The last time I wrote I talked about how I need to get started with marketing. Well I’m doing that. Here is what I’ve done so far.

  1. Paid search – I have 3 AdWords ads going. My CTR is really bad (.11 for the overall campaign .21 for my pics ads .08 for my video ad), so I have some tuning to do, but the adds are getting traffic to the site. I think the bigger issue is that my conversion rate is low. Meaning that I get plenty of lurkers, but not many people signing up. I need to address that. I’m doing some heatmap analysis using clickdensity.com so once I have a good chunk of data I might redesign the site to convert better.
  2. Organic search – I’ve used LoudLaunch and PayPerPost to get a few links to my site as well as some positive posts. I need to step this up quite a bit and focuse more on increasing backlinks. To help this, I’ve joined a lot of forums and I’ve been trying to post regularly with my http://www.CycleHeadAb.com url in my signature.
  3. I’m also working on a press release, but that has been slow going
  4. I’ve also been doing very limited emailing blasts to known sportbike fans inviting them to check out the site.

As of now I have 28 registered members and I average about 525 unique users per day. So to sum it up, I’m making progress albeit slow. Wish me luck

I’ve just been busy tinkering with the site. Yeah I know I said i was done, but there were a few things I needed to tweak. I read some where that you don’t want to blow your marketing wad on a ghost site. So I had to beef up the content, get a few more members and oh…completely redo my home page.

I had to up the anti with the benefits of using http://www.cycleheadab.com there are sooo many bike sites out there, that I had to do something to stand out beside the technology that I use to run my site. The tech can easily be copied, heck, the contest idea i came up can be too, but I had to do something. The difference is that is not a one time contest. The whole site resolves around contest and community involvement is focused on using the social network to enter and vote in these contests.

I know that Mark Flecther of Bloglines fame stated in a thread on his fourm at startupping that your never really ready for that 1st launch, but you have to do it. The sooner you take that giant step the sooner you’ll start getting users and feedback from them so you can make improvements as well as start growing. So with all of that said, I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Tonight after work, (yes I’m blogging at work) I’ll put all of my marketing ideas on paper, start defining and refining that plan so that i can put it to action.

I feel good about the site, I just have to market it. This is where my personality gets in the way. I’d much rather stay behind the scenes and make stuff go, but I need to be out front on this marketing thing. So after a couple of false starts.. Here I go!!!

I have a confession. I’m finished with all of the technical development of
the site. But I keep messin’ with it. I keep thinking its not quite good enough.
But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that I know its time to get
people to use it and I don’t have a clue as to how to do that.

Of course I know in theory. Build buzz by blogging, getting other people to
blog about it, do some PR, pay for a bit of advertising. But I’ve never
done any of this successfully. Not to mention the fact that there are a zillion
motorcycle websites out there.

Many of the bike sites are well established and have been around forever and
a day. They have thousands of members. Does my site offer a compelling reason to use yet another site? None of them offer the Web 2.0 goodness that mine does, but do sport bike riders care about that crap? I don’t know. I guess time will tell.

 

 

Blogged with Flock

I’m not. Still a lot of work to do setting up afiliates and what not…

My 1st of many(hopefully) niche site is ready to launch. I’ve spent the last few days tieing up lose ends and making tweaks. The site looks great if I do say so myself.

So as of today its finished. I’ve set up all of my ad networks and campaigns. I’m using google adsense and adbrite. I’m using amazon and ridegear.com for affiliates.

Next up is marketing and PR. I think I’ll do something on PRWire, I need to start hittin’ the blog circuit and of course I’ll get out there and hit the streets. Maybe I can even put together a mini street team.

The past few days have been exciting as I finished up the site and started thinking about how to get the word out. I’m excited, but also a bit nervous as getting and keeping users is the most challenging aspect of this entire project. Here is where I’ll bust my chops. But I’m confident that I’ll be able to get users to the site and keep them intrested. But time will tell. Check out the site sometime.

I spent all day Sunday (about 11 hours) working on my solo project. I made excellent progress the site is coming together and I’m excited about.

I still need to work on some SEO stuff, product store, my marketing plan and seed content gathering. I’ll be happy with bringing in 500-600 per month with the site, plus I love the subject matter so any money would be bonus.

On Thursday night I got a call from Lee. He doesn’t want to do the project right now, but maybe when he gets more stable. Since his biggest investor backed out of a deal with his film company, he feels forced to find a full-time job. Thus he doesn’t have time to devote to this project.

I understand, but I’m disappointed. I’m now thinking, what if he just doesn’t want to do this project with me. What if he found a geek to do all of the technical work and think thats all he needs. He is sadly mistaken if thats what he’s thinking. Naw..thats not it, it couldn’t be. But what if it is? I guess it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to work with someone who would do that anyway. But I guess I gotta take the guy at his word. He hasn’t given me a reason not to. I wished him good luck before I hung up..

So now what? I want to go on, but I don’t have any expertise in what was his area of responsibility for this project. Do I learn, do I find someone to take his place?

I do know this, I’m going to quickly switch my focus to my solo project. I can have that up site up and running within a couple of weeks, by then, I’ll decided what to do about reddot. Sombody should be wishing me luck.

I spent some more time on Monday and Tuesday night working with the site. It looks pretty good now, I have the basic structure up and running and ready to show more content.

Tuesday I got a late start so I didn’t do much with the site, just tied up a few lose ends with few of the pages. Integrated a custom google search feature. But what I thought was most productive is that I created a list of items that need to be done. Looking at the list was encouraging because its not that big. We should be able to take all of the items within a mater of 2 weeks if we work hard. But you know how that goes.

I guess I’ll carve out some time on Friday and this weekend to work on my solo project. But I do plan to talk to a few potential customers tomorrow about project idea #3. I’ll write a post about how it went..

I spent at least 10 hours on the laptop yesterday testing and playing with the technical infrastructure options for the Reddot relaunch. I tinkered with bright cove and adbrite. 

 Brightcove.com is an internet TV platform that provides all of the tools needed to set-up a media website with pay per play and advertisers.  Adbrite is more of an ad platform, they focus much more on the advertising end and provide the tools to help present and manage your advertising campaigns.  

I want to try NBCC.com as well but I’m already sold on brightcove. They meet all of our needs and including hosting of the files. With adbrite, you have to host the files someplace else. That means another system to use and manage. NBCC.com is more of a broker so we can use them as an additional source of ad revenue.I spent the most time on brightcove. I created a channel, 2 players and put 2 test pages on the Reddot website. The brightcove console is a bit slow, but overall, it’s a simple system to use.

This flurry of activity stemmed from a conference call I had with the 2 partners on this project. I agreed to have a proof of concept up by Wednesday. The call went ok, but I’m not too sure about the guys. AT is working on his MBA and getting his career on track so he doesn’t have a lot of time to comment. Lee is looking for a full-time job since his biggest investor of Corner Boy films backed out.  I’m concerned completeing the work that needs to get done. But I guess we’ll see how it goes. 

Let me take some time to clarifying what I’m doing and the projects that I’m working on. I’m employed, so I go to work Mon-Fri. After work, I work on my own projects.

1- I’m planning on relaunching reddotnetwork.com, a niche social networking site that never took off. The plan is to relaunch it as a destination for unique content about entertainers. Revenue will come form subscriptions, sponsors and advertising. I have 2 partners on this project.

2 – My 2nd project which I fly solo involves creating a portfolio of very niche social media properties. This is more of a long shot, but it’s not going to take much investment and the goal is to generate a small but steady cash flow from each via advertising and affiliate income.  

3? – Is something that I thought about while in the shower today. It’s not a project yet, but it’s an idea that I’m kicking around. Selling end to end software platform to instructors that allows them to provide instructional video online via paid subscriptions. I would play more of a system integrator role here. Its easy from the technical side, the biggest challenge I see is in the sales area. This project would be all about salesmanship. Getting people like personal trainers and dance instructors to buy-in to the fact that they can grow their client base and increase income by simply filming what their already doing, putting it online and marketing it. 

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