Building a Community

So, I’ve got a website that I’ve used to build a list of people interested in the topic. The website has tutorials/instructions to learn about certain elements of the topic.

In the past few months I’ve picked up some 1,200 emails to the subscription list via Aweber.

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience in turning their subscriber base into forum users? How well do they convert?

How do you promote it?

Should I create a few discussions then link “Top 5 Interesting Discussions on the Forum” or just announce “Hey, we’ve got a new great forum, check it out here”

Any thoughts or notes from your experience would be great!

I agree with most of what I’m reading here, in terms of advice. I would add only this: Be sure you are targeting your specific market. Find the niche, identify the niche, and go after THOSE people. They are your market.

Then try something new, alongside that:

Continuous improvement:

If it ain’t broke, break it. Try something new.

If it works, keep doing it.

If it doesn’t, tweek it or try something else.

Then try something new.

Rinse and repeat.

Congrats on building such a nice size list of subscribers!

Why don’t you send them a quick survey and ask if they would want a forum to participate in? No sense going to all that work only to find out your users aren’t the least bit interested in chatting with each other. :slight_smile:

Steve

Both can be done. Something like:

Join the discussions on our forums at EXAMPLE.COM. Here are the top ongoing discussions that surfaced this week: (and list the threads)

Or give a gift to the top poster every month :wink: A $50 amazon gift card or something

What I have seen work is just give a gift to each new forum user such as an ebook or sign them up for a drawing and give away a cool prize. It works better if it is something that they might want.

It is easy to have an email list, but hard to get people to participate. I have a stock market site, and only allow regular forum users to use it.

Lot of subscriber you have and the best way to convert them into forum users is to do something that will catch their attentions. Try having survey over your subscribers and ask them if they want to participate in your forum. In that way, you’ll have an easier estimation on the percentage of subscribers to be converted as active users.

Only one way to find out - build one, and send emails out. If they’re enjoying your emails, then I’m sure they want even more content - its all about the way you reach your audience, see if your market needs one - and if it’ll be worth your time to develop one.

Because building an online community isn’t easy.