Don’t Block Direct Competition on Your Forum Anymore!
If you block direct competition on your forum, you might be setting your community up for failure.
I remember about 10 or 15 years ago when every forum online blocked direct competition from participating on their forums. Forum owners were selfish about traffic and sharing that traffic with other forums. Fast-forward to now, and forums are not as popular as they used to be. But if you get on social media and see the relationship between two competing brands, they often collaborate, share traffic, and succeed.
So, let’s look at how we break the cycle of blocking our competitors and working with them instead.
Don’t Block Direct Competition; make a Deal with them.
If a competitor joins your forum and wishes to advertise ethically, don’t block them; make a deal with them instead.
Tell them that you’ll allow them to put their link in their profile if you can do the same on their forum. Tell them you’ll let them put their link in their signature if you can do the same on their forum. Instead of blocking them, make a deal with them, and both of you can share traffic. You’ll also show your audiences that you’re not selfish like many forum owners seem to be.
They get niche-related traffic from people who like forums, and so do you; it’s a win-win situation for both online communities.
Before You Block Direct Competition; Collaborate with them instead
Learn a lesson from the success of the collaboration on social media and make your forum more successful with it.
Reach out to direct competition and ask about collaboration opportunities. Take a lesson from social media with these potential traffic generators. Consider doing a cross-forum contest or giveaway to get members on both forums. If you both enjoy speaking, why not join a podcast episode with one another and talk about the forum niche.
You will reach a bigger audience through collaboration, but you’ll make a friend who likes the same stuff as you.
Management is Easy when you Choose Not to Block Direct Competition.
Managing an online community can have a lot of stress and anxiety, especially regarding the forum’s growth.
Choosing not to block direct competition and forming a relationship with them takes a lot of pressure off your back. It is one less thing you have to worry about keeping your forum online and gaining new members. Having a negative thought process on direct competition creates stress and paranoia, two things you don’t need. But if you don’t care about direct competition and form a friendship instead, you won’t have these unnecessary negative thoughts, to begin with.
Direct competition is a good thing – it has more positives than negatives when running an online community.
In the end, there are enough niche users for more than one niche forum. People don’t want one forum to get the Monopoly of all the businesses or communities. Working together, not against each other. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider sharing it without who you think would enjoy reading it.