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Quick tip to increase forum activity
Generally speaking, the largest sources of traffic to a forum comprise of: those who enter the forum's URL directly with the intention of seeing what is new or making a new post, referrals from other websites, and topic reply notifications sent to your members via email or RSS.
Topic reply notifications are one of the most active and most overlooked forms of traffic generation for a forum. Some members don't have the time to check in to your forum directly every day, so they rely on notifications to keep them in the loop of posts that interest them. Use this to your advantage. Large topics and debates often have many users that have opted to receive email notifications of new replies. Seek out these topics and keep them alive. Bring in new, relevant news, sources, and opinions and get your members to keep checking in and contributing. Once you have their feet wet again they might take some time to check out a related topic or post one of their own.
A little nudge can be beneficial for you both when things are kept relevant and informative. Simply bumping a topic with contributing to the conversation is a quick way to have the user unsubscribe to that thread.
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Link & description: Quick tip to increase forum activity - How to utilize topic notifications to drive more traffic to your forum.