Once we manage to get traffic to our websites, the next hurdle is to generate active participation from the online community. There are many ways to increase the page views, but getting people to interact is something that doesn’t come easily. Once we create a website, we will want others to participate, interact and contribute. That’s a way to incentivize the hard work.
We all know that content is the king and we should keep adding to the website no matter what. However, there is a lot more to be done to engage and initiate the readers to participate and contribute on regular basis.
Introducing monetary incentives is a great way to draw people to contribute to our websites. Monetizing our blogs and websites and recycle some of the earnings to the contributors is a good way to go about doing this.
For some people, who do not really consider incentivizing monetarily, the best way is to reward the participants by giving incentives. Featuring them or their content on the homepage, or giving due credit and publicizing the endeavor – will surely motivate the contributors. Backlinking the personal and business webpages of the contributors and promoting their works is also a good way to generate interest among the readers.
Fun contests get people interested in our sites. And if we have a good prize, we'll get people engaged and actively competing to win. For example- If your website features issues related any particular region - run a poll about the maintenance of the public spaces in that region. That way you will get the input that you require and take measures to improve the conditions (if that is what you are aiming for).
Inviting a guest speaker
If there is someone in your field or circle of friends who is fairly well known or an expert, ask him to run the editorial for the week or even ask him to chat with the readers and cater to their queries. Or better still, you can ask the featured contributor to moderate for a day or two, or even a week, depending upon how it all goes.
Online adverts, as in the banner ads and text links are important, but offline advertising works too. Radio ads, ads in journals, and so on, help to generate interest in our websites.
Giving away freebies
Purchase things like pens or stress balls with your website name and URL on them and give them away to your customers. Or you could create a catchy screen saver or a presentation for the first time visitors.
Suggestions & encouragement
Ask for suggestions for interactive discussions as well as for ways to improve the site. Take their suggestions constructively and implement wherever possible. Thank those who interact and encourage them to drop in more often.