How to start the influx of visitors on a user-generated content site?


I have a site that I launched yesterday. I've thought of things like DIGGing, Reddit, etc., but I'm not seeing much of a change in my website traffic. I've gotten a few (literally) users to go there, and they are repeat users now, but I still don't have a lot of users (or even 50). This site's content is user-generated, so how do I get more traffic?


asked May 18 '11 at 05:01
Steve Corey
41 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

5 Answers


First, it takes time to get traffic. You'll need to wait a bit before you get visitors.

Second, you are going to need content before you get any visitors. You don't have any users to generate content, so you are going to have to make your own content at first. You will have to post a lot and generally make things active before any user is going to join. That will require some work on your part, but if your content is good, it will pay off when people start joining the site.

Third, try to get some people you know (people on facebook or other social networks, perhaps) on the site and posting. That will help make your site active and get more people to join.

Fourth, social networks like reddit and digg will work better if you link to content, not just a site. Try posting some and then submitting the content to digg and reddit.

Good luck with your site :)

answered May 18 '11 at 05:10
218 points
  • +1 for pointing out that the site owner must take responsibility for priming the site with good content. – Kenneth Vogt 13 years ago
  • It's one of the first things that I learned with my site :) – Christofian 13 years ago


I also visited your site, and while expecting to see a page filled with other users' rants, I find that I have to become a member first. No offence, but you will not convince me to sign up for anything with that approach.

Make your site more interactive, and allow visitors to preview the site, giving the choice if they want to register or not.

answered May 19 '11 at 06:16
509 points
  • Excellent point. I've changed the site to show all the content before requiring users to login. Now, creating an account only gives people posting/commenting/etc ability. I see your point about showing people what the site "for free". Thank you! – Steve Corey 13 years ago
  • No problem. You want to create a sense of value or benefit for the user to sign up. Nobody signs up for nothing! Now you should see more people signing up as well. – Sam 13 years ago


If you've just launched, how about

Make sure your content is visible to search engines. Show your most active groups on the homepage.

Make it really simple to login. Reduce the barriers for new users. The type of people that might use this are existing users of Twitter and Facebook for example. Allow them to log in using their FB or Twitter login.

Try to differentiate yourself from Twitter groups and lists. Otherwise why would people come to your site, rather than creating a list or group on Twitter.

Get content. Not just your user generated stuff - but other content as well. Any content is better than none, and the sooner you have unique content the sooner you will start getting traffic from search engines and more eyeballs hit your site.

Good luck.

answered May 18 '11 at 05:20
2,333 points
  • Thank you to both of you for answering me. It's valuable info and I'm very excited to get this going and I'll be checking in here a lot to offer what help I can and contribute. – Steve Corey 13 years ago


I agree with joseph, your barrier to entry and experience is too high ... lower it somehow.

My suggestion would be by tracking a cookie on the persons machine (basically a GUID which you can use against in your system as their login until you have something better). Effectively log them in using that and build their profile up over time as they return.

When they finally do sign up (ideally with Facebook or Twitter or OpenID) THEN you link all the data tracked against the cookie back to the account. You need a motivation for this, which in your case is to share you rant with friends and twitter followers.

Your landing page needs to describe what it is you do and why they should care they are at the site. Ideally a diagram, cartoon or simple set of text to get the message across quickly.

Have a look at a few other social media landing pages:

These tell you, as you arrive, what they do and why you should care. Personally I like to see:

  • a diagram of what the goal is
  • some cool logo
  • A 30 second video, ideally from the creator, say what the site is, why they created and what their goal is ... something i can buy into.
  • Extra credit would be a second video which says what my long term goals / vision of the product/site is so that i can say "yeah I'm willing to get behind that".
answered May 18 '11 at 15:12
Robin Vessey
8,394 points
  • The video is a great idea, and it can be very simple. What pushed me over the edge to sign up for twitter years ago was a video in which one of the founders used paper dolls to explain what twitter was for. – Alex 13 years ago
  • User's don't want to register and participate in a "ghost town": an online community where there is no people and no activity. Videos are not going to help you if your site has no activity (though if your site does, then they can help you). – Christofian 13 years ago
  • @Chistofian this is true but you need to draw in the first follower is a great example – Robin Vessey 13 years ago


Thank you for your questions and congratulation on your startup. I really appreciate the general feedback from @edralph and @christofian. I think there there is a lot of great points that they have identified.

I went to the site, and my feedback will be specific to your site.

I don't get it. Is it a shout board for me to rant on? So what? Why would I want to do it there? How does it connect with my other social media platforms? Can I see an example? Can I read them without logging in? Is anyone on this site?

These are the questions that come into my mind in the first two minutes I visited your site. Nothing compelled me to share my personal information and join.

And g-d knows I love to rant.

answered May 18 '11 at 13:15
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • Very true. I agree that after re-analyzing the welcome page, it didn't say enough about what this thing is, and why you'd want to use it as opposed to another site. I've added a lot more text, and hopefully increased the "sales pitch" of it. Thank you! – Steve Corey 13 years ago

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