Post Exchanges are simple and self explanatory. If I make 10 Posts on Cosmic’s forum, Cosmic will make 10 on mine. It sounds easy, and it is, but there is an art to maximizing the benefits from that exchange. This guide will go over some general user psychology and business tactics. Hopefully everything in this article can help you gain more posts on your forum or blog!
You know who the best poster is in the world? Nope, it’s not the user that finishes their part of the exchange within 30 minutes. It is the user that makes more posts than they have to! Nothing’s better than doing a 10 for 10 posts exchange and seeing the other user make an extra few posts out of kindness. Sometimes they may be expecting you to do the same on their forum, or maybe they saw some interesting threads on your site and just felt like replying.
So, knowing that the best poster is the one that makes extra posts and puts in that extra effort, we should set up our post exchanges so that we are more likely to come across users making extra posts.
If I asked you to do 3 push ups and 2 sit ups right now, you could probably do them without a problem. You may even consider doing 6 push ups instead of 3 and 4 sit ups. That’s how easy 3 push ups and 2 sit ups are. If I asked you to do 50 push ups and 50 sit ups, you might struggle. Even if you didn’t struggle, that’s enough push ups and sit ups that you probably don’t want to do any extra. You’re much more likely to double the amount of exercises you do when the starting number of push ups / sit ups is low.
The same goes for posting. If you ask someone to make 3 threads and 2 posts, they’re much more likely to make extra (FREE) posts, than if you had them doing 50 threads and 50 posts. That’s a lot of threads/posts for someone to do and they’re probably tired of writing content by the time they are done.
The lesson? Users are more likely to make extra posts when the initial exchange is smaller. It is less work to begin with, so putting in some extra effort is not as big of an issue for them than if you had them doing a larger post exchange.
Number of Users
If you go into a crowd and pick out 3 random people, I’m willing to bet that none of them have done a handstand in Egypt. If you go into a crowd and randomly pick out someone from 10,000 people, I’m willing to bet that at least one person has done a handstand in Egypt. For the record, I have done a handstand in Egypt.
The point is that the more users you find, the higher chances you have of anything being true. The more people you talk to, the higher chance you have of finding someone who has done a handstand in Egypt. Similarly, the more users you find for post exchanges, the higher chance you have of finding someone who will make extra or free posts!
Consider both of these situations. Try to conclude which one is better for your forum.
You find 5 users to all make 10 posts on your forum. In return, you make 10 posts on all of theirs. That’s total of a 50:50 exchange. Maybe one of those users will make extra posts, but maybe none of them will.
You find 10 users to all make 5 posts on your forum. In return, you make 5 posts on all of theirs. That’s also a 50:50 exchange in total. Maybe one of those users will make extra posts, but maybe none of them will.
Now that you’ve pondered it, let me give you the better answer of the two. Situation 2 is better, because it follows that statistical guideline that the more users we find, the higher chance we have of finding one that will make extra and free posts. We also know that smaller exchanges, increases the chance to gain extra posts. Since Situation 2 has more users and less posts required per user we have a higher chance of getting free posts, than that of Situation 1, which has less users and more posts per user required.
- Make extra posts on other people’s forums/blogs to encourage them to return the favor in the future,
- Make sure you focus on small exchanges to increase the chance users make extra posts,
- And do small exchanges with a large amount of users, instead of large exchanges with a small amount of users.
If you can follow those simple rules of post exchanges which are explained above, you will get more free posts on your forum.
Another benefit to doing small exchanges with a large amount of users, is that you not only increase the chances of getting free posts, you will also get more eyes on your forum. Would you rather have 5 people looking at your forum, or 10? Probably 10, as there’s’ a higher chance that at least one of those members that will stay there much longer, as an actual member.
One thing worth noting is that small exchanges are good, but if you enjoy one member’s presence, then you should give them more exchange options. This will mean you’ll need to make even more posts on their forum, but if you like that member or website it is worth it, because it keeps them coming back for exchanges and increases the chance that they stay around for a long time, after the exchanges are done.
Also, you want to get a lot of users doing small exchanges with you, but you should also make sure you get a good amount of repeat exchangers. The reason is that posters that have made posts on your forum in the past may be more willing to throw in extra posts to reply to a thread they made a few days before, than the guy that has no existing content on your forum.