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How do you generate forum traffic?

Hello all,

I'm pretty much just starting out with my own site and wanted to know what is the best way to get people coming to your forum. I know once I get a few regular posters it'll get going fine but to start out, it's kinda rough getting people.

So, let the suggestions flow!
Have you submitted your site onto search engines? I think the best way to bring people is by word of mouth. You got to have something that makes them want to come back for more and more. What type of forums is it?
My site is fine as far as search engines go. My forum is just about talking, on any level, about whatever topics that are interesting. I'm still working on the forum as far as adding new categories and color scheme.

You can check out the site by hitting the button under my sig with the little house and 'WWW' Wink My forum is called "TheExchange".

btw Matt, your first site is not working properly. You might wanna check it out.
Ya, I know... has lots of work too do on it. I have been too busy working on and havent had time to do the others. Tons of stuff work on the first one but they are not linked yet. If you go to it it just has a bunch of stuff that doesnt make sense I know.

One way you can bring more people to your site is by link exchanges. Like you put my url on your site and I put it yours on mine. Go to and click link.
My forum is just about talking, on any level, about whatever topics that are interesting.

It is very, really very difficult to get people and retain people if you donot cater to a specific niche. So might I suggest you make your site about something.
What I do is hold contests. People love free stuff and will freely send people as referals for free loot.
TheDesignDump wrote:
What I do is hold contests. People love free stuff and will freely send people as referals for free loot.

Hello DesignDump,

Just what do you give away? If you aren't buying what it is you're giving away, where do you get the freebies? I'd give a gmail invite (like they're so valuable Wink ) if I knew that would draw people and I wouldn't get into any trouble for it. Also, how would I get the word out about the gmail invite?
well i don`t know if someone would still be interested in having a gmail account without having already a fiend with one, but you can put on the first page: free gmail accounts on the forum, and advertise on other forums. Apart from that....anyways the whole gamind ideea is very nice, i am currently working on , i still have alot of work to do, i`m making php tutorials all day long Very Happy, and when i`m finished with that i`m gonna start some contests. I`m not gonna tell you what yet, wait untill it is finished. Oh and by the way the website is in romanian Smile
If its a niche: offer them a free ebook or something when they join.

Also, go to phpBB and search for 'Referral Plus' and 'Cash Mod'
The first mod makes it easy for users to refer friends to your forum, the second gives users forum money (probably the same script frihost uses....) that you could let them spend on something..... custom avatars/titles, or if you're site actually sells something, offer them discounts if they earn enough money.

Referral Plus and Cash Mod can easily be linked, so they can also earn forum money for referring friends...
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