Originally Posted by The Sundance Kid
Hell yea, it would be cool if fighters posted here, but how do you think we should go about doing that?
They will come once this place gets large enough. Right now this site is hands down the best MMA forum on the net. This in and of itself isn't enough to get very large but it really helps. All you need to do is get the site in front of a shitload of eyes.
The number one way to do this is through search engine optimization. Right now MMANews is 13th and on the second page for both "MMA" and "MMA forum" on Google. I would try to get that higher, at least on the first page. You don't rank at all with "Ultimate Fighting" or "Ultimate Fighting Forum". Sherdog ranks #2 with "Ultimate Fighting Forum." I bet they get a shitload of traffic and growth from that keyword.
I would set aside some of your profits and hire a first class SEO programmer. Elance is a good place to find one. Get your site ranking in the first three results on Google for all the major keywords. No other marketing campaign will get you more traffic than this.
I would also try to invest in an Adwords campaign
. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of competition for MMA related keywords. You probably would be able to get a very cheap ppc. Since your site is somewhat web 2.0 (meaning there is much user created content), it is worth it to pay to get members to participate in the forum. The larger the forum becomes, the more interviews you will get, the more likely pros will post, the more exposure you will get. It's worth it to lose some money in the beginning because once the forum hits a critical mass, it will snowball into a self sustaining tour de force.
A more direct way to get pros to post would be to sponser a couple of them. If you do it correctly, you could even get them to mention the site on a televised event.