There are some very simple ways to instantly increase the value of your online community.
Eight of my favourite include:
- Add a jobs page. Members can look at jobs in your industry/sector/niche.
- Add a job-seekers page. (tied to member’s profiles rather than a CV). Potential recruiters can browse contributions made by members and look for potential staff members.
- Add a gossip/rumours page. This rarely fails to increase activity. What are the latest rumours in the community?
- Add How to…page for the top questions. What are the questions which are continually asked in your community? Wrap them up into a how to guide for members to download.
- Add a beginners’ page to your topic. What should a complete newcomer do? As useful for fishing newcomers as it is to marketing graduates.
- Add a buyers/sellers page. Let members buy and sell community-related products through your community.
- Recommended Products/Services. What are the products and services your community most frequently recommends to each other? Publish them on a constantly updated page (maybe get a nice affiliate link too!).
- Run a competition to win a prize. Contact a few relevant companies about the possibility to run a competition with their product as the prize. Most should be willing to co-operate in exchange for the promotion.
The psychological value of participating in the community is far more important than the above. However, all of these should help you retain attention, attract members and place you in a position where you can extract that value.