A website will only be as successful as the work the owner of the site puts into it. It's not enough just to upload forum software and throw some forum categories onto a site. This article will be about the most common mistakes I've seen by new site owners. Hopefully, what I write here might aid someone preventing these common mistakes.
Make your website for you. One of the most common mistakes is that people will make a website whose topic is something they believe will be popular with the masses. The truth is, when you make a website, it should be about something that you are passionate about. For example, I could easily make a website about Call of Duty. But I don't play Call of Duty, so my website will suffer because of my apathy toward the site's topic.
Be ready to work hard. If you want a successful website, you really need to work constantly adding new content to it. One of the biggest mistakes new site owners make is to expect others to fill their site with content. This never happens. You have to take the initiative to fill your own site with content. If you don't care enough about your site to populate it with topics and posts, you can't expect others to care either. Think of your site as a book. You've completed the cover, but now you need to add something to the pages. Eventually, others will begin adding their own stories.
Be patient. Depending on your site's niche, it can take quite a while for your website to gain momentum. Another common mistake is that people abandon their website before they give it a chance to take off. For example, my website is a general discussion forum. I work very hard adding content to the site every single day. Even so, during its first month, I gained a total of 40 new members - and most of those members were friends and family who joined but never made a single post. Sure, this was discouraging - but I kept at it. It took over a year before my site actually started to get new members every day. So be patient, and don't give up.
Be prepared to invest. I am going to be brutally honest here. I have never seen a site using nulled software, free hosting and free domains succeed. At the very least, you need to buy a real domain name. But I honestly believe that if you're trying to run a serious website, you should buy a forum license and get a reliable, paid host. Why? Because if you invest real money into your site, you will tend to work very, very hard to make that site succeed. On the other hand, if you use "free" services, I feel most people are more likely to give up and fail.
Feel free to post comments with other forum/website mistakes you have seen.