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Every site needs to be able to promote itself to people who will be interested in the content of the site. In fact, promoting sites is one of the The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta. So here we go!

Everyone thinking about this should read: A Recipe to Promote your Site. That blog post has a lot of good, basic information about promoting a site. But that link also encourages innovation. That's what this post is for.

Please post an idea for promoting the site in a community-wiki answer below. Each idea can be discussed using comments below the question (chat is also a good place to discuss these things.)

Note: This post is for general ideas for promoting the website, likely we will have other questions on meta about promoting.

But, how do you go above and beyond simply sharing links to great questions? Get specific! Rather than asking giant, hard to answer big picture questions like “How do we promote our site?”, start by asking bite-size, specific questions that are easier to answer — more along the lines of:

“What are the three biggest webmaster conferences we can sponsor?” “Can the GIS community support a ‘Dev Days’ like Stack Overflow?” “What are the top 10 photography podcasts that might pick up on our site?” And don’t stop there. When you get your first round of answers, use those answers to get even more specific.

“Does anybody know photographer Scott Bourne (http://photofocus.com/) to ask about talking to us on his podcast or to his Twitter followers?” This takes a bit more coordination and discipline than asking a one-shot question and expecting a final solution to simply emerge. It takes individual members to rise up and ask methodical, step-wise questions with an end-goal in mind — and follow through.

If you have questions about an idea that wouldn't fit in comments, or want to get something more attention than just through comments, you can ask a specific question about promotion.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the many awesome questions on the hot list recently are doing a good job of this already... $\endgroup$ – Ethan Bierlein Oct 8 '14 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ @EthanBierlein Mostly following the "7 Essential Meta Questions of Beta," but also our question rate on Area51 could be higher. Then again we're just out of beta and doing pretty good so far. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Oct 8 '14 at 13:31
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The most basic way to share a website is to share links to great questions and answers. This is really easy to do within the Stack Exchange system, with built-in share links to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Share links to questions you find interesting and you think others would find interesting.

Quoting A Recipe to Promote your Site:

The absolute best and easiest way to promote your site is to simply share links to great questions or answers. The hallmark, the cornerstone, the fundamental bedrock of Stack Exchange is producing Q&A that we’re proud of, Q&A that’s worthy of sharing with others. At the risk of explaining the obvious, here’s how to obtain a link to a question:

copy the URL in your browser’s address bar right click the question title itself, which is a link to the question, and select Copy. right click the “share” text just under the question, and select Copy. If you need a short URL, remember that we don’t require anything beyond the number ID of the question. So if you have:

https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/970/solar-panels-worth-it

This can be shortened to:

https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/970

https://diy.stackexchange.com/q/970

You can also get a short permalink by clicking the "share" link beneath a post (question or answer).

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We don't have a shortage of views from potential users. We have 5 questions in the Hot Network Questions at the moment, and links are being posted to our site. There are plenty of new users arriving every day. I think what we need to address is ways of encouraging people to stay. At the moment we have far more answers being posted than questions. Our answer rate is very high, and our unanswered question count is very low. While this is good, it does mean that new people arriving do not have fresh questions to encourage them to answer and start to become part of the community.

Part of the reason for the large number of answers per question is that some of our questions are too broad. The community is doing a good job of closing these. However, even for questions that are just right, answers come in very quickly because there are not many questions arriving.

Since we already have an excellent base of people who write very good answers very quickly, what we need to focus on is attracting more people to ask questions. People following the site out of interest will grow naturally - we have intriguing questions and answers. New people who have questions of their own are more rare.

For this reason it would help to focus not just on telling as many people as possible, but thinking carefully about where the people with worldbuilding questions might be. Most people are interested in the material we have on our site, whether they are worldbuilders or not, but they won't ask new questions. Natural, useful questions come from people who are actively involved in worldbuilding. Novel writers, script writers, artists, game designers (computer games, table top games, role playing games).

Targeting these various types of worldbuilder will bring more questions, which will automatically grow the rest of the community by providing even more interesting content that we will link to naturally without even thinking about promotion.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with what you said, but I would also suggest trying to get people from the "hard science" sites. The "hard-science" tag has been doing very well; perhaps even more scientifically-literate users could help. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 5 '14 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 That does sound a good idea for answers. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Oct 5 '14 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ We actually don't have enough new users. We are only getting ~200 views a day, when we need to be getting 1,500. I'm not saying that our view rate isn't normal, but I am saying that we need to try and get it higher. I know most of this should come from search engines, but we need to generate more content to catch search engines "eyes" $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Oct 6 '14 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ @DonyorM this doesn't contradict my point. You can see that we are getting plenty of new people signing up every day, but they are not viewing daily. The 1500 views will come when we have the content to keep people's interest. We already have enough people arriving, as you can see from the New users link. We just need the questions to hold onto them. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Oct 6 '14 at 14:32
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We could try and put some community promotion ads on other sites, such as Physics SE or RPG SE. At the end of every year, SE sites put up a meta post that allows people to put advertisements for open-source projects or things the community would find interesting. Here is Arqade's from last year.

If we used this idea, someone would have to make a graphic to represent this site. I have limited graphical abilities, likely someone could do it better than I could.

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  • $\begingroup$ Those posts accept submissions all year, so we don't have to wait until January. If somebody designs the ad we can submit it right away. (We'll need to resubmit for next year, but that's no big deal.) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Oct 8 '14 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Thanks for the clarification. That's helpful. They probably would get more attention right when they start getting new ads for the next year though. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Oct 8 '14 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ Eh, a new answer bumps the meta post, so anybody watching meta will see it. Can't hurt. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Oct 8 '14 at 13:54

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