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  1. Dates should always be scheduled for the weekend. But then, let's not talk about what 'should happen' because it makes sense only in an ideal world, which we sadly are not a part of. Also, if you ever get asked "Wanna catch up tonight?", and you say "No", you, my friend, have some real catching up to do. It often so happens that you have the prospect of a date right after work, but by the time you're out of work you look like you have run a marathon and haven't showered for several days. The end result? You refuse, or you end up putting them off. It's not your fault, though. Thankfully, there is a solution. We have listed out 6 clever ways to freshen up and be date ready after work, when you don't have the time to shower. 1. Dry Shampoo Use a dry shampoo to instantly take care of your greasy, lifeless hair. Yes, it is a shampoo and no, you don't need water to use it. Just spray it on, and brush it through. © Amazon India BBlunt's dry shampoo absorbs excess grime and grease, and is specially created for Indian hair. Price: INR 468/- buy here 2. Wet Wipes This is your emergency saviour when you don't have the luxury of even washing your face. It will clean your face, remove the dirt and grime, and you will smell great. © Amazon India Kara Face Aloe Mint wipes contain mint oil, that refreshes your face in seconds, and they also have the hydrating properties of aloe vera. Price: INR 110/- Buy here 3. BB Cream A BB cream is neither a cream nor a foundation - but something in between. You can use it just like you use a regular cream - but make sure the quantity is much, much less, and you apply it all over your face in tiny dots and then blend it really well with your finger tips. Your face will instantly have a fresh glow. © Amazon India Maybelline New York BB Cream comes in 3 shades, so choose the shade closest to your skin tone and enjoy instant glow on your skin. Price: INR 179/- Buy here 4. Face mist Spray your face and neck with a face mist to feel incredibly fresh, even without taking a shower. © Amazon India Kama Ayurveda Pure Rose mist is enriched with natural astringent properties, and a small spritz will freshen you right up, any time of the day. Price: INR 250/- Buy here 5. Anti-perspirant Use an anti-perspirant earlier at noon, when you're all relaxed and are working. It takes time to block your sweat glands. Doing this will make sure that by the time you're done with work, you won't sweat excessively. © Amazon India Nivea Deo Fresh Active Roll On will do just that, and keep you fresh before your date. Price: INR 124/- Buy here 6. Deodorant (Of Course) Last but not the least, you need to have a deo handy, and we don't need to explain why. © Amazon India With its perfect blend of Apple Notes, Muguet And Cedar Wood, Wild Stone Gold is your go-to deo before a date. Price: INR 200/- Buy here
  2. Last week I wrote a piece on how college friendships don't necessarily last forever because of how life gets in the way. Of course, I expected people to bash me up in the comment section for daring to question the eternal bond that bros share. But what I didn't expect was the avalanche of friends tagging each other left, right and centre, begging to promise to stay friends for the rest of their life. This led me to wonder that, of course, friendship is precious and hard to find, but it is equally hard to maintain it. It is a sadness of a whole different kind when you realise that someone who was once your brother-from-another-mother, is slowly edging away from you. Friendship is not as simple as it used to be. Gone are the days when singing “ye dosti hum nahi todenge” at the top of our lungs when we were kids was all it took to seal our bond with our bro. Things are different now. You actually have to take out time from your busy life and be there for your friend. You need to assure them constantly that they are an important part of your life and you simply cannot take them for granted, or else they start drifting away slowly from you, and you won't even realise when they completely disappear from your life. So, in case you are finding your best bud, your 'bro for life' suddenly pulling back from you and drifting away, here are 10 ways that can help you in bringing them back: 1. Ask Yourself If You Still Want Them In Your Life Sometimes we remain in touch or stay friends with someone out of obligation for old time's sake. But, that is not the right reason to keep someone in your life. Ask yourself if this is the same friend you met all those years ago. I know it sounds brutal, but it is a necessary step before trying to bring them back into your life. 2. Figure Out What Caused The Gap In The First Place Was it a really bad fight? Was it over a girl? Or did long distance just take the spark out of your friendship? Figure this out first of all. Because, if it was a really trivial thing, then maybe you can move on. But if it was something major that caused a divide between you and your bro, then you need to make some tough decisions. 3. Text/Call Your Friend & Get Everything Off Your Chest You know you have been avoiding them because you have been feeling guilty for not staying in touch as much as you should. So stop torturing yourself and give him a call and just pour your heart out. Once you break that wall, things will become much smoother. 4. Take A Walk Down Memory Lane & Relive Those Golden Days I often drift into memories from my college and school days when I'm missing my friends. Having fun at Sports Day and the Annual Day function, being both terrified and thrilled at the Fresher's Day party, introducing myself to my new classmates in college and the joy of finding new friends. All these memories just bring a wave of nostalgia and I can't help but call or text my old pals. Try it. 5. Catch Up Over Drinks There is nothing in the world a pint of chilled beer can't fix. In case you feel like you have not spoken to your bud in a while, all you need to do is catch up over drinks and voila! It won't even feel like you haven't spoken in a while. Of course, drink sensibly and don't get drunk out of your skull. You'll actually want to remember your evening. 6. Show Your Friend You Actually Care About Him Stop being a jerk and start giving a damn about your friend. He is not someone you can take for granted. Of course, he is going to drift away if you only call him when you need something. So please, try and be there for your friend. Good friends are not easy to come by, so you need to cherish them. 7. Find Something You & Your Bro Love To Do & Just Go For It It could be anything, from going on weekly drives to monthly getaways. Or a visit to an old age home on your birthday or even getting together at someone's place every weekend. Plan out something that ensures you meet your best bros as much as you can. Calls and texts have their own place, but there is nothing like actually meeting in person and having a ball. 8. Talk Often About Being In Each Other's Life Even When You're Old © Pinterest In case you have seen 'How I Met Your Mother', you will remember how certain episodes showed the characters often picturing scenarios where they are together even when they are old with grandchildren. And we know how close their gang was, all through the way. Talking about being in each other's lives in the future, not only brings you closer to your friend, but also assures you that you will have a friend for the rest of your life. 9. Make A Pact & Swear On It Make a promise, an 'unbreakable oath' of sorts. No, I'm not talking about being there to help your friend throw up after a drinking session, I'm talking about a pact for a lifetime. It could be from being there to watch each other's kids grow up or taking a world tour together when you are 60. Something that will only solidify your bond with your bro. 10. Apologise Get over your pride and just do it, man. You know you made a mistake and it is only your ego that is making you push your friend away. Get over yourself, pick up that phone and say you are sorry. It could also be the other person's mistake, in that case, don't be a bonehead and just sit and sulk about it. Talk to him and help him see his fault. Once he sees that you actually want to save your friendship, he will start seeing you with different eyes. Guys, let me be very honest here. Having good and true friends who are ready to take a bullet for you and are actually there for you in time of need, is nothing but God's gift. If you have such people in your life, do not treat like crap and take them for granted. You know that saying “you don't know a good thing till it's gone”? Well, it is true in every sense. If you can fight for your parents and your girlfriend, how about fighting to keep your best friend in your life as well?
  3. If you're an inherently romantic guy, that's actually a great gift to have. Being romantic also means you're a sensitive bloke and quite in tune with your emotions and that's a great way to get with the ladies. But sometimes when you really want to be an outright romantic, you mostly get called out, made fun of or are judged by your best mates. That's because, by the textbook definition, men aren't supposed to show any kind of emotion and if they do, they're referred to as wimps, by other men, in this masculinity-driven world! © Thinkstock/Getty Images But let me tell you one thing. The mark of a man who 'has it all' or is complete in every sense is shown in how he deals with his emotions and shows them when the time is right. I agree, one shouldn't be easily swept away by emotions all the time but emotional intelligence is something one learns to autotune in time. But in any case, if you are a hopeless romantic and love showing that side of yours to women, but think it may make you seem like a wimp to the guys, then there's a way to not be called a romantic wimp and still please your girl. Here are 3 simple steps to be romantic without your bros thinking you've lost your mind and your masculinity: Make Romantic The New Sexy Men being macho is the surest sign of true masculinity according to our society, but it only takes a few men to change mindsets, since we all live in a time where the 'herd mentality' is quite prevalent. If you propagate the idea of how romantic men are really cool and complete, it will be echoed far and wide through the existing men's world. So, if you can't control your emotions when you're in love with someone, make it seem like it's absolutely cool to display these emotions and that it's sexy AF. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Be Confident Only with great confidence do people respect you more. So, if you do seem like someone who expels a lot of emotions and is made fun of for that, maybe it's time to expel some amount of confidence too? That way, people who make fun of you for expelling emotions will stop doing so, knowing that you do it with confidence. Always be confident, even when you're doing the tackiest of things. It helps people gain a fresher perspective. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Have Balance Don't let your self-respect go for a toss while pleasing the ladies with your romantic antics. You're only respected if your self-respect is intact, otherwise, you're actually and truly a wimp. So, have balance when you're displaying emotions for your girl and don't go overboard. It'll not only make you seem like a lost puppy, it will piss her off too! So, in case you're in that confused space where your friends pick on you for being overly romantic and your girl gets cheesed off if you're not romantic, you can maybe put these three steps into practice to strike the perfect balance.
  4. You will always find someone or the other advising you to "get out of your comfort zone" in order to do better. Problem lies in not knowing the so called zone. Well, today we going to help you with just that. You could have your own personal challenges that force you out of your comfort zone but here are some, that will make the game even more interesting for you. Here is your chance to break through your threshold limit. It is all up to you and where you want to stop. 1. Pick up a hobby that you have no expertise in. © Thinkstock It could be anything like cooking, dancing, painting, swimming, or playing an instrument like the guitar or ukulele. It should be something that challenges you and will make you grow. 2. Go trekking. © Thinkstock Trekking will be the perfect kickstart to your challenge of getting out of your comfort zone. It will test you physically and mentally both. Here is how trekking can change your life. 3. Join a Toastmasters club. © Thinkstock If you have stage fright or just want to improve how you deliver a speech before a large crowd, this is the place to be. If you want to improve your spoken English, then look for no other place but a Toastmasters club in your vicinity. 4. Read a genre you have been avoiding till now. © Thinkstock You can choose science fiction, satire, romance, self-help, horror, drama, mystery, or action, or an adventure novel. Anything for which you have not been able to summon enough courage in the past. Remember, not everything we need has to be presented to us as a piece of cake. 5. Live alone, outside of your hometown, away from your parents. © Thinkstock For once in life or maybe for a year, live somewhere all by yourself. It could be the city where you work. No old friends, no relatives, nor parents. This will be hard at first but you will learn how to take care of things all by yourself. 6. Go on a solo trip. © Thinkstock Nothing is better than going on a solo trip. Choose the place you have always wanted to see and explore it. You will meet new people, a different language, and culture and will learn how people live in different parts of the world. 7. Attend different events and make new friends. © Thinkstock If you are an introvert who prefers hiding his face behind a book, then this is what you need to do. Join a group, a club or randomly attend events, seminars or go watch a play. Meet new people and share your experience with them and learn from theirs. 8. Shuffle your schedule. © Thinkstock If you are a night owl, then try changing this schedule for some time. Vice versa if you are a morning person. Sure, it will be uncomftortable, but you'll see the change eventually. 9. Spend time with people who have accomplished more than you. © AZ Quotes It will be challenging but it is possible. Jim Rohn, a famous motivational speaker said, “you are the average of five people you spend the most time with.” You never know when you may get inspired and motivated to do something great in life. 10. Enter a competition where the odds are against you. © Thinkstock AB de Villiers is a cricket legend, but did you know that he has played so many sports professionally, that one can't imagine doing in a lifetime. He is a pro in swimming, hockey, football, rugby, cricket, badminton, and what not. Challenge yourself. Don't constrain yourself to one thing only.
  5. Overeating is the cause of obesity and many other diseases. Yes, you read that right. You are not overweight because 1. The insulin fairy got you. 2. You are not eating gluten-free. 3. Sugar/carbs/fat/dairy (add any food that you think is making you fat). 4. You didn't detox on the weekend! You are not losing weight because you are not eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight long enough to see a reduction in your body's fat stores. In short, you are OVEREATING! Now that we have established that overeating is what causes one to become overweight, let's scroll down for some awesome tips to enhance your life and beat overeating for good! 1. Portion Control © Thinkstock/Getty Images As we now know that to lose weight you have to eat fewer calories, and the best way to cut calories from your diet without getting into the nitty-gritty of calorie counting is to control your portion sizes. In my coaching career, I have come across many people who come to me saying that they only eat home-cooked food and they are still not losing weight having this misconception that eating out is what makes one fat. While it is true that eating out frequently can make one fat but that is because of the fact that most eateries serve two, three, four times the amount of food as compared to an ordinary serving and the hyper palatability of food which can easily be dealt with by requesting for a go-to box before beginning your dinner. When it's served, put 1/2 of your plate in the container and enjoy your meal. In the same way, when eating at home try to reduce your portion size, eat 2 chapatis instead of 3 or eat half a cup of rice instead of one. 2. Eating Every 2-3 Hours For Losing Fat Is Stupidity © Thinkstock/Getty Images I am pretty sure that you must have heard numerous times that you need to eat every 2-3 hours at least 6-7 meals a day to lose fat because it raises your metabolism. However, this is completely untrue, meal frequency does not have any effect on the rate of fat loss. What matters is the overall calories. So, if you are a type of person who tends to overeat when eating smaller meals, this way of eating can be counterproductive for you when you're trying to cut down body fat because it will make you go over your caloric limit that you should be eating. Instead, try to find a system that helps you feel satiated and energetic for the duration of the day and not prompt binging and obsession over food. If you like eating 6 meals a day, eat 6 meals a day, if you are one of those people who feel better eating fewer larger meals, eat that way. The point is to find out what works for you and makes you stick to the amount of food you should be eating. 3. Keep Trigger Foods Out Of Your Sight © Thinkstock/Getty Images Let's get it very clear—the only reason you have ice cream in your freezer and cookies in your pantry is that you intend to eat them. Nobody stocks food thinking 'let's buy this choco-chip ice cream but I am not going to eat it'. Now there is nothing wrong with having your favorite ice cream or cookies every now and then within your calorie limit. The problem arises because of the hyper-palatability of these foods. So, the simple solution is to figure out your trigger foods and do not keep them at home. 4. Meal Prepping © Thinkstock/Getty Images Sounds boring and laborious, right? But it can be a lifesaver for you if you are one of those people who are always in a lookout for what to eat for breakfast, what to eat for lunch, etc. More often than not, these are the type of people who will order something or go out and eat without being mindful. Investing 2-3 hours twice a week for your health and well-being is not a big investment that should be ignored. At least it is much better than mindless hogging of calorie-laden, micronutrient devoid food. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.
  6. The army?s media wing said that the talks between two sides focused on the operationalisation of recently concluded Afghan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability. Photo: ISPRRAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff(COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa...
  7. Whether you are preparing for a competitive exam or for life, a healthy brain will always help you wherever you go. After all, it is directly related with your success in life. You do not need to devise a military level kind of plan but practising a few healthy habits that you can infuse with discipline in your lifestyle can take you places. Here are few simple ways you can help your brain become more efficient. 1. Eat Healthy © Thinkstock Here in order to help you brain muscles develop, you need to eat food that are high in Vitamin B, antioxidants, and Omega 3 fatty acid. You can have blueberries, carrots, spinach, red grapes, salmon, beans, and lentils plus some leafy vegetables. Drink green tea, red wine, and coffee. You can have a moderate amount of dark chocolate as well. 2. Quit Smoking © Thinkstock Researchers at Tel Aviv measured the IQs of 20,000 men between the ages of 18 and 21 enrolled in the Israeli Army. There they found out that people who smoked more than a pack a day averaged a 90 on their IQ tests, while that for a nonsmoker was 101. From several other studies, it has been concluded that years of tobacco use appears to dull mental performance. It just dims the speed and accuracy of a person's overall thinking ability too. 3. Meditate © Thinkstock Stress not only breaks you at an emotional level but it also damages your brain cells. What do we do to deal with stress? We meditate. There are many apps available for your Android and iPhone that you can install and begin practising with. Here is one for your reference. 4. Just Dance © Thinkstock A recent study done at Colorado State University found a surprising correlation between dancing and strengthening white matter in the brain. The researchers divided a group of people in following categories with a certain task: aerobic walking, aerobic walking + daily nutritional supplement, balance and stretching classes, dance classes. The study found that the group who was involved in dance as an activity maintained the strongest brains. 5. Ditch Sugar Whenever Possible © Thinkstock Make it a thumb rule, as any diet high in sugar can induce inflammation, cause oxidative stress and poor insulin regulation in the body. If you are consuming a diet high in fructose over the long term may then it can alter your brain's ability to learn and remember information. 6. Don't Be Sleep-Deprived © Thinkstock It is very important for you to have enough sleep for your mind to function efficiently. It should be in the cycle of 1.5 hours and should be at least straight 8 hours long. In a study conducted at the University of Luebeck, it was found that individuals who had rested well were three times more likely to figure out the rule for solving the equations than those who did not get enough sleep. If you are having trouble with your sleep pattern then here are some mindful hacks to get a better sleep without oversleeping. 7. Cut Back Your TV Hours © Thinkstock A study conducted at Iowa State University showed that people who watched more than two hours of TV a day were up to twice as likely to be diagnosed with some form of attention disorder such as ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). This majorly occurs due to the amount of rapid-fire stimuli the brain is typically overloaded with while watching television. 8. Exercise © Thinkstock According to Harvard Medical School reports, if you practice Tai Chi, along with yoga, it improves your mental clarity and induces relaxation. Such exercises also help maintain focus, energy, and composure at work. Here are 13 proven ways that can help you develop a laser-like focus. 9. Take Up Swimming © Thinkstock Whenever you hold your breath while swimming it improves the flow of blood to your brain. This way the more oxygen that travels to your brain, the stronger it gets. 10. Consider Taking An HGH Supplement © MR SUPPLEMENT While too much consumption of Human Growth Hormone can be bad, the regulated use of it can help your body to develop. It helps in cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans. As per a study conducted at the University of Washington, it was found that cognitive ability improved 5–7% in people taking HGH supplements, compared to those taking a placebo.
  8. Trekking may sound like a fun activity, but only real trekkers know the herculean effort it takes to actualy complete a succesful trek. Of course, it needs determination and physical fitness but it also needs planning, coordination and a certain level of preparedness that will let you survive in the wild. Now, I am not saying it is super tough and that you should forget about it, instead, you should definitely go for it but only with proper preparation. It will be a test for every inch of your body. After all, as Mark Ruffalo has said, “Those places where you find resistance in yourself, that's where growth happens.” © Reuters 1. It makes you push your limits. © Marvel Studios It could be the first 5 minutes of the trek when you realize, that you can't breathe from your nose and are breathing from your mouth, which results in you having a meltdown and simply give up. It is at this point when you will ask yourself, that did you come so far just to give up at the beginning itself? You will push and convince yourself that there is no other option, and you will go through with it. It won't be just the test of your physical toughness, but also how mentally strong you are about your decision and to what limit you are ready to push yourself to get there. 2. You will get disconnected to everything unnecessary. © Thinkstock No signal, that means no calls on your smartphone. When you go trekking you won't see the crowd you see in cities, but will be left alone with nature and your friends, in case they are tagging along. You won't be thinking about anything but accomplishing your target. That gives you laser-like focus. Yes, a mere 4-day trekking can help you so much. 3. You will get mentally stronger while learning how to survive in a tough situation. © Thinkstock You won't see any grocery store up there and you will have to carry everything essential you need to survive this trip. You will carry the cooking utensils, food, your tent and you will also cook your own food in the most extreme conditions. Be it hail, snowstorm or even wild animals, you have no option but to find a way to survive. 4. You will know how to keep moving. © Thinkstock Simple. Because you will no other option up there. You cannot be left behind from your fellow trekkers and stay all alone till they return. You will have to keep moving on. Nature forces you to empty all your options and makes you focus only on your target. 5. You will be filled with energy when you get back. © Thinkstock When you get back, you will be filled with immense energy and enthusiasm. The tougher it was for you the better you will feel accomplishing it. You will feel focused, lively, proactive and discover a side to you, that you never knew existed. You will get that zeal back and find yourself right back on track.
  9. To monetize, or not to monetize, that is the question that preoccopies our administrators! Ok, I'm no Shakespeare, but a vital question community owners are faced with at some point is: can we and should we make some money from our community? Let's first look at the "should we?" Absolutely! You don't need to frustrate your users or risk goodwill by starting monetization. Running a community comes with tangible costs in terms of paying for the monthly cloud plans or license and hosting costs. Not to mention your own time which must be factored into this decision. If the community sustained all or part of your income, could you commit more time to help it grow? Now lets look at the "can we?" Absolutely! You made a great choice by building your platform with Invision Community. We have built in monetization tools that allow you to collect micro-payments from third party systems; and we have tools for selling products and services. Advertisements An obvious choice, many sites will turn to advertisements through Google Adsense or a similar service to generate income from their community. Whether this approach will work for your community or not is dependent upon many factors. Do you generate enough traffic that you will actually earn an income from advertisements? Do enough of your audience browse your site without tools such as Adblock installed? Is your site compatible with any of the many advertisement services out there? This is worth checking to make sure. Advertisement services are a relatively easy solution for generating micro-payments. It's unlikely you'll be able to retire any time soon on advertising payments alone though. An alternative approach to using advertisements is to sell advertisement space on your own site through Commerce. This can be an especially attractive option if your site holds a captive audience in a specific niche, as advertisers will be certain their ads are targetting the niche they are aiming to target effectively. Viglink Viglink is a service that looks for commercial product references in user-generated content, and links to those products using referral links that can generate revenue. Generally speaking, there is no real harm in using such a service as the functionality is transparent for most users. Invision Community features integration with Viglink out of the box. You simply need to enter certain account information into the AdminCPand the software will handle the rest. Charging for products If you sell digital or physical products, you can leverage Invision Community to help facilitate the sale of such products through your community site. If you are an expert or leader in your field, then why not write a short e-book on your subject and put it up for sale? Low cost e-books under $10 tend to sell really well and it's a great way to generate some passive trickle income. Sale, renewals, invoicing, shipping, customer support and more are all possible through our Commerce product with powerful features that allow you to easily sell products locally and around the world. Charging for additional access The simplest way to monetize your community is to charge for VIP access. This may be for elevated permissions, such as being able to upload larger files, post more content per day and access specific features like user signatures, special badges and so on. You can also set up VIP forums that regular members do not have access to. In fact, Invision Community can be tailored towards being an e-learning platform simply by setting up a subscription in Commerce and creating a private forum only the VIP group can access. Simply post a new topic with each learning module. Topics can contain embeds from YouTube and Vimeo if you prefer to deliver training over video. Be sure to give previews of such areas if you do sell access to additional areas of the community. For example, you can allow all users to "see" that a forum exists, but show an error message to regular members who attempt to read topics in the forum, while allowing subscribers full access to those topics. This helps naturally entice users into subscribing to gain additional access by allowing them to see what they will gain access to. Charging a fee for facilitation Another possible avenue to monetize your community is by charging a fee for facilitating file sharing between your members. The Downloads application allows users to upload and even sell their files to other users on the community, while also allowing the administrator of the community to retain a percentage of all sales. If your community serves a niche that may see online sales of files in a marketplace-type setting, you can earn some money by administering such a marketplace. As you can see, there are several opportunities available with Invision Community to monetize your community. Do you use any other methods of monetizing your community?
  10. There are many different reasons to build a community. It might be based on your business or a hobby. It may be to talk about your favourite sports team. Whatever the content, the key to success is to engage your community. We've been helping successful communities for over 15 years. During that time, we've picked up a handful of tips that we are going to share with you today. Pick one to try this week and let us know how you get on. Welcome every single member A great way to make members feel welcome at your community is to post a daily or weekly topic welcoming your new members. Post a short message asking them to introduce themselves and tag new members. This will encourage them to start a discussion that others can get involved with. It won't be long before friends are made and what may have been a passing member will be part of your core community. Host a "lurker week" Every few months, host a "Lurker week" where you encourage non-posting members to join in. You can explain the benefits of the community and encourage them to say hello. It's a great way to get people to introduce themselves. Suzi Nelson pioneered this over at Digital Marketer. She created a lurker themed week and was able to activate 44% of her previously inactive members in only five days! Spotlight members you want others to model Often you will see a member do something amazing in the community. Maybe they posted a really good question or perhaps they have been very active and helped many other members. Create a topic about it. Highlight how and why they are an asset they are to the community. This sends a positive message to other members that these kinds of actions will be celebrated. You can even turn this into a weekly or monthly ritual where you celebrate the member of the week or month. Educate about notifications The notifications system in Invision Community is the best way to get return visits. Why not put up a pinned topic in a visible area reminding your members how to get the best from the notification system, and asking them to enable them and follow any interesting forums or topics. This way they won't miss out of any discussion while they're away and as a bonus, they're more likely to return to catch up. Regular Interaction This is a very simple but often overlooked tip. As the community manager your purpose is to facilitate discussion. Make sure you show up regularly and create new discussions as well as reply to existing ones. People are more likely to post if they feel they will get a reply. Often your reply will send off a cascade of more interaction as different facets of the conversions come out. Ask for feedback Members love to be involved in brainstorms and to share their thoughts. Asking for feedback works on two levels. You get great ideas on how to improve your community. It is also a great tactic to get discussion going. Taking action on feedback makes that person feel more invested in your community and will champion it to others. Try and be specific when asking for feedback. Try "How can I increase the level of activity" or "Do you need any articles or topics written on specific subjects". The more specific, the easier it will be for your members to narrow down their thoughts. Be persistent These tips might give your community a short burst of engagement. To build a long lasting and highly engaged community, you have to be persistent and keep at it. The key to building a community is simple: put in the work and care about your members. If your members see how much you care and that you are showing up every day, they are more likely to show up too. Which of these tips are you going to try this week?
  11. Despite your best efforts, is engagement a problem for your community? You have your site promotion running well and you are seeing plenty of traffic but it doesn't convert into comments, posts or reactions? Invision Community is a powerful platform that offers layers of complexity for the many sites it powers. When you are struggling to convert page views into comments, it's worth taking a step back and evaluating your site from a new user's point of view. We'll take you through our 6 best tips to simplify your site and increase engagement using built in tools. #1 Use Social Sign In with at least Facebook and Twitter enabled. Social sign in makes it easy for causal visitors to become content contributors by creating an account. Social sign in removes the complex registration form that may put some off. It's a fact that most people visiting your site will have either a Facebook account or a Twitter account. Use that to your advantage! #2 Use Profile Completion One of the biggest reasons sites fail to convert visitors into members is because of large or complex forms. If you have many required profile fields, your potential member is likely to abandon the form. Use the Profile Completion system with fewer fields where possible for a simpler registration form. The Profile Completion system allows new members to complete their profile in their own time. Of course, you can still enforce vital fields before members can contribute. #3 Use Fluid View Traditional forums can be a little daunting to site visitors used to Facebook. The top down categorisation is a strength for separating conversations. Yet, it can be confusing for a first time visitor to navigate. Fluid view breaks down these boundaries by presenting your conversations in one simple list. By removing the need to jump between forum containers, new visitors are encourage to keep diving deeper into your conversations. An engaged visitor is more likely to contribute. #4 Keep your forum structure simple Even with fluid view enabled, complex forum structures can confuse. Consider a brand new forum with a hundred different conversation areas. Would a new user know where to go and post? Would they be put off thinking they are posting in the wrong area? The best advice is always start off with as few forum containers as possible and increase them as your community grows. #5 Use Reactions One of the simplest ways to increase engagement is to turn on Reactions. Reactions allow other members to leave feedback on a post in a few clicks. The default reactions allow one to like, give thanks, express confusion, sadness or happiness. You can add your own reactions to tailor the platform to your niche and personality. Non-verbal engagement is important for your active posters. If they receive reactions to their posts, they are more likely to reply more and return often to see what feedback they have received. #6 Use the Sign In/Sign Up widget A very simple way to increase visitor to member conversion is to just ask them to register. Invision Community ships with a drag and drop widget that you can use to outline what your site is about and encourage registration. In one very simple but prominent box, you can see what the site is about and how to join in. Summary New and existing communities should take a moment to see their site through a new visitor's eyes. Consider how easy your structure is to navigate and how many barriers to registration there are. You can streamline both registration and conversation presentation with our built in tools. The key to increasing engagement is to make it a simple as possible to join your community. Make sure your barriers or entry are set low. Not using Invision Community? We can convert you from other platforms preserving your data. Our migration page has more information on the platforms we can convert you from.