Optimize The First Contribution

October 7, 2011Comments Off

Don't underestimate just how important getting that first contribution is.

When someone joins your community, the very next page should be a single discussion or activity they can participate in.

Conversion

Don't ask people to complete their profiles (they will do that in due time).

Don't ask people to connect with their friends (people don't search for friends when they join).

Simply ask people to make that first contribution. Above, replace the three boxes with one simple question in large font:

e.g. "Do you agree with {membername} that {x} is better than {y}?"  

or.. "How did you first become interested in {topic}?"

That first contribution is everything. That first contribution gets members into the notification cycle. That first contribution turns a potential long-time lurker into an active participant.

You should change the discussion on a weekly basis. You should measure and optimize it. You should pinpoint what works best for your audience. Make it topical, interesting and exciting.

Just don't waste that opportunity.

A member registered for a reason, it's your job to make them an active member of the community. 

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