General

Lets begin with “why do you want to create a forum?”. Lets do some research.

1. Will you dedicate enough time and effort to create a successful forum?
2. Are you entering a solid competition market?
3. Will you be able to convince members to join your forum and leave others?
4. Do you really need to run a forum?
5. Is your idea unique? Will it be useful?
6. Am i re-creating another forum with a different name? (Same services etc)

You should take a few moments answering those questions yourself honestly.

Recently and in the past i have seen an overwhelming number of resource boards coming into play. If you are deciding to create a resource forum - don’t. Only if you have the knowledge and experience to out-run some of the largest resource boards out there, including the IFSZ.

Key Aspects of a Successful Forum:

Skin. The skin is perhaps one of the more significant aspects of a successful forum. You will notice, most of the active forums have a nice looking skin. I do not encourage you to find a 'whored' skin which is seen on all IPB, IF etc forums but a unique theme which suits your forum genre. Take a few days searching for a suitable skin and working on the forum layout.

Content.
Content is the heart of your board. Memebers join for content, your resources and your discussions. That is what the forum is made up of, text.

When creating a forum, who joins a board with one member online and only 100 posts? This is where you need to work a little. My suggestion is gather friends who you know will dedicate their time to post around your forum and help you create some activity. Keep topics detailed and interesting which will motivate members to discuss. Example: If you’re creating a Prison Break forum don’t start topics like, “How did you find Season 1?” take some time and extend the topic so more discussions can be made, Eg. Discussing the plots, twists, backstage etc.

Once you have around 10-20 dedicated posters, your forum is on a steady level. I also suggest you to take some time to read the following article which provides effective establishment tips.

Staff.
Staffing, many new forum owners find promoting a large number of members to work for them is beneficial. Do Not. If your forum is small, only have 1-2 staff members max. Overloading teams just creates confusion. Honestly, you won’t even have the time to keep track of each associate.

Why is my forum so slow? Members are always thinking beyond expectations. Gaining 1,000 members is not a daily experience. Members are lucky to even gather 500 dedicated members within a whole year. So don’t give-up if your forum is slow, an active community takes to to develop. Keep promoting, open daily topics for new discussions, motivate members to post with recognition, prizes etc.

Innovating.
When your forum is on a stable level, you should then decide, “Can my skills be taken further?” Shock your members, bring new services/discussions etc to your forum. To keep your old members dedicated, changes are needed. Imagine visiting the same forum(s) everyday for a year, how boring would it be?

Now its your turn, after reading this article, i hope it has helped you decide if you should create your own forum and if you do, the tips i provided.

Here are some

Visit my Forum Development Blog for more articles in assisting your forum establishment and management.

Author's Bio: 

You can find more articles at my personal forum development blog.