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Thread: Reasons why forums/websites fail online

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    Brandon's Avatar
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    Reasons why forums/websites fail online

    Recently I have witnessed a growing rise in the amount of new forums. Quite a large proportion of those I have seen are targeted towards web design and graphics. Out of the forums I’ve had, quite often than not, the displeasure of visiting; fail within the first month.

    I would like to take this time to explain why forums fail and what you as a forum owner can do to establish an active community. I have split this article into ten bullet points that outline the contributing factors to failure.

    No goals/Aims

    The first thing you need is create a goal. A website without a goal won’t succeed. Aims are short-term objectives; each week you should make new aims.

    Wrong understanding of a business

    Making money through a website shouldn’t be the primary objective of any business. Running a business isn’t about making money, let me make that clear. In order to run a successful business you must provide a product or service to the consumer that is of high quality and in demand. Making money from this is simply an outcome of the process.

    Impatience

    Probably the biggest downfall of a lot of forums. For some reason people seem to think success comes overnight, this isn’t the case. Creating an active community, quality product or service takes time and dedication. You have to put aside a great deal of time to concentrate on your website and don’t expect to see great returns for a long while yet.

    Failure to establish a competitive advantage

    Another big one. I’m basing this article around forums (as you may have noticed) but this can be said for any business. Recently several other design/graphic forums have been opened offering nothing new over existing communities. You need to establish a competitive advantage, whether it’s by offering more features, cheaper price, faster service etc. Without establishing an advantage over your competitors you won’t succeed.

    Poor quality of product

    If you have an amazing product it only takes a few people to make you successful, think freeipod.com. Innovative idea, mass-market product and they launched at the best possible time. They didn’t actually spend a great deal on advertising at first, infact it was purely from word of mouth that the site became so popular. Your business will only ever be as successful as your product or service. If you’re offering a poor product/service then this will be reflected in the amount of sales generated.

    Have any more? Just post anything you like

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    Farrhad A's Avatar
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    My blood boils when I hear people saying that they want to start sites with an aim to earn.

    I drill it into their heads that this is a bad attitude.

    I started Let's Sermo my main blog just for fun, and it has given me a lot of revenue compared to other such blogs.

    Similarly, I started WMP to help and learn. Earning is not at all my priority. I'll be happy if I just cut basic costs :P
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    CoreyFreeman's Avatar
    CoreyFreeman is offline Experienced Net Builder
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    Impatience is a big one. To establish yourself, it takes time. It took me years of blogging to gain expertise that is needed to make an amazing site. You've gotta be willing to put in the time, yeah?

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    seopert is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Getting into an oversaturated business is a fail even before starting as there is too much competition out there.
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    Goals is the big one. I see the two big ones is lack of planning, lack of market analysis. If people did a market analysis before they started a site, 90% would start it.
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    Wayne Liew's Avatar
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    I think there are still a lot of people out there who have that "build it and they will come" mindset. Most webmaster or marketer wannabes lost their patience when they fail to get hundreds of daily visits in their first few weeks.
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    I saw one post on another forum that asked a great question. How much time do you spend marketing your site each day? Those that answered 8 hours or more seemed to be happy with their efforts. Some were even looking to outsource additional help. Sound like any of you????
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    Quote Originally Posted by camp185 View Post
    I saw one post on another forum that asked a great question. How much time do you spend marketing your site each day? Those that answered 8 hours or more seemed to be happy with their efforts. Some were even looking to outsource additional help. Sound like any of you????
    We spend a lot of time on marketing the blogs via twitter, stumbleupon,and forums. The more weight you throw around, the better. Maybe one reader will just "find" your blog.

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    kieran is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Forums are incredibly difficult to start. It seems like you're doing a pretty good job at the moment, but generally after the first month or two things die (from past experience) with webmaster forums as people return to the big ones. I'm loving the design and you seem to have a nice community though, so there is hope!
    17th July 2009. It's coming.

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    There are so many forums these days,because everyone makes them and 99% of them are totally useless and have absolutely nothing useful on them.
    One thing i want to point out is
    "Wrong understanding of a business"
    The goal of every business is to create a service/product,sell it and make a profit,of course,people start businesses with different goals and you have to be passionate about what you do to become successful,but the point is,you go into business to make a profit

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