Paul

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Paul from Threadloom here. First off, I've created a separate account from Threadloom to post directly from. Feel free to start a conversation if you want to reach me faster.

Second, TLChris and I wanted to provide an update on Threadloom.

Threadloom Search and Newsletter were designed to make it easier to find your best content. If you've been following our blog, you know that we've been experimenting with one type of content in particular: product discussions.

After two years of experiments, we've found a model that we think works really well for both admins and shoppers: (1) Organize discussions around common products and themes, (2) monetize them with affiliate tags, and (3) share the revenue.

To do this, we've started building a site called Primary. Here's a preview of what it will look like:

Preview - Collections.png

Preview - Products.png

1. How will you use my content exactly?
  • We group products into theme-based, SEO-friendly landing pages.
  • We index only snippets of forum posts (never the full post).
  • We display the full text of original posts, and of specific posts that talk about a product (but still only index snippets).
  • We always link back to the forum so you get traffic and backlinks.
  • Visitors can ask questions about products, which we post to the forum.
  • We never sell or share any forum or user data.
2. How are you not going to take away my traffic?
  • We optimize SEO for products and themes, not for individual threads or posts.
  • Over half of end user clicks on Primary go back to the forum.
3. How will I earn money I'm not already earning now?
  • We target search traffic that currently goes to low-quality product-related sites.
  • We earn money through affiliate links, and pay out your share through PayPal.
  • We also offer two tools to help you monetize your site:
    • Primary Explorer is a forum widget that shows products relevant to a thread. It lets you earn additional revenue and engage drive-by visitors. You control what it looks like, where it appears, and who sees it. For instance, you can choose to show it to only logged-out visitors.
    • Threadloom Newsletter has a new feature that automatically inserts products.
Here's what these tools look like:
Preview - Explorer.png

Preview - NL.png

We’ve been testing Primary with several forums, including TalkBass, Tesla Motors Club, and WDWMAGIC. Below are some numbers from TalkBass:
  • CTR on inserted products (1-2 per issue): 12%
  • # of sessions referred from Primary to TalkBass: 898
    • Session duration: 5m 35s
    • Pages per session: 4.12
    • Bounce rate: 33%
  • Purchase conversion rate for clicks from Primary to Amazon: 9%
We're excited about Primary, but recognize that it's not for everyone. For instance, it's probably not a good fit for forums that don't have many product discussions. So we're working on making it easier for forum members to talk about products.

One example is a new feature called Ask Primary. When a visitor to Primary asks a product-related question, we check if it’s already been answered by an existing forum thread. If it has, we send the visitor directly to the relevant forum post. If it hasn’t, we find the appropriate category, post it for them, and help them keep track of replies. In our early tests, each question from Ask Primary generated an average of seven new forum posts.

Another example is a feature we launched recently called Primary Login. We shared some results in this blog post. It’s a simple plug-in that lets anyone register and securely log in to your forum (or Primary) without a password. Next year, we plan to connect Ask Primary and Primary Login to make it easier for visitors to ask questions and register with forums.

That’s it for now. We'll be publishing more details to our blog soon. In the meantime, if you're interested in joining our beta, or have questions, feel free to DM TLChris or me.

Paul
 
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