What sim owners and admins sometimes overlook is the importance of keywords and tags for SL and web search engines for their sims. I'll see sims using wasteful words like: "new rules month/day/year"
or "no hogties"
or "on climbing walls"
or "no cheating"
... and so on. No one uses those kinds of words to search for roleplay sims and no one cares if your sim has new rules or applications or what not. Kinda like a real estate company patting themselves on the back and saying we're Number 1 ... no one cares. Use relevant but simple keywords.
I'll give you examples for what works for Valkyrie Forest. Maybe you can use this for your sim. The Valkyrie has been around eight years in SL, our sim six years, and our sim is consistent in getting high traffic ranging from 20k to the 30,000s and we attribute our success to what I've been doing for years. The recipe for success is treat people well and kindly and respectfully and they will reciprocate. Bring something fresh and unique to the game like Valkyrie did and you will draw people to you. Be consistent and people will appreciate that. My sim tier costs about $300 USD per month after paying Linden Lab their market exchange/conversion fees. I can't afford to pay that kind of money for my sim, I'm just a girl in college. And I've never had to pay a dime from my own pocket in all the years I've owned the sim. The sim pays for itself. We get so many visitors, have many residents, and they generously donate to the sim. Without my people, this kind of traffic, I'm nothing. I couldn't pull this off. This is how you too will know your sim is successful - if it pays for itself and you never have to pull money out of your own pocket.
Search engines are also your friend. So here are some screen shots I've taken on puu.sh for today's traffic report which was 26,421. In the first image, I used "panther" in search, and we come out on top of all panther searches. We always do. Second screen shot, I used "panthers" plural and still on top. Why? Because I've covered all bases and included these words in our land group tag. Third image, I used keyword "torvie" and we still come out top dog in the search engine. Fourth image I used "torvaldsland" as a keyword and you can see we dropped down to number 3. Helheim and Jarnskog overtake us as top Torvaldsland. Know what? I don't mind. We used to be number 1 in Torvaldsland searches, but these two sims have creeped up from behind and good for them! See? At least I use it in search, and people seeking a torvie themed sim can find us because we are northern, on the border between the Northern Forest and Torvaldsland in the region of the ravens, the Valkyrie Forest. Annnd finally number five, I used "gorean" and we drop down to number 9 (same if you use "gor" in search) and that's still pretty good. We have tied or surpassed Ar a few times, but realistically, we know they'll usually do better and props to them. We also accept the fact that the Gor Hub, BDSM sites and stores and non-gorean places, non-roleplay sites will beat everyone in the search engines. But we still have our bases covered with the right keywords. Here are the images:https://puu.sh/th3yD/f7cced73d7.jpghttps://puu.sh/th3CX/e94547c319.jpghttps://puu.sh/th3Gj/b358964e99.jpghttps://puu.sh/th3IA/81ddf14fb0.jpghttps://puu.sh/th3L3/4cf18d6577.jpg
Last month, we suffered a split. A couple of former leaders decided they wanted to do things their way and got their own sim and made their own tribe. They have been doing pretty good with some of the former Valkyrie they manage to take with them. They've been doing pretty well with traffic, but like all splits, we both are stretched thin now and it has hurt our traffic somewhat. It comes down to a power struggle. They wanted to seize control. And like Lagertha in Vikings, I intend to recover my people and take back what is mine.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71SUASZbdqwhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71SUASZbdqw
The Second Life grid suffered a major blow today with their servers and log ins going down. This lasted for hours and Valkyrie Forest was down all morning. So I expect our traffic to suffer tomorrow. Stuff like this happens. But if you remain strong, consistent, and are smart, you and your group and sim can come out ahead.