Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.
This Week’s Topic: Managing Forums
Back in the day, before social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, I lived on forums. I loved the ability to connect with other people who had similar interests, and some of the people I met on these forums are still people I’m friends with today, several years later. Although they receive less attention than social media platforms, forums are far from dead. In fact, if you have a thriving community, you could benefit from the addition of forums on your blog.
Before you jump into this world, though, take the advice of the below-linked brilliant bloggers. These are people who know a thing or two about managing a forum, and they have some great tips and opinions that could help you on your forum ventures.
Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:
How to Start a Busy Forum in ONE Day by Gary Mccaffrey
In my experience, the biggest challenge of any forum admin is keeping people interested. It’s especially difficult at the beginning, because people are always hesitant to get involved with anything if no one else is involved. In my opinion, it’s why some popular blogs continue to stay popular, even if there is better content at other blogs. People love to be part of something. In this post, Gary talks about how to create an environment where people are encouraged to participate, even from day one. This creates that momentum you need to keep the forum active. Writes Gary,
I developed this method after failing badly when I first attempted to start an online discussion forum. It’s a pretty much fail proof method for getting a forum started.
If you’ve ever tried or even thought about starting an internet forum before, you will know that it is not easy.
After reading the entire post about starting a new forum, you can find Gary on Twitter @garymccaffrey.
Sometimes it’s not what you should do, but rather what you should avoid doing. In this post, Josh talks about some of the most common mistakes forum admins make when starting a new forum and managing members for the first time. Whether you’re starting a forum for your own blog or taking a new position with someone else as their new forum mod, these are great tips you can use to avoid killing traffic and participation. From the post:
Creating a successful forum can be a difficult task for any Admin, even though there’s loads of information out there about forum management. But while there is a lot of information about how to build a successful forum, there isn’t much information about some of the causes of failure.
I think this post shares some really important experiences about managing an online forum from someone who’s been an admin at two very different kinds of forums. Not every “rule” out there is going to work for every forum, just like not every “rule” out there is going to work for every blog. However, despite differences, a forum is a forum is a forum. So, take a look at the lessons you can learn from this blogger’s experiences to better your own forums. From the post:
Starting a forum is a lot of work and the financial rewards come slowly and irregularly if at all. During the lean times, your passion is what will sustain you. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be YOUR passion. Both of my forums were someone else’s idea. Initially I was just along for the ride. It was their commitment that dragged me (and the forums) through the tough times.
This blog also has a really great post called Tips on Promoting Your Forum that I recommend checking out.
Even More Brilliant Advice:
- 5 Best WordPress Forum Plugins by Shafar (@tipsblogger)
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Forum and the Best WordPress Forum Software To Start Your Forum With by Brad Dalton (@wordpress_blogs)
- Are Forums & Message Boards Making a Comeback? by Chris Abraham (@chrisabraham)
- Build Your Blog With Forum Traffic by Skellie (@skellie)
- Creating a Message Board (F0rum) by Lisa Irby (@2createawebsite)
- How to Get Traffic to Your Forum by Forum Doc
- How to Increase Forum Activity by Fabio Fleitas (@ForumBlogger)
- Promoting Your Forum Off The Web by James Seligman (@SuccessfulForum)
- There is Not Enough Time in the Day for Me to Tell You That Forums Are Not Dead by Patrick O’Keefe (@iFroggy)
- Tips for Forum Admin: How to Make Your Forum More Active by Digiarty
- Tips for Starting a Forum from Mike McDerment (@MikeMcDerment)
- Why You Shouldn’t Start a Forum for Your Blog by Ben Barden (@benbarden)
Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about managing forums? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.
Next Week’s Topic: Paper.li
I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.