Growth July 14, 2020

People seem to really like my site but don't stick around. Advice for overcoming network effects?

Pitherand @pitherandd

Hi IndieHackers,

I've been working on a side project for around a year now that is basically done (or at least good enough to launch, I hope). It's a website / app that lets you find people like you, near you. Basically, you swipe on concepts (dogs, books, vaccines, etc.) instead of people and then you can find other similar people near you. You can also identify with whatever interests you'd like and then find others with matching interests. Here's a link:

I posted it on a couple subreddits and got a lot of really good feedback along with around 300 sign-ups. People seem to like the concept (which is great!), but unfortunately, the value of sites like these are often directly related to how many people there are on the platform. Most people find there is hardly anyone to talk to, very few posts, and as a result, there isn't really anything much else to do after swiping the cards. As a result they get bored and leave.

I've been entirely a developer up until now, and I know next to nothing about marketing. I was wondering if IndieHackers might have some ideas for how I could grow the site? I'm really wary of trying to link it elsewhere because there is a stigma against self-promotion most places online.

Also, if anyone has other ideas for any improvements I could make to the site or things I could make more clear, I'm all ears for that as well. I originally created this because I personally desired the functionality that it exposes, but now I'm not sure how to actually make it useful by having enough users to where there's a point to log in and engage with the site's features.

Thanks for reading.

  1. 1

    I think every social network faces the same problem. One way to do things is to focus on a very specific niche. For example, Indie Hackers focuses on indie hackers and just recently opened up groups to anyone. But if it had been a free for all in the beginning, there would have been a lot of empty groups with little content.
    See if you can find out who your core audience is then narrow down the interests you offer so that there is less categories, but more content in each category.

    1. 1

      That's very true. Thanks for the insight. I'll try to think of a smaller market niche that I can start with, and hopefully grow from there.

  2. 1

    There's a really good story about how Tinder got it's first users. I'd do a quick Google search and see if you can find it...I think the founder of Bumble talks about it on the "How I Built This" Podcast from NPR (she was on the Tinder team at one point).

    You could also probably take the playbook that the Reddit founders did when they first opened up...fake it until actual behavior starts taking over.

    1. 1

      Cool thanks I'll check that out.