3 Key Components In Running A Successful ForumI need more hands to help me count how many work at home forums have been created and then deserted by the forum owners. As a forum administrator you have a responsibility to keep it active, enjoyable, and spam free.
There are misconceptions that creating a forum is simple. In actuality it's true, but maintaining it and giving the patience and time for it to grow is really hard work.
There are three very important components that make up a successful forum.
1. Forum Owner Presence
Undoubtedly this is one of the most important aspects of running a successful work at home forum. A forum owner should be hands-on, visible and engaging with its community. I cannot stress this enough.
I moderate several work at home forums, and I was mistaken as the forum owner when I was welcoming a new member. It says a lot if your members don't know your first name. There are plenty of forums where I have no idea of who owns them because I was never welcomed by them or seen them around.
It is the responsibility of the forum owner to lay down the ground rules of what they expect from their moderators and their members. It is also their duty to follow their own forum rules. If they can't abide by them, what makes them think anyone else will?
Forum owners should be good observers on their forums. They should have a keen sense in picking out members who are just spammers or fly-by posters. You can be a good observer if you spend time daily interacting and getting to know your members.
One or two reliable moderators should be fine if you're just starting. As your forum grows you can hire more. Moderators help you run your forum by starting new threads and participating in discussions, answering questions and of course helping you keep the forum spam free.
They are not there to replace you, make official statements or decisions. They are your helpers and not your voice.
Having an open door policy on communication between you and your moderators is important. Be sure everyone is on the same page regarding forum rules. A simple guide outlining your expectations from your moderators in regards to their online behaviour, conduct and duties will surely avoid misunderstandings later on.
Stay in contact and communicate often with your moderators.
Your members are your customers and you're responsible to provide a comfortable, safe, friendly and welcoming environment. Your members make your forum what it is.
To keep these three components working together, you must treat your forum as a business. You don't create it, spend time on it and then open its doors and disappear. To build a strong, successful and long running forum there must be a constant working relationship between you and your members.
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