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Anonymous

How long do you wait for your first member?

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Not all of us are blessed with a core group of 4 or more people to roleplay with. Sometimes it’s just you or just you and your co-admin.

 

That doesn’t stop you, you advertise like hell you put yourself out there, you post to make the site look active but in the end when do say that you’ve done the work and no one is joining? Not even a visit from a guest to ask questions or poke around. How many weeks before you just say that you’ve tried hard enough and no one is interested in your site?

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When Desires first opened, it took me almost a year before we got a single member other then me and my co-admin. I'm not the type to give up, so I just kept persevering and then after that first member joined, before we knew it we had 30.

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As long as you're still willing to put work into the site. That's what it comes down to. Now, that being said, I do have a few suggestions that might help you figure things out. I don't know what you have or haven't done already but hopefully these will be helpful. 

  • Put up a request for a site review. You and your co-admin are, for lack of a better term, too close to the site. You need an unbiased and new set of eyes to look at things and point out problems or confusing areas. 
  • Write opens. That way, new members have the option of jumping into things without having to plot first if they don't want to. Post them at regular intervals to also help keep your site looking active. 
  • Write with yourself (and with your co-admin). This generates activity and shows that you're dedicated to your site and fine with keeping it active on your own. People are, in my experience, more likely to join a site if they see that there's activity, even if it's just one person (or two people). 
  • Write wanted ads. Some people won't join unless they can take a wanted, and even if that's not a prerequisite, it could easily entice some members. Plus, you can post these on directories to generate more traffic to your site. 
  • Post in your chatbox or Discord frequently. This shows you're still around and are monitoring both for any guest questions. I personally like to post dumb jokes in my chatbox weekly because hey, even if you don't join, hopefully you get a laugh! 
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Keep going! 

 

Reply to site requests on directories and possibly make wanteds available for people to play. Like what @Jaxxsaid. 

 

Like what @Arceussaid, sometimes sites that fail end up booming later on and then they grow. One of the things that I find myself doing is adding sites to my browser favourites, lurking for months (sometimes more) to see whether I do finally give in and try joining the community. (That being said, I have randomly impulse joined also.) 

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My fantasy site is literally just myself, my co-admin, and my sister. We've been open since July. *shrug* It doesn't matter to me, because I love the idea and as long as we're all interested, it'll keep right on going. 

 

I don't think there's a specific time frame regarding when I'll give up waiting for a first member to join. It all just boils down to my own interest and the interest of my co-admin and sister, who are a part of all my sites. If we never get somebody, it doesn't matter. I don't make sites to get members. I make them because I can't find that site out there in the wild so I make it myself. 

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I'm know I waited a bit, and it felt painfully slow for a while, but I did what I needed to to try and keep my own hopes up for the site.  In a way I enjoyed some of the plotting aspects that I could set in place as I waited for members and saw what sorts of plots they might take up.  It gave me time to set the foundation and really tinker around with what would and wouldn't work. Eventually things took a new life of their own and I got members. The rest is history. Sometimes it's really up to how long you want to wait and what you are willing to do to help your board even when no one is watching.

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My site has reached finally a year and a half! While I'm excited about this, it took awhile for it to get to that place. We had some bumps in staff, few people, and very little in the way of guests. I refused to give up though. Things that I did to help things...

 

I did a site review and while some things hurt to read, I took them to heart. I made the changes as I learned how to and took the advice.

 

I advertised and got affiliates. I started with a handful and then the affiliates became those of the same genre as mine and ads were places that were outside the genre. I learned to advertise in various places and had my ad reviewed (I can't thank @Rune enough for that first one that was helped with.) I started to learn to write my own after that. Also had members (as they came) offer their help with them.

 

I read everything I could about running a forum and as much as I could about different points of view to running one. I adapted what worked for me and discarded what didn't. 

 

I also advertised for outside staff (a couple, just enough to round things out) and that also helped. 

 

I also got involved with resource sites and contributed there as well. That has also brought in traffic and gotten us spotlighted a few times. 

 

I also did the wanteds, kept writing, and the other things mentioned here.

 

It took time but now (after a year) we have a great core group that love the forum as much as I do. They talk to their friends and word of mouth brought others. The best thing I can say (because not everything works for everyone) is just keep going but sometimes it doesn't hurt to use the resources open to us to help with getting folks to at least look. Every site isn't always going to be everyone's cup of tea but if we love what we do, we make it the best cup of tea that we can. Especially since we should be enjoying it as well.

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I agree with a lot of the statements posted above. As long as you still have a passion and desire to make it work, keep going. Keep advertising, keep working on making your site the best it can be to attract new players. There are absolutely times when you're going to be feeling dejected or unmotivated, but if you believe in your idea and believe in your site, keep going. Your dedication will absolutely pay off, it may just take a while to get there.


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We opened Harken in January, and we've had people come and go (time restraints and rl commitments) but for the most part it's been just Fox and I the whole time. We posted back and forth non stop the whole time, finally breaking down and doing a revamp last month in the hopes it would draw... well anyone to join. It's a niche genre and an odd sort of sci-fi so we knew going in it would be a bit of a struggle (compared to AS at least)

Don't give up, so long as you can have fun, eventually the right people will come along. That's what I keep telling myself anyway 😛

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I almost gave up on my site after about three months. I had people join in the beginning, but only a couple posted. Those who posted soon drifted away. The site was effectively dead for about a month, but I just couldn't pull the plug on it. Honestly, I just kept on advertising. Resource sites are brilliant - post on all of them. Tumblr advertising is also great. Site to site advertising is very hit and miss, but still worth it. Also, get your affiliate button out there. Affiliate with sites similar, have sister sites for those that are also of your genre. Have your site banner in your signature on all the forums and resource sites you're on. Utilise any form of advertising that you can. It's tedious and sometimes the results may not even seem worth it. But it all gets your site out into the public eye.

 

In addition to drawing people to your site, you need to make your site look active. If need be, write with yourself. Until I opened Loyalty, I was very self-conscious of writing with myself. But it helped to have completed threads already on the site that showcase the sort of writing you're going for and the standard of roleplay you expect. Another thing I did was open a load of different characters so I'd always have at least one character ready to go that I could throw at all the newcomers. I had no intention of keeping them long term, they were just there to make up numbers, tbh! But it helped. I had someone for everyone. 

 

Sometimes, it's like spinning plates. But if you keep on at it and just keep plugging away, you're bound to attract new people. Good luck with it!

 

 

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I started my site by myself. I only had one friend who refused to join (at first), so it was just me.  I didn't really advertise outside of the interest checks I posted up because it was supposed to be a soft-opening (no advertising), but three days in I realised I had to advertise.

 

When I did, I had many people flood in. One of my first members (if not my actual first) joined within minutes of me advertising. She's still with us today, actually!

 

Make sure to post up some open threads and oneshots (short stories that aren't meant to be replied to) to make the board more active.


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