LovelyReality

Building Trust and Growing Your Forum Naturally: Interview With YakAngler

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.

1. If you were in an elevator and had to describe the YakAngler forum to a stranger before reaching your floor, what would you say?

YakAngler is THE Ultimate Kayak Fishing Resource.

2. Your forum is in an extremely competitive space, why do you think it
has resonated so much with people?

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.

3. The “Dropout Rate” (quitting while trying to build a site) is extremely high with new forums because it’s not easy to gain traction within a new community, how did you do it?

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.

4. Now having almost 1,000 over 4,000 members, can you describe the moment when you knew that the forum was going to be a success?

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.

5. At what point in time does a forum administrator need to bring in (or appoint) moderators? Is that something new forum owners should worry about when launching?

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.

6. What sort of technical problems (if any) did you endure along the way that you didn’t expect?

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.

7. What advice (practical or conceptual) would you give to someone who wanted to start their own forum?

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.

8. Final thoughts? Advice?

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.

how to create a forum

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