Your own message board - Why and how?
by Suzanne Roman
Have you ever wished you could attract more people to your site,
sell more products and make a better income?
With millions of web sites competing for people's attention
it can be hard for potential customers to find you. Starting an
online community may be just the answer you are looking for.
There are many advantages to having your own forum including:
1) Repeat visitors.
Although it's great getting first time visitors, people who visit
on a regular basis are more likely to buy from you because they
know and trust you. A message board will bring people back to
your site over and over. People come back to check for replies
to their questions and to read new messages.
2) Selling advertising space.
A busy message board is a great place for advertisers to
advertise. Most message boards are divided into specific
topics which means targeted advertising. There are many ways
you can use and sell advertising space. You can ask for bids
at ebay, you can use an advertising agency to handle advertising
for you, use Google Adsense, promote affiliate programs or your
3) People will bring their friends.
There is nothing more effective then word of mouth advertising.
If your online community is lively and interesting people will
invite their friends along to join in the discussions too.
Tips on starting your message board:
- Your message board should focus on a specific topic (for
- If it's a part of your web site, it should relate to the content of
- Divide your main forum into sub topics, for example "grooming
your cat", "cat health" etc.
- Start conversations yourself. Newcomers are more likely to
reply to a thread then to start one of their own. Pretend you are
hosting a party and it is your job to make people feel welcome.
- In the beginning you may need to invite as many of your friends
to post as you can to help you get things started.
- Hold contests for the most constructive posts every month to
- Allow people to have signatures with the URL of their web sites.
A lot of people join discussions for the sake of promoting their
own sites. As long as the advertising is subtle, let them.
How to go about starting your own message board
There are lots of excellent free message board scripts, with the
most popular ones being: http://www.invisionboard.com/ http://www.phpbb.com/ http://www.yabbse.org/
They come with instruction on how to install them on your server, or
you can pay someone a small fee and have it installed for you.
Try not to use remotely hosted free message boards as they can
add their own advertising and you won't have complete control over
your forum. It is well worth it to install one on your own server if you can.
Starting your own community can be a rewarding and profitable
experience so get started today!
(c) Copyright 2003 Suzanne Roman
About the author: Suzanne Roman runs http://www.mom101.com
Offering resources for moms who work or want to work from home.
Come and try the personality quiz to see what home business
would suit you best or browse through the hundreds of articles
about starting and running a home business.
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