10 Worst Mistakes Made by Message Forum Owners
Message forum owners often make significant mistakes that kill their communities.
Most if not all of these critical mistakes can be avoided. But if they’re not avoided, they can harm the forum from the start and last indefinitely. Some of these mistakes often happen without the message forum owners truly realizing they’re making such a critical error in forum administration.
In this guide, I will show you 10 of the worst mistakes to make and offer my advice on avoiding them altogether.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 1: Using Free Hosts
A terrible mistake to make in developing an active community of a free forum hosting service.
Understandably, not all message forum owners will be able to afford a paid hosting environment. But using a free host means you are renting the real estate, and you don’t usually have access to the database. If you get suspended or the hosting service closes shop, you lose your entire community, and the chances are that it is listed right in their terms of service.
Avoid this terrible mistake by getting a paid hosting service, even if you start on a cheaper shared platform.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 2: Changing Software Frequently
There are many forum software to choose from, free and paid.
Don’t mistake starting with one software and changing to another and then changing later. Changing software too much will result in technical errors, crashes, and potential security flaws. You also force the community to constantly get used to new settings and user experiences which can annoy them to not be active.
Avoid this mistake by testing out different software, choosing the right one for your community, and sticking with it.
Message Forum Owners Mistakes 3: Not Backing Up
Imagine that you wake up one morning, and your forum software has crashed, and everything is gone.
Many message forum owners fail to backup their databases and files. The forum software isn’t 100% stable, nor is the hosting environment, so it can cause critical errors to occur. If a forum administrator has backed up their community, they can restore it quickly and easily, usually without members even knowing what has happened.
Instead of making this mistake, you should get into the habit of backing up your database and files regularly.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 4: Adding Too Many Addons
Addons and plugins make forums do more than what they do out of the box, and they can be beneficial to the community.
But there is such thing as adding too many of them to the forum. Adding too many might create features that take activity away from the main forum, such as a chatbox. Adding too many will also create backdoors into the forum software that might be used to “hack” the forum by those wishing to harm your software files.
Try only to add essential add-ons you have researched to be trusted within the forum software support community.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 5: Adding Too Many Sections
When creating a message forum, we get many ideas for topics in our niche market to discuss.
You might be tempted to create a lot of boards for these discussions to take place. But this isn’t always a good thing because it is overwhelming to keep updated, and you want to make sure each section has fresh content. A board with many sections that don’t get a lot of new content daily makes the community look inactive and uninviting to visitors.
Avoid this widespread mistake by only adding a couple of boards on your forum to start with and adding more later on if they’re in demand.
Message Forum Owners Mistakes 6: Too Much Staff
Adding too many staff members can scare away an active community because of conflicting leadership.
It is very tempting to want to please new members of the forum when they ask to be staff members. When you add too many staff members to your forum, this is a mistake because leadership styles often conflict. Some staff may not enforce the rules as others do, and everyday conflicts of interest occur, which usually causes drama in the forum.
You can avoid this issue by not adding staff until your forum has grown enough to need it, and that should give you time to create a team “handbook” to show what leadership you expect.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 7: Anti-Direct Competition
We can learn from social media that collaborations push traffic for both brands involved.
It was common for message forum owners to be very anti-direct competition in the old days. They would block forum competitors from using the forum. This mistake is still being made shockingly when discussion forums are dramatically disappearing from interest.
We should change this and start collaborating with competition rather than trying to block them, or it will be too late for forums.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 8: Not Being Active
You installed the software, set up the forum, and now sit and wait for others to make it active, right?
Many newbie message forum owners get into the game without considering their abilities to be active in their community. If a forum owner doesn’t have more posts than the rest of the community, there is a significant problem. An inactive forum or a forum with an inactive staff team will quickly tell visitors that the community isn’t worth joining from the start.
You must be an active contributor to your forum daily, even if it is just your posting.
Message Forum Owners Mistakes 9: Not Marketing
Message forum owners tend to create their forum, assuming that people will start finding it.
The interest in 2022 and beyond is HUGE, and every niche is oversaturated. The ability to find your forum is like searching for a needle in a haystack. If a forum administrator isn’t marketing their message forum, it will take a long time before anyone finds it because of how large the internet is today.
Avoid this terrible mistake by utilizing search engine optimization, ethical marketing tactics, and social media promotion strategies to get your forum seen quicker.
Message Forum Owners Mistake 10: Being Inpatient
The number one reason most message forum owners quit is that their goals are too broad, and they don’t achieve them.
Many people who create online communities want to become a viral success overnight or turn the community into a full-time paying job. Because of the number of websites on the internet in this modern time, accomplishing goals like that is impossible. A message forum will often take years to become large enough to earn a profit or be designated as a large online community.
If you can’t be patient and set smaller, more achievable goals for your forum, you will likely fail.
And there you have it – avoid these mistakes that many message forum owners make. These mistakes are common but completely avoidable if you include strategy into your planning efforts and look outside of the box. Thanks for reading this article – if you have enjoyed it, consider sharing it with a friend. Check out Forum Promotion for more articles like this, discussions from forum owners like you, and exciting events and competitions that we’re always running.