Forum websites generally fall into just two
- An interactive way for a product manufacturer to
solicit the assistance of their customers to better support
- Niche Expert - You will find numerous forums run by
experts in various Niche fields, Plumbing, Gaming, Health,
As #1 requires a product, & enough customers to support
this type of interaction, I will concentrate on the 2nd
Category "Niche Expert".
Before you jump to the next type of site because you don't
consider yourself an expert, spend a little time thinking about
- In conversations do you offer advice?
- Do you have experience in a service industry?
- Do you have tips from the home?
- What do you spend your spare time doing?
Any of the above can be used as a foundation for a
There may already be forums in your area of expertise but
rather than a negative, these can be used in a positive way by
directing visitors to your site.
In Traffic I will be explaining how to utilize the
power of forums to get visitors to your site. For now i will
just advise that you need to register at related forums &
generate a signature in your profile that links back to your
site. You may very well have found this site through my own
signature in a forum.
If your still
considering a forum site then you are in luck when it comes to
Again if you followed my advice you have a
hosting account with Cpanel
See previous page for accessing
Once you have opened fantastico you will have 2 choices
listed under Discussion Boards.
PHPBB & SMF.
Both Forums install with fantastico so your choice of forum
is more a personal one than a technical one, perform a Google
Search on Forums.
Look at the layouts, I would expect the forum script
would be either PHPBB or SMF (Simple Machines)you can see which
by looking at the page footer.
Once you have decided on the script you are going to
use for your Forum continue the installation as instructed. As
with blogs i would suggest you install in a sub directory
The building of your site may well have been easy but the
hard part with a forum is generating the traffic, don't waste
your time looking for advertisers just yet without traffic you
are not going to be able to charge much for advertising.
Use Adsense & sign up for a few associated affiliate
products, just post their banners & add affiliate links
into your signature & forum answers.
See my section on Traffic for ideas on how to get people to
Good Forums are
Self Sustaining & Viral
The great thing about forums is the ever increasing amount
of original & free keyword rich content. Once your site
starts to get recognised & ranked by the search engines as
relevant to the topic, your traffic will slowly build.
With increasing traffic comes increasing posts & answers
to those posts. Think of the posts as long tailed keywords the
more posts the more relevance the more search referrals, the
more traffic...... Your Forum Grows