So, are you a new community owner - or someone that runs a community? Well, I'll talk about community building in this article and I hope it helps you.
Invite your friends to join
If you have some friends online or in real life, invite them to your community and ask them to create threads, reply to posts, and help spread the word - because friends are everything - and they usually help you network even more.
One thing about me is I work with a lot of game owners - giving them advice on how to market their games - so I received a vBulletin 4 publishing suit thanks to my sponsor @Aywas.com and we've been doing well since.
Striking partnerships with other online communities is good - because it helps you morph your community into even greater success, and thus, increasing your membership - and the amount of people that know about your community.
I'd recommend doing this if you can't get your community off the ground through partnerships - and friends, but its best if you exchange posts with someone that knows how to create threads that get people to talk - like, don't do post for post, do thread for thread - that way your community and the other one wins.
Project wonderful is an advertising network similar to Google adwords and facebook ads - but the CPC rates are cheaper because website owners set a price, and then you bid on that for your ad to display - and if another advertiser comes in and outbids you - then you have to bid again - its a good network to use if you have some graphics made for your community
Facebook ads/Google adwords
If you're a community owner with some extra money, then you should try these two ad networks - but they're pretty costly - make sure you come up with a good advertising message, that way you can have more clicks =more possible members for you.
Forum signature advertising
This form of marketing is one of my favorites, why? Because if you strive to be apart of a few online communities - then placing a link to your community in your signature will help - its free advertising and you can even place banners/buttons/little graphics in your signature to get people to click on your links in your signature.
It's a free form of advertising - and it works if you're very active on those communities - or if you spend your time helping out.
Ask questions, receive answers/more content
So, a good way to increase your forum activity is when a new member introduces themselves - you welcome them, but also ask them a question "How are you doing today?", that way you make the user come out of their shyness, and thus, turning them from a lurker to a poster.
Keep your forums open to spiders
If you're community is doing well, but you have closed to spiders, you're making a dumb decisions - because keeping the community open for spiders/guests = good = you increase your traffic flow if you have decent links to help you rank higher for more keywords - but with forum software like vBulletin 4 - the in-house SEO is so good, you need to keep the forums open for spiders.
Why? They crawl your content, and thus, if your content is good enough, you can possibly rank for your keywords - shortail - and long tail.
So, these are my community building tips - what are yours?
Written by Cpvr, the owner of Virtual pet list