Sunday, July 31, 2005

Building a Forum Community

Interesting article:

How To Build A Popular and Profitable Forum Community

From the article:
    You may have heard that having a web community is a great way to increase sales, customer loyalty and word of mouth for your web business. In fact a web community itself, if large enough and targeting an affluent demographic (or one that advertisers like to target), has the potential to bring in revenue. Commonly people use a web forum as the centre point for a web community. However building a popular forum is no easy task and requires patience and dedication.
There are many sites that exist primarily as forum sites, where large groups of people gather on a regular basis to talk. For example, this page discusses a forum site called go-gaia.com that "boasted (as of 12:30 AM on 31-Mar-04) 5,384 users online (out of 441,818 registered users) and only 47,190,029 posts." That's a lot of traffic. Go here for a list of the biggest forum sites on the Web.

Forum sites are pretty easy to set up. A site from a web hosting company like this lets you install the software and configure the database in seconds. Once the software is running, you use an administration area to set up all of the different forums and categories. Pick a topic and you could be ready to go in a few hours. Then your job is to get people to start visiting and signing up.

12 Comments:

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Dominic Foster said...

Hi Marshall,
Thanks for all the advice about setting up and marketing your website. Adding forums to my sites is something I've been meaning to do for the last few weeks. So when I read this post, I went ahead and installed them immediateley.

Also, after reading the post at problogger.net (Darren Rowse is posting blog improvement tips for the whole of August) I have decided to really try and motivate myself by making August the month that I get my blogging truely off the ground since I starting blogging at the begining of July.

I'm going to try and blog extensively about my experiences at www.dominicfoster.com. Hopefuly by the end of August I should have more than enought material for some useful articles to publish on my site.
Cheers
Dominic Foster

 
At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Kashif said...

I have got forum on my web site www.rewaj.com and its generating revenue so far from Adsense and some CPM based campaigns. IMHO it's quite difficult to get subscription based revenue from the forums unless the content is very very niche.

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marshall,

I found a free one. Forumco.com. I setup mine just a few days ago. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly it was indexed on Google. Cool stuff. I've included the link in case you want to see it.

- Brandon Doyle
http://brandonbert.bravejournal.com
http://www.DoylePublishingUtah.com
http://doylepublishing.forumco.com

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous lee said...

www.getvanilla.com
is an excellent free forum program.

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Dustin Sacks said...

Forums are an excellent thing to have on a site (as long as there are some people filling them), and are a major component of my main site.

You should be careful to keep your forum software up-to-date though. Same as with Windows (and other software), exploits are found and patches come out, and hackers attack the exploits to try and take over your site (or get your database password, etc). Look for an update mailing list for your forum software and put yourself on it to keep safe.

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger Robyn said...

I am building a dieting site that will allow members to submit their recipes. It's a niche so I hope it will go over well. I've already laid the html and it looks great. Just have to read up on databases (I know just enough to be dangerous right now) or get some prices on customization.

 
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At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find that people are not likely to post in forums. You must have lots of traffic before a small percentage of them actually posts. I always use slashdot as an example of this. They get lots of traffic but most items receive on average 200-300 posts generated by only a few posters (minus all the trolls and such.)

The Dollar Factory

 
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