The joys of seeing a site become popular
Ok, I’m not talking popular like facebook or anything…but, seeing your site grow with users is a great feeling. Early December 2012 I started a forum site for a particular niche and took to social media to start marketing it. Twitter and Tumblr have shown the best return on …er…effort, I guess.
In about 6 weeks, I’ve seen the site grow to:
- Over 1500 registered members
- Over 8000 posts
- Over 1400 images uploaded
- Over 150 blogs created
- Over 330,000 page views per month
- Average time spent: Just over 10 minutes
I still get excited every time I see a new sign-up. The best part of this is the ability to be completely agile (in its truest form). A user makes a post saying “Gee it would be nice to have feature A1″. I quickly go off an implement A1 without any significant market research. Users quickly provide feedback and I refine A1. So much better than once you formalize the process and it becomes: A user requested a feature. Let’s put it in the pipeline of feature requests. Lets do a market sizing and cost analysis. Let’s do a detailed functional requirement document. Let’s create technical specs. Let’s plan the rollout of the feature. Oh, that’s not what the user wanted. Ok,let’s plan another 6 month “agile” cycle…
Anyway, here’s hoping the site continues its growth. What I don’t know if if I’ve reach saturation point on the growth curve. Especially as it relates to monthly page views. It’s quite possible it’s going to take a constant influx of new members to compensate for the member site fatigue (those who naturally stop using the forum) just to keep that level of page views, but we will see.
After I started the forum, I found out there are two large forums already existing in this niche. I guess it shows that sometimes market research kills an idea before it starts. Had I researched this, I wouldn’t have started. As it is, I did, and I’m now the fastest growing forum compared to those two competitors. I am now on a plan for niche domination (insert evil laughter here). I’ve offered to try buy one of the forums and I’ll have to get creative on beating the other one by simply offering a better user experience and more value.