You run a forum site, your site has a forum – but does it have anything else? Bulking up your website by adding new sections and publishing articles can create a more engaging user experience, help you attract new traffic and ultimately help your forum become successful.
The more you add, the more you attract
One of the biggest challenges you face when starting a new online community is attracting traffic. There are many basic steps you can take to make your site more attractive to the search engines but nothing will ever beat having high quality, unique content.
You should use every way possible of attracting traffic – one way of doing this is to add quality articles to your site, outside of your forum structure.
The benefits of adding more to your forum
Having an articles section on your website can add significant value to your community. If the articles are unique and of high quality, they will not only pick up search engine traffic but they are also likely to be linked to.
How many forum sites have you come across that offer anything else in addition to the actual forum itself? I would guess that over 95% of all the forums I come across offer only one thing: the forum.
By adding high quality articles to your site, you will attract more traffic and interest. Provide a link to a discussion thread on your forum at the bottom of each article and you will see people click through and very often register so they can leave a comment.
An example of using articles to benefit your forum
Let’s say you run a forum that allows expatriates to meet and discuss their experiences and new lives. The forum on its own will attract some search engine traffic, and you will be able to make your site more attractive to visitors by posting content on a regular basis.
Imagine if you add an article offering advice on how hard/easy it is to emigrate to certain countries. Imagine if you publish an article detailing the emotional roller coaster that those leaving their homes to set up a new life abroad have to ride. Imagine if you publish an article about those that fall in love with people from a different country and the difficulties and challenges such couples face.
Not only are these articles adding value to your current membership base, if they are unique and of high quality you will undoubtedly pick up search engine traffic based on the keywords you use and through other sites linking to your newly published content.
Including a call to action at the end of your articles (for example, by adding a link entitled ‘Discuss this article in our forum’) will undoubtedly help you maximise the benefits of your additional content.
How many other forums do you know of that have a separate articles section offering high quality, unique articles? Having more than just a forum on your website is yet another way you can differentiate your site from the competition and attract more traffic at the same time. With so many potential benefits, can you afford to ignore this rarely used but effective method of forum promotion?