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I want to motivate people, who do not already write, to write about their lives and publish their stories on my new web site. What would motivate someone to write and share their personal stories?

  • Would you anonymize the stories? The Internet being forever this would be highly desirable. – Bookeater Apr 15 '18 at 17:34
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A pitch

An editor of the resource writes an article on some topic, a topic that resonates well with the readers, so everybody is eager to share his/her own experience. This approach is good for very short stories, but not as good if you want your contributors to write multiple pages.

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The biggest motivator is going to be example. If you have stories of your own, or stories other people have told you (and are willing for you to circulate), others are more likely to participate.

You could also try creating a prompt to encourage people to write the sort of stories you're looking for. Look at the way other websites do this (including the writing challenge on the Meta of this SE).

It's going to be difficult - near impossible - to motivate people to be the first or second contributor on a new website, particularly one involving personal stories. But if there's already a "gang", new people are going to be more inclined to join.

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I want to motivate people, who do not already write, to write about their lives and publish their stories on my new web site. What would motivate someone to write and share their personal stories?

Money. Publicity. Connections. A platform.

If you are promoting yourself, you will have a bit of trouble with your stated goal. If you are hoping to promote others, they will write for you.

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"What do people care about?" People will always share stories about what they love, care about, or have strong feelings toward/against.

"Can they relate?" Sad and/or very personal stories have a weird way of drawing out stories from others. Some people want to show you that you're not alone, and others feel safe enough to release a burden of their own by confessing their own story.

"Does your experience confirm/reject a bias that people tend to have?" People will always want to jump in and tell an opposite story or a confirming story that they've experienced, either to support or correct.

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