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Attracting hits and activity: intro with tips


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#1 Con

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:56 PM

These are some general tips on attracting hits and activity, where 'activity' is user-generated content relatively associated with community-based sites. This is just an introduction with tips intended to help you plot out a general path.

Activity requires hits. A site with a fit environment has an increased possibility of utilizing potentially interesting hits (e.g. human visitors) to generate activity. And by a 'fit environment' I mean one that is conducive to attracting activity. So let's start with that.

ACTIVITY
Ensure that there are one or more clear incentives for the target visitor to join and contribute. An incentive on sites that already have significant activity could be the activity itself: people are actually responding to what people contribute. On other sites, there may need to be more of a 'push'. For example, (1) hold competitions offering prizes, (2) impose an activity threshold (e.g. post count requirement) for access to exclusive content, or (3) make the site dedicated to a niche (but one that would be popular enough to attract sufficient activity) or popular product(s) or services offered by a business that the site is officially associated with. Better yet, mix it up. For instance, a site could offer exclusive products (point 3), some of which are only accessible to people who join and contribute (point 2), and some of which people can receive special deals on if they do well in competitions (point 1).

HITS
Got your site's environment lined up? The next step is to get your site out there. Advertise. In general, the more money you spend, the more hits your site will get. For legitimate businesses hoping to make some significant returns, it can be crucial to risk some green to churn the machine. However, for 'casual' sites (and chances are your site is currently one), unless you're loaded and/or are confident that the site will take off if you simply get it out there, try not to spend too much money on advertising. Try first promoting your site on related sites, add it to related databases where feasible, link to it anywhere where it wouldn't be considered spam and where it would be seen by potentially interested people. You could also try to incentivize others to help promote your site, as in referral systems, although chances are you may need to pay for those as well in order to generate any significant traffic using those. SEO could also help.

RINSE AND REPEAT
It may help to analyze incoming traffic to help determine what can be done better - both in terms of the 'activity' and 'hits' categories - to recycle it. Consider integrating a traffic analytics tool to get a better picture of your audience.

I hope the tips help.
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#2 Gaffney

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:31 AM

I find that timing is a really big part in attracting traffic. One of my biggest sources of traffic is from articles and podcasts. You want to be one of the first ones to bring out content but you don't want to become stuck in a bunch of other news from other websites like yours. Getting articles published to big news sites like newsnow brings in a lot of traffic if timed correctly. But I find that social networking is a lot easier to time, even though it doesn't bring in as many hits, you can release articles at a time that suits you.

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#3 Con

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:45 AM

I find that timing is a really big part in attracting traffic. One of my biggest sources of traffic is from articles and podcasts. You want to be one of the first ones to bring out content but you don't want to become stuck in a bunch of other news from other websites like yours. Getting articles published to big news sites like newsnow brings in a lot of traffic if timed correctly. But I find that social networking is a lot easier to time, even though it doesn't bring in as many hits, you can release articles at a time that suits you.


That's true, timing is important, and as has been suggested by email campaign reports, even the day of the week can influence the response to news. For example, reports suggest that the response to news released on a Friday may be less than if it were released on other days of the week.
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#4 Wootable

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

Yes, the day is important. Look at Apple Inc. They will mainly introduce new products on tuesdays (even though they have released a few products on either wednesday or, very seldomly on a thursday, to make the most out of the interest of the press.




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