5 steps to revive a dead forum

By Harro · Aug 11, 2006 ·
  1. Harro
    5 Steps to revive a dead forum

    As a forum admin I know it can be difficult to keep your (new) forum active.
    When you start a forum, it's active.
    You probably asked a few friends to come over at the start and they're active aswell.
    When you've done your first advertising campains you probably got a few new members that are active aswell (and some that aren't active...).
    So after some weeks you've got a few members, some topics on your forum and some posts.
    But it happens often that activity drops after a few weeks or months, and you're left with an almost dead community.
    Many things can cause this... People loose interest, not enough new threads to reply to and so on...
    It can be very difficult to revive such a community on your own...

    Thought a bit about this problem and came up with a step-by-step guide to try to revive your forum again.

    Step 1: Make a bunch of new topics
    Start a few topics on your forum, and try to spread them over your entire forum.
    So don't only post in the "general chat" area (if you have it) but also in subforums about the main topic of your forum.
    Try to start discussions!
    When you only post information, people will read it and leave it.
    So you have to try to get some discussions, ask for feedback or ask other questions.
    In your general chat forums you can start topics like "post your pic" or "favourite music".
    Polls are also good!
    Topics like that can be great ice-breakers. They are easy to reply too.

    Try to create a few new topics each day for a couple of days!

    Step 2: Ask your friends... again...
    Once you've created a few new threads you can ask your friends over again.
    Tell them that you created new topics and would appreciate it if they would check them out and post a few things while they're there.

    Now you should have a little more activity on your forum again... But it's not done yet!

    Step 3: Do some post exchanges
    Doing post exchanges will not only increase your amount of posts and threads, but also your amount of members.
    Also try to do this for a couple days...

    After these 3 steps you should have some activity on your forum again, but it's not done yet!
    You still have a bunch of members that didn't notice the new activity on your forum, simply because they haven't visited your forum again.
    So now you have to give them a reason to visit your forum...

    Step 4: Install or add something new and mail all your members!
    To get your members back you have to mail them... but you've got to have a reason to mail them or they could consider it spam.
    And that's not so good for your image...
    So you have to get a reason to send an email to all your members!

    Here are a few ideas:
    Install a new modification on your forum
    Change the layout
    Start a contest
    Give a new service
    Ask for feedback on a specific subject
    ...

    Once you've done this you've got a reason to send an email to all your members to notify them of the updates/changes of your forum!
    At least some of them will come back to your forum to take a look at the recent changes.
    Ofcourse they will see all the new topics and posts, more members and the new feature you installed.

    Step 5: continue
    Once you've done the previous 4 steps you should have some activity on your forum again.
    So there's only 1 thing left to do... And that's to continue.
    You have to continue posting new topics, adding new features and continue with advertising your forum!

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