On May 30, 2019, I launched the Fat Stacks forum.
As my portfolio of courses grew in popularity I wanted to create a place where I could provide fast support to questions from customers as well as a place where other niche site publishers and bloggers could share ideas.
I also enjoy using forums myself and figured if I’m going to participate in one, it might as well be my own.
I didn’t want to start a Facebook group because I’m not fond of the interface. I’m a member of a few FB groups but don’t participate much because I find the feed style difficult to use. Too many great posts and info get lost in the feed.
That made it easy for me to choose a more traditional forum structure which is what the Fat Stacks forum uses.
There are some great forum software options these days. I went with Discourse which is very easy to set up and it’s super easy to use on mobile. Mobile UX was very important to me because most of us are on mobile devices as much as we’re on desktop computers.
What’s discussed on the forum?
The forum focuses on topics pertaining to publishing Content sites monetized with display ads and affiliate offers. Categories include:
- Social media
- Building Websites (technical aspects of building sites)
- Legal and Accounting
- Email Marketing
In addition to that, members post ongoing case studies and results which are put into a “Results” category. This way you can check out various progress reports and success case studies of other members.
Is it a Facebook Group?
No, it’s not a Facebook Group. Instead, it’s built on a more traditional forum platform. The software I use (Discourse) is cutting edge that makes work great on mobile as well as desktop.
Does Fat Stacks have a Facebook Group?
No, there is no FB Group. There was, but I decided a more traditional forum format would be better. At least it’s a format I prefer.
Is there a search function?
Yes and this is key because the growing vault of helpful information is sizeable already. It’s become an incredibly valuable resource for anyone who blogs and publishes niche sites. In order to access all that great information, a search function is needed. It works well. I use it regularly to look up information I recall being posted and need to reference.
How many members are on the forum?
Currently, there are 620 members. I know many who are very successful niche site publishers. Their insights are very helpful.
But number of members tell half the story. Are members active?
Yes, many members are active daily. Each day 3 to 7+ new threads are created with folks jumping in responding and engaging. Many threads have 100 to 800+ views. Daily page views currently range from 1,300 to 2,000.
How can you join the Fat Stacks Forum?
There are two ways to join the forum.
The best way, IMO, is to buy any Fat Stacks course. Every course I sell includes access to the forum.
If you’re not interested in a course but just want forum access, you can pay a nominal fee to join here.
Why is it a private and paid forum?
While I’m sure I could attract thousands of members if I turned it into a public, free forum, I believe that would diminish the quality considerably. To date, I’ve not had to deal with any spam. People who are there value the place and it shows.
I didn’t start a forum to spend my days moderating.
The reason the information is valuable and helpful stems, in part from being a private forum.
Do I have plans to convert it into a free, public forum?
No. I don’t plan to do this. Members have told me they much prefer that it remain private that requires paying a small fee to join. I agree with them because it results in less spam (as in none to date). Members want to be there and value the community.
Do I participate on the forum?
Yes, I’m very active. I’m on there more days Mon to Fri answering questions, joining in discussions and posting my own thread questions/posts.
In other words, I don’t treat this as a “set it and forget” community hoping it grows without my involvement. I enjoy it daily and intend to continue participating regularly.
No spam to date
I’ve not yet had to deal with spam and we’d like to keep it that way. While I hope it grows, I don’t wish it to grow if it compromises quality. Myself and other members won’t tolerate spam or brutish behavior.