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  1. #1
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    Please help - suggestions for my own forum

    Hi there,

    I run a shopping directory site. It also has a webmaster resources section.

    I am going to introduce a forum to the site using VBulletin - the same softare that this forum runs on.

    Obviously my idea is to build a community around my site but i don't know how popular a shopping forum would be.

    my ideas are :

    make the forum 90% shopping and 10% webmaster resouces.

    or

    make the forum 40% shopping and 60% other topics ie. webmaster resources, movies, current affairs/news, music, jokes etc


    I am in favour of the first but the second might bring in more traffic although it doesn't stay true to the content of my website.


    Anyway, any feedback would be greatly apreciated.


    Thanks ,

    Kev

  2. #2
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    Kev,

    Actually, I suggest that you focus 100% on one topic. Once your traffic and member base starts to grow, you can slowly add more relative forums.
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  3. #3
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    Personally I don't think that a forum will be all that successful, unless you related it to support and shopping services in general. Don't make the categories all that narrowed down, amke them extremely general and start with only about 5 categories at first and then grow from that point in time. I just started a forum and I get about 20K daily uniques, but I'm not getting many posts, probably because I have too many categories, which would be fine if the forums were already going, but right now, users are just inundated, so start small and grow as needed.

  4. #4
    Pixels Matter! Jimknee's Avatar
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    One thing that could help your forums would be a forum devoted to 'Safe Web Shopping'. Many people are still wary about ordering things from web merchants. Nervous first-time web shoppers could speak directly to you.

    You already have a shopping guide in the main site, just carry that theme into your forums.

  5. #5
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    thats quite a good idea jim

    we have a shopping guide but i think you might be right to include it in the forum

  6. #6
    Pixels Matter! Jimknee's Avatar
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    Yes, it looks like everything comes down to trust and credibility. So it's good for shoppers to have a trusted source helping them along. I know people who won't shop online *unless* it's with a name that is already established *outside* of the web. (As in a brick and mortar store that they've shopped at for years.) I personally think online shopping is 90% safe, but advice is always helpful.

  7. #7
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    definately

    its usually quite obvious which sites are safe and which are not

  8. #8
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    It's going to be quite interesting to see if you can pull off a successful forum of this nature... generally an ecommerce site getting 100 uniques a day is considered a good ecommerce site and I don't see many people using the forums of that, if you get a 1% click through, you still have only about a 1% chance of a regristration and a post... if that... so it's going to be interesting to see what happens.. unless you can make it interesting to post in the forums somehow...

  9. #9
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    yeah

    i agree

    is 100 hits a day considered good for an ecommerce site?

  10. #10
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fonzerelli_79
    yeah

    i agree

    is 100 hits a day considered good for an ecommerce site?
    First of all, don't use hits, because hits technically means the number of graphics and things that connect to your server. Either page views or unique visitors would be considered correct and precise.

    It's the quality of traffic that matters - you could have 100,000 uniques a month and 10 sales or 10,000 uniques a month and 1,000 sales. Which would you take? With an ecommerce site, increasing traffic isn't necessarily the goal, but having a good ratio of visitors to buyers is and should be.

  11. #11
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    yes i agree but i was referring to the number of uniques a day and in turn the ratio of those visitors that register with my forum

  12. #12
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    More than anything, ecommerce sites aren't exactly known for the amount of traffic in which they receive, they are trying to play a numbers game with the traffic that they do have... it's a game of percentages more than anything... If you can play that game successfully, then, you'll be profitable, if not.. you need to work much harder to accomplish the same amount...

  13. #13
    What's HTML?
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    A numbers game? Since when? E-Commerce sites want quality traffic that has potential to buy or return later, then possibly buy. Quality, not quantity.
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  14. #14
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    That's why it's a numbers game... numbers referring to percentages... sorry, it's a percentage game...

  15. #15
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    i know ecommerce sites need quality visitors but we were referring to my forum, not my actual site

    i was just trying to get an idea of how many people would sign up

  16. #16
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    That's where your forum comes into play... if your site isn't going to get a whole lot of traffic, lets say 500 daily uniques, that's pretty good for an ecommerce site, especially if you have a good conversion... but anyway, lets say you get 1 in 10 to go to the forums, which is extremely good on any site... and you get 1 in 10 to post, which is also really good... then you would end up with 5 posts a day... but... unfortunately, we're talking about an ecommerce site, I don't see many people going to your site and thinking that going to a forum on ecommerce would be fun... Those that do go, I don't know if they would be inclined to post in it... There may be a few, but not enough to really make a community, I don't think... not unless you just have so many visitors that eventually the posts just begin to add up.

  17. #17
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    i agree with you but its a risk,

    look at dealofday.com's forum

    they have thousands of users and if they can do it, why cant i


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