Graphic and Web Design Forum. Help !

Discussion in 'Increasing Traffic' started by crazyleaf, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. crazyleaf

    crazyleaf Enthusiast

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    Hello I've opened my forum 3 months now, and I have only a few members that post on a regular basis. What can I do to increase my traffic and active members ?

    The URL is : http://www.crazyleafdesign.com/forum/

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Sunlite

    Sunlite full moons just wonder

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    Well for starters, you have a huge quantity of forums and many contain almost nothing in them. I would condense some till you really need them. When a board appears empty it really can discourage users as they'll feel you don't have any content, so why should they bother. It also can be very confusing to a new member seeing all those forums.
    You have only had your board for 3 months, it takes time to build a community, be patient ;) .
    What are you doing to advertise your board?
     
  3. crazyleaf

    crazyleaf Enthusiast

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    I read this about the large number of boards in many places so I'll try to reduce their number as much as I can.

    About the advertising methods :

    Well ... I'm active on a few forums, web directories, myspace ... and kinda that's it. I recently discovered this forum and I have to say there are tons of useful marketing information here.
     
  4. PalePhoenix

    PalePhoenix Prince of Dorkness

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    Well, for starters, "graphics & design" boards have an inherently higher bar to "wow" people with first impressions of their sites. You've got a lot of forums to scroll through, a great deal of empty/blank/negative space to close up. The table cells in the main index have too much padding and gratuitous width.

    Code:
    <meta name="description" content="Graphic and Web Design Forum for beginners and experienced designers. General Forum for auto, moto, photography, hardware, software enthusiasts. A forum with Attitude." />
    <meta name="keywords" content="forum, design forum, graphic design forum, design, graphics, photoshop, php, fireworks, imageready, dreamweaver, xhtml, chat, board, auto, moto, funny pictures, videos, photography, showcase, tutorials, hardware, software, adobe, corel, quark, products, Crazyleaf, Crazy leaf, web design, webdesign, css, html, mysql resources, seo" />
    These are extraordinarily weak keywords, and your site description is somewhat at cross-purposes. Auto, moto photography? You take pictures of cars and lawnmowers? Clarify this, among other things.

    I also spotted at least one instance where an "article" was posted, minus any sort of personal insight or commentary. Worse, almost, than Cut-n-Paste Plagiarism is when you simply link to something with no added value or remarks. Usually, one 'agrees' or 'disagrees' with an article, but almost always embelishes the supplied content with original, local statements that give subsequent posters a springboard.
     
  5. Ted S

    Ted S Tazmanian Master

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    What have you done to get members thus far? What seperates you from the established sites that already exist in your niche?
     
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  6. crazyleaf

    crazyleaf Enthusiast

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    Well promotion is tehe problem here. For my active members I offer advantages. For 50+ posts free featured listing in my directory, 10% diescount of all design work with us etc.
     
  7. Ted S

    Ted S Tazmanian Master

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    If your visitors are designers, how does 10% off help them? And if traffic is your problem, how is a featured listing attractive?

    It's easy to try and give away benefits that don't cost you anything but if they aren't of value, people won't find them attractive. Furthermore, what you're giving away as a perk only helps someone on your site -- to grow you need to bring new people in as well.
     
  8. crazyleaf

    crazyleaf Enthusiast

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    You would be amazed how many designers outsource. Traffic on the forum. The web directory is doing just fine. Someone doesn't necesarly submit their website into a directory for traffic from that specific location. There is the backlink involved also.

    Anyway ... the point is that I'm doing something wrong. Maybe that's it .. I don't know. I asked for a few tips not critics.
     
  9. Ted S

    Ted S Tazmanian Master

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    Our critique is our suggestions, or a portion thereof. If you are spending your time doing something that is not effective, you won't be able to put effort into new tactics. Furthermore, much of what you are doing is right... it just needs to be improved upon and taken to the next level. Giving members a reward for activity is a great idea... the question is, do they care for the reward you are offering enough to put the effort into the posting? For whatever reason, you have decided to make this directory listing your entire value proposition for registering so if someone doesn't care for the directory listing, or if that's not enough, they aren't going to be aware of any of the other benefits of your site or the purpose for joining. That's a low hanging item which you can score a quick win on just by better explaining why someone should join.

    In any case, to get more members you need more traffic. To get more traffic you need links from more sites,this can be in the form of one or two way link exchanges, directories, articles you provide to other sites, rss feeds, free downloadable utilities or graphic packs and so forth. You can also use paid advertising through banners on other sites, paid search listings, text link buys and the likes to get traffic in measurable rates. And of course SEO plays a huge factor into any forum -- working on your inbound links, your page titles, your content weight and depth will all help you bring in more listings and thus more traffic but generally not quickly thus making it a more long term strategy.

    There's a ton you can do, but rather than throwing darts at a board I suggest you look at what is working now, and what isn't and try to expand from there.
     
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