- May 15, 2007
Actually, those published authors I mentioned? At least three that I can think of are retired, so they are working writers, because they're using writing as their "job." There's at least one person I know of that's been published who is a stay at home mom and whose writing is her career. You're right that for the most part, we haven't drawn the "working writer" in, but they are there on the site, even if they're not actively promoting their books to death or something on the site.To me, this is the most important thing you've said, so far. You've started to identify your real audience. Your forum really isn't for working writers (by that, I mean people who do it for a living). You won't see George RR Martin, JK Rowlings, or Margaret Atwood hanging out on your site. Rather, your primary audience is the fantasy fan who likes to write, for pure pleasure, or with the hope of eventually publishing. A few may have gotten something in print, but they aren't working writers. If you look at that group in more detail, figure out who they are, what they do, how they are different or the same, etc. You can focus on content that will engage them specifically.
We've been posting content that should draw the people who write for pleasure in, but it's kind of hit or miss as to whether or not it actually draws them in enough to register and actually post, despite the fact that they're usually pretty interesting topics. It's hard to explain, but it's like...we've somehow managed to get the people who are really shy/lazy/only looking to respond to things when they feel like it, which is what's causing the community to struggle. It can't be the staff members being the only ones posting and logging in, but we also need to lead by example...so there needs to be a balance between the two. Now, granted, we do have the members who will actually post and reply to things, but...not as many of them as we'd like.