I just wanted to follow up and let you guys know how a couple things I tried are working.
1) I built new navigational links that look identical to the forum links (login, logout, check private...etc)
These links did okay, but not as well as I would have liked still. The forum receives 10,000-15,000 views daily and only 200 or so content page views were coming as a result of these links.
2) I created a new forum section at very top of all the other forum sections.
With each new article or content piece I add, I am creating a new post in that section outlining very briefly what the content is about, including a link.
This method is working very well. I am seeing closer to 1,500 additional views on the content pages with the 2 items I mentioned above working together on the forum. It's not fantastic - but I'm going to keep plugging at it.
At any rate - 1500 extra content page views is 1500 that I wouldn't have had a week ago.
The trend will fall if the user's aren't interested in my articles...if the content is good, I'm sure they'll check the updates forum frequently.