I put together a packaged social media site to give aspiring story-writers services to make writing easier. In fact, I put a lot of effort to doing everything from scratch...from user portfolios to an achievement system for most active users.
The problem is, even as the framework is getting better.. I am not getting enough exposure + I'm not getting any new users. Part of this I believe that the inside services of the site (example: a global word-count tracking system), are not reflective in the outside of the site.
The market for this industry is very dense, and I understand for a user of another site to move to another service would be a huge sacrifice on time invested to a moderate improvement from the current status quo. I don't want to be flagged for spamming (posting my site), but I do need to know if the transition for pulling new members into my site could be a packaging problem.
I need traffic, but more importantly I need dedicated users. Friends & Family are extremely encouraging, but when it comes to submissions..it's like pulling teeth. Does anyone have ideas for educating your users on benefits of your site? People are used to forums, but it seems like it is a lot more difficult to sell people on something similar to say...facebook.
Do you have a list of benefits on the homepage outlining exactly why it would be better to join your site then a standard one? Are your "call to action" buttons big/different enough to make them stand out? Perhaps your main page is too cluttered and drawing potential users away from the register button.
It varies from niche to niche what converts, but what you might want to consider is some A/B or MVT testing. I'm pretty sure there are some free services out there that would allow you to do this and you can slowly tweak what's working. Also it takes time to get registrations. How long has your site been live? Can you approach some people and encourage them to beta test ( a local writing group/ local college class for short stories? ) Their word of mouth might be beneficial for you