I've got a niche restaurant rating site, and there is only one direct competitor out there, that has been the go to site for this niche for about a decade. My site is different in every way other than the fact that it has restaurant listings and reviews. Sites like Yelp, etc are very indirect competition, and are not a concern for me at the moment.
I'm still working out bugs and developing one last feature to complete the MVP. However I'm getting about 50 visitors a day right now due to organic search engine traffic. I have done zero advertising and am not yet ready to market the site. At the same time, I want to get these early adopters signed up and hopefully contributing to the content on the site. Right now, very few of these visitors are converting to registered members.
I have an option for FB login, and also a standard site login. The FB connect is very simple and requires just the users FB login credentials (they would likely already be logged into facebook and so already be authenticated). The standard signup and registration process has been simplified, however I am asking for mandatory things like: (1) first name, (2) last name, (3) email address, (4) username, (5) password, (6) zip/postal code. The optional fields on the signup form are: (1) gender, (2) birth date.
Is this too much to ask of someone to signup? Should I minimize to just username, email address, and password?
What can I do to start optimizing conversions for the early adopters?
Lastly, once a visitor has registered as a member, how can I encourage them to continue to post reviews and keep them coming back to my site?
PS- not sure if it makes a difference, but right now my current target and focus is only on one major city in North America.