Title: Advertising your Proboard, A basic guide to getting more members
Now that you have built your board you need members. This article should give you the basics of Advertising your Proboard efficiently and effectively.
Word of Mouth:
The best advertising tool is word of mouth. Get people talking about your new forum. Tweet about it, facebook about it, and put a "Coming Soon" graphic in your sig on the boards you are on. If you can get people talking about your board before it comes out you will get a nice boost of members when you open the forum.
One thing some people do is accept Beta Testers. I have never tried this but it might be a good way to get people interested.
When you open the board you will need a few different advertisements.
The Signature Ad This will be one of your best ways to get people to the forum. If you post alot on a forum and you have your board in your sig people will be more likely to click on it after seeing it so much. You don't want to just put a link in your sig though. Get a graphic that isn't to big but is catchy. I do not recommend flashing/animated sigs because a lot of sites will not accept them.
A good example of a signature ad is one you will find in the signature of Wrighty. The owner of the file hosting site wImg.
If you look at the picture you can see that it tells you all the file types you can host on their website. This is good because it tells people what to expect. The colors don't clash and would fit with most forums. This is a good thing to look at. You don't want the image to be too complicated but you want it to catch the eye.
The Posting Ad This is the ad you will be posting on other forums. This advertisement should look nice and catch the eye. You can make this ad tall but i do not recommend making it wider than 500px because any wider will stretch some forums. Your advertisement should explain in a few sentences the purpose of your forum. No one will read a long ad so make it quick
A good example of a Posting advertisement is an advertisement for The Onkei Region a Pokemon RP. It is made by Ipokemon.
This image is actually Three images put together. In their advertisement clicking on the three images at the bottom "Home, Rules, and Advertise" will take you to those spots on their board.
I like doing the multiple image thing. It makes the ad look more professional. The only thing i would change would be that the text is a little hard to read. Other than that the ad explains the board, isn't to complicated, and is catchy.
An affiliate banner should be small. Most of the time you want your affiliate banner to be 88x31. Most sites don't accept mini banners that are bigger. The banner should be colorful and it is nice for it to be animated. Go all out on your mini banner. A good mini banner catches the eye and makes you watch till the end of the animation.
The reason it is best for the image to be animated is because when you are affiliating your banner will be next to alot of other banners. You want yours to show up more than the others. Now this doesn't mean go to far. If you make the thing to flashy it can ruin the whole thing. Also the banner should look like your skin. It should have the same general colors so the people know what to expect when they get to the forum.
Here is a good Affiliate Banner. This is the banner for H5 Network a coding and graphics support forum.
You will notice how they have it animated. They draw you into the gif with good design, tell you what the forum is about, and show you what the forum looks like all in a few seconds.
Were to advertise:
Just because you have a good advertisement doesn't mean you will always do well at advertising. To get people to come to your site you must advertise on active boards. Sometimes people think active means that the board has alot of members. Sometimes the best place to advertise is at a new forum with lots of guests coming to it. Also you might advertise on boards that are almost dead but people still go to because your ad will be visable on the main page for longer. I personaly don't go advertise at advertising sites. It might help a little but with all the other ads around what says they will look at your advertisement and not someone elses?
So think about were you advertise. I advertised my board on some of the bigger dead coding forums and months later the ad is still on the main page. These forums even though dead get about 50-80 guests a day. These people, who might be looking for help, once they see that the forum is dead and are looking for another place to get help will see my forum.
Another thing you should do is post alot on other forums. If people see your signature ad enough times they just might click on it.
How Mutch Do I Advertise?
I would advertise a bunch when you just start. Get about 10-20 affiliates and post your ad on about 30 forums. If you do this you will get the ad campain off to a running start. I would keep advertising untill you have about 50 active members. I wouldn't ever stop advertising you would just slow down a bit. Happy Ending
If you follow all of these things and learn a few more as you go along you should do a good job advertising. Remember that the more people see your ad the more likely they will click on it. If you can get just one out of every 5 people who see your ad to click on it you will be doing well.
I hope i have helped you some with these articles. If you know anyone who needs these just show it to them. My goal is to help you get your forum started well and not let it die.
If you have a suggestion for a future article or a question about your forum just PM me or come talk to me on my website Nightcodes
A long belated reply to this article there Night. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the current way to advertise your Proboard. Things have changed since 5-6 years ago (I used to spam the GOYAB board in PBS until we get multi hits on our threads xD)