This article was first posted on our blog on 02/04/2009. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
One of the worst things you can do when promoting a new forum is to promote it when it is not completed. This is something that I have seen here alot on Forum Promotion, as well as other promotion forums, where people advertise unfinished forums and wonder why they aren’t getting members.
Before promoting you new forum, always check the following things:
1) Have I set up all the forums I want on the forum?
Do I have a wide range of forums covering different subjects about the forums’ topic and also in forums where you are able to discuss off topic subjects such as a sports forum, media forum and an anything goes area?
2) Have I set up the rules for the forum?
When members sign up, will they be able to locate and know what they can and can’t post?
3) Have I configured all the settings and permissions correctly?
Set up a test account to check the members forum permissions. Can you see what you want them to see, and can you not see what you don’t want them to see? Additionally have you set up all the settings like the avatar, registration and signature settings?
4) Have I chosen a good style to match my forum, and do I have a matching logo?
One of the biggest mistakes people make is sticking with the default style. I think it is better not to use the default styles of any forum software, as they are overused a lot and are quite plain. Additionally it doesn’t show that you care too much, and it makes your forum look “new” and unfinished. Same goes for a forum logo. Always have a decent logo for when you start promoting. Ensure it matches the style, is not fuzzy and is not too big or too small.
5) Have I started any topics to get some discussion going?
This is another mistake a large number of people make. Never promote a forum with no posts and topics as no one will join because of it. Go around your forum and start a few topics to encourage people to sign up and post. Also, if you can get a friend to sign up to help get some posts on the forum, that would be good. The less empty it looks when it comes to the time you promote, the more of a chance there will be more members signing up.
6) Ensure that guests can see most if not all the forums.
Don’t hide all the forums thinking it will encourage people to sign up. It doesn’t work like that, this will cause most people to just move on to another forum.
7) Lastly and most importantly, have something unique.
You need to give people a reason to join your forum over other more established ones. If you have something that is really different from all the other forums, you will stand out and it will help you get more members when you start promoting.
If you follow the above points, it should help your forum when promoting, it will make it alot more interesting and there will be more chance of people signing up. They are all simple small things but to do them, will make a big difference in the world.
Hope this helps and feel free to comment.