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Creating a community spirit
Creating a community spirit.
The key to long-term success with any website is repeat customers. The bookmark is the Holy Grail to any site that aspires to regular income but achieving this isn’t always easy. Visitors have to like what they see, yes, but they also have to feel that these is going to be new and relevant information posted to a website that will warrant their return. Tired and stale single pages don’t attract repeat visitors and unique hits are all you can ever hope to achieve but it’s a fact that the more trust your website builds the more chance it has of making sales and encouraging people to click on links. So, where does the answer lie?
Many of us have used a forum whether to ask a question or to answer somebody else’s and without realising it you are already beginning to trust that forum. Most forums offer the function to send you updates when somebody has responded to your query or when a query on a certain topic is posted. The forum has just gained another repeat customer. If it’s a popular forum you will get several answers and return to the site on a fairly regular basis increasing the chances that you will either buy something from the site or click the affiliate links.
By building a community spirit with plenty of regular posters you are not only encouraging visitors to read your posts but there is bound to be something in there that sparks that little flame of intrigue. A message board post later and they’re being sucked into using your site and your forum on a regular basis. You now have their email address and as long as they are ok with you sending your ‘weekly newsletter’ to them you have created yourself a free and invaluable opt in lead; a resource that webmasters across the world salivate at the thought of.
The forum and its popularity is something of a paradox though, because as more and more people post on the forum the more inviting it becomes to new members. Members make members without a doubt. The hardest part about populating a forum is receiving those first few visitors. Without knowing it or acting intentionally they will be the ones to bring in the hundreds of members that follow. Offer a free gift to anyone that signs up or consider ‘employing’ active moderators who will not only moderate the posts but start conversations, competitions and anything else to attract people.
Once you have a forum the possibilities are virtually endless. Follow up sales become a breeze as your Autoresponder kicks in to say thanks for signing up and the affiliate link in your signature has never been such a good money spinner. You can populate mailing lists while you’re sleeping and the content on your site remains as fresh as a daisy for as long as you can keep visitors in your forum. As far as valuable website additions go, there aren’t many better options than the humble forum.
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