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Forum Moderators: phranque
For the message board, that's one where you need to build a site with information (or something) that's going to draw people before inplementing the board. Once you're listed on the search engines and getting a nice flow of visiters the board should work fine.
I don't have any results yet, it's only been live for about 2 weeks now. But I think the key is to check on the site constantly, if something isn't working fix it, and if someone asks a question answer it immediately.
Also, you need to try to put as much content on the site as you can so that it gives people a reason to keep looking.
So far I have content on the site which is relevant, but a little broad. After watching my traffic for the past week (PPC has only been running for a week) I now know which content to work on to take people a little deeper into the site.
Just keep working on it. It may take a year to get going like you think it should, but after all of your hard work you will have something that should really make you proud.
We started with an announcement on the appropriate mailing list for the topic and followed that up with PPC and a press release. Reminders go to the mailing list in the footer of each message.
There were over 500 registered users after the first month.
We added another one last month and have three more under way.
In your situation, you could do the following (given that its a dating site). Contact as many people from various sources for personal ads as you can find. Tell them that you'll list there ad on your site for free.
That, along with faking a few, will help you get started.
- Offer free things, or extended memberships to get people in the door. People will pay up front, if they feel they are the "first" or a getting a "special deal"
- Actively SEP the site and promote across mailing lists and other sites. Remember to ask for help, most people will always help someone who asks nicely.
- Let your users know you are growing (with pains) some people like to be part of something that is just starting.
- Get your users to spread the word. Give them the tools.
And yet, I've seen dozens of communitiy-type sites successfully jump-started that way.
By filling up fake database one will kill his own site. Imagine a community site who has half of it's community all fake, the remaining half will never come back.