How to get more visitors on my forum
Below are some recommendations we've found useful for increasing the popularity and visitors of our forum.
Increase popularity of your site
As your site becomes more popular, more users will begin to use your forum. If you have not already read through our promoting your web page section, we highly recommend you start there. This page has a wealth of good information on promoting your web page.
Enable guest posting
Not all forums have guest posting enabled by default. Not all users enjoy the thought of having to register to post messages on the forum. Enabling this feature can increase the popularity and use of your forums dramatically. If you start to notice an increase of abuse from guests, guest posting can be disabled at a later time.
Allow guests to view the forums
Always keep your forums public if you want new people to join. It is very unlikely for someone who doesn't know what the forum is about or what's on the forum to register as a member. Also, make sure search engine crawlers can index pages on your forum.
Mention the forum on all your pages
Your forum should be a focal point on your web page, which is why it should also be mentioned on each of your web pages. For example, the Computer Hope navigation found at the top of this page and every other page has a link to our forum. Mentioning the forum on your homepage is good, but not all visitors are going to get to your web page through the homepage.
Make sure your visitors can also get back to your homepage from your forums.
Create posts for popular topics
You can't expect visitors to create all the posts on your forum, especially when it is first starting. Therefore, it is up to you to create some of the initial interesting, controversial, or otherwise provoking posts that make people want to respond or make a comment on the topic. It is also a good idea to set a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule where you visit the forums and create an interesting post.
It is a common mistake for many users who create a forum to create too many topics or channels. Don't overwhelm the user, especially if it is not needed. Start with a forum with only a few channels (4-6) and then as more channels become needed, create those channels.
Participate on your forums
Forums require lots of maintenance and should be a place you frequently visit to create posts, respond to other posts, and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Participate in related forums
Try to visit forums that relate to yours, and participate in them. However, do not use another forum as a platform to advertise. Instead, develop relationships with other users through contributing to that forum. When you feel comfortable, and if you think the other users would be receptive, you can always put a link to your forum in the signature line of your posts.
Keep your forum header small
As mentioned on our page about promoting a web page, the average person gives each page they visit 4 or less seconds. If your forum has a large header (e.g., a large advertisement, logo, or picture) requiring users to scroll to view the forum channels, users may not read any of the posts or subscribe.
Hold competitions or give out prizes
A great way to bring in more subscribers is to give away awards and prizes to visitors who are participating on the forum.
It takes time
No site can expect to create a forum and instantly get thousands of users and posts. It takes time for users to visit, register, and participate on the forum. Keep working at each of the above suggestions and users will begin to visit more and bring their friends with them.