Im starting a new forum community in a niche market under a well established URL [ecommerce website up for 5 years]. Im in the unique situation of somewhat side-stepping the usual struggle to generate members from scratch as this forum is a take-over of an old forum community that was very outdated but still had nearly 1000 registered users.
Im using vBulletin forum software w/VBseo and a very simple custom skin. Adding RSS feeds and social bookmarking widget tools. The forum is set to officially launch within a couple of weeks.
I basically have one competitor in my market. The stats that Ive found on this competitor are: average 8000 uniques/day; average 240K uniques/month.
Frankly, this competing site isnt very well done even though it does have enormous traffic and membership...basically due to no competition. It is rather clunky, basic, doesnt utilize social media or feeds, and from what Ive seen in their "announcements" threads is somewhat buggy w/lots of tech issues.
I would like to hear from seasoned experienced forum owners with larger boards on what to expect as far as growth projections, milestones in your own forum growth experience, etc. I realise everyones experence is different...Im just wanting to gather some general thoughts on growth trajectories, membership growth rates, etc based on other webmaster experiences.
Thanks in advance for any and all input.