How To Launch a Community with a Forum. Tips and mistakes to avoid. By Steve
hour of every day, Webmasters launch Forums. Unfortunately, a
significant number of launches make a number of mistakes which
either guarantees failure or significantly reduces the chances
of any success. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid and
tips to insure success.
Define your goals and expectations before you start. Why are you
launching? Fun, hobby, or make money? You are not starting
a "board" or "Forum". You are launching a
Community using a Forum.
Examine your competition before you start. Learn from your competition.
This is 2004 so you are unlikely to be the first in a given space
and frankly, many kinds of Communities in a given space are clearly
saturated, so why even bother?
Launch with a small number of Forums. This is 2004 and you are
unlikely to impress anyone with 7 forums that have few posts as
opposed to 3 Forums. To many forums and the place looks like a
ghost town with empty Forums.
Great Communities are normally the result of a single person at
launch. That's you. Your passion, zeal, love, dedication, and
hard work starts the ball rolling. Think long term as in multiple
Great Communities start with 1 or 2 great folks and not dozens.
You need to tell your friends about your new Community so they
can post. Start threads under two or more user names and talk
to yourself so that others can join the conversation.
If you are in the ecommerce space such as a host, do you really
want your potential clients (lurkers) to see an empty Forum? This
will cost you sales as the perception of your service is tainted.
Stick the puppy behind closed doors for clients only
Respectfully, the net already has far to many Communities in a
given space, so most new Communities are destined to either fail
or never advance to the next level. Today, you will need a "unique
twist" to a given space.
A site which already has a huge amount of traffic will work if
you then create a Community. Huge as in around 500K page views
per month or more. A new site plus a new Community rarely if ever
has a reasonable chance plus you tell your visitors that the place
is already not very busy with a Forum with few posts. Create the
site first, promote to reach large page views, and then glue the
Community to the site.
The technology you use to run a new Community is a minor consideration.
It has little if any barring on your relative success. Including
dozens of skins and all the bells and whistles. Their must be
at least 4 or more great scripts which are perfectly fine to launch.
Some cost money and others are open source.
tips and advice should give you a reasonable chance of success.
Good luck with your Community.