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  1. #1
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    Cool Content Needed For Review Website

    I recently started a new review website and am currently stuck trying to think of ways to get visitors to write reviews on it.

    The purpose of the website is for users to write reviews (good or bad) on businesses in their area, websites online, or people they have dealt with or done business with.

    I need help with suggestions/comments on what I can do to attract users to write reviews. I was thinking about revenue sharing or digg like environment, but need help.

    Any ideas are appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Cush
    Last edited by stymiee; Jan 18, 2008 at 16:09. Reason: url removed

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    One thing you can do is have a contest. This could be for rewarding those with the best written reviews. There can be prizes for writing style, most informative, thoroughness and so on.

    Really you end up getting what you pay for. People who can go anywhere, including their own site to write a review, are simply not motivated. If you have little traffic and there's little revenue to share, it's not going to get the job done.

    If it were anything but an online business, there would be a plan. And you would set aside a budget for the only thing which your business really needs to survive -- content. If content is king, then the lion's share of the budget goes to content writers.

    If the business plan for a content driven business -- even if that plan is on the back of a napkin -- does not have a content strategy you're in for a world of problems.

    And, just like any business, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. When you don't have money, you either make up with sheer innovation, or you go out of business. And sorry but hitting the "install Joomla" button on a cPanel and whipping up a cool logo doesn't qualify.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I appreciate it. What is Joomla?

    I'd appreciate any other input also!

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    The other problem with asking people for reviews, is people with something bad to say are more likely to write just to have a way of airing their grievances. It's hard to get people to write nice reviews for free.

    A monthly contest, or a bonus point system is likely the only way to get it off the ground.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    The real problem is people think the hard part is the technology: Build it and some mysterious "they" will come.

    Newsflash: In many categories of site, "they" have fifteen to twenty-five thousand nearly identical sites to choose to contribute to. Sorry, just because you're in love with a particular forum software, and got this nifty template in your favorite color scheme, doesn't mean a single thing to others.

    Digital economics means as "infrastructure," like prime location, physical storefront, parking lot, interior design and fixtures approaches zero -- other factors -- like marketing strategy and content strategy become infinitely more crucial to survival. When everybody can set up a store or forum or blog with a few clicks and fewer bucks, your strategy is the only thing keeping you in business.

    Let's say you had a product review site as an example. You need reviews of hot new technology. One thing you might do is develop a strategic alliance with electronics and other stores in your area. They would allow you to use the new products that come in -- even if it's only in-store. You then write about the stuff and plug the store.

    Not only is this strategic and win-win, it fits in with the very nature of the hyperbole of the "social network."

    If you have a forum or blog, especially one focussed on a certain locality, guess what you can do? You can arrange for contributors to travel out of their parents' basements and into the light of day for physical meetups.

    Think you can negotiate with local restaurants when you can bring in fifty or seventy-five people on a regular basis? Yes. Think you can manage to see that as an opportunity for negotiating an income producing business deal? Maybe, maybe not.

    But you had better start thinking that way, and do so in a hurry.


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