Lead By Example
Put the time in and see what you attract. If you think your community is dead because no one new is applying to join, no one posts anymore, people are leaving, or any of the 100 other reasons why communities die, you may be wrong. Word of Mouth to mouth resuscitation may save it's life. If you want for your network to expand, you must lead by example. You will never be able to effectively "pay someone to do it for" you. At the end of the day, week, month, year, decade, only you know what will gain the interest of people like you...for whom the community was intended. Take it from me..a person who like you felt at one time like i didn't know what to do next. I noticed a sort of scientific process at work that I wanted to follow closer. My original Ning community for Professional Land Surveyors built March 10th 2007 will turn 10 years old next week. I have learned a lot from managing online communities over the past decade. Hopefully some of my observations can help save a few of you some time.
Takeaway and Give Back
If you have a lot of content which has not been categorized or recollected into linktrees, you are simply missing out on all of the traffic you could and should have- would have, if you did. elink.io is not the only web service out there allowing you to curate collections of links. It is, however, the most versitile and (as a student) the cheapest to manage, in my opinion.
Building a community doesn't happen over night. In fact, it shouldn't. You do not need a lot of third party add-ons to make your site attractive, but you will have to do work outside your community to bring new members in.. You simply must put in the time and effort if you hope for a community to form. The way your site is designed and layout is tuned will be an ongoing experiment for the entire life of your community. For this reason I have always tried to help save time by sharing tips. In order to build a sustainable community, you must get to a place where your members feel comfortable and think of your place built for them when sharing that photo or tip or guide on the community you built for them. Progressive enhancement is the human way to increase relevance of your community for search engines, social graphs, bots, algorithms and yes, humans. You can do this for your community by channeling the traffic back into the network and reintroducing relevant content to those new members and visitors which might find it and the dialogue which occurs useful even five years in the future..