With an explosion of forum software and people taking more and more interest in forums, there are quite a lot of forums coming up everyday. But only a few survive and the rest perish, mainly because of the lack of insight by forum administrators. In this article, i am going to detail five mistakes you should never make if your forum is just starting up. 1. Number of staff: Some forum owners hire staffs before they actually get expanded. With an exemption of a genre like ‘promotion’ forums, there is hardly any need for more than one staff (administrator only) for a forum. If you are running a promotion forum, you can hire one more staff and task him/her with doing all services ALONG with you. At the minimum, remember that an idea staff by members ration is one for hundred. 2. Donations/special membership: Seriously! Would you be willing to donate to a forum which you saw just yesterday? If you are opening a forum, don’t ever ask for donations in the hope that a special member status will keep the ordeal going. Its a waste of time and reflects how immature the webmaster thinks. If you think that you should give your beta-testers or valued contributors, inform them that they have extra permissions instead of making them part of premium groups. 3. No post forums: Try to eliminate these. When you kick off a forum, make sure that the boards contained within it are absolutely necessary to prevent the over-crowding of your forum. Do not leave any forums with zero posts as it may reflect a lack of activity from staff. Why would you post in a section of forum that even the site owner is not interested in?! 4. Competitions: Running competitions like referral contests and posting contests are really of no use. You will see an initial jump in the statistics department, but once the prizes are given away, you will loose the hike in the numbers. This is because, you members were only interested in the prize you were giving off and they don’t want to form a part of the community. Why encourage them? On top of that, running ‘Member of the month’ or ‘Signature of the month’ as soon as a forum kick starts is just as useless as the posting content. When you run one, make sure that you have sufficient activity to keep it going 5. Impressions: Surely, when you start off, you, as the site owner are quite concerned about the number of members you are receiving. But make sure that you don’t make it evident in your community by posting ‘Please keep posting’ and all those stuffs. Have faith that things will work out eventually. For the starters, welcome to the world of foruming and all the best. For the seasoned, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below!