Forum Content: To make or break your forum!
By: Shawn J. Gossman
Once upon a time when forums were first designed, they really didn't need much content because there were very few of them and people were more interested in just joining them and seeing what they were all about. As the forum years went on, more and more internet users decided they wanted to make a forum of their own. Eventually, people decided to make forums that would compete with other forums of the same topic and this started the content revolution. If you are competing with another forum, the most important aspect of competition will be your content. You need to provide unique content that separates you from the competition and that can only be found on your own forum. This could seem very difficult for forum owners and that is why I decided to write this article. This article is here to help give you more ideas to brainstorm more new topics and content on your forum to be more unique than your competition.
Bad content will get your forum nowhere!
First off you need to understand the importance of unique content. The unique content on a forum will give a potential member something to learn more about and discuss further. If your forum is full of the same old normal content that can be found anywhere else, then there is really no big reason to join and be active. If you post content that will likely be found on other forums related to your niche, you will likely develop a very lonely and deserted community. You need to develop rich content that cannot be found anywhere else. It needs to be new discussions of the niche industry that have not really been talked about yet. It needs to be enhanced content if it is found on other forums. Please continue to read this article for more ideas on content building that will create active discussions and encourage more people to join your forum.
Discuss the New!
One great unique content source is new content. You might think that no content can ever be new but you are very wrong if you do think that. The best way to create new and unique content is to master your niche. This means that you should learn everything you can learn about your niche. You should stay on top of new inventions and enhancements of your niche. You should get to know big players in your niche. You should become well known in your niche and create a great positive reputation within in. If you stay on top of the news in your niche, you can take that news and create new unique fresh content with in. For example, if your forum is about bicycles, then you should research the newest bicycles that are being made and then make topics discussing them and their components and features. This will also educate you on the bicycles and the industry. You will be providing new and unique content while learning more about the niche and that will help you out big time in long run if you forum ever becomes one of the big players in your competition.
Enhance the Old!
One other method of bringing unique content to a forum is to enhance the old content from another forum to your own forum. Let's face it, many forum owners go to competing forums for new ideas on new content. This has happened for a long time. If you copy and paste their content on your forum as your own, then it is a wrong and unethical practice. However, if you copy the content on your own forum in your own words, it's a not a bad thing. The other forum doesn't own a discussion so everyone can use it if they want to. However, if you discuss the exact same content as the other forum, then there is nothing unique and most people won't want to repeat their answer. This is when enhancing the content will come into play. You will take content from one forum and post it on your own forum in your own words. However, you will also enhance that content by adding something new but related to it. For example, if one forum has a discussion about why guns should be outlawed and controlled, you will post the same topic on your forum but include a question why guns should not be outlawed and controlled. This will bring a bigger audience and give more reason to discuss the topic further. Your goal is to get both sides of the discussion from both viewpoints. This will for sure enhance your content on your forum.
Inform the Mass
Articles and Interviews make a good source of fresh and unique content on a forum. You can write articles about the niche as I am doing with this article. It will help inform your readers more about the niche and how they can get further involved in it. You can make reviews about products, articles and how to guides, eBooks and more. You can also conduct email interviews with big players in the niche and then turn them into article interviews to make them discussions on your forum. For example, let's say you have a paranormal forum. You conduct an email interview with a paranormal investigator. You allow him to give his website link to entice him to do the interview with you. You ask him questions about the paranormal and how you could investigate the paranormal yourself. Then you make it all into one big post and release it on your message forum as a discussion. In my experience, forum members love to read articles that will help them so you should frequently post them as much as possible. You should also ask your members to share the articles around and use various social bookmarking tools to get the word out about the new content. I think this will greatly increase discussions on your message forum.
Keep them Active
Now that you have some ideas for content building, you need to keep the new content active. To do this, you simply create discussions. Don't just post a topic and hope that many people reply to it for a long time. Post a new topic and reply every chance you get. Reply to topic replies with more related questions and keep the readers in further discussion. Even if at first, you and one other person are the only one talking in the thread, which is fine because there is still an active discussion going on. In articles and interviews, it is also good to end them with questions that relate to their topic. The idea of content is to keep it going once it has been created and before you know it, you will have a bunch of discussions by a bunch of members.
Thank you for reading my article. I would love to hear what you thought of this article and if you have any more ideas for new content!