Four Questions About Running Your Own Forum

Series Introduction:

Web forums are a great way to interact, converse, build community, promote products and ideas, and generate content and relationships online. Even though forums have existed since before the web, there are many people who still do not use forums, who do not know about them, or who think that web forums are more limited than they are. This five part series offers a basic introduction to web forums and answers eight basic but important questions; addresses one of the negative aspects of forums–haters–and how to keep a healthy forum; discusses the basics of running a forum; is frank about common pests and problems which often infest forums; and finally provides five useful reminders about forums.

Part III: Four Questions About Running Your Own Forum

So far, this series has addressed basic questions about forums as well as one of forums’ biggest problems: haters. Fortunately, you learn quickly how to deal with them. If you’ve been bitten by the forum bug, you’re probably considering running your own forum. This article addresses four key things to keep in mind when considering running your own forum.

1. Who controls a forum?
The person or people who control a forum are usually called that forum’s “administrators,” or “admins” for short. These are the people with the highest level of access, who can make any change at any level of the forum. You can identify these users by special colors or text next to their posts. For example, administrators may have the word “Administrator” next to their screen name or avatar.

Administrators sometimes give normal users special privileges on their forums. These special users are usually called “moderators,” or “mods” for short. Mods are sort of like the police of the forum – they watch for violations of the forum rules and dole out discipline accordingly. This is the job they have to do in exchange for being given special powers (such as the ability to delete posts) by the admins. Admins can revoke these powers at any time if they feel that the mods are not doing their jobs right.

2. How hard is it to set up my own forum?
If you’re willing to spend a few bucks a month on it, it couldn’t be easier. There are a few very low priced forum hosting services that will take care of everything for you – you just have to let them know some basics like what you want your forum to be called, what URL you want people to access it at, etc.

It’s also possible to buy a shared hosting account at a provider and to install and configure the forum software yourself. Obviously, this will be a greater investment of time and resources on your part to learn the ins and outs of a particular forum software package. Plus, you still have to pay the shared host provider, so unless you’re using the hosting space to host blogs or other websites, it’s not as good of a deal as just using one of the simple forum hosts.

Finally, it’s possible to buy or lease your own dedicated server and to install forum software on there, but this option is definitely reserved for people who are interested in hosting many forums at once or in reselling their space to others interested in hosting forums. (If you go this route, you can even become your own mini shared host!)

3. How do I get people to come to my forum?
It sounds obvious, but the most important thing is content. If your forum is attached to a larger website, then you already have content – you just have to make sure people see the link to your forum and want to go there to discuss your content.

If your forum isn’t attached to a website, then you need to make sure Google and the other search engines are indexing your forum. Check your search rank by typing in some terms you think are related to your forum and looking at where your forum is in the search results. Are you on the first page? Are you the first hit? Try starting some threads on your forum with prompts for people to discuss. You’ll be surprised how quickly people will start posting if the topics interest them.

4. What rules are there for a forum?
This is up to the administrators of the particular forum to decide. Usually there’s a “forum rules” thread where the rules for that particular forum are laid out for everyone to see. Sometimes, the forum makes you click “I agree” to the rules before you can even register on it. In any case, make sure you are familiar with the rules so that you don’t get moderated for breaking them and lose stature in the community.

How to Start and Run Your Own Forum Successfully

Online forums have helped many internet marketers to make real cool money with little effort on their part. Smart people all over the world make their money by providing solutions to other people’s problem, what one sees as a problem, another sees as opportunity and avenue to make money. When you make money in your venture and effort to help other people become better, I think that is a good move, it is not bad if you sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Online forums are a community of people who belong to the same discussion board to discourse common issue of mutual interest. It is a meeting place for open discussion, other names for forum include discussion group, discussion boards. You can make money from forums whether you are the one who owns it or not. A very smart member of a forum may be so good as to be able to rake in more money even than the Administrator or any of the Moderators.

Examples of forum:

Warriorforum – The greatest or largest internet business forum on planet earth. And so on, use Google search to find out more forums of your interest.

All you need to do is type your area of interest, e.g dog owners forum in the search area of Google, you will receive more result than you can handle. The first decision to make if you want to prosper through forum is to choose the forums you want to actively participate in. Register for free, most of the forums are free anyway, and start posting.

Benefits of joining a forum:
Interactivity
Establishing your expertise
Credibility
Social Community i.e becoming a member of a team
Get product ideas
Trade opportunities
Get traffic to your blog or website if you are a webmaster.

There is power in been part of a community. My best community on the internet is a forum that caters for my online business, takes care of my social interaction and so on, every member of the forum feels a sense of belonging, a spirit of oneness that is not in many other internet activities.

There are three basic internet marketing tips everyone who wants to profit from online forum must note.

1. Find a hungry market
2. Discover the major pain or interest
3. Deliver it to them

To find a hungry market, take your interest into consideration, ask yourself

What are you passionate about?
What are your area of interest?
What do you hate?

Consider your past experience, skills, job, or businesses.

Use this knowledge to help you build a solution to the hungry market, find out the solution to the market’s yearning, that’s how to make it in life.

When you join the forum the first thing is to introduce yourself, become a forum investigator immediately by watching out for what many people on the forum lack, what they need, find out what they are hungry for through questions. Use the response triggers to find out. What can I? How do I? Where can I? Are response triggers that when people answer the questions that follows, you will discover their lack, interest or pain.

Having discovered these things, find a good solution to the problem and deliver it to them, pure and simple.

Action plan:

Pick your area of interest today
Decide on the forums to join
Let the forums be in the area of your interest.

Establishing a forum:

I was highly honored when I was called upon by the Administrator of a forum to take up the responsibility of moderating one of the discussion boards. It was a responsibility that exposed me to study and find out the skills of running a forum, and administering it successfully. Thank God for the opportunity, I am able to share with you how to set up your own forum because I allowed the guru to teach me by experience.

Advantages of having your own forum:

You will be seen as an expert, and be consulted for advise, your products will be highly sought after, and that means more money for you.

You can easily build your own list of responsible people member will naturally come back to your forum giving you better chances of earning AdSense revenue. You get quality service from search engines.

What you need to start your own forum:

- Choose a niche for example, marriage, health, football, relationship, politics,…
- Register a domain name that reflect the niche e.g menshealthforum.com
- Buy a hosting package of at least 100MB
- Install your forum with fantastico

How to monetise your own forum:

- Sell your own products and services e.g e-books, audo/video files. It is pretty easy to make audio files, simply go over to Google.com, type audacity in the search box and click search, you will need a headset with a microphone to record your voice.
- Sell other people’s products relating to your niche by joining good affiliate program that gives you reasonable commission.
- Place Google AdSense on your forum to monetise better
- Put text link adverts, go to Google to find out more.

Steps To Installing Your Own Forum:

Type your registered domain name having hosted it with at least 100MB e.g menshealthforum.com/cpanel. In the browser, you will be required to type in your username and password. Your hosting company would have provided you with all these. When the username and password is correctly in place you will be connected instantly to your cpanel.

- Look out for fantastico, you need this to install your forum, and it comes with most of these hosting rights. – Click on the fantastico button
- Click on install discussion board, use simple machine form (smf) board, or any other one of your choice.
- Click on smf under discussion board
- Click on new installation
- Install in a directory called forum, do not install it on the main domain

Administrator name will be your name e.g Adenuga Sunday Joseph, and you choose a password. Click install smf, then click on finish installation.

To create Categories, just go to login, then put in your username and password

For communications category, go to news and newsletters from admin, then create categories from sub-menu boards, go to create new category – let it be closely related to your forum team e.g men’s diet, physical exercise, etc.

New Online Shopping Deals Through Reverse Bid Auctions

Consumers are always looking for a way to save money on the items they want or need. Most of the items purchased online are luxury items and not necessarily a necessity. People need these luxuries to entertain themselves and when they can find these goods at a fraction of the cost they’re quick to spring on them. For years people have turned to sites like Amazon and eBay to find the lowest prices on consumer electronics and other goods but things are changing as people consider the potential discounts available.

One of the primary differences between traditional auction sites like eBay and pay per bid auction sites is that buyers pay a fraction of the cost consistently. This rarely happens on major auction sites, where the final cost is often just under the retail value. Image the delight of buyers on bid auction sites that get a MacBook or new LCD television for under $100.00.

This goes to show why reverse auctions and other pay per bid auctions have grown steadily in popularity as more people discover the savings to be had beyond the traditional auction model.

In a traditional auction buyers are competing against one another to purchase an item from a seller. As they bid, the price increases until one person stands out willing to pay the highest bid. The auction finishes and the product goes to the highest bidder.

Reverse auctions work in much the same manner in that they have a seller that’s offering an item for sale. A number of buyers all bid competitively in order to win the item that’s being sold. That’s where the similarity ends however. In a reverse auction, bidders are placing bids in order to drive the price down. When the auction finishes, the item goes to the lowest bidder. Some auctions force you to drive the price to zero before you can win, others let you continue to bid down the price until the price just gets to be too tempting and someone scoops it up in a “buy it now” fever.

Reverse auctions and other bid auctions have matured into a billion dollar global business yet they tend to remain under the radar. The primary reason is because they’ve only become common to consumers in recent years. Previously, these types of reverse auctions were used by business to business networks and government agencies.

There’s a great deal of excitement for consumers now, and it’s helping that popularity climb as more people hear about. The tension and nail-biting excitement really gets people going and can cause the adrenaline to surge in the last minutes and seconds of an auction. In many reverse bid auctions the potential buyer has to make a decision quickly about buying an item as they reveal the price lest someone else scoops it up.

With many bid auctions, there’s a constant overhanging chance that the item could get scooped up by another bidder at any time. Gone are the days of the constant flow of bids and “outlasting” other bidders. A strong strategy is needed for buyers that want to take a great deal home without overpaying in the excitement of the auction.