New Delhi [India]Feb. 11 (ANI/ATK): Advertising can be one of the hardest and most hated jobs of any forum staffer.
Dedication requirements alone are usually enough to stop the best of us in our tracks. It is the hope of countless forum owners that one day their newly created forum will be a hot spot of activity.
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For many, these hopes will turn into stories of failure. Advertising on forums is an art that requires technique, patience and often a bit of luck to succeed.
This guide will walk you through one person’s opinion on how to get out of the publicity phase and how to start networking your forum successfully. We’ll look at the differences between advertising and networking, and how you can start promoting your forum through a network of different sources.
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Advertising and networking
Understanding the differences between advertising and networking is crucial to the success of your forum. To be frank, both methods can be prosperous and successful if used correctly, as seen on the 9ja news forum. Let’s look at each method a bit more in-depth:
This is a public promotion of your service. Most often this happens through word of mouth or posting on other message boards. Typically, this is a one-time event with little or no follow-up. This method is quick to perform, but offers little reward. Most of the time, it generates few new registrations.
A direct or semi-direct form of socialization. Networking allows you to build a network of sources and contacts that you can then use to promote your forum, usually to more users. Although this method takes longer to execute than regular advertising, the benefits are many and abundant.
Creating Your Contacts Website
Creating a “network” of sources and contacts takes time, but easier than you might think. Open your word processor of choice (like notepad) and start adding entries from everyone you know who might be interested in contributing to your forum. Include enough contact information for each person so you can easily get in touch with them in the future. Try to add at least 10 people to this list. If this proves to be a difficult task, you may need to start investing time in other communities with a similar topic to yours. Joining other forums and making new friends/contacts can offer its own light when it comes to starting your own forum (or promoting one you have). Becoming a forum owner means more than knowing how to change a few settings. It forces you to know your audience and know how to attract them to what you have to offer.
When you have 10 or more contacts, it’s time to start asking for their help. The first step is to ask them to join your forum. If they can’t do that, they’re not worthy of your contact list. By creating an account, they show you that they have at least some interest in your forum topic. Don’t bribe your contacts to join you. Let them join because they want to. There is no doubt that these first members will want to offer you their opinions. Although you don’t have to accept every suggestion, it would be wise to seriously consider what these contacts have to say. It is totally useless to offer these contacts a staff position on your forum. You might want to offer them an incentive from a special user group, or a special forum section where they can help you with ideas for your forum, but it’s absolutely not necessary to make them members Staff.
Your growing network of contacts will begin to flourish after a week or two. Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts to recommend your forum to others. It’s one of the smartest things to do!
Think about it briefly: you have a list of 10 contacts. You ask each of these users to ask 5 people they know to join. You now have 50 members. It’s literally as easy as it sounds, but it does require you to have a strong initial group of contacts. For this reason, you’ll want to spend a few weeks building strong bonds with the people on your list. Don’t neglect your list! Maintain links with your initial 10 and keep adding to your contact group until you have 20, 50 or 100 contacts! As your list grows, you may want to recruit help to maintain those friendly bonds.
Now think about this: you have maintained strong ties with your initial 10 contacts. Over time, they have earned your trust and are now volunteering their time as your council staff. Each of these staff members has their own contact list with 10 users. They ask that each user ask 5 other users to join your forum. You now have 500 other members. Obviously, these figures are not exact, but they reflect the potential that your network of contacts could serve you.
Build your source website
A source website can be as beneficial as a contact website. As a bonus, its maintenance requires little work. Start researching different online resources that allow you to submit your forum to a database or directory. For example, Big Boards offers a forum directory where you can directly submit your board for free. InvisionFree and ZetaBoards also offer a free directory where you can submit your board at no cost to you. The resources certainly don’t stop there.
The internet is full of resources that will help you market your forum. Some of these resources are free, while others will cost you money. Take the time to identify the level of publicity you will need to start promoting your board.
If your forum is commercial in nature, you may choose to invest money in promoting your website. If your forum is more of a hobby or general discussion area, you may decide it’s best to choose free advertising instead.
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