How to kick start a community?

Hi everybody, I am in thinking about starting a community for my magazine, It is a girls magazine with very good content and design and has already some heavy traffic. My question is what would be the best way to do it assuming i have a discourse already instated on it.

  1. in a sub domain?
  2. integrated within WordPress?
  3. should i seed some content fist? i think nobody will sign up if the site seems empty.

hopefully somebody who has already done this can share some tougths about this.

thanks in advance!


1 Like

Here’s the advice we give to customers when they sign up:

Here are some tips for launching a successful discussion community:

  1. What is the “elevator pitch” for your community?

    The first thing people will ask: what is this place? How would you describe your community to someone you just met in a 60 second elevator ride? Post that as a topic, then pin it or make it a banner via the wrench menu on the topic.

  2. Build some interesting discussions to launch with

    • What comes up often in internal email? How can you move those discussions out of private email silos into a public (or private) discussion area? Are there any common topics that tend to come up again and again? Those are excellent candidates for discussion.

    • Can’t figure out what initial topics to create? Too much work? Copy and paste the beginning of interesting conversations from email, news, chat, blogs, newsletters, or elsewhere.

    • What topics do you want your community to create? Imagine what a model user you would love to see on your site would do – and then do that yourself. Post some example topics and reply to them so visitors can browse the existing conversations to discover what your community is about. Create multiple accounts if you need to.

    • Send personal invitations to your staff, power users, or friends, to log in early and reply to your initial topics to generate activity.

    • Have some getting to know you topics for people to share about themselves, topics that are open-ended and encourage people to share their own opinions, experiences, stories, or pictures. Topics where people can introduce themselves are always fun, and you should go first! “What’s the most interesting / funny thing you’ve seen recently?”

    • Actively seek the help of power users and early adopters in your community. There’s a built in feedback category for discussing organization and governance. Let your most avid users have a say in what your community does, how the site works, and what your community becomes.

  3. How do people find your community?

    • Send one-click email invites via your invite page. You can also send bulk invites to many email addresses at once.

    • Where can you place links to your community so that people will naturally discover it? In the header or footer of your website? Where else?

    • Actively promote your community. Add a note to your mailing lists or email newsletters, put up a notice on your website, or make a blog entry about your new community.

    • What rewards, perks or incentives can you give people for signing up, for posting, for replying? Check your user directory to see engagement statistics.

For additional advice, see our blog post on how to build engaging Discourse communities.

Good luck! Building a community takes patience and persistence. :sweat_smile:


probably a good idea, yes. Use WP Discourse. This is also a great way to start seeding your site with content.


Hi thanks for your answer, can you explain me how the whole setup works?.

My site already has authority so if we don’t use a subdomain it will probably have a better chance seo wize to rank the threads. How people are setting this up?

Thank again


This point has been discussed many times. You can do a search on this forum, for example about WordPress subfolder, to see the various aspects and views on this possibility, different from the easy default subdomain, and more complex especially in the frequent case that Discourse and the rest of the site are on different servers. Anyway the Discourse-WordPress integration already mentioned on this thread works equally well in all those cases.

For instance Matt Cutts, well-known former search and spam expert at Google, said some years ago that Google was pretty able to detect when a subdomain is or not part of a site, therefore sharing or not search ranking. On the other hand, some SEO experts such as Moz’s Rand Fishkin disagree with Cutts on the theory/practice correlation of this point, and say that at least currently they see Google frequently considering subdomains as different sites even in cases they are not. So it’s a controversial point.

Apart from this, as suggested by Erlend, for example using Discourse forum integration for comments on WordPress (with any kind of subdomain or subfolder installation) is indeed a great way to use content to kick start a community.


Thanks @simon :heart_eyes:


Thanks for all the help. the comment integration is a great idea. I guess the only thing I am not decided upon Is if Should put it in a folder or a sub-domain. Anybody know what are the pros and cons of each? anybody has tried both and can comment on that?