How to Grow a Community Using Data by Moss Pauly


Moss Pauly is the Head of Warrior Forum, the world’s largest internet marketing forum. Established in 1997 Warrior Forum is an international community comprised of over 1 million warriors from over 178 countries.

Having a strong background in web oriented data science and applied mathematics, Moss is responsible for overseeing the direction of the forum. As the new head of Warrior Forum, Moss will bring a scientific, data-driven and quantitative approach to making Warrior Forum a cutting edge internet marketing platform. A place where warriors can share their knowledge, question the status quo, and continue to push the bounds of what’s possible in internet marketing.

Team ScaleUp had a great time talking to Moss about his work and growing a community using data.

Moss, tell us about yourself and work you have been doing at Freelancer and Warrior Forum?

Initially, I started out as a data scientist focusing on CRO constructing and analyzing tests as well as a lot of the day to day investigations of fluctuations in data. I’ve got a lot of fond memories from the early days of being in the office until the early hours of the morning trying to answer a hypothesis or explain a change in the data. After that, I moved into product management and then running the entirety of Warrior Forum.

What exactly is Warrior Forum? How big is the forum (user base, trafficprimaryetc.). How does it work, make money and its competitors?

Warrior Forum is the world’s largest internet marketing forum and community. It was established back in 1997, so we’re coming up to the two-decade mark. It’s got a community of over 1.1M users with millions of hits a month. At its core Warrior has three main pillars; a discussion forum, a marketplace and a product payment platform. The discussion forum is a traffic generator, and the other two components are the monetization of that traffic. Competitor-wise the community is unique due to its age and size. There are competitors for different elements of the site like “Discussions on SEO” or “Warrior Special Offer Marketplace,”  there isn’t anyone that does everything comprehensively like us.

How can any startup or business can use it to grow their business?

There are many different ways you can leverage Warrior Forum to help grow your business. If you have a specific goal in mind, you can ask for assistance and advice around that on the forum. You can also look into what other people are having success at any given time and use that to find ways to grow your business. With any business, there’s always ways to improve and optimize what you’re doing at any point in time. At its core, Warrior Forum provides a platform to find and discuss these. You can use our Warrior Payments platform to leverage our network of affiliates to boost sales directly utilizing affiliate marketing.

What challenges Warrior Forum has faced in its growth and scalability? How those challenges were resolved?

As I mentioned before one of the unique components of Warrior Forum is the age of the community. On the one hand, this means that there’s a lot of knowledge in the community, on the other hand, the community is very used to things being done or looking a certain way. Most people would remember when Facebook first rolled out The Newsfeed there was a substantial uproar in reaction. In hindsight, it’s clear that this was a change for the better. One of out challenges is balancing this knee-jerk response to change with a fundamental improvement in UX and accessibility. One of the ways to do this is being very stringent on segmentation when looking at data surrounding user’s behavior, especially when analyzing tests. There’s no strict solution for this but paying attention to it and always keeping an eye on many segments in test performance helps in making more informed decisions.

What growth marketing techniques your team uses to grow forum’s reach and attract users?

Due to the size and the amount of content on Warrior Forum, a lot of our traffic is organic. We run a lot of tests surrounding page and site structure that affects organic traffic. We are also always focusing on what can we do to get a new user further down the acquisition funnel. One part of this is understanding what they’re looking for and how we can better help provide that to them.

Tell us about your work in data science and analytics and how you are using it to grow Warrior Forum? Give some example of how data is used for forum’s growth?

The first step is tracking everything as thoroughly as possible and being able to attribute everything adequately. You’ve always got to make sure it’s up to date and working properly. You always want to ask yourself “Why is this down?” or “Why is this up?” and be able to answer that question. Given any action on the site can I track the attribution accurately enough to be able to capitalize on wins and identify and fix negative changes? You also want to be able to split test correctly and drill down enough to ensure that you understand what’s happening in each segment. We also use data in a proactive way as well as a reactive. Rather than just using data to analyze tests and answer “What happened?” we also use it to find correlation and patterns which might produce a hypothesis to test.

What tools does your team use to build and grow Warrior Forum?

We roll a lot of our own in-house analytics tools. We also use Google Analytics as well as Search Console for other analytics. SEO wise Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz are fantastic. We also use Buffer for content queuing.

Tell us about your routine and how you plan your day and work? Any productivity tools and hacks you employ?

Probably not well enough haha! I like to get exercise done before work as it gives me time to plan my day before it starts. Once I get into the office, it’s checking emails and analytics. I then triage anything that needs attention and proceeds to get as much done as I can, based on priorities. As a general rule, I like to save ad-hoc data investigations for the evening as it’s easy to go down rabbit holes with them and I hate looking back on a day and feeling like I haven’t got much done. As far as personal productivity tools FantastiCal, Omni Focus, and Omni Plan are the main ones I use.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking for growth?

Track everything and always ensure your tracking is working as intended. Always make sure you can answer those questions of “Why is this up/down?”. Try and focus your efforts on one metric at a time, put it up on a TV so that everyone in the team knows what the focus is and just relentlessly try and push that through the roof. It’s amazing what happens when a team is 100% focused on one metric.



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