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Mark Whitmore

Ways to encourage reviews - let's discuss!

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Hello Alejandro and fellow JReviewers!

I hope this in the correct area. 

I think we all agree that Alejandro is a genius and I've said as much in a review on the JED. He's given us the tools to create our own directory sites and for that I will be extremely grateful. However, I'd imagine many JReviewers over the past decade or so have had an idea about how their own sites should look and operate. I don't have the facts but I'm guessing here that many JReviews sites do not make it into the production stage and, the few that actually do, will not last the distance. This is certainly an issue I've discovered over the years. I've had at least 2 variations of my current site. Initially, it was created under JReviews about 8-9 years ago. This didn't last long as I struggled to promote and encourage interaction from users. The second attempt was using a mixture of plugins on the Wordpress framework which, again, didn't last too long. I fell out of love with the design and ended up burning myself out with too many listings and directories. 

The idea for this thread is to encourage debate between fellow administrators about how they garnered user interaction. I think it will be beneficial for this JReviews family to share tips and advice on how to grow their directories.

A tip I'll share is on my listing detail page I've included the following module just above the review form:

We want your opinion on {listingtitle}! Why not write a review below and tell us what you think...

I'm hoping this will encourage more interaction. Another tip I will share is that people generally need prompting to carry out an action. Have you ever watched a popular YouTube video and wondered how the channel managed to hit millions of subscribers? Sure, content is extremely important. Notice that most of the videos will prompt people to click a "Subscribe" button. Most videos will end with an audible prompt asking people to "subscribe for more content", too. This is a very effective marketing technique.

Edited by Mark Whitmore

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Hi Mark. Thanks! I still have a lot to learn on the marketing side of things so my insights here would not be very profound. Hopefully some of the other JReviews site owners can jump into the discussion and provide some additional ideas of what works for them. I think working on your email list and social presence are important as well. It requires discipline to write and share valuable content on a periodic basis to keep people coming back and participating on your site.

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I think you're on the money here. Social media is a HUGE part of marketing and promotion these days. One of my other now-established websites has a social presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr. Hundreds of followers on each platform. The hits from YouTube alone brings in a big chunk of revenue and that is without factoring in Google. Speaking of Google, it's worth focusing on around 5-6 keywords and really building around them. Aim for a top 5 place within Google search results. If you don't get top 5, chances are you will flounder and simply lose heart. I'm starting to read a lot of SEO strategy books on Kindle. SEO is constantly changing and being self-employed with an online business, I know why big corporations have entire offices dedicated to this kind of thing. It's a huge task.

SEO is about bringing people to your website. The hardest part is keeping them engaged and protecting your bounce rate on Google. This is one of many algorithms they use to determine ranking factor and link juice. My Jreviews site is slowly chugging along although I wish I could give it more attention. 

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