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WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 07:11 AM 06/06/08 (CST)
I just had one of those ‘ol light bulbs click in my head. Really has nothing to do with fishing, but more with a fishing website and how it relates, albeit a far-fetched relationship, to fishing.

What is the goal of a site like this? Well, to me and other site owners and developers, whether it is a for profit site or not, the main goal is to sign up users. Not only sign them up but also to try to get the users to post information. If this was a for profit site, the benefit would be more eyeballs looking at banner ads and other forms of advertisements. Or the ultimate goal would be to get users to click something so the counter can tick off another click and pay the owner of the site another 2 cents. And even though this is not a for profit site, the ultimate goal here is the same… trying to get new users. Both sites need users and they need those users to post information for the site to be successful. Our reasoning and end-game may be different, but the goals are definitely the same. More users posting more posts adds more information equals more users. (huh?) Lets put that in mathematical terms…

Mu=more users
Mp=more posts
Mi=more information

So, what you end up with is mu+mp=mi=mu

There are many ways to try to get people to join a fishing website forum. And the way I have been handling getting new users is really quite simple. If the new user has something or can benefit an any way from posting on our site, I give it to them. You got a tournament you want to advertise? You got it on the Tournaments page. You got a guide service you want listed? You got it. You sell stuff? No problem, post your info here or I’ll put you in the directory. Every time I get someone that emails me to add a link somewhere, I also put a little reply in my response about different ways to advertise on our site. In fact, here is an exact response for directory submissions (these only go to Minnesota businesses)…

“Hi (whomever),

Thanks for adding your site to My Fishing Pals!

You could also add your link to our (whatever other pages I think I could add them on). To do this, please go to this page and fill out the form...

http://myfishingpals.com/AddYourFishingLink.taf

Just a note...

Our forum gets many users every day. We are up to about 100,000 visits per month. We can add a signature file that links to your site with any posts you make, if you would join. It might be a great way to get more eyeballs looking at your site. Same thing if you send in pictures to display. We have guides, resorts and bait and tackle shops that have been taking advantage of this. We get good information in the form of reports, weather conditions, or to just chew the fat, and you get free advertisement. It's a win/win situation. Just a thought!

Thanks,

WebDude”


Anyway… you get the idea.

Now (and here comes the relationship thing) every once in a while, I decide to contact all of these people who have added their site into our directory, the resorts page, bait and tackle search page, guides page, etc. In these emails, I ask if they want to update any of their information, or add a tournament, or whatever. I also ask them if they would consider joining the forum which pretty much follows the same schpiel as above. It seems I am constantly trying to get people who would benefit the most for posting here to… well, post here! So here I am, baiting my hook and throwing out a line and seeing if I can catch some users and trying to get them to post information. Sometimes I catch something, but most of the time I am just casting away trying to catch one. Sometimes I get a nibble. This would be a guide or other service who joins and posts a couple of times and then we never hear from them again. But we often do not catch them.

I also send out, once in a blue moon, a similar email to current users. I tell of changes on the site, ask if they know of any tournaments, etc. Every time I do this, we get users who haven’t visited us in a while, coming back and posting. This usually lasts a few days then things die down a bit. This is like catch and release… I’ve caught them once, but they ended up out in the lake again and now I have to bait the hook and catch them again. This makes me want to send out emails more often, but I am hesitant to do so because I don’t want it to look like we are sending out spam.

So why am I posting this info? Not sure really. I think I have been using the same bait for a long time and maybe I should switch to something else and see what I catch. The problem is I am not sure what bait to use. Maybe if some of you kind folks could take a bit of time and think about this, we could come up with some ideas on catching more users and getting them in the live well. There are a lot of people out there who fish and a lot of knowledgeable people would equal better information (don’t worry, I am done with the math.).

Anyway, give it some thought. Some of the best ideas and most of the direction of this site, which has always moved forward, is from suggestions from users like you. We have never gone backwards and I think that this tired, single head would be much better off if we could add some heads to it. You remember the ‘ol saying… two heads are better then a kick in the shorts. I’ll be posting some recent stats on the site in another thread and we will see how things have been going. I appreciate any who have pondered this long diatribe thus far and we’ll catch you out on the water, eh?






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WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 12:12 PM 06/08/08 (CST)
Well... that went over like a lead balloon. eh?



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Iceman
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Joined 12/09/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 12:20 PM 06/08/08 (CST)
smile smiley just read it and it makes a lot of sents.. eh ?
MnSportsman
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Joined 06/10/2008
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 08:09 AM 06/11/08 (CST)
WebDude,
Maybe you could send another email to your folks with links, that have businesses. Ask them to join & offer tips on their products' use(product tech tips/sales), or fishing style(guides & resort services), etc. < (just a couple for examples, rather than making a list for ya.) wink smiley The could do this, not to necessarily to advertise, but to help promote what they do.
[BTW- Any site that throws "ads" in my face loses my interest. crazy smiley I know others that feel that way also. But I do remember & appreciate when folks give tips on things. ]
You could offer the idea to them, that maybe after they join, they could start a topic to let folks have a place to ask questions about what they are offering. Not just for their advertising purposes, but to show they care enough about what they do , or have to offer, & want folks to be able to ask questions, so they can provide knowledgeable up-to date answers.
Of course they would need to return here to check on their topic & answer the questions that may be presented, so you are helping them & they are helping you. Win -Win for all parties.
Just a thought. You may already promote this, but I thought I'd mention it wink smiley

Good Luck!
Odin
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Joined 06/27/2007
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 10:30 PM 07/17/08 (CST)
One of my favorite pages in Outdoor Life magazine was - This Happened to Me. Maybe you could set up a similar forum here?
BigBite
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Joined 08/17/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 12:36 PM 07/18/08 (CST)
I see you that you cast out another line yesterday... and I see you got some nibbles. Hopefully we can get a couple outside of the slot that would be willing to stop by once in a while.




fishin49er
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Joined 06/18/2008
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 04:36 PM 07/18/08 (CST)
I agree with this quote from Odin.


"One of my favorite pages in Outdoor Life magazine was - This Happened to Me. Maybe you could set up a similar forum here?"
WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 06:30 PM 07/18/08 (CST)
Personally, I never heard of it, but that shouldn't stop us from implementing it.

Give me some ideas of how you would like this to work. We already have a story section. Are you thinking of another forum for this? I am sure I can do just about anything you dream up. If we get a positive response from the users, we'll put it in place and see how it goes.

How does that sound?



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JCU
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Joined 04/05/2008
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Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 02:12 PM 07/19/08 (CST)
The best thing is to let it flow naturally, Ive seen I would say "IT All" from the fishing web world, Muskies in particular, it gets slow this time of year, just keep up the good work be honest to your users and do it for your reasons, so far to me they are honorable and I respect that, MU can mean more of an @$$ache at times, its totally double edged with no real good answerers other than you have a great site with good people.
John



Muskies Inc Chapter 54
Odin
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Joined 06/27/2007
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Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 09:46 PM 07/22/08 (CST)
It was a couple of line of text beneath several black-and - white artist's illustrations telling a story about some outdoorsman's harrowing experience in the wild. Usually, it might've been better named - This Wound Happened To Me.

Sometimes you had to wonder what the guy was thinking. They'd start out - "I was fishing in the middle of a lightning storm when . . ." Or "I was in my tree stand pulling up my loaded gun with a cord I had attached to the trigger when . . ."
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