As I have said before, you should only ensure you have a large number of categories if your community can support them; there is nothing worse than visiting a forum for the first time to see empty categories.
That being said, if you are confident that new categories will be used, you should go ahead and create them. Before you do that however, take some time to think of a good name for the new category.
Why spend time naming a new forum category?
You should always spend some time to come up with a good name for your new forum category – it makes you different.
How many forums have you come across where the forum category is simply named after its subject, without any thought, personality or humour? This is a mistake – those forums are not engaging their visitors, and are not encouraging them to delve deeper into their site.
What looks more interesting from the two examples below?
Category List A
Talk about the news
Talk about sport
Talk about cars
Category List B
Put on your reporting hat and share your thoughts on current events
Dodgy team call-ups wouldn’t happen on your watch! Share sports thoughts.
It’s got an engine, and it’s greasy – you love it! Talk about cars here.
Of course, these are just examples but I think you would agree that Category List B looks more inviting and a little more original that Category List A.
Some readers of this article may argue that what you name your categories matters little compared to the quality of your content – I would agree. The reason I suggest you take the time to incorporate a little originality into the names of your forum categories is to attract the interest of new visitors.
You may have the best content of any online community, but if a visitor isn’t intrigued enough to dig around your site to get to it, it’s wasted.
Using original forum category names helps spark interest in your community for the first time visitor. They encourage the visitor to stick around for a few more seconds, they convey the personality of your community and they are a whole heap more exciting than boring, standard category titles that your competitors are using.