My WorkBidder website http://www.workbidder.co.uk/diy-questions/ currently has thousands of tradespeople but not DIY enthusiasts.
Currently the website doesn't allow questions to be asked unless you have a WorkBidder account (although accounts are free). Should I allow anyone to ask, would that increase the amount of questions being asked? Or should I just let it grow naturally using current account holders?
It sounds to me like you restrict others by keeping the site an “Account” type. Of course in large measure, so is Q & A here.
Part of what can happen however, is situations such as anyone can find here in yahoo Q & A, where many questions asked are inane, and not at all related to any serious DIY issues. With all due respect questions are also, often answered by the inexperienced, who just want to be involved or share an opinion, or get 2 points. That happens in the WWW, so public to everyone.
Another notion however, is that opening the site or at least promoting the site to any avid DIY folks, could become a networking situation for those who ask, and those who can answer. Many of us in the trades began as DIY'rs, and/or still are.
Without suggesting soliciting here, which violates guidelines anyway, can you solicit on your site? Do you post your URL in various search engines? My thought is connecting people with needs, to those who can best advise. I'd be very happy to have the ability to expand a customer base “On Line” and in the past, have acquired work through the WWW, though not in or through Yahoo.
With no offense meant… Envision this. All trades people, connected as they may be in/through your site, may only be doing the same; offering opinions, sharing new products, techniques, etc. That still may not reach a customer base, or be helpful to anyone wanting to know how to build a bird house, fix a toilet, etc. etc.
Just my two “sense”
An added thought. Question and answer sites FILL the internet, and obviously are in competition for HITS.
Rating: 5 out of 5