Your online community should be a drug

by Martin Reed on 31 July 2007 in Snippets

Starting a new online community is a huge challenge. Not only do you need to attract visitors and convert them into members, you also need to ensure they return to your website frequently and get involved.

Never think that once a visitor has become a member of your site, your work is done. You need to ensure that every person that visits your site will remember it. By keeping your site in their minds, they are far more likely to return and get involved.

Never let the visitor forget your community

Ensure visitors remember your websiteYou may think it odd for someone to take the time to register at your community then never return. Unfortunately this happens extremely often. Sometimes you will even find new members begin to post, then simply vanish without explanation or reason.

It is your job, as a community developer, to ensure that this doesn’t happen. You need to make sure that once someone visits your site, they find it almost impossible to forget about you. If they can’t forget about you, they won’t be able to resist returning and contributing.

For your community to be successful, it needs to be like a drug.

Methods to ensure a visitor remembers your community

The most important method of ensuring a visitor remembers your community is to have unique, compelling content. If your content isn’t up to scratch, a visitor will not remember your website.

Similarly, if your site looks like everyone else’s you can hardly expect a visitor to remember your community. Ensure you customise your design, have a strong brand and use a good domain name.

Remember that behind every user name is a real person. When addressing a member, use their name. Ask them for their thoughts and opinions. Engage with them and form a relationship with them. Not many online communities pay such individual attention to their members these days – be the one that stands out and ensure that you are remembered.

Have an opt-in newsletter; send out interesting and unique content to your subscribers each month. Make sure you include content in your newsletter that will encourage readers to click and return to your community.

Make it a challenge: refuse to allow your visitors to forget about your site.

What methods do you employ to ensure visitors don’t forget about your website?

Share this community building advice


Similar Posts

Previous post:

Next post:


Mike August 1, 2007 at 5:14 am

Good advice. I think I will add a newsletter to my site. I just joined facebook and would be interested in hearing how you can promote your forum on fb.

Martin Reed - Blog Author August 3, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Mike – I haven’t used Facebook as a marketing tool, although I know that many people do. I will have a dig around and see if I can find an interesting article worth a mention; hopefully that will help you out.

Smiley August 7, 2007 at 9:49 pm

Martin, I think you are going to love my newest venture/brainstorm. I thought about it while walking through town today. I noticed that the pubs in my area, although are all independent owned by different breweries etc, not connected in anyway… are all in close communication with each other, and are all part of an umbrella organization to tackle pub crime, and have walkie talkies. This gave me a brainstorm. I think you will love my idea in this thread. Some bits are a little hazy right now, as I haven’t slept yet, but as soon as I’ve finished the USCC site tomorrow, things will be perfectly clear. I’ve basically figured out a way how to help make internet chat rooms a safer place to chat… by encouraging other chat sites to conform to my own no-perv policies…

Martin Reed - Blog Author August 8, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Smiley – Your new union certainly sounds like a good idea on paper. I think establishing the guidelines as to what is a ‘safe’ community and what is not, as well as how to keep a check on those sites will be a challenge.

No matter what community you visit, if it is a popular one there will always be a bad apple in the bunch on the odd occasion. Even sites that claim to be moderated, rarely are 24 hours a day. How will you be able to justify the inclusion of these sites in such a directory?

Also, do you think that perhaps labelling a site as ‘safe’ could set you up for problems further down the line? What if someone visits a site you have deemed to be safe, then decides to meet someone because the site has been badged ‘safe’? What if someone lets their guard down because they see the site has been judged ‘safe’ and ends up in a whole heap of trouble?

I am not against the idea, I just think you could be setting yourself up for a lot of grief further down the line. These issues will need to be addressed before you will be able to attract the larger communities to your union.

Belle August 19, 2008 at 12:48 am

I have built the site Nurses Circuit last week and people start to sign in but I just realized my work doesn’t stop there. I don’t even have a newsletter. That’s the next thing on my to do list. Thanks for another great article

{ 2 trackbacks }