Nurture each thread into being a great resource on the topic of the thread, so when visitors come to the site, they are impressed; they stay and look around; they join as a member; they contribute; they happy; they click on the advertisements on your site!
How do you do that? Consider doing some of the following:
- Edit each title of the thread, so that it accurately describes what the thread is about. Make it look neat: start the thread with a capital; delete exclamation marks; correct the spelling; use good grammar.
- Make good use of the thread tags, so they are ’indexed’ in the correct category (users can find other related threads; it will also help the search engines index threads).
- Consider, adding a post early in the thread linking to other related threads (this will make it easier for new visitors to the site to find related information and keep them on the site to consider joining; it will also help the search engine spiders get around the site).
- Consider using the add a Wikipedia page option occasionally on some topics as a background for information in the thread. This makes the thread a more valuable resource on the topic in question (see this example).
- Email key people or players in the industry or niche to alert them to the thread. They may consider joining and posting (assuming that they don’t already). This is a good way to get new members. If the thread mentions someone in the industry or niche and, if appropriate, email them to tell them. At worst, you get a visitor to the site; at best you get a good contributor who will further increase the value for other users.
- Obviously, contribute to the discussion, either as Admin or under your own username.
- Delete the fluff posts. It just detracts from the value of the thread and puts new visitors off.
Keep thinking and asking yourself: How can I make this thread more valuable? Not all threads are suitable for this sort of management, so pick your threads.
Once you have a valuable thread, you then need to market it; to get it ranking well in the search engines. I use Linkvana to get a large number of deep links to valuable threads.