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How can I make SketchTalk better?

6 years ago from , Senior Product Designer. Founder of https://SketchTalk.io

Hi fellow designers. I'm curious to hear how you would do this:

I've been running http://sketchtalk.io - a Sketch user community - since December 2014. Traffic has grown from zero to 100'000/month slowly but steadily with a 10% increase in recent months. Most visitors are finding ST via Google search.

This is my side project and I haven't put much thought into monetising it so far. Currently I'm making about 80.- USD/month from a small Carbon ad. This is pocket money to pay hosting but far from being an income. But it's okay, I have an income.

I'm wondering if I should try to make more money out of it and sell ads? How would you grow it? And would your advice be to "grow hack" it or to leave it as it is? What do you think is the best way to make it better?

I'd be super happy to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Thanks a lot! - Olivier

11 comments

  • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, 6 years ago

    You have good SEO, and I often end up there when seeking solutions, but often times its value as a resource is wholly determined by the current release version. In other words, diving into a three-year-old thread isn't often particularly useful, so addressing how threads or comments are organized in relation to updates might help solve this problem.

    Thanks for asking!

    6 points
    • Olivier Heitz, 6 years ago

      Hi Steven, this is great to know. Thanks for your input, this is a very good point. Especially with Sketch having such different problems in every release.

      0 points
    • Olivier Heitz, 6 years ago

      Hi Steven. Your idea of separating discussions by release version got me thinking. I've now set up categories for Sketch versions, this might be an easy first fix. Please take a look and clear the browser cache so see the updates. What do you think?

      0 points
      • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, 6 years ago

        Wow, that's great! I look forward to hearing if the community finds this useful.

        Just curious, how did you manage to set these up? Browsing things by topics? (Sounds like a lot of work!)

        Will users be able to tag these when they create posts then?

        0 points
        • Olivier Heitz, 6 years ago

          Thanks! I also like this new feature. Let's hope others find it useful too!

          It's made based on a "category" feature. Users can select a specific Sketch version (or leave it set to default "all") when they write a new post.

          http://sketchtalk.io/

          0 points
  • Nick Pingo, 6 years ago

    Hi.

    The first thing is you need to understand your service/product, understand who your visitors are and understand what they really want - they're needs. If they are; googling a problem > finding your site > getting the answer and leaving, then your bounce rate will be high and you wont make a dime. They also wont care for ads and wont click them because they are annoyed they can't do something in Sketch!

    Secondly don't get blinded by the numbers. I have a site that gets only 800-1200 visitors a month with just organic SEO and no PPC, It takes in between $3000-$4000/month profit, as i'm selling visitors a software product they want.

    So.. your visitors pain-point will be they're stuck with something related to sketch. Other than a forum what is your site offering them? Nothing it seems. Harsh.. but that means there's opportunity!

    You could sell courses, guides, 1-1 video tutorials. You could offer a premium service to fix the issues/offer a solution for a fee. You could even sell software that is better. But don't become an affiliate or a re-seller. It has to be yours and difficult to copy. There's tons more options. Maybe your site could become a Sketch, and all similar products website. Who knows. But in summary a forum, even with 100K..10M monthly visitors rarely makes any cash.

    4 points
    • Olivier Heitz, 6 years ago

      Thank you Nic. These are very helpful words. I've been looking for some input like this. Sometimes I forget or overlook the obvious, understanding what my visitors need when they visit ST. Let's see what we could come up with next for SketchTalk. Definitely motivating!

      0 points
  • Mark Horgan, 6 years ago

    A RSS feed would encourage me to come back to it more.

    1 point