View Full Version : Initial Forum Review: sports-cards.ca

04-28-2006, 01:29 PM
Ok folks... facing my fear head on here and opening myself up to criticism on one of my websites.

I know starting a forum/community is hard and will take a lot to get the site off the ground and this will be my first forum attempt. I have been working on integrating an article manager and other aspects that will create content outside of the forum and provide some more value to the members. This hasn't been tied into the forums yet but I will get to that in due time.

My questions are around am I on the right track with what I have setup so far. I am pondering paying a posting service to help give the site a "boost" among other marketing plans/ideas to drive traffic to the site. I dont want to spend the money on obtaining that traffic until I feel a little more confident that I've set this ok and currently on the right track.

and yes, i know the banner looks like crap but it's better then the default one and is slated as part of the marketing I want to do. :p

tia! :thumbs_up

( Oh, and of course, feel free to sign up and post if you're interested in the subject, I'm getting lonely talking to myself )

04-28-2006, 03:38 PM
I don't know much about sports cards, so I don't think I can give very good specific advice, but I can give you some general advice:

1. Get 2-3 friends who collect cards to start posting on the board. Send personal messages to as many other people you know who would be in the market, but don't bug them about it.

2. I was going to say run a few ads on Adwords, but it looks like these keywords could be pretty expensive. Usually I would say, advertise for "baseball card forum" or "trading card message board." One of the biggest issues I am seeing for your niche is that things like pokemon and such dominate the card industry right now. You need to isolate other sports card traffic sources and advertise there. Articles could be a great way to get free traffic too.

Don't worry about money.. when I've advertised my forums on Adwords I was spending like $5 a day.

05-04-2006, 02:23 PM
and here i thought i'd be torn to shreds... you people are being too nice ;)

Thanks for the feedback Cutter.

I should have been a bit clearer on what I was looking for feedback on. I often see initial reviews of forums around how many categories/forums are setup, how adsense could be used more effectively, or info around the content itself based on some SEO sctuff. I'm trying to target "Sports Cards" and "Sports Cards Forums" right now along with trying to highlight players names in posts that i've seen in my list of search terms used to find myself.

Since I haven't gotten any feedback, should I assume I'm initially on the right track from my initial forum setup?

05-11-2006, 04:22 PM
I would get rid of this, members don't need it in this day and age, everyone knows this, it just clutters up your index page!

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05-12-2006, 11:56 AM
thanks for the feedback FPU, I'll work on removing that.

any other advice? i've been getting atleast 25 uniques a day and yet to get signups from people I dont know. what is a good ration of uniques to signups? I know i've seen a number before and not sure if my disappointment in the lack of signups is warranted or not at this point. traffic is piddly i'm sure compared to most of everyone elses sites but has minimally doubled from month to month over the past four months.

05-12-2006, 05:25 PM
Yes, don't expect quick success, your main job when you start a forum is to create good content, even if you start threads and are the only poster in those threads, just create new subjects everyday and give the spiders something to index!

Next, it is going to take years to make it, that means years of dedicated hard work on your part, if you are not willing to work and put in the effort you can be sure that your forum will fail, ask Chris how hard it is and how long he has worked on this forum!

05-12-2006, 06:05 PM
I am the founder of www.SportsCardForum.com and can give you a few tips.

1) If you made the site for a hobby that is great, but don't expect to make any money. The genre is barebones thanks to ebay. Cut throat profit margins = extremely low PPC bids and advertising rates.

2) There are tons of forums with this topic and I've seen tons of new ones fail. So what are you going to provide that is unique? If the answer is nothing, your in trouble.

Hope that helps. ;)

05-12-2006, 06:49 PM
If he was smart he would offer sportscards with pictures of Shakira on them!

Now that's unique! :goof:

:brow: :goof:

05-13-2006, 10:52 AM
card collecting has been a hobby of mine off and on since the early 80s. i miss my 25cent bubble gum packs! I'm one who can't justify spending more then about $20 for a piece of cardboard even if it has game worn sctuff in it. 'tis my first forum and wanted one that i could be passionate about that was a hobby and hopefully got me off the computer a bit.

i'd be happy to just recover my expenses for running the site. it's actually thru selling cards on ebay that i'm paying funding my online ventures.