Journal Starting a Forum (This One!)

Discussion in 'Case Studies and Journals' started by cardine, Dec 10, 2015.

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  1. fiksie

    fiksie Member

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    1000 members!
    gz gz
     
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  2. megodon

    megodon Active Member

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    ALL the members!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    Update #12

    There isn't quite as much to update on this month, which is partially a good thing and partially a bad thing. It's good because things are fairly stable with a good core group of people - it's bad because that means I could be doing more! But I did get some things done. Some of this is because of Article Forge and WordAi stuff that took up a lot of my time in April. So for the month of May I will be focusing more narrowly, and as a result am very confident that May will be an even bigger month than April was!

    The SEO Competition has been going on the past month and has been doing very well, with the appropriate amount of SEO skills, competition, and drama that you would expect and hope for from a contest like this. It's been exciting seeing all of the different strategies everyone is using and will continue to use in the upcoming months.

    I also finished the Determining Which Parasite is Easiest to Rank case study and will be sending out a couple emails this week so that people can see the end result.

    This also puts me at the point where I don't have an SEO case study going on right now - so I am all ears to any ideas people may have for a good case study that @megodon and I can start. I have a couple ideas but would like to also hear what everyone else thinks before committing to something.

    Lastly, as @fiksie pointed out, we have reached 1,000 registered members! So thanks to all 1,000 (now 1,042) of you :)
     
  4. L_C

    L_C Member

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    I've been very absent lately, but it is awesome to see how this fine forum has taken off. Congrats @cardine
     
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  5. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    Update #13

    We did our first digest earlier this week, where we email users about the top recent threads. This is an idea I've had from the very beginning, with the goal to help casual forum viewers by giving them an extremely high signal to noise ratio with the top content of the past couple of weeks, while encouraging them to participate, and hopefully feel compelled to provide their own insights or see what else has been going on since the last time they were here. In short it is a remarketing campaign that simply remarkets users by sending them high quality useful content!
    The response for it was very good so far so it is something we will continue to do, likely once every two weeks.

    The SEO Competition is also going extremely well. I was a little concerned that it would get slightly less interesting at the end with someone running away with it, but the competition has continued to be a back and forth. It's a lot more fun to watch a potential 4th quarter comeback than a 35-0 rout! I've also started a new thread asking for people's opinions on new potential case studies they would like to see. With the conclusion of the Parasite Case Study I only have this journal and the SaaS Journal going on right now and think it is time for some new case studies that don't just talk about what I'm working on, but also give actionable SEO information to Apex Forum users! I have some ideas of my own but also want to hear what other people think before embarking on any long term case studies.

    And of course I've continued trying to post as much high quality information as I can, and that won't be stopping anytime soon :)

    Thanks! I'll look forward to hopefully seeing you around a little bit more :)
     
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  6. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    Update #14: spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

    After the incredible influx in spam we've been looking into ways to deal with this. We were originally using Stop Forum Spam, however this was clearly not doing the job. We have just added a slightly more aggressive approach. I added some custom regex checks for URLs for someones first couple posts, and we are also sending new posts to Akismet. This should help somewhat with the new thread spam, although we still will have the problem of people creating profile accounts and spamming URLs there. For that we may just disable the ability to add a personal website altogether if it gets bad enough, but I want to try some other options first.

    So if anyone has any additional suggestions for forum spam, I'd love to hear any and all input!

    Besides that, there isn't too much else new to report on. We emailed the Parasite Case Study to Microsite Masters users, and we did our second digest email which also went over very well. We are also working on starting another new case study in addition to the many other case studies that everyone else here is working on!
     
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  7. Criks

    Criks Member

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    @cardine What about the option for image-captcha for first X posts?
     
  8. Golan

    Golan Established Member

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    Why not to simply disable urls in posts and profile and sig for until 10 posts lets say?
     
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  9. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    One of the regex rules checks for URLs, so all new members who post something with a URL in it go to the moderator queue where they need to be manually approved.

    We also decided to completely remove homepage URL's for the time being, so there is no place to enter one, and there is no place to display it.

    For now with all of the spam things done, it seems like things are much more under control. The moderator queue periodically fills up with some spam but it is very quick to delete and there a spam thread hasn't gone through since I made that last post. So far, so good!
     
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  10. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    Update #15: Low Hanging Fruit SEO

    It's been a while! I have certainly neglected this thread, and there has a lot that's happened in the last several months that I have missed talking about. The SEO Competition is now done and was very successful in my opinion. We have started a new case study which started very slowly but is now starting to pick up steam.

    Although we haven't done a good job with keeping the digests going (something we'll be working very hard to re-introduce) we have been working very hard on several solid marketing strategies. We are continuing to email product lists whenever a major event happens, and the response for that continues to be very positive. We have also worked on "low hanging fruit SEO" where we take pages where we are already naturally ranking and work to give a little extra push to the front page.

    I've been doing this by taking a look at keywords SEMRush shows us already ranking for. I've also looked at each "high quality thread" summarized a list of 3-4 keywords that thread would ideally be ranking for and put them in Microsite Masters. It turns out that many of those keywords were already ranking in the top 10/20/30/50 and made it relatively easy to improve. The strategies for improving each of these pages was very whitehat - simple things like interlinking, adding additional posts/content, or writing manual content that links to those pages (such as a relevant post on Reddit). So far the results have been pretty good:

    upload_2016-10-3_20-9-31.png
     
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  11. KingsWood

    KingsWood Member

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    What happened Alex? The forum seems to have died off - did you get too busy with other things, or it just didnt make financial sense to keep promoting it?
     
  12. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    A little of both. It felt like Apex Forum was doing well but it wasn't getting to the point where it was a self sustaining community.

    I think I made a couple misjudgments. One was that the incentives I was giving for people to contribute high quality content was enough. Another was that people would naturally feel compelled to provide high quality content of their own in response to the content I was creating.

    At a point I realized the community was only existing off of the content I was generating and I just simply could not keep up that rate of content production while also focusing on the other things that actually made money.

    With that being said I am considering putting some renewed effort into Apex Forum and reviving it once we launch a separate product that I think would naturally work well with having a forum. I'm still thinking about that a little bit and deciding what would need to be done differently - as I don't want any revival efforts to be done halfway.
     
  13. KingsWood

    KingsWood Member

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    Fair enough, it did look to be getting quite a bit of traction with some old faces i recognized from Wf before John crippled it, so i hope you can revive it.

    There is nowhere else i have found that managed the mix of analytical testing and out of the box thinking with a willingness to discuss modern blackhat.
    Its either places stuck in the past still pushing AA webspam, or places that have gone full WaFo.
     
  14. Jenny Steve

    Jenny Steve New Member

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    Hello, I must say this is really very useful.