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Creating a NING network is a child’s play however running a NING network isn’t. I learnt this after 2 years of my association with NING as a NC .Allow me to humbly put across whatever I have leant from NING so far. Hope it helps everyone!

As a NC you have got six seven main jobs at helm

·Design and layout

·Content Creation

·Site Promotion

·Increasing New sign ups

·Member’s Engagement

·Revenue Generation

Administration and moderation... (suggested by  John R. Malmo )


Design and Layout: Keep is sweet simple and distinct. Your network should have unique look of its own. However in your attempt to gain that distinctness, don’t add anything which affects the overall speed of your network. Very few people will have the patience to wait till your network loads completely. The 4 second Rule Rocks.

Use this to tool to see how much time your site takes to open http://tools.pingdom.com/


Content Creation: 9 out of 10 people will come to your site to read the content, to know what is inside this network, and the one who will post (chances are) could be a spammer. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what people want. Just ask yourself, which sites do you visit and why? 

Would you have visited them if they would have been without their current stream of content?

So what is the solution? : No easy ways. Work hard to assort content relevant to your network, encourage others to contribute however don’t expect anything from them. A lot of persuasion is needed to get someone write on your still evolving network .

Initially you use these links for articles http://www.articlesbase.com/

Embed videos from https://www.youtube.com/

Add photographs from flicker (http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/) (those under creative commons license, make sure you attribute them )


Site promotion: Be thankful to Ning as your site is Google friendly. What ever you have posted will get indexed in Google pretty soon (provided your network is open). However, that is not enough - a consistent link building campaign is required including social media optimization.

For SMO, have your presence on LinkedIn, face book, twitter etc tec. 

For link building contact SMO specialist or go through this link http://www.seobook.com/archives/001792.shtml


Increasing New sign ups:

  • Don’t target the easy meat from others network.
  • Run contest to encourage members to invite.
  • Keep your network off and on (public and private) from time to time.
  • Use adword campaign

PS: New signs are important up till a certain stage ,may be up till 500 members, after that the your single point of focus should be to increase traffic. Why? – Because traffic will get you revenue, collecting dead wood wouldn’t ;-)


Member’s Engagement

  • Run contest to increase participations
  • Greet new members personally as far as possible
  • Personalized communication with members as and when possible.
  • Weekly broadcast must (best of the week)

More over here

https://creators.ning.com/page/member-engagement#tabs-1


Revenue Generation: (if yours isn’t a not-for-profit network)

  • Join the Ad sense program
  • Sell: Paid reviews
  • Sell: Direct ads
  • Sell: Any other specialized service
Administration and moderation
To keep the party spoilers at bay

Ning is a tremendous service which can even help you to make a living if you score well on all the above points along with loads of patience.And if you think this is too much of work, didn’t I warn you beforehand, it isn’t a child’s play !

Inviting more inputs on the above points with a hope that you continue to make money from your NING :-)

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Replies

  • Awesome run-down of basic network management projects and tasks!

    Laura
    • Thanks laura, these are usually the main points we focus on, in our internal discussion ...
  • NC for Hire
    Amit,
    Nice discussion, great points you've covered here!
    ;-)
    • Thanks Jen, The "share-what-you-know" trend, was started by you ;-)
  • Could you please explain paid reviews
    Thank you,
    Peter
    • I believe it is getting companies to pay you to review their product and to then post that on your site.
    • Peter if your network is focussed on particular subject, you can review the companies or the products associated around that topic and charge them a fee in return... E.g if there is a network on Jobs or careers they can charge the placement companies or the training institutes - to write reviews about them ... You can charge anything from $50.00 onwards per review (of 150-200 words)
      • Amit, thank you for the reply. I want to explore this a bit more by adding my thoughts. Web site c-net has editor reviews and then reviews by people who visit the site and have tried the product, so I think I would want to follow that type of design on my ning site. In order to be fair to a company I was reviewing as an editor review, I would really want to spend a significant amount of time researching the company and i think that would bring the charge to the company up to 200-500 dollars, because it would take 2-5 days. Is that way out of line in your experience?
        • Peter the upper ceiling is set by you.. as long as you can justify your price and people get convinced either by the authority you have in that subject or by the methodology explained by you nothing is too much .... Positive reviews from authority figures are priceless ... (and companies wont mind to pay if they get satisfied by your sales pitch)
      • I found some really good info on a website about connecting with one's local market by adding one's site to local search engines and would like to share this so as to maybe help others make money to support their ning passion. They are as follows

        Business directories google local buiness directory http://google.com/local/add
        MSN Local Directory https://ssl.search.live.com/listings/BusinessSearch.aspx
        Free listing yellow pages ( be carefiul of upsell)
        http://listings.yellowpages.com/
        Freelistings in yellowbook http://corporate.yelloowbook.com/products/internet-free-listing/

        Free listing in Magic Yellow
        http://www.magicyellow.com/Add_Your_Business.cfm

        Local.com is a website about local information
        http://advertise.local.com

        See more info and videos on Lightswitchlocal.com ( I am not affiliated with that site but I did learn quite a bit from it)
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