Most people feel that when getting ready to open a new forum, or a couple of weeks into a forums life, they must hire some staff members to help. This normally comes in the form of wanting to hire 1-2 moderators and an administrator at the most basic level. However, hiring staff is often much more based on the feeling that having people with these roles makes them much more likely to contribute to discussion, and help grow your post count. There are many reasons why you should not hire staff, just for the sake of it, in this article I will go over some of these reasons whilst also explaining why having people hold positions of authority just so they will post is a terrible idea, and other ways to build content.
Why hiring staff for a new launch isn’t a good idea.
- The first point as to why hiring staff for a new project is not a good idea is based on the idea of motivation. A person who is hired to moderate a forum will be expecting to conduct certain tasks across the community – keeping peace and order whilst editing and closing threads that get out of control. The problem is, a new forum is likely not to need this kind of work at all. If a moderator keeping checking in on a forum and they have no work to do, they will become demotivated and bored with the position, they are therefore much more likely to leave the forum without notice and potentially leave you in the dark in the future.
- It involves hiring from outside of the forums member base. This is a big deal but not something people think about much. When posting a recruitment topic on a promotion forum you frequent, you will be often getting people who are more interested in the stature/authority of the position and any bonuses related to the job than you would if you hired from within a community. It is critical for staff to be motivated in order for them to conduct a good job. As a result it is good practice to hire from within the community once you have a few active members. If you don’t have active members to hire from, the chances are you do not need a staff member.
- It can be off putting for new/potential members. Members of a community like to feel like they belong, they like to feel that they are respected and have a bit of free reign to enjoy and partake in discussions. However, if a person stumbles across a forum they are interested in, they might negate joining the forum because they feel that the forum is over staffed. They may feel as if their every move will be watched and won’t open up as much as they would, if there was a nice amount of normal members mixed in. It is already a big enough move for them to join the forum as a result of the low post count and member count, don’t make it worse for yourself!
You shouldn’t hire staff just to build content, here’s what to do instead.
As I mentioned earlier, most people try to hire staff for a new project claiming to need the help. In reality, most of the people just want a couple of users who are tied into the forum as a way of getting some content created, so that other people will feel more interested in joining in with the discussions – various staff members posting around creates a sense of activity, or so they think. In fact, seeing only staff members posting the vast amount of content on a forum can be quite off putting to guests visiting a forum, which could prevent them from hitting that registration button. This is because it can make the activity seem false and make the forum seem dead in terms of actually interesting normal users. Staff will eventually become aware of what they are there for and leave, whilst it is glaringly obvious to normal users that there isn’t really much going on.
Instead, you should focus on doing your best to grow the forum naturally. Use a bunch of posting packages, post exchanges (a few of these should be active/active), and so on to create a nice flow of content from people that seem like actual interested users. This will make other people feel more confident about joining, they will see normal users discussing, and feel more welcomed and trusted to post themselves. Whilst doing this be sure to create a nice amount of threads and replies daily – keep things active! You will be the only staff member and thus the only one obliged to post, so make sure you carry your weight and give members confidence about the future of your forum. Also, make sure to be advertising to people who are interested in your genre – social networks are key here in my opinion, and can bring some great success if done correctly. This will build natural content and users in the long term, and although it may be slower, you will likely find it much more effective in the long term.