Hi @NAga_VaMshi, best wishes for starting a forum.
A forum is more like a Facebook group these days, but, unfortunately, unlike Facebook, our forum is not popular, so we need to build from scratch. Consider your forum as your blog’s ‘comments’ section. Here everybody can post their views, discuss anything and ask queries.
These are your goals initially:
1. Increase forum members.
2. Make them interactive and engaging.
3. Repeat 1 & 2.
After that, you can work on your posting and monetization strategies, that is when you get quality traffic via SEO and Social Media. Talking about SEO, let’s discuss the questions you asked:
Just like a blog, it’ll definitely impact your forum’s ranking bro. You shouldn’t allow everyone to post their links (or even other links) on your forum. You need to restrict all these things for the new members. Once you start to build enough backlinks for your forum, you can freely giveaway links on your side.
SEO-wise, some would say, keeping your forum in your sub-directory (like example.com/forum) will be good, but we decided to have a separate hub for our forum, so kept like forum.hellboundbloggers.com
It’s more like a personal preference these days. Just pick the one you are comfortable with. Hope these are helpful bro, feel free to ask if you have any other queries.