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Make Money Online- the baby steps part 32

Welcome to “Make Money Online- the babysteps part 32″, where we will discuss the importance of being interactive with your visitors.  A Website with an active community will never go out of style or out of business. Your readers are your primary asset. The more time they spend on your site the bettter. Just by being there, they are actively contributing to the success of your site. But there is more to it than hanging around. The internet offers interactivity and new boundless possibilities to bond with your visitors. And that is where the true potential of the web shines through. So go grab your piece of the traffic by making your website a lively place with plenty of action and happenings. In the end we can´t do everything alone, and by encouraging your visitors to actively participate in discussions and debates they are not only contributing to your site, they are building a stronger relationship among themselves and with you as well. Slowly, they are becoming integral parts of your success and they are more than likely to be frequent visitors to your site.  There is lots to be made in this area but here are some things to consider starting out with once your traffic picks up.

1. Video. Maybe not the most interactive content there is but definitely something you need to consider having on your site. The internet video revolution is still going on and there are still plenty of SEO “air pockets” to be had in this particular area. Also, there are plenty of innovative ways to employ this media. Use it or lose it.

2. Contests. Contests not only encourages user interactivity, it sparks enthusiasm in your visitors, gives you and your site goodwill and creates frequent visitors. Make the contest fun and engaging and try to offer something of real value to your visitors. Having a contest for a regular coffe mug might have the opposite effect than you initially intended.

3. Giveaways. Plenty of PR firms want to give away their stuff just to get some brand recognition and media exposure out of it. Use this to your website´s advantage. Make sure that your user´s benefit as much as possible by being on your site and don´t hoard up on giveaways for yourself and your friends and family. Giveaways represent a fantastic opportunity for you. Be sure to embrace it, and make the most of it.

4. Comments. By encouraging visitors to comment you are really doing good on so many levels for your website. On many websites, some of the comments outshine the very articles in many cases. This brings value to your website and puts a smile on the faces of your readers. Getting some good comments going can also make you very popular with Google, and the other search engines out there.

5. Polls and surveys. Done correctly, polls and surveys, are fun interesting and provide excellent content angles and ideas. It also strengthens the feeling of being part of a vibrant community when results are published and data from the surveys is crunched and analyzed. This may also be an excellent way to get to know your readers, and find out what they are really interested in and what makes them tick. Use that information wisely by giving your visitors what they want and you are on your way to big-time success. Try out SurveyGizmo or PollDaddy. They are a good place to start.

6. Contributor content. Most of the large content-websites ultimately find themselves go down this road. And why shouldn´t they? They trade the exposure that their traffic brings, for quality content provided by contributors from all over the world. They save money and time, and can in some cases even afford to be very picky reagrding what content to accept. It´s a classical win-win.

7. Mailing lists. Whenever people from the business start talking about monetizing your websites this is one of the first topics to come to mind. A good, quality mailing list is invaluable if you want to make money online. But that shouldn´t be the sole purpose of pursuing it. Your mailing list should be treated with respect and a gentle touch. Don´t overdo, the advertising. Be sure instead to provide even more value, and to entice people to come back and visit your website more often. A well-groomed mailing-list is worth its weight in gold. An example of a good provider to start out with is mailchimp.

8. Forum. For those of you who truly crave the full social and interactive experience on your website a forum is the way to go. You do need some initial critical mass in order to get the wheels turning. Once you reach the tipping point a well-structured forum will pretty much feed of itself. You need a solid base and lots of time on your hands to get this thing of the ground. But it will probably be well worth it if you manage to do a reasonable lift-off. Obviously this is not the first play you should try out of the playbook. Get some experience and traffic under your belt before you try this. An example of good providers to start out with is BBpress (free) or vBulletin (fee).

9. Social media All people are different. Some like to use a contact form to reach you. Some like ordinary e-mails. Some like to leave comments to your posts and pages. And some just want to enjoy your content through a comfortable rss feed or follow you on facebook or twitter. Whatever they prefer, you should provide it to them. At least if you are sporting a traditional content-website. The more people you reach and the more alternative ways of contact you have the better. Be a hub of content, and spread out that web of information links in as many directions as you can muster.

And that was that. Please note that we are not affiliated with the software providers we have recommended here. There are no kick-backs to be collected and certainly no hidden agendas here. We are proviidng these links since we have experience from these software providers and we happen to like their products. We figured, maybe you would like them as well. We don´t make a dime doing this, its all for your benefit. It´s time for our next part of our highly appreciated guide, “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 33″. Join us for even more valueable and profitable online lessons.

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