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Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Simon Hampel, 16th Aug, 2007.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Well, 2 years and 1 day after launching the site, we have just reached 2000 registered members.

    We had our best month ever last month with 219 new members, plus 111 new members so far this month.

    I know most people aren't really interested - but you all know I'm a sucker for stats :D
     
  2. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Wow! Last time I logged on it was still in the 1000's.....

    Where has the time gone? :) Or am I just getting older faster?! ;)
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yeah, that's old news ... 2016 members now :p
     
  4. JIT

    JIT Well-Known Member

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    Nice work Sim.

    Just curious, you don't put all this effort into Invested for free do you?

    Do you get paid to be the Moderator?

    Thanks,

    GSJ
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Not directly - this is a business venture - I am one of the shareholders and am managing director.

    I am working on this and other business opportunities full time as my sole source of income now (unless my cash buffers run out before I can generate enough income and am forced to go find a job :eek: )

    I don't get paid unless the company makes some money :rolleyes:

    ... anyone ? :D
     
  6. crc_error

    crc_error The Rule of 72

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    Well done Sim!

    Great site with like minded friends! :D
     
  7. JIT

    JIT Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sim,

    Good luck with the 'premium' and 'corporate' memberships! (I might give it a miss this time ;) ).

    I'm guessing the only other way a website like this makes money is the advertising?

    Not sure how you managed to get Australian Financial Review to advertise here??

    Do all those annoying 'featured advertisers' and 'sponsored links' on the left side here (that everyone ignores :D ) actually generate income???

    Just curious, as I find it hard to believe that a smallish website like this could generate much income at all to make it worthwhile as a business venture.

    GSJ
     
  8. tailcat

    tailcat Well-Known Member

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    Sim,

    What is the definition of an active member?

    Someone who has visited the site in the last ..........

    I think 1000 active members is a far better result.

    Tailcat
     
  9. crc_error

    crc_error The Rule of 72

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    He would make a small income from the links, but I guess he is trying to build a big enough user base which in the future he could sell, and the URL then would be worth something. I would assume more money is made when someone actually clicks on the links!

    Say he had 200,000 active users, all who are investors, I would imagine that would be worth something!
     
  10. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Not a heap of income yet (certainly not enough for anyone to live on) - but it's all pretty much tied to traffic - the higher the traffic, the more the income, so growing the site and site visitor numbers is very important.

    And no, people don't all ignore them - there are far more clicks on those text ads down the side than there are on any of the other adverts (about 70% come from non-members though).

    You might be surprised how much some online advertising space sells for these days - especially targeted adverts for high value products.
     
    Last edited: 23rd Aug, 2007
  11. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Thanks crc_error ... I'm really happy with the discussions we are getting here - we're all learning a lot (especially me !!).
     
  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Visited in the last 60 days.

    It's not quite as impressive as it might sound - partly it is as a result of the huge growth we've seen in the last couple of months (between 10 and 20 new registrations a day on average !!). So most of those numbers are simply new users (who are I guess legitimate "active" members), but doesn't really look at who is posting and active by way of contribution. There are 436 members who have posted on the forums.
     
  13. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Building a saleable user base is certainly one possible exit-strategy, but not the only one, and not really a consideration for me. I'm building the site because it is something I am passionate about, and I really enjoy doing it. I would probably keep doing it once I am fully financially independent (I'd get bored otherwise).

    However, in the short term, running the site has become more than a hobby and actually consumes a lot of time - I do need to make money out of it so I can put food on the table (actually, paying the rent is a higher priority while living in Sydney - but I could always move back to Adelaide I guess :eek: )
     
  14. JIT

    JIT Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff.

    I wonder how you increase the traffic then?

    Advertise the site itself in some investor magazines?

    Buy 'mailing lists' and send out some bulk e-mails to spread the word?

    I have a friend with an online business who did something like this at one stage, not sure how effective it was though.

    GSJ
     
  15. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Depends on the site as to the best way to increase traffic.

    For us, a couple of simple Google Adwords ads have done fantastically well ... although it took months of "tinkering" and learning what works for our site to find the most effective options. Most of the other Adwords ads we ran were a waste of money.

    Unfortunately there are no simple methods for successfully advertising via Adwords - every site is very different. It requires a lot of careful testing and site optimisation to get the best results for your advertising dollars.

    There are entire books dedicated to optimising Google Adwords campaigns, and Google also run a certification program too (which I must sign up for one day).

    It's all about return on investment. If you consider how expensive magazine advertising is, you have to get some pretty significant returns to make it worth the outlay. For a small website, this is simply not worthwhile in my opinion - unless you are extremely well capitalised, and are prepared to spend money that may not see a good return on investment ... especially if you can't also afford for good copywriting.

    Mailing lists can work - but you do need to be careful you work from reliable and reputable sources ... you don't want to be spamming people (it is illegal after all). A better bet is to utilise another relevant site which has an opt-in newsletter or similar that goes out regularly to their membership base and pay for advertising in there. This can see very good return on investment if done correctly - but again, good copywriting is important, as is a correctly targeted mailing list.

    As previously mentioned - the biggest problem is that every site is unique, and so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to advertising and promotion for traffic building purposes. Of course, if you goal is to sell something via your site, then the strategy is completely different again!

    PS. if you know someone who needs some website consulting work done ... Hampel Group :D
     
  16. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Well done Sim!

    Its a great site, and I too spend far too much time here. I spread it pretty evenly between this site and the other one we both started at, but in honesty I think I prefer the dialogue here more now. Its just a shame we don't have the same amount of traffic yet. I sometimes post a response to a few threads then have to wait ages for any replys by other members. Not so on the other forum. By the time I've finished a post on that forum and clicked submit there's 20 new posts by other members.

    My style of surfing is to just use the "new posts" link and scan down the threads I'm interested in or have already replied to for updates. Its a lot less "live" here than the other site, but as I mentioned above, the topics are more interesting here to me now! :D

    Bring on more membership!!

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
  17. JIT

    JIT Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that reply Sim.

    Have you tried advertising on Michael Yardney's newsletter, I think he promotes it as one of the largest e-newsletters?

    Good luck with the business side of the forum.

    GSJ
     
  18. Simon

    Simon Well-Known Member

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    I am so impressed with how this forum is coming along - especially in the last 6 months. I am one of the long time members at SS, a mod at pi.com and now an addict here too.

    I am a forum junkie! Which is good because it keeps me out of trouble.

    So keep up the good work Sim and Jax, I think you guys should be very proud of what you have built here. :) :) :)

    Cheers,
     
  19. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Thanks Simon - I appreciate the thoughts. We should also mention Nigel and Nick, who have also contributed a lot to the forums (although of course Jax and I think we are the best :D )

    ... and as I've said all along - we literally couldn't have done it without you the members ! No point building a community where nobody visits !
     
  20. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Thanks Michael - I appreciate your contributions here.

    Don't forget that the other site has a 5 year head-start on us ... growth takes time, and I think we are already far bigger than they were after the first two years (they had 1500 registered members after nearly 3 years of operation ... although not as many people had internet access or knew about forums back then, so it's not really a fair comparison).