What is the biggest challenge you face?

by Martin Reed on 1 September 2007 in Snippets

What is your community building challenge?

I know from my own experience that very often the biggest challenge faced by those developing online communities is attracting and retaining members.

Particularly in the early days, this can be really tough as nobody wants to register to join a community that only has a few members.

Members are not the only challenge

This is only one challenge faced by all of us that are developing online communities – there are many, many more!

I want you to share the challenges you are facing by leaving a comment here. Who knows, another reader may be able to help you out with some advice. Heck, I might even be able to help! Did you manage to successfully overcome a challenge you faced? What was that challenge, and what was your solution?

By sharing, you’ll soon realise you are not alone. You will also find motivation from hearing about the challenges of others.

My biggest challenge

I guess it is only fair that I go first – my biggest challenge is defeating procrastination. I will often spend hours aimlessly surfing online knowing that I have a whole list of work to do. I find it excruciatingly hard to start working, and even then I find it almost impossible not to get distracted.

If I start something that is critical and needs to get done (for example, fixing some coding errors) then I am fine. Anything else with less importance though, I struggle with.

This means that Just Chat often ends up towards the bottom of the pile when it comes to continued marketing. I need to concentrate and work towards getting my largest site moving to the next level. Unfortunately I find it hard to do when it is already enjoying success.

If anyone has a cure for procrastination, then please share it here! Otherwise I want to hear about all the individual challenges you are facing at present. Let’s put our heads together and come up with some solutions!

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Gary September 1, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Personally I use the “Critical Six” technique to beat procrastination.
It basically speaks for itself.

I find if you write your to-do list in order of priority, it makes tasks much easier to manage.
Since even if you spend all day working on the most important item, it doesn’t matter because you can spend the following day working on task #2.

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 2, 2007 at 9:17 am

Gary – Thanks for the link; I’ll give it a read and let you know if it helps!

What’s the biggest challenge you face?

jew September 2, 2007 at 12:34 pm

my biggest challenge is keep on working. i love sleeping too much

jews September 2, 2007 at 4:23 pm

a tip: just make a plan, and then stick to it. it works.

Tim September 2, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Our biggest challenge is to restore what once was… we’re a gaming community with a 3 year history that can’t seem to get back up :p
And I find that making things routine beats procrastination all the time… until you skip it once. Then you get lazy again

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 6, 2007 at 12:39 pm

jew – I know exactly what you mean! I love my sleep and love my bed!!

Making plans is definitely a good idea – as long as you have the mental will to stick to them!

Tim – Having a routine definitely helps. I am still awaiting the cure for procrastination – let me know if you find it before I do!

Michael September 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I would have to say that I have 3 biggest challenges.
1 is staying positive. It is hard when you think that you have a fun site and so do a few others. But really you hoped for more.

Second is thinking of great new things that people will love on the site to convert more of the traffic you are getting.

Third is the common. Getting more traffic. More traffic means more conversions.

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 7, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Michael – I agree that it can be hard to stay positive when you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for or expected. Ensure you have a plan for your site’s development and stick to it. Keep creating content and make your members feel valued.

If you are having trouble working out what your members want, then ask them!

As for traffic – have you checked out my link building series? Just make sure you have content for your visitors to consume once they arrive!

Link building I – Gaining direct traffic

Link building II – Creating relationships

Link building III – Improving search rankings

Link building IV – Creating awareness

Daniel B. Honigman September 12, 2007 at 2:17 pm

The biggest challenge our blog faces is getting people to post responses. Our site has almost 2,500 RSS subscribers and we definitely don’t get as many active participants as we would like.

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 12, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Daniel – 2,500 RSS subscribers is a great achievement – well done!

I think I will write an article on encouraging more participation from blog readers in the next couple of days – I can’t boast that I am an expert on the matter, but I think this blog receives a great number of comments when I consider its traffic and age.

I think it basically comes down to making your readers confident that you always want to hear their thoughts and opinions, and writing your posts in a way that will encourage readers to leave their thoughts and opinions.

Come across as approachable and personable, and you are likely to see greater reader participation as a result.

Liz September 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

Wow, everyone is thinking of challenges they face!

My biggest challenge is probably trying to think on my feet. Because everything else I guess I just get on with, I just make myself stay motivated and positive because we have to live everyday as if it’s our last and life’s too short to stay in bed all day!

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 14, 2007 at 12:09 am

Liz – You are definitely one of the lucky ones if you are able to just ‘get on with it’ – for many (myself included), procrastination is a big problem!

When it comes to working online you should find that you have time to think before making any decisions. Indeed, I would strongly recommend that as the best course of action in all circumstances – particularly when running an online community!

Coach Ron Tunick February 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm

My biggest challenge is time management. I blog, design and do seo work. I commonly first finish the work I like and the work I don’t like that much start dragging behind :-(

Martin Reed - Blog Author February 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Ron – Ah, I think you suffer from a common problem! I believe most of us will put the work we least enjoy to the bottom of a to-do list. Unless we force ourselves to get the less enjoyable stuff out of the way first, those things will never get done!