One of the most frequent questions I get asked from readers is how to attract new members. To be honest, there are loads of ways to do this but the most effective way is through the quality of your content. If you are already creating masses of fantastic unique content on a daily basis and are not seeing as many new members as you would like, read on – I am going to tell you about an easy way to immediately attract new members to your forum.
New visitors don’t have a clue
The title may sound slightly offensive, but it’s true. As far as you should be concerned, a brand new visitor to your site knows nothing. They don’t know about you, they don’t know about your members and they don’t know about your community: you need to educate them.
This may sound obvious, but you need to remember that a first time visitor to your site may not know what it is actually about. For this reason, you need to ensure you educate them at the earliest opportunity. Remember that you only have a few seconds in which to do this – so make the purpose of your forum clear, and ensure it is in a prominent position.
I could choose from a hundred examples here, but I will choose a forum run by a regular reader of this blog.
The Kandy X-Change forum looks pretty good on a first visit – the design is a little different to all the other forums out there, and there aren’t too many categories. The problem is, the first time visitor has no clue as to the purpose of the site!
Now, Kandy X-Change is a little different as the main homepage has been handed the task of explaining the concept behind the website. What needs to be remembered though, is the fact that not all of your visitors will arrive at your homepage – every single page of your site is a potential entry point. For this reason, you need to make your site’s purpose clear on every page. Someone should be able to arrive at any page of your website and know what it is about within a few seconds.
So easy to do and so effective
When I took over Soap Forum, it was pretty much a dead community. After a huge redesign and the creation of content, it is finally getting back on track. Even though you might think the name of the forum is evidence of its subject, I still felt it necessary to include a few lines explaining the purpose of the site. Since doing this, I have seen a marked increase in the number of new members.
As you can see from the screenshot above, I have only added a few lines describing the forum. Now, every single new visitor will have no doubt as to the purpose of the website. They will immediately understand what it is about, and will be more likely to investigate further. Now you just need to ensure you have the quality content needed to convert that first time visitor into a member!
Does your forum explain its purpose to first-time visitors? If not, why not? Have you added introductory text and seen an increase in new members? Share your thoughts, opinions and experiences by leaving a comment below.