New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI/ATK): Advertising can be one of the most strenuous and ill-favoured jobs of any forum staff member.
The dedication requirements alone are usually enough to stop the best of us in our tracks. It is the hopes of an innumerable amount of forum owners that one day their freshly created forum will be a hot-spot of activity.
For many, these hopes will turn into stories of failure. Forum advertising is an art that requires technique, patience and often a little bit of luck to succeed.
This guide will take you through one person’s opinion of how to leap out of the advertising phase, and how to begin successfully networking your forum. We will examine the differences between advertising and networking, and how you can start to promote your forum through a web of different sources.
Advertising and Networking
Understanding the differences between advertising and networking are crucial to your forum’s success. To be frank, both methods can be prosperous and successful if used correctly as seen on the 9ja news forum. Let’s examine each method a little more in-depth:
This is a public promotion of your service. Most commonly this happens through word-of-mouth or posting on other message boards. Generally, it is a one-time occurrence with little to no follow up. This method is quick to execute, but offers little reward. Most of the time it yields minimal new registrations.
A direct or semi-direct form of socializing. Networking allows you to create a web of sources and contacts that you can later use to promote your forum, usually to a larger demographic of users. While this method is lengthier to execute than regular advertising, the benefits are numerous and bountiful.
Creating your Contact Web
Creating a “web” of sources and contacts is time consuming, but easier than one might think. Open up your word processor of choice (such as notepad), and start adding entries of all the people 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 is proving to be a difficult task, you may need to start investing time in other communities with a topic similar to yours. Joining other forums and making new friends/contacts can offer a light of its own when it comes time to starting your own forum (or promoting the one you have). Becoming a forum owner means more than knowing how to change a few settings. It requires you to know your audience and how to attract them to what you have to offer.
When you have 10 or more contacts it’s time to begin asking them for their help. The first step is asking them to join your forum. If they cannot do this, they aren’t worthy of your contact list. By creating an account they’re showing you they have a least a little bit of interest in your forum’s topic. Do not bribe your contacts to join. Let them join because they want to. There’s no doubt that these first members will want to offer you, their opinions. While you don’t have to accept every suggestion, it would be wise to put a lot of thought into what these contacts have to say. It is completely unnecessary to offer these contacts a staff position on your forum. You may wish to offer them an incentive of a special user group, or special forum section where they can help you with ideas for your forum, but there’s absolutely no need to make them staff members.
Your growing web of contacts will start to flourish after a week or two. Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts to recommend your forum to other people. This is one of the smartest things to do!
Think about this briefly: You have a list of 10 contacts. You request that each of these users ask 5 people that they know to join. You now have 50 members. It’s literally as easy as it sounds, but it requires you to have a strong initial group of contacts. For this reason, you’ll want to spend a few weeks creating strong bonds with the people on your list. Don’t neglect your list! Maintain the bonds with your initial 10 and keep on adding to your contact group until you have 20, 50, or 100 contacts! As your list grows you may wish to recruit some help with maintaining these friendly bonds.
Now think about this: You have maintained strong bonds with your initial 10 contacts. Over the course of time they have earned your trust and are now volunteering their time as staff members on your board. Each of these staff members has a contact list of their own with 10 users. They request that each user asks another 5 users to join your forum. You now have another 500 members. Obviously, these figures aren’t exact, but they closely reflect the potential your contact web could serve you.
Create your Source Web
A source web can be as beneficial as a contact web. As an added bonus it requires little work to maintain. Begin to research different resources online that allow you to submit your forum into 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 may submit your forum at no cost to you. The resources certainly do not stop here.
The internet is full of resources that will help you advertise your forum. Some of these resources are free, while others will cost you money. Take some time and identify the level of advertising which you will need in order to start promoting your board.
If your forum is business-like in nature, you may choose to invest some money into the promotion of your website. If your forum is more of a hobby or general discussion area, you may decide it’s better to choose free advertising instead.
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