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Podcast 15: How To Build An Online Community With Over 110,000 Members

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Podcast episode number 15 is now live on iTunes. In this podcast episode I interview Josh Dorkin founder of BiggerPockets.com – a real estate community website with over 110,000 members. His community also receives over 500,000 unique visitors per month.

But it’s not all about big membership numbers and traffic for Josh, instead it’s about the community. In this interview Josh shares the successes and failures he’s experienced from working on BiggerPockets.com for over 8 and a half years! There are great lessons to be had here so listen in.

Items Discussed In This Episode:

How first failing at real estate investing served as the inspiration for this website
How to stand out in a sea of competition
How to monetize a community with over 500,000 unique visitors per month
Why BiggerPockets sends an email out on Sundays
How to get over 30 writers to blog for free
Why paying for ads isn’t worth it for community websites
My BiggerPockets Profile <- Just getting started with real estate investing...

How To Get The Podcast:

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via RSS to get future episodes automatically

Download the podcast MP3 here (Right Click + Save As)

When You’re Done Listening To The Podcast Please Review It

When you’re done listening please leave me an honest rating or review on iTunes – I really appreciate it and it helps to get more people to listen to the podcast. Currently each podcast episode receives well over 10,000 downloads and I’d love to get that up to 15,000+ downloads!

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21 comments… add one

  1. Awesome! I’ve been researching how to grow communities- perfect subject. Always wondered how BiggerPockets grew so big. Can’t wait to listen.

  2. Hey Billy – I’m always happy to share my philosophies about building community. Check out the show and if there’s anything more you want to know, get in touch with me here or on BiggerPockets. Thanks in advance!

  3. Thanks again Josh for coming on. Great story and lessons.

  4. Thanks Chris. It was a lot of fun to connect. I hope the community finds the content to be interesting and valuable.

  5. You mentioned that you’d recommend not starting a community. Is this because of the size of yours or just in general. I’m working on creating a membership site packed with tons of content.

    Once the subscriber count gets to a certain point, my plan was to add a forum (they’ll come for the content, but stay for the community). However, hearing all this talk about maintenance has me a scared that having a forum will take up a lot of time.

  6. Hey Chris thanks for the great info on this podcast. Ive put some of your suggestions into action on a few of my authority sites and I am seeing a significant amount of growth. I also left a great review on i Tunes. Waiting for the next Podcast :)

  7. Thanks Chris for this new podcast! Always interesting to hear the fails and wins of someone who succeeded in this field. I think building a community website will take a lot more effort and time than just simply popping a website with a few articles, however, Joshua definitely convinced me that in the long run it’s worth it. Not focusing on the financial rewards, but I think a business should be personally rewarding as well. Furthermore, I think with building communities like these there’s a good opportunity to branch out.

  8. Join into certain community of our interests is always exciting. Everyone has his own community. How to grow the community is always interesting to discuss.

  9. Sorry for the delayed responses, guys. I wasn’t getting alerts for replies for some reason.

    @Jason – The bottom line is that to run a successful forum, you need to watch it 24/7. If you don’t have the time or interest in doing that, you shouldn’t set up a community site. Of course you can get moderators, but you want good ones that care about the community, and it takes time to find them. There’s NOTHING online that is more difficult, I believe, than running a quality, spam-free community.

    @Alexander – Thanks for listening to the show.

    @Jane D – Building communities is really awesome, but definitely takes a TON of work.

    @Heru – Thank you for listening as well.

    1. Thanks for continuing to come back and comment Josh

  10. Thanks for the podcast. Great listen. I don;t think starting a full on community is right for me but it’s interesting to hear about the behind the scenes of an established commuinity.

  11. It is a great podcast for the beginners to the experts. Thank for sharing…..

  12. Hi Joshua/Chris, I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on WHEN to start a community? I’m not in a position of having sufficient free time right how to launch one, but a forum is something on the radar for me. My site gets a bit over 10,000 monthly visitors now and is in the home business/earn money from home niche and pretty much ranks towards the top of Google AU for the main keywords. It’s definitely the top AU website for home business overall. A forum would take the site to the next level, but is there a particular visitor threshold where it becomes worthwhile, or indeed necessary to launch a forum to maximize the potential of a site, in your opinion? Would love to know your thoughts.

  13. This was a great podcast, I hope we get more soon! I’ve been really interested in what it takes to run a community site, it sounds very exciting and probably WAY MORE than I can handle right now. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences!

  14. Hi Chris, great podcast as usually. Thank you for the tips and advices I learnt a lot! I’m curious about webinar you held yesterday and I missed. Would you kindly post it on MMoI and I’ll share it with my friends.

  15. Really enjoyed this podcast, and I got a lot out of it (like really thinking about if I want to start a membership site, but then maybe not… looking for a more passive business.) Joshua seems like one of the good guys and I’d love to hear more from him. Thanks for the podcast, Chris!

    1. Honestly to build a passive business it takes a ton of work and hiring people to do a lot of that work as well so you can minimize the time you have to work, but I don’t really believe anything is completely passive.

  16. Thanks Chris…for another podcast. You always ask great questions and get great answers. This podcast is proof that it takes hard work and you can build a long term business.

    Keep the interviews coming. I really enjoy them and always pick up a nugget here and there to apply to my business.


    1. Thanks Scott!

  17. Thank you for the post Chris. I’m thinking to start a community website of my own with the help of a close friend but we don’t know much about it. Reading interviews of people in this business makes me feel very positive. Please wish me luck!

  18. Thanks for sharing this Chris, great information and very easy listening. All this knowledge is helping me to access the way forward and get going!


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