How Sarah Smith Created A Community W/ A New Sign-Up Every 2 Minutes!


Sarah Smith and her husband Kevin love camping, but they didn’t love finding a place to camp. Sarah wanted Yelp for camping with reviews and photos, and when she realized nothing like that existed, she created it herself. Sarah launched The Dyrt in 2013, and today it is one of the most popular camping apps and active online communities.

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The hallmark of The Dyrt is its active community of campers across the country who provide candid photos and reviews about all types of campsites. Sarah recalls one of the most exciting early days of the business when she received her first submission from a stranger—not a friend or family member—and knew The Dyrt was going to take off.

To build and maintain the active community, Sarah follows the 1/9/90 rule. Essentially, 1% of users will provide content, such as videos, photos, and reviews. Another 9% of users will upvote or share the content, and the remaining 90% of users will just consume the content. Sarah made an early decision to focus on engaging the 1% of active users. Without strong user-generated content, The Dyrt would simply be a directory of campsites instead of an interactive review platform.

Gamification plays a huge role in creating active users. Every submission or review earns users points on a leaderboard. If a user reviews a campground in Wyoming, they earn points for various components of their review and can watch themselves climb the leaderboard. At the end of every month, the top reviewer in each state wins a prize from one of The Dyrt’s brand partners. Points also earn users titles like Legend or Ranger, which are proudly displayed on users’ social media profiles. Users at certain levels are also invited to a private forum to test and provide feedback on new features of The Dyrt.

Consistent, valuable, and authentic content has built user trust with The Dyrt. Users regularly share updates and make corrections to campground reviews to ensure the information is correct and updated. That trust allowed Sarah to release a premium, paid Dyrt Pro membership that offers additional features, including road trip planning, offline capabilities, and map layers. At the height of the pandemic, someone was coming to The Dyrt every second and signing up for Dyrt Pro every two minutes.

By engaging the most active users and gamifying the experience, Sarah grew The Dyrt into the ultimate camping community where users are eager to share information and help other users get outdoors. 

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