Create a Loyal Community Blog…
You have probably visited one of these blogs in the past. You see content and discussions published by many contributors, not merely by the admin. And no, these aren’t just guest posts by the occasional author who pitches an idea here and there.
A user-generated content platform is composed of active, loyal, and highly motivated people who are always happy to post new content.
Most of the time their work is fueled primarily by passion as opposed to monetary compensation, although the latter often helps a community stand out. This allows for a blog that always feels fresh and you aren’t required to maintain it with your own blog posts on a weekly basis.
So, how would you like to create a blog where everyone can contribute equally? Let’s talk about building a fun and active community consisting of user-generated content.
Pick a Relatively Broad or Active Niche
You are probably wondering why I suggest picking a fairly broad market. Simply put, if a website is to be maintained by multiple contributors, there needs to be plenty of topics to choose from.
A great example would be the video game market. How about dedicating a blog to general gaming or everything related to the PlayStation? This allows for news, previews, trailers (accompanied by a short summary), reviews, and much more.
The same could be said for the general “Make money online” niche, as people can talk about hundreds of ways to make a living at home.
Make the Blog Inviting
Creating a user-generated content platform requires that you remove any overwhelming elements. For example, implement some of these:
- Menu items should be in plain English instead of using brandable terms
- Use attractive font and colors throughout the blog
- Create a sense of community with a friendly style
The overall website should be relatively simple, yet highly attractive to the end-user.
Create a “Write for Us” Page or Equivalent
Whether you call it “Become a Contributor” or “Click Here to Submit,” this page should be highly visible throughout your site. This means having it among the main header, within single post pages, as well as the footer.
But what should go in the body of this crucial page? That’s where the fun begins – for both you and potential contributors…
List the Main Benefits
A user-generated content platform heavily implies that it’s all about the people and not merely yourself. So let’s give them what they want, such as:
- An Amazon gift card to the top contributor each week/month
- Money deposited into people’s PayPal account
- A do-follow backlink along with each contribution
Implement Secondary Benefits
Think of smaller, but useful features that could further attract visitors and potential contributors. For example:
- A “Top contributors” widget
- A “Top commenters” widget
- A “Top posts” section to acknowledge fellow contributors
- Implement a view counter to let contributors know some basic stats
Whether your community offers monetary compensation or other perks, promoting it should yield great results if you remain persistent.
A great way to attract new contributors is through Craigslist, as its “Writing Gigs” section features both paid and unpaid listings. You could likewise recruit new members via BloggingPro’s own job board at the same time to help expedite the process.
Not getting enough (or any) signups? Simply tweak the most inviting parts of your site. For instance:
- Consider raising your Amazon gift cards to $25 instead of a mere $10
- Implement weekly or monthly contests among top contributors and/or commenters
- Improve your copywriting techniques to convince people to sign up
Remember, it’s all about the end-user and your contributors. Keep tweaking your user-generated content platform by always improving your overall approach. For example:
- Attempt to start a discussion with every blog post
- Mention a fellow author by name in one of your own posts – or perhaps even a commenter
- Post a weekly roundup of “the best comments of the week/month” to create a real sense of community
The ideas and room for growth are truly endless….
Don’t forget to establish some rules if you wish for everyone to conform to a particular style or voice.
I have had these types of sites before, and they can be highly rewarding in many ways (not just financially). Have you considered a user-generated content platform before? This living, breathing community can go far beyond the creation of a forum.