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  • NC for Hire
    Here are some starter tips:

    1. First, make sure your Ning Network is unique, interesting, and something people will want to see, join, and hang out.
    2. Add interesting and good content to your site. This not only helps entice site visitors to join, but keeps them interested. Also, good content plays a huge factor with SEO.
    3. Start by submitting your site to Search Engines.
    4. Create a free press release. Search for "free press release" (no quotes) on Google.
    5. If you have good content with a unique topic, create a lens on Squidoo.com, become an Authority in your arena. This topic of course, should evolve around your Ning Network or Social Community.
    6. Become active on open Forums and Blogs where you can provide input and backlinks (without spamming). If you can't offer valuable content, don't leave a link.
    7. Get involved with Social Media, like Digg.com, Facebook and Twitter. Build accounts on all. Become active on all.
    8. Build yourself accounts in every Social Media platform (not competing Social Networks), you can.
  • Is Walden a local area you are focusing on or is it a reference to the book?

    I run a Ning network called Peace is Active. I have been promoting it for a couple of years. It is not easy to get traffic, members, and participation.

    It is important to keep adding new content. This gives people something to engage with and it also gives the search engines more content to index.

    It also helps to be very specific with what you are trying to achieve. I have found that a general peace/justice/etc... community will get some interest and members, but is hard to keep going because it is hard to stand out from all of the other sites online that are similar. It is nice to have some general conversations, but if you take on a specific issue or cause and try to get people involved, you will probably have more engagement with the site. Depends on what you are looking to achieve.

    In addition to adding content, do everything possible to get your site out there. Put your web address on the bottom of your emails. Seek out people who feel the same way you do and ask them to engage with you in discussions on the site.

    Get a good stats program so you know where people are coming from and how long they are staying on your site. Keep making changes until something works. I have found that the smallest change (in wording, feature placement, colors, font size, etc...) can make a big difference in how people view and engage with your site. Once you get some traffic, try making one change at a time to see if it alters how your traffic responds to your site.

    To share my story, I have stopped working so hard on my peace community. During the Bush years, I had to do something. What I found through my experience is that it is important to share information and have a place for people to communicate, but it is nothing compared to winning elections.

    Before the War in Iraq, 15 million people took to the streets, but it had little effect on the decisions being made by the Bush Administration. When Obama took power, lots of the things I was working on suddenly had supporters in positions of power. The EPA actually wanted to protect the environment. The Interior Secretary was no longer a former mining executive. Etc... My focus is now on electoral politics instead of activist politics. I still think it is important to have online communities for peace and justice conversations, but the big success stories come from winning elections and presuring politicians into making good decisions.

    The internet certainly has a role to play in electoral politics. Every site/community created lends more voices to the debate. Hopefully we will see the convergence of the internet and our television sets soon so people sitting on their couches will have more options for news and information. The cable monopoly control of our television sets must end for online activists to really have a chance in getting more information to our fellow citizens. There should be thousands of news sites available on our televisions instead of just four.

    Plus, we never know which site will take off and make a big difference. You could get lucky and get a good Google keyword ranking. Suddenly you will have a steady flow of traffic. You could write an article that resonates with people who spread it around the web. You just never know.

    Good luck with your efforts.

    If you have specific questions, I am more than willing to help and offer suggestions.

    I also run a community called eBranchOffice.com that might be helpful to you. There are many discussions about growing your web efforts.
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