You are at work and called to a meeting. You turn up, but nobody is there. You leave. The following day you are called to the same meeting. Again, nobody is there. How long before you stop going to the meeting altogether? It’s exactly the same for visitors to a website – if they arrive at your website and there is no fresh content, they will leave. This is particularly the case for community websites.
Community websites rely on constant communication and interaction. Without this there is no community. You may have a new community with only a few members – in this case you have to take the lead and generate the fresh content yourself.
Think back to a forum you have recently visited. Did you become a member? What were the thought processes that went through your mind when you were deciding whether or not to be a member? The number of existing members? Sure that may have had some bearing but I have no doubt in my mind that you also considered how many new posts there were, and how old the existing posts were. The last thing you want to do is waste your time signing up to a forum just to talk to yourself!
It is essential, especially when starting out your website, that if nobody else is stepping up to the plate to make new posts or threads then it falls to you to do so. Regardless of whether it is a forum or a blog you must ensure that there is fresh content posted at least daily. Some bloggers such as John Chow submit new articles around three or four times a day. This ensures each time a users visits they have fresh, new content to devour which encourages visitors to return time and time again – something that is essential if you are to build a strong community.
Starting community websites from scratch is extremely difficult and requires a lot of hard work. It is essential that if you want your website to succeed, you post fresh content every day. As your community becomes established, you will be able to take more of a back seat when it comes to content creation. However, until this happens all this is down to you.
Want to succeed? Then get generating content!