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Ram8349

Need help to build traffic for a new site/forum

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I launched my forum on 2/20/2012.

 

So far I have 55 members. Only 2 are active really. Although I have a Facebook Page with over 700 fans, they are not coming to sign up. Even when I post links to my forum threads on the Facebook wall every day, people only "Like" them on the wall, but never join the forum to comment.

 

When I launched contest with real cash reward, I posted link to my Facebook fan page wall too, and it get "Liked" by some people, but none actually signed up.

 

Are they dumb or just lazy?

 

 

 

Currently I get merely about 100 unique per day. No idea how many of these are spiders.

 

I have created article section in the hope of using articles to attract search engine traffic. So far I have only 7 articles. It is hard to populate the article section all by myself. Since it is a general pet site, but I only know about fish, so I can only write on things about fish. I am on the edge of paying for articles. The goal is to get lots of traffic to my site, so I might be able to convert some into forum members. Do you think it is a good idea?

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One question should be enough to help: what (content) are you offering them that no other site offers?

 

If you can't answer that question clearly, then you know why they're not signing up. Unfortunately, the pet niche is quite heavily populated and a lot of the sites are owned by big-name (or big-budget) players, so you really need something unique, different or special to stand out from the crowd.

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I know there are millions pet sites out there, But most pet sites are focusing on a single pet species. Such as dog, or cat, or fish, etc.

Many pet sites don't have their own forum. Many pet forums are one species only. Much fewer forums are for general pets with categories for each species. I try to offer people a place with all species included. So they can ask questions and discuss any pet on the same forum instead of have to log on multiple forums for their different pets.

 

However, i do find it is hard to get a new empty forum off the ground these days. That is why I think maybe I need some base traffic to my site first before I can convert them into forum members. Articles could be a way to attract search engine traffic. While I know there are tons of information on every pet out there, there is never enough of it. Even just for beginner's guides, there will always be enough people to read them. Although I plan to offer much more than just beginner's guides... eventually.

 

If you have some awesome ideas on what unique yet will become popular content (related to pets) I can offer to attract tons of targeted traffic to my new pet site, I am listening. :)

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Where did the 700 Fans of your Facebook page come from?

 

Paid for Facebook Ad with real American dollars...

 

Can't seem to convert them easily though. They would "Like" and "Like" the wall posts, but they never join the forum even when those wall posts are just links to my forum threads.

 

I even launched a contest for $50 for mere 150 posts in one month. Multiple people "Liked" it, but none actually joined the forum. I have no idea what they are thinking. Lazy or dumb?

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I know there are millions pet sites out there, But most pet sites are focusing on a single pet species. Such as dog, or cat, or fish, etc. Many pet sites don't have their own forum. Many pet forums are one species only. Much fewer forums are for general pets with categories for each species. I try to offer people a place with all species included. So they can ask questions and discuss any pet on the same forum instead of have to log on multiple forums for their different pets.

 

I did a very quick Google search for "pet forum" and 8 0 % of the first page were general pet forums, even on a UK-based search. The top one was even one of those monster-sized things with subheadings and everything. That's serious competition. It's absolutely massive, with photos, pet encyclopaedia, competitions, a pet directory and even games.

 

That said, most of the others on that search are pretty basic so it may just be a question of time and patience. You don't have any other tough competition (IMHO) on that first search page as far as I can see: they're mostly "fan sites", as such, rather than "serious pet sites".

 

The top site's going to attract a LOT of people, especially since it's the #1 forum on the list. To compete with that you need something special or a lot of work to slowly build up a very strong, loyal following. The articles are a good idea if you're cataloguing them - you can turn them into an "Expert reference" or something. But it's going to take a lot of effort to elbow out a space when your competition's so well-established. (I know how this feels, I have the same issue with my freelance writing forum.)

 

One thing I noticed on the monster competition site was that their encyclopaedia is user-contributed. Maybe you could add a Wiki to yours and build up a "Tipopedia" with suggestions from your visitors? You know, silly things they've found that work with their pets. Put a massive disclaimer on it that it's not your content and the tips should only be followed by choice (i.e. they're not checked as fact) and you could get a lot of input. I don't know how hard that would be to build into the site and combine with a forum, though.

 

The site I looked at was http://www.petforums.co.uk/, by the way.

 

 

I even launched a contest for $50 for mere 150 posts in one month. Multiple people "Liked" it, but none actually joined the forum. I have no idea what they are thinking. Lazy or dumb?

 

They're thinking 5 posts per day, every day, for 30 days is a lot. :D

 

People are lazy. That's just the way they are. That's why Nathan's competition works: there's no defined winning number of posts, so everyone has a vague belief that they can win with 5 posts, even though they know they can't really. By setting a definite bar they have to pass, you block out most of the competitors.

 

[Edit: stupid thing replaces the number eighty with a smiley... yeesh.]

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Thanks for the input. I have done research on the top competitors as well. I know that uk based petforums. However, there are a whole lot more competitors out there. :( Most competitors are not general pet forums. They are all focusing on a single pet. Like dog forum, cat forum, bird forum, fish forum. The largest fish forum I've seen has over 150k members. More massive than that petforums.co.uk.

 

I think people who are only interested in a single pet would be more willing to join those specific species forum rather than a general forum.

 

My problem right now is not only lack of members to get things off the ground, but also it is suffering from new domain problem. Things don't get indexed fast enough.

 

I want to be on the top search results for not only the keyword "Pet forum"... but also for "dog forum", "cat forum", "fish forum", "bird forum", "reptile forum" etc. Prehaps also for all the pets without the word "forum".

So far none of them is found anywhere in search results.

 

What should I do? Is it because my site is only 2 months old and Google doesn't take it serouisly?

 

I have one article on page 2 of Google results by the keyword I want, but it is not the keyword from above. It took 2 months of link building though...

 

Are you suggesting me to make it "Whoever has the highest post count per day" for the contest?

At this rate, I start to doubt if I will get many people at all.

 

I am willing to throw down $500 prize if I can get 500 people start posting like crazy...but I am afraid I might not even get 5 people, and waste all that prize money for nothing.

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Are you suggesting me to make it "Whoever has the highest post count per day" for the contest? At this rate, I start to doubt if I will get many people at all.

 

No, I'm just saying that there are better ideas for competitions. Pet photos. Pet videos. Start a LOL thread. Join Postloop. Find a couple of people who know about pets and pay them to start interesting threads. Start a competition for most referrals (who must all post 5 posts). Do some giveaways that require signup and posting on a thread (and can be a lot cheaper than $50). Use some free AdWords credit to get competition visibility (if you have one of those $100 free things). Combine all of those.

 

I am willing to throw down $500 prize if I can get 500 people start posting like crazy...but I am afraid I might not even get 5 people, and waste all that prize money for nothing.

 

I think you're expecting too much too soon on a general forum. It's going to take time for posters to come and join, especially those who will stay. There's a surprisingly small number of topics for animals - breeds, diseases, care, training and a few others - and once they've been posted you need random stuff like funny videos, personal stories, requests for help and so on. Those are only going to appear when people enjoy the forum and want to keep things going or when you pay them to post, IMHO.

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Spike has the point in there. What is the most unique thing in your posts? Both in the facebook and forum ones?

 

Why should people care about it? So, my strategy would be to get some good content on and then get some good old fashion advertising on them. Get some forum posting gigs on fiver and order a hundred or two posts to be made on high traffic forums related to the niche.

 

That way you should get better results. Also try to solve people's problem, that will get you some sigh ups.

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Best best content would be someone come in to ask good questions, and someone else plus myself help to solve the problems with good answers.

That isn't happening very often due to lack of membership to begin with. 57 members now but only 2~3 are active currently. Most never posted ever.

 

I have posted 38.83% of total posts myself cross two accounts in two months. (out of total 1020 posts)

 

This isn't helping without more people coming to post.

 

I've been answering tons of questions on Yahoo Answers with link to my articles etc. as source at the end of my answers. I've solved hundreds of questions in the last two months. It is not helping either. People don't give a damn after their problem is solved. Or even if it is not solved and they have further questions, they just won't sign up on forum to ask, they'd rather post a new question on Yahoo Answers while fully knowing it sucks for back and forth discussion.

 

Do you mean to pay for people posting on my forum or pay for people to post on other forum with links back to mine? I was told to avoid such link-building services by multiple high traffic(thousands new posts per day, rank 6) forum owners. It will hurt my site they said.

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Pretty sure he is talking about paying for people to post on other forums, with your signature in their links.

 

Honestly, keep up the work, it just takes time and it will happen if you are in a good niche.

Edited by Nathan
Added Last Part

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Do you mean to pay for people posting on my forum or pay for people to post on other forum with links back to mine? I was told to avoid such link-building services by multiple high traffic(thousands new posts per day, rank 6) forum owners. It will hurt my site they said.

 

He means to pay people on Fiverr to post. That's actually a very good idea: you can get targetted posts for $5 a pop, so if the poster sucks, you just don't hire them again - and if they're good, you can keep hiring them with new login names to generate extra content.

 

As I mentioned above, I think you're expecting too much too soon. Your frustration is apparent in the discussion here and it's completely understandable. I feel the same way about my own forum and have the same frustrations: people just don't sign up or come back, even though you're offering better stuff than the pay-to-join forums... it's stupid. But that's just the way of the world...

 

Be patient. Do some link-building yourself, focus a little more on content rather than traffic for a while, then see how things look. Keep going, pace yourself and you should see improvements over time. Getting a site off the ground takes quite a while unless you're already famous. :(

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Your problem is your approach.

 

Ok, you've made a site and have 55 members with only 2 active. You made a facebook with over 700 likes, yet they aren't joining your site. The first problem here is your focus was to get likes rather than quality members. In order to get QUALITY members, you have to give people a reason to actually be at your site in the first place.

 

I'm assuming you paid for those facebook likes, so don't expect much in the way of them being members. But what you can do is post contests from your site into facebook, that way when any new potential facebook followers see it, they'll now have a reason to come to your site and potentially join it.

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WEll first of all your site niche has to be good, one that's not too populated and there are interested members in.

Then obviously the content and the look of your site have to be nice, some people might come to your site and think... This site doesn't look like its active.

The more active posters you have the more other active members will come.

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Your problem is your approach.

 

Ok, you've made a site and have 55 members with only 2 active. You made a facebook with over 700 likes, yet they aren't joining your site. The first problem here is your focus was to get likes rather than quality members. In order to get QUALITY members, you have to give people a reason to actually be at your site in the first place.

 

I'm assuming you paid for those facebook likes, so don't expect much in the way of them being members. But what you can do is post contests from your site into facebook, that way when any new potential facebook followers see it, they'll now have a reason to come to your site and potentially join it.

 

The fans on facebook page all joined by their free will through my paid Facebook ads on facebook. The ads obviously stated very clearly it is a pet forum page. Those who joined obviously love pets. It is targeted crowd... at least it suppoesd to be. I don't know why they don't join the forum even with prize money almost free for grab. They like like like and like the wall updates, yet none do anything about the forum. Most Facebook users are lazy!

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I launched my forum on 2/20/2012.

 

So far I have 55 members. Only 2 are active really. Although I have a Facebook Page with over 700 fans, they are not coming to sign up. Even when I post links to my forum threads on the Facebook wall every day, people only "Like" them on the wall, but never join the forum to comment.

 

When I launched contest with real cash reward, I posted link to my Facebook fan page wall too, and it get "Liked" by some people, but none actually signed up.

 

Are they dumb or just lazy?

 

 

 

Currently I get merely about 100 unique per day. No idea how many of these are spiders.

 

I have created article section in the hope of using articles to attract search engine traffic. So far I have only 7 articles. It is hard to populate the article section all by myself. Since it is a general pet site, but I only know about fish, so I can only write on things about fish. I am on the edge of paying for articles. The goal is to get lots of traffic to my site, so I might be able to convert some into forum members. Do you think it is a good idea?

 

You will only really get a few that convert from facebook for that genre anyways, so wouldnt worry about that. The main thing you look to be having issues with is keeping your current users engaged, and to do that you need content.

 

Now I understand you only know about fish, but there is nothing stopping you googling information about other animals. There are thousands out there on all sorts of different animals, breeds etc for you to go at. Read someones post elsewhere and ask the same questions of your own members (if it is a question) but in your own words. If its information then reword that information to fit your own site.

 

Join your own forum with several members. Install chrome, firefox, safari and other browsers and have them all logged in as different members. Then talk to yourself but never ever tell a single soul that these are not real members including your members of staff.

 

Remember, content is king on forums. If people have nothing to reply to then they wont post. If you only have 2 active members and nobody is really posting then nobody has anything to reply to. People generally reply than post threads by nature so you need to give them things to reply to. Go through your forums one at a time and post a new topic in each with different ones of your dummy members. You need to do this EVERY day and for as long as it takes. You dont get any success on a forum without a serious amount of hard work. Research then post, research then post.

 

BTW, I run the largest forum on Siberian Huskies on the net. I have a fair amount of experience with these kinds of sites. You will find that a lot of your members will be female and not very tech savvy (not because they are female before I get jumped on LOL). Show them how, point them in the right direction.

 

On your facebook pages and groups, engage with people. Talk to them. If you get friendly with people the chances are they will want to be on your site more than you want them to register.

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i actually found most of the people who joined the facebook fan page of the forum are female. Over 80% to be exactly.

Those facebook fans joined the page because they love pets. It is a page about the pet forum after all.

 

I do post as much as I can. In fact my total amount of posts made up around 37% of total forum posts. Often my threads have 0 reply while I know at least someone else have the capability to reply. It is really hard with very few active members.

 

I am not a fan of fake accounts. As the talking habit can give it away, and I really don't have anything to talk about to myself lol.

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My suggestion: DON"T WASTE MONEY on facebook ads. They just eat up your money and usually for forums don't work out too well. I also don't recommend spending way too much money in the beginning for contests, etc. Can you get some of your friends to join?

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I am not a fan of fake accounts. As the talking habit can give it away, and I really don't have anything to talk about to myself lol.

 

Fan or not, they work. If nobody else is replying whats the point in me replying? Thats what your members will be thinking and why you are so quiet with your current members. Besides, get yourself a persona for each of them it can be fun LOL. I had one who couldnt speak english properly, another that was a bit of an annoying member (I even warned the member LOL).

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There has to be the first reply in each thread. :) I don't see it as a reason for people not to making the first reply.

 

Well, since the main point is to stimulate activity, I'd rather find something else other than talking to myself. Such as hired posters.

 

Just how many minimal active members do you need in order to start a snowball?

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Fan or not, they work. If nobody else is replying whats the point in me replying? Thats what your members will be thinking and why you are so quiet with your current members. Besides, get yourself a persona for each of them it can be fun LOL. I had one who couldnt speak english properly, another that was a bit of an annoying member (I even warned the member LOL).

 

I wonder if this is how we develop double-personality disorders...

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There has to be the first reply in each thread. :) I don't see it as a reason for people not to making the first reply.

 

Well, since the main point is to stimulate activity, I'd rather find something else other than talking to myself. Such as hired posters.

 

Just how many minimal active members do you need in order to start a snowball?

 

Varies from site to site. The problem with hired is that your limited by resources. When doing yourself you have only the limits you impose on yourself

 

I wonder if this is how we develop double-personality disorders...

 

Only double? LOL

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The fans on facebook page all joined by their free will through my paid Facebook ads on facebook. The ads obviously stated very clearly it is a pet forum page. Those who joined obviously love pets. It is targeted crowd... at least it suppoesd to be. I don't know why they don't join the forum even with prize money almost free for grab. They like like like and like the wall updates, yet none do anything about the forum. Most Facebook users are lazy!

 

Unfortunately, that's the problem with the Facebook way of doing it. Even with you offering money it's a gripe. I can relate because that's the same thing my site had an issue with.

 

But here is another way I used. Use Microworkers and Minuteworkers. Hire workers to spread the word about your site to similar sites. They'll even spread to competing sites for you without you yourself getting in any trouble. All you have to do is be specific in what you want/ how you want it and let them do the work for you.

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Unfortunately, that's the problem with the Facebook way of doing it. Even with you offering money it's a gripe. I can relate because that's the same thing my site had an issue with.

 

But here is another way I used. Use Microworkers and Minuteworkers. Hire workers to spread the word about your site to similar sites. They'll even spread to competing sites for you without you yourself getting in any trouble. All you have to do is be specific in what you want/ how you want it and let them do the work for you.

 

What would you call it, do you have examples of links where others are wanting this service on microworkers?

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