With the newer food forum, I also paid for some forum postings, but not from a company. I asked a person whom I knew to be good at this sort of thing. I didn't want to pay for any old postings, such as, "What's your favourite soup?". I had a very clear idea of my target audience and what I wanted to provide for them, so they would see the forum as a useful resource and stick around. I gave the writer a very clear brief about what I wanted and he met the brief perfectly, and even overperformed.Originally Posted by Rob
However, it did not all go to plan as despite the resource that was created, I didn't manage to attract the main target audience. (Probably because I spent too much on here instead of building up that other forum.) The infrastructure is there for a good forum (if you don't mind phpBB rahther than vB), but it just lacks the traffic it needs to take off. Perhaps I should have mentioned that the food forum was also built as an add-on to an existing site that pulls in 20-30K UVs per month, so I'd expected to be sending traffic to the forum from the site as well. It just didn't happen.
I know much of the blame for that forum's lack of success lies on my shoulders, but you see, even with an established site behind you and even with experience of building forums, friends who'll post for you, a top-notch paid-to-post guy, having numerous conversations with myself, blog commenting on relevant sites, it still didn't happen. It's not as easy as some people might think it is.
You also need to be aware that forum visitors can be very fickle. If they don't like the management or some of the rules, they're quite likely to migrate en masse to a new place they've set up as an alternative.