How to Build a Ning Network Community

Because your network on Ning isn't conceptually very different from other online communities, you can take your cue from past (and present) communities that you find online:

  • Gather information from your network and its data. One of the key ways that you build a community is by making it meaningful to the people who participate in it. The easiest way to find out what members care about the most is to read what they write about on the forum and other areas of the network.

  • Welcome all new members. If you don’t have the time to write a personalized message to each new member, at least make your message as personal as possible by having a skeleton message and then adding something that’s relevant to that person.

    Alongside welcoming newly arrived members, consider having a Welcome Center on your network where you can give some general instructions about the network.

  • Provide great, fresh content. Keep your ear to the ground for new trends happening in your network’s niche. Knowing the trends can help you create content (podcasts, blog posts, and so on) that your members come to expect, rewarding you with their loyalty.

  • Recognize and reward your members. Offering recognition and rewards are two of the best things you can do to make your members feel good about actively participating in your network.

    To recognize great content, you can feature specific blog posts, photos, and videos on the main page of your network. You can also feature members who stand out in your network. The Feature link under the Admin options lets you feature a member.

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  • Avoid spam. If you’re overly communicative, you may end up being considered a spammer by your members. If your members aren’t expecting to receive frequent communications from the network, and they start seeing numerous messages, they may choose to turn off notifications from the network or, worse, flag messages from the network as spam and leave the network altogether.

  • Offer discounts and other benefits help. For example, you can establish partnerships with vendors that give you a discount code for your members to get a 5-percent or $5 discount when they’re checking out after purchasing something. If you run a sports network, a discount to an online sporting goods store could be valuable to your members.

  • Send out a newsletter. A newsletter helps you recapture members who don’t visit the network often, letting them know about interesting topics or fun videos they may have missed since the last time they signed in.

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