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  2. Welcome to Gearhead Central. We are an automotive forum for all vehicles. We have areas for cars, trucks, semi trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. It doesn't matter if you are just learning about cars or if your a die hard Gearhead, we have something for you. We have some new features to show you. Check out our showcase which is like a virtual garage. We also have competitions which is our contest software. You have to be a member to enter them but membership is free so sign up today.

Ways to grow Gearhead Central?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Flexin, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto Member

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    There are a lot of traffic exchange sites (or services) that can help increase SEOs. There are clicker sites too! I guess this is the first step in improving the hits of the site. Then you can pay Facebook like a couple of cents a day, for your Facebook fanpage to appear on the right side of the screen of random people, specially with the same interests as listed on their profiles. In which your fanpage promotes this site.
     
  2. ecigsnet

    ecigsnet New Member

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    This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't use any of the traffic generating websites. Traffic Swarm is going to cause you a lot of problems. The tactics involved in using link farms and traffic generating websites are frowned upon by search engines (SEs). Those things might have worked for a time around 2006. All they do now is get your website flagged as a bad neighborhood. If the SEs think that you are trying to game their search results, they might ban you. Google is notorious for banning such websites. It is much better to grow the website naturally. If everyone just keeps posting good content, the users will find their way here. Content is king. No matter what SEO businesses say about optimization, the single best thing you can do for your website is to write original content.
     
  3. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Thanks for that post. I was thinking about that and was worried about something like that. I'm glad I didn't jump on it. I agree that content is king. Well content and great members.

    James
     
  4. Velvetsongs

    Velvetsongs Active Member Founding Member

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    Okay, please excuse my naivete':oops: , but what benefits come from growing the site? I really don't understand:sorry::sorry:.
     
  5. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Larger site means more members. More members means more members to chat with, more knowledge over a broad range of topics and so on. More members could mean larger contests.

    James
     
  6. Velvetsongs

    Velvetsongs Active Member Founding Member

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    More members... more members to chat with:eek::eek:, says the man with a gazillion replies/comments.
    Oh okay, I get it, you've resigned yourself to never really sleep again!

    Seriously though, thanks for explaining because I was wondering what the need for 'growth' is. On some sites, I suppose (but I'm not sure), growth means more advertising, but I don't see any ads at all on this forum, so, as I said, I was just wondering.
     
  7. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Yeah one downfall to growth is more bandwidth used which would mean hirgher costs.

    I don't want a site that is littered with ads so I will try some different things to make the site pay its own way. I can worry about that later.

    James
     
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  8. Velvetsongs

    Velvetsongs Active Member Founding Member

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    Hmmm, the site needs to pay its own way?? I did not know that either:oops: :(:sorry:. Oh well, I know now:thumbsup:.
    Like "they" say, "You learn something new every day."

    Just to clarify a bit, I was wondering about what the benefit of growing this site was because I have seen other sites/pages that do not have nearly as much traffic as Gearhead Central has, however those sites/pages have ads floating all over the place (not that I dislike ads, on the contrary, I adore clicking on ads, that's how I got banned from facebook:hilarious::hilarious:)...

    ...those sites/pages have ads floating all over the place, so I have always thought that those site/page owners want to grow their sites because that growth will perhaps make them more attractive to more advertisers. More ads, more money in their pocket perhaps? (I have no clue how it all works.)

    Since your site has no ads on it, I figured that ad revenue is not the motivation to grow this site, so I was just curious as to why you wanted to grow the site. You have explained it to me: more members to chat with, more knowledge about different things. I get it now:singing::):thumbsup: !
     
  9. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Its not that it has to pay its own way, that is a goal I set for myself.

    You are right, more members makes a site more attractive to advertisers. I have one ad placed on one skin for this site. I didn't put it in the best spot. Just kinda tested it out. The only way you make money on those is for people to click on them. If enough people click on them then you could do well. If you don't have enough traffic, you won't have enough people seeing the ads so you won't have enough people clicking on them to make money.

    Another reason I don't have a the site littered with ads is because it can turn people off a site. I was on a large forum that had just one banner ad from what I remember. That didn't bother me. Many years later the site was sold because of issues that owners were having. The new owners put had a ad in every available spot they could find. When they are constantly changing it gets very distracting. Thats not what I want for GearHead Central. I feel that there are better ways to do it. I will find of if that is true once I feel the traffic is high enough.

    James
     
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  10. tommymac

    tommymac Active Member Founding Member

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    How about writing some how-to articles?
     
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  11. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    That is a really good idea. I just need pick topics and to take the time to do them.

    James
     
  12. R. Paradon

    R. Paradon Active Member Founding Member

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    Hi James!

    I have not been here to much this month because the beginning of the month and January especially, is always a pain in the butt for me and this year was not different...but I will be posting again...but mainly with vids as usual!
     
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  13. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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  14. zee

    zee New Member

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    This forum is amazing, I can see it becoming huge in a couple of years, and by years, it's considered warp speed for a forum. So good luck GHC !
     
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  15. BigBigFan

    BigBigFan Fan of Life Founding Member

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    Zee is right, fast on a forum is measured in years, not months :)

    The content itself will draw more traffic from search naturally over time but that doesn't mean visitors will convert into members so...

    - I like to see contests or promotions that give away things like Gearhead t-shirts instead of money.
    - I like to see forums active outside of the forum too, even if just reporting from car shows.
    - I like to see member galleries, especially if they are wearing Gearhead T's.
    - See if you can find a performance company willing to partner up with you to cross-promote each other.

    These work and have been done before, so the question is what can Gearhead Central do that other forums are not?
     
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  16. Sam Selim

    Sam Selim New Member

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    First of all, congratulations on hitting the 1000 posts mark, that's brilliant and its great that the community is growing, slowly but surely!

    As for the main question at hand, I agree with quite a few things that have been posted so far and would like to reaffirm them. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to market the forum and get the name "out there". I think the referral system is something you should definitely invest some time in, people with a naturally competitive attitude will want to "grab" whatever prizes you are offering for the highest referrals. If your offering things that are interesting to your fan base then you will again, naturally have most people trying to win. I would recommended initially starting off with a mixture of small cash prizes and most importantly, products that promote your website! This could be anything like a T-shirt with your website on it and your logo, car stickers etc It doesn't have to be expensive products, it just needs to have your logo and website on it.

    Lastly, as evilgenius said, you need to sign up on other wheel forums and make sure your signature and avatar have this website written all over it ;)

    Concerning the whole referral system, as you mentioned yourself, you will need to put down some rules first before you go ahead with it. You need to put a system in place where you can identify legitimate referrals from fake accounts. Post count or IP tracker of the accounts registered.
     
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  17. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    I agree on the promotions and contests. That is one thing I always wanted for a forum. They can be fun and also give back to the members. I one something for my motorcycle on a large motorcycle forum I was a part of. It felt good to win.

    My thing is I need to come up with a good contest and prize. I do want a referral contest but I'm looking for a good referral mod for the site to make it easy to track.

    I also would like to do a picture contest or something. I'm open to ideas and I want to run more then one. I have some automotive related key chains and car models that I'm able to offer up as prizes as well as some other things I could buy to offer up. I will post up pictures of some of the items I currently have. They are nice items in my opinion.

    There is a gallery type add on that I was thinking of adding. Its made by the dev that make the Sportsbook add on. I'm going to look into it some more but I think it is something that would go really well with a automotive forum.

    Its funny you mention Tee shirts. I was looking into this last week. I need to think of designs and so on. I also would have to look at shops that do low runs as well. The cost can get up there with some of the minimum order limits for some shops but doing that gives you a better price.

    I do need to look into some shops and so on to help things out. That is a plan that will be worked on.

    Great suggestions.

    James
     
  18. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Thanks. I'm at 1252 now. Moving on up.

    I plan on ordering more car decals soon and will offer them up to some members that want them. This is one item that I could put up that people could buy with their forum money as well so they really get it for free by posting.

    I also would like to look at a small VIP type package for premium members which would be a paid user group. The founding members would be in that for free.

    The only thing about joining other forums is to find ones that allow a member to post a website in their sig that would be competing with them. Most don't allow it. I need to look at it some more.

    Jamse
     
  19. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    One thing I want to do very soon is to order my first set of business cars to hand out so I don't need to rely on people remembering the address later to check it out. I also want to get a tshirt made that I can wear to car shows. I'm going to go to the international bike show here in Halifax next weekend and plan on taking pics of that event. I won't be able to get a shirt ready in time for that but hopefully I will have one for the next event in the area.

    James
     
  20. Ryder13

    Ryder13 Active Member Founding Member Feburary Winner

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    VIP Package for founding members? Hey, I'm one of those guys, newly named. Too cool.
    Ryder13
     
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