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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    What Makes a Successful Biking Website?

    I've been running a blog for a year and a half with a small but growing audience. It's called the Bog Dogs Race Report. I've been considering expanding but before I do, I am curious:

    What are your favorite biking websites?

    What are your favorite features on those websites?

    What is it that keeps you engaged?

    What makes you want to come back day after day?

    Is there was one thing you want on a biking site but can't find?

  2. #2
    Stucco Bucket
    Reputation: the_owl's Avatar
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    Content is number one.
    unfiltered is number two
    feeling appreciated as a member is also important. As well as a sense of community. Rides, group interaction.
    Pink Bike did well with their targeted demographic. For some of us its a bit too much, but they werent trying for the old crustys. MTBR has pretty much just evolved. Obviously the oldest and biggest.

  3. #3
    bringer of doom
    Reputation: p.doering's Avatar
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    What makes a successful biking website?

    Having tens of thousands of members posting their own content, and enough exposure to ensure more are on the way.

    MTBR falls short in a lot of ways. Media integration, all those ads, bulky interface... but even if you work those out better than anyone else ever has, you'll still need to get the people to show up, in order to get the people to show up. That's the worsening problem as time goes by.
    Ride on, Anthony.

  4. #4
    Off the back...
    Reputation: pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogdogs
    I've been running a blog for a year and a half with a small but growing audience. It's called the Bog Dogs Race Report. I've been considering expanding but before I do, I am curious:

    What are your favorite biking websites?

    What are your favorite features on those websites?

    What is it that keeps you engaged?

    What makes you want to come back day after day?

    Is there was one thing you want on a biking site but can't find?
    To say "What makes a successful biking website", I suppose you need to define what success means to you. 10,000 members? $10k/month revenue? A voice for your opinions and interests? Make friends and influence people? Figure out what you want to achieve, and then design your site to market toward that goal.

    My favourite bike sites have things like cool video and photos of entertaining riding, objective product reviews, and well-written road trip stories about places I might actually go. I have yet to find a site that captures all of that in one spot, so I frequent several of them.

    A feeling of belonging can help to keep people coming back, but they need to get something from the community - respect, advice, insider info, a soapbox, etc. Without that, there's not much point in returning.
    @pinkrobeyyc
    #pinkrobeyyc

  5. #5
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
    Reputation: ArmySlowRdr's Avatar
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    it must have threads like hot mtb chick passion, and r u a believer. Let's not forget my face got scratched up in a fall, should I sue the riding glasses manufacturer ? and it must have a good mix of personas to even include the one that has to ridicule everything anyone else says (thus it shouldn't ever BAN--well mostly)

    seriously a successful website should have a true "general" forum, something that RBR has, but MTBR still seems to have not. Well at least the members aren't using it in that way here like they do in RBR---so even though both sites are the same entity in some ways, totally different ways of doing things.

    now all the above is for a forum-centric website.

    singletracks does a pretty decent job for what they are.

    BLOGs about biking---just relate your adventures in an interesting way, with lots of pictures too.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    you should have a forum where threads with even the most innocent topics that that have over 15 posts inevitably turn into pissing matches... oh wait... thats MTBR

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    First, who is your target audience?

    If you want registrations and/or revenue, you need to choose a target audience and engage them with your content.

    Don't let your subject matter get too broad unless you have the resources to do ALL of your content justice, and don't let it get too specific.

    Your design should facilitate the delivery of your content.

  8. #8
    Terrain Sculptor
    Reputation: Trail Ninja's Avatar
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    I prefer the smaller more specific sites. I frequent a few forums that are for either a specific location or type of riding or other activity.

    For instance, bear hunting websites rather than hunting websites, or XC sites rather than mountain biking websites. The content is likely to be more (and better quality) of what I want and less of what I don't want. Especially in discussion forums. Kind of a bike store vs. Walmart thing.

    The other users of those sites are usually more helpful and friendly and passionate about their particular activity. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of people on MTBR like that but there are also hundreds who aren't.

    From the point of view of a website owner, the more members or users the better. Even if they aren't "quality" users, when it comes to selling ad space, it's hard to prove "quality" in your users. Numbers count.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  9. #9
    Terrain Sculptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkonbobo
    you should have a forum where threads with even the most innocent topics that that have over 15 posts inevitably turn into pissing matches... oh wait... thats MTBR
    6 more posts and I'm so gonna tell you off!
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  10. #10
    Snowjnky McDreamy
    Reputation: snowjnky's Avatar
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    pizza hut, turbo tax and southwest ads is what i look for
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
    Quadzilla

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogdogs
    I've been running a blog for a year and a half with a small but growing audience. It's called the Bog Dogs Race Report. I've been considering expanding but before I do, I am curious:

    What are your favorite biking websites?

    What are your favorite features on those websites?

    What is it that keeps you engaged?

    What makes you want to come back day after day?

    Is there was one thing you want on a biking site but can't find?
    I have a site (in my sig) and I don't know if I get a ton of visitors - but I get a lot of positive feedback from my commentors and e-mails.

    First, I have no sponsors and I make it point to say that. So when I review a product, it's fair and square with no negative nor positive biases excpet for my own experience. I'm not trying to make money off my site.

    Second, I really, really like Bicycle Times magazine. It's a magazine, as many say, "for the rest of us". Although I've dabbled in racing, most of us don't race. Many of us are Joe Kid's on Stingrays, and many of us ride like I do - adventure riding 70% dirt/30% road on the same bike. So I gear my blog toward daily, non-training style of riding, using the urban and rural sprawl as a playground.

    Design-wise, I keep my blog as simple as possible, with a solid color background, light serif text (Georgia), and aligned justified. I try not to have too many distracting things like a crazy background, or crazy colors. Pick three colors and stay with those.

    Keep it real, keep it focused and stick to something people can identify with on a wide spectrum. The best responses I've had to my blog has been on my product reviews, especially my review of the Pake C'Mute frameset.

  12. #12
    enjoys skidding
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    Honestly, three of your five posts have been about your website so far.

    Spam a little less, contribute a little more, and put your blog in your signature, never to speak of it again.

  13. #13
    not so super...
    Reputation: SSINGA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasevr4
    Honestly, three of your five posts have been about your website so far.

    Spam a little less, contribute a little more, and put your blog in your signature, never to speak of it again.
    I agree!

  14. #14
    enjoys skidding
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    I agree!
    A wittier reply would have simply been "backlinks!"

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasevr4
    Honestly, three of your five posts have been about your website so far.

    Spam a little less, contribute a little more, and put your blog in your signature, never to speak of it again.
    Well, I'd prefer if you change your sig. If I want to view car content I am smart enough
    to find it on my own. No need to cramp off topic crap down others throats than you very much.

    PS: OK guys, we are past post #15.
    Nobody cares...........

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Uh, huh huh, how bout some naked chicks, dumbass!

  17. #17
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel

    PS: OK guys, we are past post #15.
    sweeet. Time to resubscribe to this thread.
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
    Quadzilla

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasevr4
    Honestly, three of your five posts have been about your website so far.

    Spam a little less, contribute a little more, and put your blog in your signature, never to speak of it again.
    Alright, I got sucked into this spam thread. 3 posts? All 5 posts have been about his website! I reference my site sometimes, but this is pretty bad.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    This forum is fantastic! I want to thank everyone who took the time to post their thoughtful and insightful ideas on this subject. I have already implemented some of the easy ones and have started to study up on the more complex changes. Once again, thank you.

    P.S.- In future posts I will try to do a better job of staying in line with the forum's rules and etiquette.
    MTB Reviews and Opinions: Secret Stash

  20. #20
    enjoys skidding
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Well, I'd prefer if you change your sig. If I want to view car content I am smart enough
    to find it on my own. No need to cramp off topic crap down others throats than you very much.

    PS: OK guys, we are past post #15.
    Was it the rage that you were experiencing
    that made you
    type your post in such an odd fashion that barely makes sense?

    There is a difference between making threads about your blog and merely linking something in your signature. Everyone on this site has all sorts of random things in their sig. I can only assume that your signature is referring to your posts?

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mikeschn's Avatar
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    del
    Last edited by mikeschn; 01-20-2011 at 06:35 PM.

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