it. On this hobby/game you can play as different teams, my forum is for one of these teams. The site has been up for about 2 years now, and we got 2300 members and we get 700 visits each day.

There are other forums for this team, but my site is the biggest and I think we were the first to move to phpBB (the others were using eZboards or IPB at the time), which attracted more members. With size comes interest. If you see two forums serving the same purpose, one with 300ish members and one with 2k members, you assume the most and the best information would be on the bigger site, right?

~ Nag

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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Pezzoni »

I reckon the biggest draw is entirely separate from the forums: Website content.

I've run two popular forums in the last couple of years. The first was attached to a website with regular, well written, unique and relevent content, and that gained a good, and growing number of users, all posting regularly. That eventually fell through for various reasons: the primary one being me loosing interest, and the website itself being devoid of updates and content.

The second (which is going now) was set up as an alternative location for a core of users who had all initially met at one place, but had become disgruntled with the heavy handed moderation, excessive advertising, unreliability of the place etc. The forum was set up, and grew to 50-60 regularly posting members in a couple of days, but has remained almost static from there on, with a very occasional new user (who has always been a fellow refugee from the aforementioned forum). This place has no accompanying content whatsoever - it consists of a fairly tight-knit group of users who all know each other well, and use the website as a location solely for discussion, of no particular topic.

As for things that drive people away, I can think of two off the top of my head:
1 - Heavy handed moderation. Everyone hates a power-tripping mod, and it can destroy your user base incredibly rapidly.
2 - Bad design. Obtrusive adverts, nausea inducing colour schemes, and hundreds of forums with one post in all come under this.

Zero4749
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Zero4749 »

* You can submit your forum url to search engines.
* Advertise on other sites that allows advertising.
* Keep your forum focused on a few topics.
* Have content for your forum
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
* Optimize the content of your forum
* Domain (since some users won't be able to remember and long urls.)

vigge_swe
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by vigge_swe »

I have also the problem that no one posts and join. We are only 2 active at my forum (gaming too). I can't buy advertising because i'm under 18 and can't buy things myself on the internet. My parents can't buy rhings to me because they don't find work so we got too little money to it. I've have joined some banner exchange but i only get like 5 guests a day from them and no one joins.

* You can submit your forum url to search engines. - I have submitted it to 11 search engine and a Open directory (DMOZ) for free.
* Advertise on other sites that allows advertising. -I done it for free.
* Keep your forum focused on a few topics. -It hasn't much topics now.
* Have content for your forum -yes
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Costs money
* Optimize the content of your forum -sry I don't understand what this mean.
* Domain (since some users won't be able to remember and long urls.) -Free .tk domain. [removed]
Last edited by drathbun on Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Please note this topic is not an excuse to violate the "no show off posts" rule, thanks.

eUKhost.com
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by eUKhost.com »

Just having a board with not much content won't help. Let the word spread about your board through your friends and acquaintances. Also creating multiple users accounts and talking to each other would make the place look busier.

ryan1918dotcom
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by ryan1918dotcom »

Well my board is my first name, and I have over 16,000 registered members, I think you have to first provide the content that brings them back, than affiliate with alike sites or high traffic ones, get listed in all types of search engines, and after a while you don't have to do anything more, just watch it grow bigger and bigger, as my site has recently hit over 91,000 posts and growing more daily.
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http://www.ryan1918.com More than security.

Thaales
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Thaales »

aim,content,hard work,put on search engines and nice people + time will make your board with more members...
But also making contests and giving prizes (if you get any income form your board) and advertising on relation sites or community like :

orkut(more for Brazilians),facebook,youtube ? and some of the many other youll find....

eUKhost.com
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by eUKhost.com »

Offering rewards like a free domain name, or free hosting for a few months in return for active participation on the forum does attract many and gets the activity going on forums

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Jim_UK
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Jim_UK »

eUKhost.com wrote:Offering rewards like a free domain name, or free hosting for a few months in return for active participation on the forum does attract many and gets the activity going on forums
That does sound like a very expensive way of attracting users.
Lets see now.
A domain name costs say $20 for 2 years.
40 people take up your offer and that gives a total of $800
Unless of course you mean to do webspace with a subdomain of your own.

I go for having good content on a site that looks good and whilst perhaps not being unique does not have several 100 others sites of a similar nature.
"Build it and they will come" (no prizes for saying where that quote comes from)


Jim
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Unfortunately they will not let you anywhere near it!

EvilGnome6
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by EvilGnome6 »

I run a music related forum and one of the biggest draws has been Gift Chains. Basically, everybody who joins buys a CD for the next person in the chain. It doesn't cost the site any money, but it's a fun way to get participation up.

Having things like a Random Thoughts thread or a What are you listening to? thread can make the site more sticky and even spur new topics for discussion.

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jaunty_mellifluous
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by jaunty_mellifluous »

Yep, okay. Ahan, yea.
Stay Cool!

WBASS
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Re: The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by WBASS »

Hmm..Nothing Just iam relaxing but iam praying For God :D to give me More Memebers :geek:

Techmanac
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The hardest question of all... how do you get new users?

Post by Techmanac »

why dont we just join each others forums. Post 1 or 2 topice & post a reply in 1 or more topics, hey we might even like it a lot, and we can tell our friends about the forums we joined and tell them to join as well.

I think this would work out well

why dont we give it a try
we do have our web site in our profiles, so lets use it

thank you from TechMaNac

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