Visitors keep coming back if the latest information for your niche is on your site. If they like what they see, they will join as a member. What methods can be used to find content and to get the breaking news first?
- Use Google alerts to monitor blogs, web search and news for your relevant keywords.
- Use RSS feeds (I use Google Reader and have that as one of my Firefox home pages). I have feeds set up for: GigaAlerts for the relevant keywords for the niche; Pubmed for niche medical research that is relevant; relevant RSS feeds from news agencies such as the BBC and CNN; feeds from the relevant tags from social booking marking sites like Delicious; feeds for the keywords relevant to the niche from Twitter; feeds from key blogs in the niche; a RSS feed from You Tube for the posting of new video’s relative to the niche (the good ones get inserted into a post on the forum).
- Email services: I have one set up for a paid Patent Alerts for new patents relevant to the niche.
- For one forum, I have set up a monthly email distribution list of contacts within the niche (with their permission) to email them for ‘any news‘, ‘any gossip?‘, ‘any new product releases coming up?‘ , etc. These people are industry insiders. This monthly email also serves another purpose of bringing these insiders to the forum and hopefully to participate!
- As part of one of the zillion home pages I have set up in Firefox, are key sites that could have new information relevant to the niche.
- Sign up for newsletters from others relevant to your niche
- Sign up for the email table of contents of professional journals or magazines relevant to your niche
- Use your members as a resource. If a member breaks a story or brings news early to the forum, make sure you thank them (or assign a moderator the job of handing out the the thank you’s).
The key is, be first or early with the news. Be fresh; be relevant. The visitors will keep coming back for the news. Sometimes there will be discussion on the news; other times there will not be, but the news is there to attract the visitor and keep the members informed.
PLEASE: Acknowledge your sources of information. No one like being plagiarized.