SITE REVIEW: Warwickshire Online

  • SirTalksalot
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • SirTalksalot
  • Posts: 6

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi all, I'm not looking for a review of my site. What I'm after is some ideas on how I should develop it.

I've had this site for something like two years, and have never really gone out my way to make it into a viable source of income, or indeed put much effort into it. However recently its page rank has shot up to 4, which seems reasonably respectable to me. Funnily enough I've already had some emails making offers for the site, clearly people can see potential in it that I can't.

What I want to know is what can I do with this site? Its primary function was always to be a community site for Warwickshire, but it seems to inspire little chat, maybe Warwickshire is just too boring? I was thinking of adding a local business directory, and adding some kind of exclusive store discounts to members only? Assuming I can find willing local businesses. I'd also of course like to have a much better CMS, so I can hand pick good forum threads to put up on the front page. But I really don't know, I just want to make it useful enough so that people will be willing to pay for the ad space. My friends have suggested that a better logo and brand would be a good start.

I'm no pro, and I'd have to pay someone else to do all this, I don't want to waste what is starting to look like an opportunity. Any suggestions on what I can do to at least bring in extra income, but ideally make a half decent living off it would be eternally appreciated.
  • 2Gevr
  • Born
  • Born
  • 2Gevr
  • Posts: 4

Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nice indeed...

The usability isn't amazing though,
and could do with a new layout... the current one looks too complicated.

No colour scheming also :(
  • MidGe48
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 27

Post 3+ Months Ago

OK, you are not after a site review, so I will not do one.

I will address your other question about developing your site, First of all, I did set-up and own a local site, albeit that was about 12 years ago and things have changed in that time. I did get some grants that on top of the income I generated from local business placing adverts (really a full editorial page) allowed me to live, very frugally, from my site and to devote myself full-time to it. Having cleared my credentials, I have a few suggestions to make (that did work for me).

1. Add photos of your locale. Add as many as you can. Overload the site with photos that you have taken. A basic digital camera, which nowadays are relatively cheap is good enough. You don't need a high-end one for this type of exercise. Put photo's on every page and make some galleries that only contain photos. Get a picture of every nook and cranny from the area. Again, you cannot overdo it.

2. Report on news. Go out, perhaps whilst you are taking pictures, and report on anything. Is there a cycle race going thru your village, has someone given birth to twins or triplets, has a butcher retired after 40 years service to the community, cover a local football derby, a church table-tennis tournament, absolutely anything will do. Make a point to have at least 3 or 4 stories, preferably with pictures, every week. Trivia is fascinating to the people who know each other and to an outsider. You will need to develop your journalistic skills and that will come with experience. You will be amazed, if you ask for it on your site, how many people will contact you with potential stories about their neighbours or whatever, once you get started. You will have gained critical mass.

3. Do advertise your site in the city/region. Some shops have public boards were people can pin their for sale or rent stuff, etc.. (these boards can be a source of stories too). Advertise your site on those, letter drop leaflets. Ask the shops if you can put up a small poster and give them some editorial coverage in exchange.

4. Have fun doing it.

Good luck!

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