Note: We are now accepting new forum sign-ups for Primary. We are currently launching one forum per vertical. We select forums based on their sign-up order and the quality of their content. We plan to expand to multiple forums per vertical later this year, and encourage you to sign up even if your vertical has already been claimed.
Over the past five years, our products – Threadloom Search, Newsletter, and List Builder – have helped forums connect millions of visitors with their best content. If you follow our blog, you know that we’ve been working on making the experience even better for one specific type of content: product discussions.
Today, we’re excited to announce our newest product that helps forums organize and monetize product discussions: Primary. Primary identifies products forum members are talking about, surfaces them in widgets and SEO-friendly lists, and monetizes them with affiliate links. During our beta, forums saw affiliate revenue increase by as much as 162% without cannibalizing ad revenue.
Here are a few screenshots, along with answers to some frequently-asked questions:
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 your forum so you get traffic and backlinks.
- Visitors to Primary can ask questions, which we post to your forum.
- We never sell or share your 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.
- We target search traffic that currently goes to low-quality product sites.
- Over half of visitors clicks on Primary go back to forums.
3. How will I earn money I’m not already earning now?
- We earn money through affiliate links, and share the revenue with you.
- We offer two tools to help you monetize your forum:
- Primary Explorer is a widget that shows products relevant to a thread or node. 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 now includes an option to automatically insert products into each issue.
In addition to Primary Explorer and Threadloom Newsletter, we are also launching two new features designed to make it easier for Primary visitors to register with your forum and start product discussions.
- Primary Login (previewed in this blog post): Primary Login is a simple plug-in that lets anyone register and securely log in to your forum or Primary without a password. Primary Login includes enterprise-grade security from Auth0, and is free for Primary forums.
- Ask Primary: When a Primary visitor asks a product-related question, we either send the visitor directly to the relevant post on your forum, or automatically post it for them to the appropriate node. In our beta, each question from Ask Primary generated an average of seven new forum posts.
We’re grateful to customers who gave us valuable feedback during our beta, including Hardline Crawlers, Long Range Hunting, TalkBass, Tesla Motors Club, WDWMAGIC. Long Range Hunting saw their take-home Amazon affiliate revenue increase by 162%. TalkBass realized a 12% click-through rate on products inserted in Newsletter, which resulted in a 9% conversion rate on Amazon. And sessions referred by Primary back to TalkBass had an average duration of over 5 minutes with more than 4 pages per session and a 33% bounce rate.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use Primary to monetize your product discussions, feel free to drop us a line. If you’re ready to join Primary, you can now sign up directly using this form. We are currently launching only one forum per vertical, but we plan to expand to multiple forums per vertical later this year, so encourage you to sign up even if your vertical has already been claimed.
We’re excited to grow Primary in 2021, and look forward to building more great products together.
I joined my first online community after my mom brought home a 386 and a 2400-baud modem from work. Since then, I’ve been drawn to communities that share a common desire to help each other. Threadloom is meaningful to me as a way to bring back mutual respect and personal dignity to the Internet. I’m excited to work with an amazing team that practices this daily in person.