I started up a new site project with my wife, Vicky, a month ago, and it’s really coming together now.
It’s a directory called Four Points Guide of all things in our area, because there are lots of new people moving in who have no idea where to find doctors, gyms, restaurants, etc.
It’s a project that came out of our own frustrations after moving to Austin, TX a year and a half ago. We found that everybody we met had the same aggravations, and so a solution was born.
The model for Four Points Guide (Four Points is an area that includes a handful of large sub-divisions in west Austin) is to provide all businesses with free listings in the directory, and when we’ve got traffic coming in, we’ll work on upselling them to a selection of paid packages.
In the meantime, we’re using Google AdSense and affiliate programs that have brick and mortar stores in the area to begin monetizing.
I knew the site would be in WordPress from the start, because I wanted to make it easy for my wife, and anybody else we might having working with us, to do things on the backend.
Then came the choice of a theme. I initially purchased the Listings theme from WooThemes, but after days of struggling to make it do what I wanted, I decided to look elsewhere (I’ve got something else in mind for this theme in the coming weeks).
I was really happy to come across DirectoryPress from Premium Press. The features were literally how I would have sketched out what I wanted for this directory.
Since coming up with the name, theme, and logo (chosen from a contest on ThePerfectDesign), I’ve been working on tweaks to the backend, and various functionality issues, as well as building content and listings.
Vicky has been feverishly adding business listings from around the area.
Currently, I’ve put up Facebook and Twitter accounts for Four Points Guide, and I’ll be adding YouTube, Pinterest, and maybe some others.
But for now, it’s all about adding content and listings, plus building traffic through SEO, social media, list building, and some local advertising.
I love this stage when you get to start seeing pages get indexed and the traffic creeps up. But it’s also a different kind of exciting project, since I’ll be promoting it to neighbors, rather than faceless drones around the world.