No one wants to chat on an empty forum. It takes time and a lot of effort on your part to get people to spend their time coming over and over to your site to chat on your forum but once you do it’s an invaluable source of traffic and can net you a lot of money in site advertising the more sustained traffic you can develop. Check out my post on how to make a forum and then read this post on how to get more people on your forum.
How to Get More Forum Traffic
Advertise – First and most obviously, you need to advertise about your forum using various sources of traffic. Most notably you can use social media and paid advertising. Social media can be useful when you find groups on Facebook, for example, which are related to your niche and you can join to spread word of your forum.
Paid advertising on the other hand can be an effective way to get very targeted traffic from Google or Facebook to your forum. Before you spend money you likely want to get a decent community going on your forum as it will be difficult to convince people to chat on your forum if there aren’t enough other people to make it worth their while, therefore making paid advertising in the very early days just money down the drain.
You can also use other forums to advertise your forum if it’s in a similar niche but you’ve got to be careful as forum owners are wary of poachers who may take away their traffic. Besides, you’re better off waiting on doing this until you reach the point when you’ve got a good level of traffic on your forum as no one wants to leave an active forum to being posting on a largely inactive forum.
Post Yourself – It’s a sad truth but most forum owners started out by creating several fake user names of their own and created threads and posts back and forth to one another, with that forum owner essentially having a conversation with themselves.
The in doing so is to give the impression that your forum is getting more traffic than it really is because again, no one wants to spend time on an empty forum. Once you’ve built up a good number of forum members so that the forum can sustain itself without your fake accounts, you can let them take the reigns and stick to just one or two accounts for moderation and chiming in as you like.
Run a Contest – Running a contest is a great way to give people an incentive for doing more on your forum without explicitly making it clear that that’s your end game. Think of a few sufficient prizes for the top winners and make the goal to be the first few forum members to reach 1,000 posts. Make another prerequisite to be that the contestants need to also tweet or share about the contest on their Twitter or Facebook profiles, respectively.