|Few Registered Members in Popular Website|
Nobody seems to be registering or posting
My website gets about 7000-11000 unique hits/day and my message board has been up for a month and now there's only about 7 registered users and maybe about 15 guests who post related questions or comments.
Why am I getting so less registered members? I remember when I had a gaming website of 3000 unique/day, I got a hundred of registered members over a couple of months.
Is there any way of increasing registered members without making fake ones? I was thinking about a chance to win a prize for registering but it's too obvious that people will post once and never post again.
Hmmm. Well, I visited what I assumed to be the forum in question, and as I did one of my favorite experiences was repeated: Onto my screen drifted an annoucement box, declaring that I was the 10,000th visitor and I had won a prize! How fortunate! All I had to do was click.
First, kill that. Nothing turns me off more than pop-ups and floating boxes that tell me I've won a prize. I run away and never return.
Given the subject matter of your forum I'm guessing that you are competing with some already well established forum/sites. What advantage or inducement can you offer for people to venture to your site? Please tell me it's something other than they have won a prize for being the 1000th or 10,000th visitor ;-P
I suspect your problem is 1) your target market is already well established; and, 2) you have yet to set forth and promote exactly what makes your forum better than the next. Perhaps more articles demonstrating your expertise would help. Perhaps your participation in competing forums, where you can reveal your expertise?
Those seems to be the problems I'm facing Webwork.
As for the 10000th visitor ad, those are InVue ads and it's set to only display to less than 2% of the visitors and you happened to be in the unlucky 2%.
There's nothing about my forum that no other forum has other than me. What do you mean when you said "Perhaps more articles demonstrating your expertise"?
There are a lot of people who visit my message board, they just don't seem to post and it seems obvious. What would they want to post? Perhaps comments thanking me for writing the tutorials or flaming me for making an error on the tutorial, but I rarely get "How-to" and "present your work" posts.
The only thing that seems to make message boards popular are the people who use it. Eventually in a year, do you think it will be somewhat active?
Read the posts in community building. The recent one about 'thread starters' is one resource you might consider. There's a number of good reads back here. rogerd has done an excellent job of making the threads informative actionable resources.
You might want to take a look at Brett Tabke's quote that I just posted in the Forum Community Building threads today. Print it out. Put it on your computer screen and ponder it before you type another word or line of code for your forum.
It is difficult to kick-start a forum, because people don't like posting on an empty forum. You might want to check out this forum's library for some good ideas for getting things going.
A couple of things I would mention are to make sure you integrate your forum into your existing site design rather than using a default template and, in particular, don't start with too many categories: bring the list down to three or four forums which cover the different themes, and once things start up, you can split out forums into more concentrated themes. That helps concentrate the small amount of activity and makes a much better impression than a long list of virtually empty categories.
I think it just needs time. I'm not so concerned about it now. I'm sure after a year, it would become somewhat active.
As for making fake members and posting, my time can be better spent doing something else.
For what it's worth....
Something that I used to generate traffic in the dark, early days... run a contest. The contest I designed gave points for forum activity... 1 point for logging in once a day, 1.5 points for posting a new topic or a reply; the first 2 contests were for total points, then I changed the rules so that people earned entries in a drwaing, 10 points = 1 drawing entry type of thing, this worked better; also, I found that contests were better received if they ran for shorter periods of time, 30-60 days at a time... anything longer will lose interest.
You'd be surprised at how much attention a $50 gift cert. will generate!