I am Frederick Coleman, i would like to share with you some of the tricks, techniques and methods that i have found useful in gaining members during the 6 months that my forum has been up.
I have found that partnering with other websites has not only drawn traffic to my site, but has also given me a number of very useful contacts. When you apply to form a partnership with a site, make sure that you explain fully why a partnership would be mutually beneficial. Usually a partnership would consist of a quick link swap, and then you are done, however this should not be the case. If the owner of your partnering site usues an instant messenger such as MSN, you should add them and can then share views & ideas with each other. I have found that once you have made a consistent line of communication between a partner, there is much more room for further negotiation, such as join sponsorships and join ventures.
LOTS of people advertise there site in forum signatures, it can work very well, but if you want it to work for you, there are two main things you need to take into consideration...
Advertising a computer forum, in a signature on a bakery forum just isn't going to work, you will need to be posting on a forum that is within the same niche as your own.
Somebody is more likely to click on your signature if they look up to you. Simply by answring a few questions on other forums and helping people, you can so much as double the CTR (click through rate) of your signatures. If you provide negative comments then people will subconsiously associate your username with negative thoughts and are thus less likely to click.
Press releases are a growing method of obtaining traffic to your site, however your press release will only yeild results under certain circumstances.
Your press release needs to be content-rich, this means it has to be full of juicy gossip, and something that people (including our friend Mr. Google) will enjoy reading. A unique press release will stand out among a crowd of common press releases.
Sadly i learn't the pro's and con's of email marketing the hard way, i made a mistake a few months ago and it upset quite a few people, however i have learn't a trick or two from the experience. The most important thing you need to consider when email marketing is DO NOT SPAM, people HATE spam and will turn completely against you for it. Only email people that are interested in your site. Dont just tell people to visit your site, give them a reason to!, you can pan out your email by explaining what your site does, and why it is better than the rest!
Make positive contributions to other sites, help your competitors rather than trying to foil them, and in turn they will look up to you, rather than you looking up to them.
I recommend reading "How to win friends and influence people", the book has nothing to do with forums/communities, but it has alot to do with giving people what they want, and winning them over to your side; a very effective technique for gaining site popularity.
I hope you have enjoyed this article,