If you are starting a Business/Websites today, one of your main focuses should be returning visitors. Those loyal visitors should be visiting your website at least monthly, if not daily. Some webmasters strongly believe that great content and a nice design will keep users returning frequently. This is a great goal to have but there is way more to it. Today we will dive into this topic and explore quality community building tricks!
1. Rewards, Achievements, and Badges
As any human being we want to know “Whats in it for me?” So when a user visits your website he wants to know how your website/content will benefit him. If you manage to capture their attention during their visit while teaching them a thing or two, you have just created a returning visitor!
If you regularly visit design blogs then you will notice that giveaways are a common occurrence throughout the community. A few people who enter, may revisit the website to have a look around but it is almost assured that your traffic will resume to its original state once the competition has ended. This is a sad but true, remember the “Whats in it for me?” factor.
So competitions and giveaways are great, but how in the world can I keep them going? Now the trick in giving things away or rewarding users is to never stop giving and rewarding. If you had a competition to win a Macbook Pro, you would without a doubt get a lot of traffic rolling your way (as long your marketing techniques are at par.) Once you’ve given the Macbook Pro away, traffic is more than likely to go back to normal. If you gave the Macbook Pro away every time a user commented or posted in the forums, then almost everybody would keep returning. Now I know you don’t have the deep pockets to giveaway a Macbook Pro every single time, but acknowledge that you have removed the idea of losing on your website/blog. To achieve this reward method, I strongly encourage you to check out our previous article: Top 5 Web Tools for Social Media Gamification.
You will find that you don’t even need to give something of monetary value away to entice users to return. Take a look at Xbox live for example, people complete challenges to achieve a certain badge to impress their friends. So as long as there is always something to achieve (Badges, rewards, and etc), there will always be competition. This competition driven by our human nature will keep repeating itself over and over again. One other good example is Call of Duty. When somebody has more kills that you, whether they are on a friendly or opposing team, you will more that likely have the urge to beat them.
2. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Occasions
Most websites tend to be updated with content frequently. For these websites it is essential for a regularly posting pattern to be achieved. If the content on your website is great, then readers are likely to return. This great content will lead to your site being bookmarked by the reader, thus enticing then to return every day, week, or month.
Throughout the community a lot of designers have been live streaming videos/podcasts touching on design related topics. Embracing video content can be hugely rewarding, especially on Youtube, a.k.a the 3rd most visited website in the world. Not only does it build your personal brand but it makes your relationship with your community more personal. You are not some robot or weirdo, you are the same enthusiastic person like they are! These videos/podcasts are usually given a specified time every single week. If the content tends to be funny/interesting then the reader is likely to check back next week.
What if I don’t have a regular pattern? If you don’t have a regularly pattern, but provide a positive correlation between the amount of posts published and time then all is good. Just like a tech blog with new content every hour, readers will keep coming back. Just remember one thing if you are usually know to put out lots of content daily and in the future stop that cycle, you can bet that people won’t be happy.
3. Motivating your Community
At the very start of your community you must get involved and connect with your visitors through digital means and social media. Attempt to answer all questions asked by your visitors/followers, listen to their feedback and keep them hooked. It’s only when the community has grown to a substantial amount that you can supposedly take a rest. A flourishing community will keep itself alive even when the reason it began has been removed. Even then you shouldn’t really take a rest.
At this point your job should be to develop the community by getting them to work together. By working together your successful community can discuss and solve problems. The most popular posts on designs blogs are likely to be quite controversial and offer two sides of an argument. So don’t ever be afraid to publish something that might sturrup some traction. Readers feeling strongly about one side will give their opinion and vice a versa. Thing about it, a reader took his own personal time to answer/argue about a topic you published (this is extremely valuable, and also gives a great reason for you to install a “subscribe to the comments option” on your website.) Not only does your community strengthen but it leads to a huge rise in returning and new visitors keeping up with the discussion.
4. Creating a User Addiction
No we are not telling you to sell drugs to your readers for coming back frequently. Instead try to build a community that will serve as an addiction for your readers. By this time your website has been bookmarked, and is currently alongside your reader’s coffee every morning. It’s one thing to get your visitors hooked, it’s another to get them addicted. Content and discussions must remain the same to keep the readers happy. Take this website for example, we try to keep publishing an even amount of written article and inspirational collections. We think it’s very beneficial to the readers, and serves as a great equalizer. There may even come a stage when your readers will be writing the content and your website almost becomes self-sustaining.
If you want to build a strong community then there are at least four things that you must achieve.
- You must reward your loyal readers so that they share your posts and promote your website.
- You must have a routine for your website. Regularly posting, events for your readers to look forward to will entice them to return.
- You must work hard, by keeping your content regular and high quality.
- You must involve yourself with your community, talk to your readers, discuss ideas, arrange events, and last but not least enjoy meeting new people. The Earth holds more than 6.7 billion people, and I’m sure that all of then are unique in their own way! (If I’m ever not doing my best on Inspirationfeed please let me know, I’m always all ears 😉
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