The first members of your community should be people you know…
The second members of your community should be people they know.
That’s easy, isn’t it?
It’s also the way that a community should grow.
Sure, advertising can play a role and mentions in magazines and websites related to your community will help too, but the best way to grow a community from seed to sapling is through word of mouth.
That won’t just get you more people. It also gets you people who want to take part. They arriving knowing people in the community and they want to communicate with them. They don’t just look and leave.
They stay and talk. And then they tell their friends.
Once your community is starting to grow and show signs of life, encourage your members to spread the word. Suggest they link to their community posts on their blogs. Tell them to talk about it with the people they know. Ask them to recommend people with something to contribute. It’s a lot cheaper and a lot more effective than advertising.
That’s all for now! In the next post, we’ll discuss tagging.