Here's the golden rule:
Get the file out as quickly as possible.
This means: After you've uploaded the .torrent, as quickly as possibly get to the point where first peer has finished downloading and starts seeding on its own.
There's a couple of reasons why that will increase the number of eventual downloaders, and two of them are self-reinforcing:
- Your torrent will appear more attractive right when it's on top of the index and receives the most attention. Well-seeded torrents download faster, so more people will be inclined to join the swarm.
- You won't have peers giving up and dropping out of the swarm mid-stream (which usually means you've wasted your upload to those peers, delaying the seeding process even further).
- Having acquired a solid base of seeds early on, your torrent will live longer without you taking care of it, and be attractive for people to download and share for a longer period.
Now here's what you do until there's at least a couple of seeds on your torrent:
1. Seed at maximum capacity
Turn off any caps on the upload bandwidth in your client.
2. Turn off all other torrents
Don't download any torrents while seeding. Do not seed multiple torrents at once (unless your upload bandwidth is really, really good). Preferably you should stop any other activity on your line, especially other file-sharing applications.
3. No interruptions
Don't stop/interrupt your client while seeding. As a general rule, pick a time for the whole operation that allows you to have the client as the only application using your line for a couple of hours (like at night times).
4. Spread the .torrent
Upload the .torrent to as many additional index sites as possible. Refer to our list of upload sites. Consider waiting with that until it has picked up a few seeds (because it'll appear better-seeded and more attractive while it's on the top of the index on those sites).
5. Easy with the large files
Seeding full DVDs (ISO or TS) does offer a number of advantages, but many people either don't have the necessary bandwidth or aren't willing to wait the extra time it takes. This is why, generally, smaller files (like 700MB - 1.4GB for a feature-lenght piece) are vastly more popular and will get you more total downloads. Take a look at our Ripping & Encoding section if you'd like to know how to transcode your DVD-Rips, resulting in smaller files.
Any comments and additional suggestions are welcome and will be worked into this sticky.