Creating a successful forum can be a difficult task for any Admin, even though there are loads of information out there about forum management. But while there is a lot of information about how to build a successful forum, there isn’t much information about some of the causes of failure. This article is about some of the things not to do when starting a forum; Read through and see if you have made any of these mistakes before.
Leave the free services to the world of warcraft guilds because an ad infested forum doesn’t please anyone besides little kids. I’m going to assume that since you are starting a forum, then you have some funds to start with (or you at least should). Throw some of that money down for a domain and hosting because then you will be able to use whatever forum software you want and you will not have an extremely long sub-domain.
Since you are the one creating the forum, then you should be the one making most of the threads at the beginning. It’s not the member’s job to start off your forum for you. Plus, members are more inclined to reply to a thread then to actually create one themselves.
Please, for the love of the internet at least change themes. If you’re not even going to take the time to switch from the default theme, then why even start the forum? Even if the free or premium is overused, it is still probably better to use than any default theme.
Use a name that your members can recognize because you want to create a reputation for you and your forum. Some people won’t be able to make the connection between the username you use to join forums and the default username that you’re too lazy to change. For Example: I join a lot of forums under the username JLogan, so if I were to become well-respected within a community then how are they supposed to be able to know I’m Admin on example.com? If they were to research your username, then your forum would most likely not come up.
It is very unlikely for your forum to advertise itself so the only way you’re going to get members is to advertise. There are plenty of places for admins to advertise at such as same niche forums, blog guest posts, and social networks. You could even purchase advertisements, or tweets on a marketplace like PublicityClerks! There are many methods to advertising a forum, but choose the one that works best for you. I find that advertising on forums in the same niche always helps gain members, but make sure that the owner of the forum is okay with it.
Starting a forum is a great experience, but don’t ruin it by starting off the wrong way. What do you suggest NOT doing when starting a forum?