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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Getting Guests to sign up

 10:00 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well I just started a forum about 3 days ago and we have 10 members and about 130 posts, which I guess is pretty good for 4 days. However I've been looking at the traffic on the site and I noticed that we get visitors (about 10-15 an hour) but no one signs up... I searched around here for solutions, but most talked about getting members to post, not guests to become members. Any ideas?



 11:53 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

" Many will look, but few will join!"

You are getting too anixous, too quickly. If your forum has value and interest
you will get your members. Give it a little time. Remember Rome wasnt built in
a day! Good luck!...KF

Grandmas Cookies

 11:54 am on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

one more thing to add, provide the members with some unique features or possibilities within the forum so that the non-member (lurkers) have a bait to bite on.


 8:28 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, suodraxah. Think in terms of months and years to develop a viable forum community, not days. BUT, that doesn't mean you shouldn't give the forum daily attention to be sure posts are replied to quickly, spam removed, etc. Check the Community Building Library [webmasterworld.com] for good threads on starting forums, getting lurkers to post, etc.


 1:11 pm on Sep 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most of us visit many forums when we are doing a search but join only a handful of them. We don't always have useful things to contribute to a forum. If I have a problem with a Toyota Camry I will visit a forum where people talk about them but I am not such a fan of my car that I will join a forum and talk about it all the time as many people like to do.


 7:43 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Quite true, ecmedia. One way to push signups is to require membership to view full threads. I do NOT recommend this, though, as it is highly irritating and not a good community building tool.


 7:38 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's a little bit like fishing, you need some bait. Add content to your forum, or features that will make people want to be members in your community.

It also takes more than a few hours as previous posts suggest.

Good luck!


 2:31 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a big ugly green sign on my forum asking people to join up, it does seem to work, most do just to be free of the ugly sign.

Also guests see the stripped down version for the bots, so members get access to things guests don't have.

Many adverts also dissapear for members as well.

Hint: never make your site "members only", its a sure way to kill your board.

So guests can still browse but they miss out on some features, they get hit by adverts, and they have to endure an ugly sign.


 12:52 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hint: never make your site "members only", its a sure way to kill your board.

Good advice! I was just gonna say something in that sense.


 1:32 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

the "members only" message has always pushed people away


 2:54 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the subject of bait for signing up:
Lets say its a Forum for Widget agents - you could commission a short e-book for under $1,000. Give it a catchy title such as "How to sell Widgets fast - even in a downturn". Offer the e-book as an instant download upon signing up.


 1:29 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

It depends on your audience. "Bait" needs to be something that's not so important that a lack of access would keep guests away, but important enough to be an incentive. I have a forum with blogging and image gallery built in. Guests can't post on the forum or have a blog, but they can view everything except the image gallery. In my niche, a free ebook wouldn't make someone sign up, but access to the image gallery just might. All the better if you can have a custom error page telling them why they can't access it.

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