One of the things is establishing a reputation for being fair and RESPECTING the members.
It is amazing what one disgruntled member can achieve especially if his grievance is justified. And how much he can affect the membership of one site.
Many site owners/admins and mods act in a manner that is detrimental to growth.
An overbearing admin or mod, will drive away good members never to return, as will treating a member unfairly. Treat your members right and they will treat you and your site right.
If respect is shown to your members, then you will keep them and they will bring in their friends and help you build up a strong membership.
If you adopt an attitude that instead of "showing their power" for their own gratification, your staff assume an attitude that in effect they work for and are there to assist the members, then your members will be loyal to you and help your site to grow in a good way.
All this must come from the top. If the owner or admin is on a power trip, ( As many are) then it will be hard for the site to grow with decent honest loyal members.
Good luck and thank you for being considerate and asking. AL.
@extreme-gaming. Thank you for a very informative link.
I like the part about reporting cyber bullying to TOS.
A very good idea for when an admin goes off the rails.
Your post is greatly appreciated. Thank you.