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One of the challenges of a new Stack Exchange site is to gain a following of experts who will use the site in their daily work, and to build a community of experts who will help answer questions with facts, references, and specific expertise.

I've looked at a few users profiles, and we have some people who are members of professional contracting organizations. When the site goes public, can you reach out to the groups that you're members of and tell them about the site?

Here are methods that have had success in the past:

  • Find a relevant discussion in one of the forum/discussion groups where you're a member, where there exists an answer here on Freelancing SE.
  • Using the share links at the bottom of each question, obtain a link to the question that applies to the discussion.

  • Contribute to the discussion in a meaningful manner, perhaps by providing the answer to the question in the discussion and then inserting the link you copied earlier to provide attribution to the material you've posted. Remember, the goal isn't to spam these communities by simply dropping links and running. We must be sure to provide value while demonstrating Freelancing SE as a problem-solving tool.

  • Another manner of promoting the site is by finding professional bloggers in the freelancing community who would benefit from a steady stream of source material generated by our site. If you know a blogger, or if you are a professional blogger yourself, consider that the material here on Freelancing SE, with proper attribution, can provide you with enough material and ideas to keep your blog active and give your own community of readers something to keep coming back to while also promoting Freelancing SE.

Aside from these strategies, how else might we promote Freelancing SE?

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I am a co-author of the LedgerSMB in Business blog. One thing I could do is to use questions that come from here as feed stock for business process questions. I could then blog about how LedgerSMB can help with some of these problems, provide workflows, etc.

This blog has not been heavily promoted yet because there isn't much content yet (so it is not nearly as visible as my "Perspectives on LedgerSMB" covering the development side). However in addition to my consulting activities I am also involved in a startup called Efficito doing LedgerSMB hosting and the blog will be a key part of our promotion there as well, so I would expect that this will get a lot more traction as we start pushing it a bit more.

For example, consider the question, "When is it ok to ask a client for more money?" I could reference the question, and then discuss how LedgerSMB can do project PNL reporting to help evaluate the current situation, perhaps when weighing in the possibility of adding some free work.

This might be good because since the answers in the blog would be tangental to the questions here, people who want to find more about other aspects can click through and read answers.

I intend to promote this blog through Reddit and much more.

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    This sounds exactly like what I had in mind. It sounds like you're in a perfect position to use this site in your daily work and to position it in a manner where your colleagues use it in their daily work too. – jmort253 May 27 '13 at 5:22
  • Hey Chris, how are things going with promoting the site on LedgerSMB? I was thinking that editing your post with a link to your blog post might serve as an example or even inspiration for others to get out there and spread the word. :) – jmort253 Jun 26 '13 at 2:56
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A large group of StackOverflow users are freelancers and contractors. The best thing we can do is to make a few "hot" discussions that will appear in hot questions menu in the left corner of site. Such questions will surely attract a lot of users.

So we should start a few intriguing discussions. I think that one of the subjects that would gain the most attention is money - unfortunately my question about hour rates in Germany was closed as too localized (on the premises that would make 50% of questions on Travel.SE too localized). But it's still possible to redefine what is on topic and what is not.

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    Not to focus too much on semantics, but be careful using the word "discussions". Ideally, questions should be about real, actual problems that we face as freelancers. So far, I think we're doing a good job of that. But we need to be careful we don't fall into the trap of trying to force or game the system, as that doesn't always work out. With that said, if you have a question about a problem that you've faced or that others have faced, even if you now know the answer, that would be fine, but trying to ask questions for the sake of asking may not get the results we seek. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 May 27 '13 at 20:32
  • As an aside, you are onto something. We already have some interesting questions. You can use the "share" links underneath each one to get a customized link to share the questions with people you think would be interested. You'll also get credit towards the publicist, booster, and announcer badges if people outside Stack Exchange click on the link. :) – jmort253 May 27 '13 at 20:34
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    Well, I've meant 'discussion' it terms of how 'temperature' is measured - answers + comments + votes + views. Of course, I mean a good questions with a lot of answers that answer it from different perpectives, + comments about them. – Danubian Sailor May 27 '13 at 20:35
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It looks like our Freelancing SE Twitter account is a bit lonely! It has no followers! :(

If you use Twitter on a regular basis, be sure to visit the profile and follow it. Whenever a new question is posted on our site, Stack Exchange automatically tweets it, so anyone following it will see the questions in their feed.

One of the best ways to promote this site is using social networking tools to tweet interesting questions to your followers. If you see an interesting post in your Twitter feed, retweet it and share the knowledge with the rest of the world!

In addition to our Twitter account, each question and answer on the main site has a "share" link beneath it, which you may use to quickly share interesting questions on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

What's more, when you share questions using the "share" link, the link contains your userId, which is used to track clicks from unique IP addresses. These referrals help you earn the Announcer, Booster, and Publicist badges.

You can always tell who a community's biggest promoters are by looking at who has these badges. Who will be our first user to earn one of these badges? Keep your eyes on the list of badges. If you see someone earn one of these badges, you can announce their achievement in our Freelancing SE chat room. :)

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    Oh wow, I didn't know beta sites got their own twitter hooks. Fun! – Amelia Jun 28 '13 at 3:28
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    Good shout. Am now following and have retweeted a couple of posts (mainly ones that I answered!) – levelnis Jun 28 '13 at 10:33
  • Do people really follow these? If I wanted to know the latest hot questions, I just go to the site. Site is already mobile friendly. – Muz Apr 17 '14 at 15:40
  • Hi @Muz, the main takeaway from this is to get more people interested in Freelancing SE. This is where sharing links on your own social networks is helpful. The more links shared externally, the more people benefit from the help our site and community offers. Hope this helps! – jmort253 Apr 17 '14 at 17:12

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