I run a very successful forum that gets nearly 70,000 unique visitors per month and over 1.2 million page views. Though, the stats really aren’t the main reason my forum is successful. The reason my forum is successful is that it’s one of the friendliest forums on the Internet according to the members.
Before launching my forum I read every website I could on what to do and not do when running a forum. I think I stayed awake for about 3 days straight. The most important rules I put into place are as follows:
No Discussion of Politics or Religion
My forum is a place to help guys that are struggling with hair loss and going bald. Therefore there is no need for the members to discuss religion or politics. The only two exceptions are 1) if someone is struggling due to rules within their religion, and 2) if they are referencing a politician that is bald or shaves his head. That’s it. All other discussion of religion and politics gets removed immediately.
No Troll Tolerance
On the forum I run with a handful of moderators we have a no troll tolerance policy. This means that if we or any of our members feel that someone is a troll we will give one warning. If they post any other posts that we consider a post from a troll that member is instantly banned for life.
Moderators Must Be Obeyed
Every member of my forum knows that the moderators must be obeyed or they are banned. I always back my moderators’ decisions, even if they aren’t the decision I would have made. With this rule there’s no confusion as to who is in charge. The members may not always agree with this rule and some have left because of it, but it keeps order in the house.
Just as important as setting the rules of your forum you must also lead by example. Make sure that no post goes unanswered and ask your mods to do the same. Always set a positive tone. Welcome every member that joins. Follow these tips and you’ll eventually need to setup an automated message to welcome members as you’ll have too many that you just can possibly get to them every day.