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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Melter's Avatar
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    Getting people to contribute to my site

    I run a site about authors of alternative fiction and I need people to submit reviews of books by these authors, but nobody's sending me any. I know from my stats that some ppl are using the link to the review form I have set up but don't seem to be using it.

    I'm not sure if it's my form that's putting ppl off or something else. Anyone got any suggestions either with the form or for encouraging ppl to send me reviews. Thanks.
    vinyl digging - on a secondhand vinyl journey

  2. #2
    ********* Celica Lover Coomer's Avatar
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    I find that a lot of people are just lazy and don't like to type. I've had lots and lots of people tell me that they'd write a specific how-to article or add a whole bunch of parts to our parts database, but it generally doesn't happen.

    What I do to get people to contribute is I offer them benefits if they contribute. For example, each person gets to upload a default of four photos of their car to their profile, but if people contribute good information, then I allow them to upload more photos.

    Edit: I just looked at your form, and it might be more enticing to users if your "nickname if you like" text disappeared once that box is focused. Also, you may want to use a select box for the rating. And another idea that may be neat would be to automatically fill in the Author's name and the name of the book through variables passed through the url when users click the link to add a review.
    Last edited by Coomer; Apr 1, 2003 at 10:57.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Melter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coomer
    Edit: I just looked at your form, and it might be more enticing to users if your "nickname if you like" text disappeared once that box is focused. Also, you may want to use a select box for the rating. And another idea that may be neat would be to automatically fill in the Author's name and the name of the book through variables passed through the url when users click the link to add a review.
    Being a beginner with php do you have any code references I can check out that would cover your points.

    Thanks for your input.
    vinyl digging - on a secondhand vinyl journey

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict Athorn4941's Avatar
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    Yeah giving insentives is a good way also this takes time. Your website is not going to be successfull right away. just keep working at it. Even you can post reviews to peoples fiction if your not already doing it yourself.

  5. #5
    SEO Link Building Master I, Brian's Avatar
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    Checked out your site and it's simply not offering people any reason to contribute. It makes it look as if you are effectively asking people to build your site for you.

    A little surprised to see no forum, though.

    As to the rest - yes, I have the same problem. I'm about to expand my site into general sci-fi and fantasy articles. I put up a request for book/films reviews aroundsome of the forums I'm in - some very frequently - and got 2 responses of interest.

    Let me lay it to you straight - why submit to your site when they could submit their review to a bigger site where they'll get more attention? and worse still - why should they believe in you, your website, your work you put in, and the future of your making? That's precisely what I got (eventually, and somewhat paraphrased) after probing.

    Essentially, you've got to prove your site's worth over time before people will even nod their head in your direction. Even then, you'll have to do things pretty impressively and with great flair and magnitude to get people in.

    Effectively, no one gives a flying poo unless you become an established success - and then everyone wants to be the little sycophant showering in your success.

    Life sucks, internet marketing is really hard. Just hard slog etc should do it.

    Still think you could do with a forum, though.
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  6. #6
    SEO Link Building Master I, Brian's Avatar
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    Melter -

    Actually, in all seriousness, what do you actually want to achieve with your site?

    I'm asking because it's just possible that we can merge concepts. I don't want your site because mine's already established and I'm working very hard on marketing it more. But what I don't have is a decent store of articles. If you have a few up your sleeve then I'd be happy to put them up on my own when I finish the new F/SF section. If so, you are more than welcome to have a link to your own site, if you keep it.

    Any thoughts? Sorry if I'm coming across a little hard-assed - just hard at work and tired - time for bed for me here in the UK.

    Anyway, feel free to drop me an e-mail if you'd like to discuss further.

    And feel free to visit my Chronicles site in my signature - currently running a cunning forum promotion that's working well.

    Brian
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Melter's Avatar
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    Chronicles: I've added a forum now if you want to take a look and give me some pointers. http://www.authoretica.com/phpBB2

    What did you mean by merge concepts, and what sort of articles are you looking for?

    Just tried your site and it seems to be down.
    vinyl digging - on a secondhand vinyl journey

  8. #8
    SEO Link Building Master I, Brian's Avatar
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    Yes - very serious server issue. Everything finally recovering today. I'll discuss matters once my forum back-up is re-uploaded and my e-mail settings are finalised.
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  9. #9
    ********* Member website's Avatar
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    this is I am afraid one downside of the internet, people only choose the best they can find. And like Chronicles said, why should people go to your site instead of some other that offers a lot more and has much more of visitors?

    I have seen too many sad cases of sites that handle the same subject as Sitepoint, web page design. People (like me and you all) simply say. Which site should I post my question on, the one that has 25000 users or the one with the 25 users? I think you all know the answear.

    One thing that is very effective though is to get up some sort of group, get your friends and everyone you know and are interested in whatever your site is about and give them some admin privilages and let them post, when people see that the site is very active and a lot of good things are posted they will go often there, and they will tell their friends about it and they will go there too, just make sure that the users them self can keep the site alive, not just some little limited group!
    If so, you don't have to worry about your sites traffic anymore since it will automatically increase if you maintain it. This is ofcourse a long process.

    Just start with some people, make the site interactive (very important) and ensure uptime is good and the site itself works and is attractive.

    Hope that helps!
    - website

  10. #10
    SEO Link Building Master I, Brian's Avatar
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    That's the thing - creating your market. Decent visibility is especially important.

    Sorry not contacted you yet, Melter - I'm expanding my domains into a network for launch in June. Building 4 sites up this week. Tiring work.
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