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Thread: Starting a Succesful Forum
      
   

  1. #1
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    Wink Starting a Successful Forum

    How To Create A Successful Forum

    Hello I have decided to take a few hours of my time to write up a how to on creating a successful forum, these days there are hundreds if not thousands of forums launched each day and I bet more the 80% of them over the next month will shut down.

    This is because making a forum is just as hard as making a web site if not harder as there is no real content to get visitors attracted what you need is a great design and active members to be on your way to having a forum in which you can receive an income and maybe even live off selling advertising and getting members to pay to signup.

    Choosing A Theme:

    When choosing a theme make sure you are knowledgeable in that area as most users will be looking for someone to answer there questions and if the admin cant it kind of sets the theme for the rest of the board and you will end up failing in your quest to becoming a successful webmaster/forum owner.

    Before choosing a theme make sure you have a look at the market I can tell you right now setting up a webmaster forum or domain forum unless you have funds in which to spend then you are wasting your time there are to many out there and the market its flooded but by all means if you have a great idea then go for it as they are very profitable if you manage to get members.

    Buying A Suitable Domain:

    Okay the second step in setting up a forum is buying a domain depending on your theme this will be different but try to limit the amount of words to at most 3 and try and use the following words after the theme, forum, chat, discussion, board, talk if not you may need to think of a catchy word that goes well with what you want.

    Choosing a registrar is fairly easy as there are about a million out there these days but my favourite is DomainSite it provides cost effective and easy to manage features for your domain, they also allow you to use Paypal as a source of payment as well.

    Choosing A Forum Software:

    One of the hardest things you will come by before setting up your forum is choosing what software you are going to use with your forum, the main 3 which are widely used today are Vbulletin, PHPbb and Invision Power Board. All of which have there goodís and bad points I will give you a brief overlook at them but before going ahead with one I suggest you read abit more about the features before setting one up.

    Ill start with VB (Vbulletin) this is used a lot because of its great reputation especially within business and webmaster related sites, this is due because it is a very safe and well updated software which gives buyers probably the most advanced bulletin board on the market to date, although it sounds great it does have some flaws this mainly is its price tag for a leased licence (one year) it is $80 usd and $160 usd for an owned license there are also other optional fees but donít need to be bought.

    Another non free bulletin board is Invision Power Board which retails for $185 usd this offers like Vbulletin a well made and updated forum software which you mainly see used in gaming and graphics forums as a lot of the mods and free skins are dedicated to those themes.

    Then we have the most used forum software on the web PHPbb it is a free but yet still advanced and well made with updates regular brought out, if you are on a low cost budget this is the way to go.

    Overall I prefer to use Vbulletin over the others but this is just a personal choice and offers me the needs that I want from a forum software and I donít mind paying the extra dollars for.

    But like I said before making a choice read a bit more about them by searching in google, msn and yahoo to find out what they all offer I can only tell you what I think but thatís not the option every body chooses really depends on your budget and type of forum you intend to set-up.

    Attracting Members Without Paying

    But before you can do this there are many months of hard work recruiting and getting new members, when I started when there wasnít sites and services such as Google Adwords or Paid Post programs which can help you get steady traffic and members for a pretty reasonable price, so we had to find other ways this usually involved posting on other forums not blatant advertising though as this will usually get you band and have your post deleted not giving much exposure for the time it took you to sign up and post.

    I found the best way was to add your site into your signature and post topics and replies that had to do with your subject, forget posting about anything as this will only waste your time and have minimal effect, take your time to make larger and more detailed posts also as more people will read and contribute to your topic on larger forums you can get up to 500 unique visitors from one post not even having your sites link in the text just as a signature, always make sure it is a different colour try reds, blues and greens these arenít to bright that it deters viewers but still catchís there eye.

    I also found adding the hyperlink into a form of text this makes the advert look nicer and tells them a bit about the site before going to the forum, this allows you to get only those wanting to be apart of your community and are related to the advertising that you may have on your page.

    Over the last few months there has been also an increase of free forum directories try and add your forum to as many as you can this will improve your search engine rankings whilst receiving more visitors in the mean time.


    Attracting Members By Paying:

    There are many ways to advertise on the internet these days but many donít work and are a waste of time and money thatís why I will try and lead you in the right direction and give you my thoughts on what is the best method of getting a successfully forum for the lowest cost.

    First off Adwords, this method of advertising can be great if you have an established forum with regular posters and members its also cost effective (depending on keywords) and easy to do if you have a credit card on hand.
    Donít get me wrong this could be a great way to get members to your forum at the early stages but I donít believe itís the best way at this point of time.

    Although some places do not provide detailed posts but just 3 word replies which really do nothing for getting members apart from deterring people as the forum will look spammed, and you donít want this so early on you will have enough of this later on in your forum.

    Another way is one of the most common seen on the internet Banner Advertising this is where you either buy or trade banner spots on another forum or site, usually you will try and advertise on a site with the main topic related to your forum to maximise your CTR (click through rate).

    The best way to go about this is to find a friend or someone via another forum/chat room and purchase a spot for a small amount of team and report how well its doing by the number of click throughs to the number of new members if its not looking to good move on until you find something you think works, thereís no point advertising if you donít get anything in return it will just be a waste of money in the long run.

    Making Money From Your Forum:

    One of the main reasons people decide to make a forum is to make a profit or a return by doing something they enjoy and have an interest in, this is quite common and a lot of people actual do make a living from doing so but it does involve a lot of time and dedication, donít expect to wake up the next morning with thousands of dollars in your account from setting one up.

    There are many ways to make money from your forum it would take me days to list them all but I will list the main ones, first of Google Adsense you would have seen this been used many times before on sites and forums you have seen you may not know it well but it is a box like shown on www.ArcadeBay.com to the top right of screen, it can be seen many ways to find out more please have a look at www.Google.com/adsense set-up your account and simply add it to your board somewhere preferable in sight of your visitors and members this will improve the revenue made and help you put money back into the forum.

    It is very easy to customize and edit to suit your forums colour, size and it automatically adds ads related to your forums theme this improving the amount of clicks.

    Another way is Yahoo Publisher Network which also provides you with a service that like Googleís, I personally havenít used this but I have heard the amount per Click is higher giving you more money per click but have found to get less clicks, this giving you the choice to use what you think will better fit your forum.

    One way that has been used probably the most of the last 4-5 years is banner advertising allowing people to pay upfront for a spot on your forums pages whether it be just the index or site wide this is up to you, there is no current rate for what you should charge this should be up to you depending on amount of members, hits, posts a day.

    I found it better to list services, items related to your theme better then other things even though you get the same amount of money but it seems to make your forum look more professional, so you wouldnít list computer games on a car forum.

    There are also thousands of referral programs out there where you receive a commission based on item sold and amount of clicks Iím not going to list them all but try searching for referral programs, affiliate programs in your preferred search engine, Iím sure youíll find something that will fit in quite well with your up coming community.
    Last edited by VodaHost; 11-19-2005 at 07:35 AM.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    please teach me to build my forum on my site www.astraimoveis.com
    thanks

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum


    VodaHost

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  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    I have to agree building a forum is alot of work but has many possibilities. I have been working on mine for a month straight not even a 1/4 finshed. Will it be worth it, you betcha! pet121

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by pet121
    I have to agree building a forum is alot of work but has many possibilities. I have been working on mine for a month straight not even a 1/4 finshed. Will it be worth it, you betcha! pet121
    Don't know the abc of the subject !But interested in starting one .Let me plunge in !

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    I am using the template value in SoHoLaunch.

    Is there a way to install a forum onto my page using soho?

    I have been to the main menu in soho and can not find anything related to installing a forum onto my website.

    Please advise.

    Ram_Industries

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    I am using the template value in SoHoLaunch.

    Is there a way to install a forum onto my page using soho?

    I have been to the main menu in soho and can not find anything related to installing a forum onto my website.

    Please advise.

    Ram_Industries
    Install php2bb forum from fantastico. Use a separate directory to install, f.e. /forum. When installing check the "Send me information email" so you get all the login info in your inbox. Then create a link from your menu bar to the forum, as instructed in the mail.
    Navaldesign
    Logger Lite: Low Cost, Customizable, multifeatured Login script
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    DBTechnosystems.com Forms, Databases, Shopping Carts, Instant Download Carts, Loggin Systems and more....
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Navaldesign:

    I have created a file and downloaded the PHP file. to include the auto_cookies and type of style I wanted.

    Inside the auto_cookies file is a file named install. Inside the install folder is the file cookies.

    My problem is now that I have the forumuploaded, it will not permit me to gain access to the administration area. I have used the correct [Username][Password] when I downloaded the file. But still to no end refuses to sign me in. The buttons do not work nor will it even permit me to enter the Administration Panel.

    Installed a fix for the site but still nothing permitting me to gain any type of access to the panel to add or change the forum.

    Any suggestions please?

    Ram_Industries

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    Navaldesign:

    I have created a file and downloaded the PHP file. to include the auto_cookies and type of style I wanted.

    Inside the auto_cookies file is a file named install. Inside the install folder is the file cookies.

    My problem is now that I have the forumuploaded, it will not permit me to gain access to the administration area. I have used the correct [Username][Password] when I downloaded the file. But still to no end refuses to sign me in. The buttons do not work nor will it even permit me to enter the Administration Panel.

    Installed a fix for the site but still nothing permitting me to gain any type of access to the panel to add or change the forum.

    Any suggestions please?

    Ram_Industries
    I think racefan20 is much more suitable to answer your questions about forum scripts. Race ?
    Navaldesign
    Logger Lite: Low Cost, Customizable, multifeatured Login script
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    NavalDesign:

    Thank you!

    I had to re-install the forum with a new user name and password. Reconfigure the entire install into the publick_html folder.

    So again thank you for all your helps.

    Racefan:

    Thank you for yesterdays attempts at working with this forum stuff. Got it up and running but still have one issue as in clicking the forum from Homepage to open the forum, instead of taking me to the forum page where one must click a link to enter the forum.

    Ram_Industries

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    NavalDesign:

    Thank you!

    I had to re-install the forum with a new user name and password. Reconfigure the entire install into the publick_html folder.

    So again thank you for all your helps.

    Racefan:

    Thank you for yesterdays attempts at working with this forum stuff. Got it up and running but still have one issue as in clicking the forum from Homepage to open the forum, instead of taking me to the forum page where one must click a link to enter the forum.

    Ram_Industries
    I'm not sure what you're asking for: do you want it to take you to a page of some sort before entering the forum, or it's doing that now and you want it to stop?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    It is taking me to a page I do not want to be taken to. I am trying to get it to open directly into the actual form not to the other blank page... which I had to create a text with a logo that was changed so when you clicked the logo it opened into the forum

    Ram_Industries

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    It is taking me to a page I do not want to be taken to. I am trying to get it to open directly into the actual form not to the other blank page... which I had to create a text with a logo that was changed so when you clicked the logo it opened into the forum

    Ram_Industries
    I'll take a look at your site and get a better idea what's going on...

    Change the link to: http://martech-inc.biz/forum

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    NavalDesign:

    Thank you!

    I had to re-install the forum with a new user name and password. Reconfigure the entire install into the publick_html folder.

    So again thank you for all your helps.

    Racefan:

    Thank you for yesterdays attempts at working with this forum stuff. Got it up and running but still have one issue as in clicking the forum from Homepage to open the forum, instead of taking me to the forum page where one must click a link to enter the forum.

    Ram_Industries
    Did you get the cookie thing fixed so you can access the admin panel?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    race :

    no need for the cookie fix .. re installed the entire forum it opens up with no problems now. the admin is all set up as of late.

    Ram_Industries

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Industries
    race :

    no need for the cookie fix .. re installed the entire forum it opens up with no problems now. the admin is all set up as of late.

    Ram_Industries
    Good to hear.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    I.m sorry, but i can't to find how can i add or register new users.
    How can i do that?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    This was an interesting read.

    I have recently re-released my forums about Metroid. Hopefully, using some of the above techniques, I can build up a successful message board.


    cbmeeks
    Love Metroid? So do we:
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    revamped my contact form and added a forum to my webpage...the forum needs a little work, but not to bad..needs a purpose to, i think...think i'm ganna call it a night..this is addicting

    thanks BV
    http://www.beebrothers.org

    Success is not a doorway. It is a staircase.

  20. #20
    hermie.quattlebaum.nfcej Guest

    Talking Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    thank you to accept me here.

  21. #21
    hermie.quattlebaum.nfcej Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Starting a Succesful Forum


  22. #22
    hermie.quattlebaum.nfcej Guest

    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    i am 36 years old from manila,
    i am a new user and i dont know what i have to do with this site
    just want to say have a good day to every one here

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Welcome Hermie,
    There is a wealth of great information in the forums, videos, articles etc. Just spend some quality time familiarizing yourself with VHost and you will soon find lots of food for thought. You may want to introduce yourself here . The forum you are currently in is not really the place for intros -:)
    Good luck and have fun!


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    i have the phbb3 forum and would like to add links back to my home page and other pages what can i do to do this please make it a very simple answer and explain any terms please if possible i would like to add adsense also but i can not find a way to do that myself help please
    http://www.udonthani.co.uk http://udonthani.co.uk/forum/

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    You edit the navigation template in STYLES in your forum to create your links on the nav bar.. and same thing for where you want google ads to appear. You have to edit the templates in the styles and paste the codes in.

    Karen

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    wow i could not find this info anywhere would you consider writeing a step buy step guide in a new forum it could be very usefull to a lot of us out here
    again thanks i will try to do it but expect me back
    http://www.udonthani.co.uk udon thani thailand hotel flight and travel guide
    http://udonthani.co.uk/forum/ udon thani tourist and expat forum night life news maps
    http://irishclock-udon-thani.blogspot.com/ irish clock hotel blog guide for udon thani thailand
    http://expat-udon-thani.blogspot.com/ expat guide for udon thani issan thailand

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Mac View Post
    You edit the navigation template in STYLES in your forum to create your links on the nav bar.. and same thing for where you want google ads to appear. You have to edit the templates in the styles and paste the codes in.

    Karen
    looks likea minefield in there karen i need a guide i can see style but what to do how to do it please help if you can i am a complete novice with this
    regards john
    ps i dont see navigation anyway
    http://www.udonthani.co.uk udon thani thailand hotel flight and travel guide
    http://udonthani.co.uk/forum/ udon thani tourist and expat forum night life news maps
    http://irishclock-udon-thani.blogspot.com/ irish clock hotel blog guide for udon thani thailand
    http://expat-udon-thani.blogspot.com/ expat guide for udon thani issan thailand

  28. #28
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    Wink Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Detailed documentation is available on the Official phpBB Website ...... you just have to use it!
    . VodaWebs....Luxury Group
    * Success Is Potential Realized *

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by hxjohn View Post
    looks likea minefield in there karen i need a guide i can see style but what to do how to do it please help if you can i am a complete novice with this
    regards john
    ps i dont see navigation anyway
    You navigation coding is in there in the templates.. This is where most people put their link back to the HOME page and would be the easiest place to duplicate coding and change a few things. You would need some html skills to do that or at least know what to look for.

    Karen

    VodaHost

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    hello VOdaHost

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    i cant publish my web ,can u tell my server id plz...........

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Starting a Succesful Forum

    Did you purchase a VodaHost account ?
    Navaldesign
    Logger Lite: Low Cost, Customizable, multifeatured Login script
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