How to use data analytics to build a user generated content community online?

How to use data analytics to build a user generated content community online?

Moss Pauly, Head of Warrior Forum

Moss Pauly is the Head of Warrior Forum, the world’s largest internet marketing forum. Established in 1997 Warrior Forum is an international community comprised of over 1 million warriors from over 178 countries.

Having a strong background in web oriented data science and applied mathematics, Moss is responsible for overseeing the direction of the forum. As the new head of Warrior Forum, Moss will bring a scientific, data-driven and quantitative approach to making Warrior Forum a cutting edge internet marketing platform. A place where warriors can share their knowledge, question the status quo, and continue to push the bounds of what’s possible in internet marketing.

We had a great time talking to Moss about his work and growing a community using data.

About Warrior Forum

Warrior Forum is the world’s largest internet marketing forum and community. It was established back in 1997, so we’re coming up to the two-decade mark. It’s got a community of over 1.1M users with millions of hits a month.

At its core Warrior has three main pillars:

  • A discussion forum,
  • A marketplace and
  • A product payment platform.

The discussion forum is a traffic generator, and the other two components are the monetization of that traffic. Competitor-wise the community is unique due to its age and size. There are competitors for different elements of the site like “Discussions on SEO” or “Warrior Special Offer Marketplace,”  there isn’t anyone that does everything comprehensively like us.

There are many different ways one can leverage Warrior Forum to help grow their business. If you have a specific goal in mind, you can ask for assistance and advice around that on the forum. You can also look into what other people are having success at any given time and use that to find ways to grow your business. With any business, there’s always ways to improve and optimize what you’re doing at any point in time. At its core, Warrior Forum provides a platform to find and discuss these. You can use Warrior Payments platform to leverage our network of affiliates to boost sales directly utilizing affiliate marketing.

Growth challenges

One of the unique components of Warrior Forum is the age of the community. On the one hand, this means that there’s a lot of knowledge in the community, on the other hand, the community is very used to things being done or looking a certain way.

Most people would remember when Facebook first rolled out The Newsfeed there was a substantial uproar in reaction. In hindsight, it’s clear that this was a change for the better. One of out challenges is balancing this knee-jerk response to change with a fundamental improvement in UX and accessibility.

One of the ways to do this is being very stringent on segmentation when looking at data surrounding user’s behavior, especially when analyzing tests. There’s no strict solution for this but paying attention to it and always keeping an eye on many segments in test performance helps in making more informed decisions.

Growth Techniques We use

Due to the size and the amount of content on Warrior Forum, a lot of our traffic is organic. We run a lot of tests surrounding page and site structure that affects organic traffic. We are also always focusing on what can we do to get a new user further down the acquisition funnel. One part of this is understanding what they’re looking for and how we can better help provide that to them.

How to use data for growth?

The first step is tracking everything as thoroughly as possible and being able to attribute everything adequately. You’ve always got to make sure it’s up to date and working properly. 

You always want to ask yourself “Why is this down?” or “Why is this up?” and be able to answer that question. Given any action on the site can I track the attribution accurately enough to be able to capitalize on wins and identify and fix negative changes? 

You also want to be able to split test correctly and drill down enough to ensure that you understand what’s happening in each segment. We also use data in a proactive way as well as a reactive. Rather than just using data to analyze tests and answer “What happened?” we also use it to find correlation and patterns which might produce a hypothesis to test.

Growth Tools Used at Warrior Forum

We roll a lot of our own in-house analytics tools. We also use Google Analytics as well as Search Console for other analytics. SEO wise Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz are fantastic. We also use Buffer for content queuing.

Advice to Product Makers

Track everything and always ensure your tracking is working as intended. Always make sure you can answer those questions of “Why is this up/down?”. 

Try and focus your efforts on one metric at a time, put it up on a TV so that everyone in the team knows what the focus is and just relentlessly try and push that through the roof. It’s amazing what happens when a team is 100% focused on one metric.

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