Despite receiving offers to infuse their forum with ghost users in the early days, YakAngler.com turned down the offers, rolled up their sleeves, and grew their trusted forum naturally.
We were fortunate enough to ask them a few questions on how they did it. Please enjoy.
YakAngler is THE Ultimate Kayak Fishing Resource.
When we first developed the site we had offers from competitors to import ghost users so our forum would seem to be popular. We turned them down and went the slow and steady pace, picking up new users naturally. Thus the forum is always active and has tons of content, I think this grass roots approach to building the site is what resonates with our users.
And how long did it take to generate traction? It took us 2 years to finally get the site moving where we were not answering all questions ourselves. Keeping things fresh on the site was tough we had to post stuff daily in the forums to encourage conversations and also share it out to social media for more traction.
We have over 4K registered users and over 100 posts a day on average. I would say when the site was self supporting and we were not putting our personal money into it to keep the lights on. This is the point where we felt like the site would be here to stay.
I don’t feel the forum admin should worry about moderators until they start becoming overwhelmed on the forum. I also think just like having fake users having a forum with a ton of Mods and very little activity makes your forums seem less legitimate.
We have endured a ton of issues from hacking attempts, botched software upgrades, horrible hosting companies, and bad web/software developers. I didn’t expect that running a website when the site was first launched would be so much work.
Look at your competition, if you see a void that needs to be filled do it. You need to find a way to make your site stand out from the competition. Being the new kid on the block is VERY tough and will take a TON of dedication or money to the project to make sure it succeeds.
If you truly love what your forum promotes than you are on the right path, but if you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, this is not the right place to start.