There are many good scripts available online which can offer you the best features for a forum. However, it is the people in the forum that make a forum successful, not the most advanced and sophisticated features. It is therefore important to know how to engage people at your forum.
It can get very quiet at a forum, especially at the beginning when there are no discussions going on. People wait to see a few subjects of interest already being discussed, read other’s posts first, and then they’ll probably reply or begin new threads. So, how can you get discussions going in your forum? There are several things that you could do.
First, make sure the sign up process is as easy as possible. Don’t make people fill long forms with details such as sex, age, favorite color, pet’s name, monitor resolution, connection speed and other unimportant details. At the beginning, you could just ask for their name, username for identification in the forum, and email address.
To encourage people to contribute in your forums, you should start topics and then discuss them actively with your friends. To find out the hottest and most current subjects that are relevant to your website, visit other discussion boards, newsgroups and major forums. Look for subjects which have elicited ten or more replies. You can post similar themes on your forum. Since these subjects generated interested in other newsgroups and forums, they are likely to be of interest to those who visit your forum.
Another way of stimulating discussion is through using contests. For instance, you could say “˜the first ten people to post twenty messages win free software, a free eBook or whatever else’. This works best if whatever is being offered is something people normally buy. Remember to post the contest details on your main page. Contests have been very effective in encouraging discussion on my blog which promotes webhostingpad coupons and register.com discounts.
Another great strategy is to post parts of threads and subject lines on your main page. You can then encourage people to visit your forum to give their contribution on these topics.
When you write content and articles for your website, post a short message such as “˜What are your thoughts? Have your say’ or “˜Discuss the issues raised here in our forum’ at the end of your articles. Remember to include within the message a link to your forums.
Finally, try and promote your forum and its benefits wherever you can. Create banners for the forum and post them on your web pages. Place a note in your email signature and encourage people to visit the forum if they require help with anything.
Charles Mburugu often writes about internet marketing and e-Commerce. He also blogs about coupon deals at discount blogs that share webhostingpad discounts and register.com coupons. He is currently writing for a coupon site that offers webhostingpad coupon and register.com gift code.