Multiplying Our Influence, Expanding Our Reach: Update on New Singles Site
Next steps toward multi-blogger, multi-resource site for singles?
Posted August 31, 2011
In late July, I shared my thoughts here about creating a new website aggregating voices and resources for singles interested in living their single lives rather than becoming unsingle. Since then, several dozen comments have been contributed to that post, and other people have emailed me with their ideas. Rhona has been helping me compile the suggestions made by others, and she has also been finding examples of other aggregator sites. (Thanks, Rhona!)
In addition to the substantive suggestions, the advice has come in two emotional flavors - enthusiastic and cautionary. I think a lot of singles like the idea of having one place where people can find lots of different bloggers who share positive perspectives on single life, and where we can gather other information and resources. The words of caution tell me that this can take a tremendous amount of time (I'm willing to contribute a lot of that), and cost money (I don't have a lot of that), and that there will be little chance of monetizing it in any non-trivial way. The site will require expertise in marketing and promotion (which I don't have) and web design skills (which I also don't have).
I'll summarize some of the suggestions next (you can read the full versions of most of them here), then I'll tell you how I'm leaning in terms of balancing our wishes against the resources and demands required by such an undertaking.
Here are the components I suggested in my original post:
1. Feeds from singles blogs. Probably the first few sentences of each post would show up as soon as it is posted, with a link to read the whole thing at the blog's own site. (That way, everyone's blog gets promoted.)
2. Announcements of upcoming events such as workshops, readings, seminars, and retreats.
3. A place to sign up to get relevant announcements right away (for example, about reporters looking for single people to interview or experts to quote; or about bloggers who may be visiting places close to you)
4. Resources relevant to singles
5. Unique relationship with advertisers
Here are some of your suggested additions:
6. "Discrimination watch"
7. "Research watch"
8. Singlism in the media
9. Lobbying and information
10. Pragmatic tactics for promoting singles
11. FAQ about popular misconceptions about single people
12. Community forum
13. Updates on meet-ups and other community events
14. Regular columns about single life
15. Perspectives from single men should be included
16. Focus should be on singles who have no children
17. Do search engine optimization
18. Become an Amazon Associate and do book reviews.
19. Host a convention.
I'm leaning toward Single with Attitude. The other popular one was Single at Heart. (I now have something else in mind for that.)
UPDATE: Christina from Onely.org suggested several other possibilities, including "Single Not Seeking."
My Current Thoughts on How to Proceed (Subject to Change):
So far, no one has offered to help with web design, marketing and promotion, or finances. Maybe that's an indication that the time is not right for this. Rather than scrapping the project completely, though, I think I will try to proceed in a limited, manageable, affordable way. So I'll begin with the components that will be easiest to set up and will require minimal maintenance. (More on that below.) I'll hire someone to set up the website - someone who can also do the search engine optimization (#17). (If I cannot find a web designer who will do a good job at a price I can afford, then I will have to postpone this.)
The first four components I suggested originally (numbers 1-4 above) should be doable. I agree with those of you who suggested that we wait until the site is up and running for a while before trying to attract advertisers.
As for your suggestions (#6 to #16):
- I totally agree that it would be great to have perspectives from men as well as women.
- I also agree that we should have a lot to say to and about singles with no children, but I don't want to exclude single parents.
- We will have regular columns about single life in the form of the blog feeds, so that covers #14.
- #12, updates about upcoming meet-ups, etc., falls under #2, so I think that item is covered.
- I like #6 through #11, but I don't know how much I'll be able to do if I'm the only one working on the site.
- I'd love to have a community forum, but I think that will have to be put off until someone else volunteers to organize and maintain it.
Hosting a convention (#19) seems far too daunting at this point. In the future, I hope it happens.
As for marketing and promotion, if everyone whose blog is represented on the site would spread the word to their readers, that would at least be a start. I hope we can do far better than that, eventually.
I'd really like to pursue the Amazon Associate possibility. As I mentioned before, I was an Amazon Associate for years, until Amazon shut down all of the Associates here in California and a few other states because of a dispute over sales taxes. I need to find someone from a state where you can still be an Associate. If you are such a person and you are interested in this, we can do revenue-sharing. (E-mail me at BellaDePaulo [at] gmail.com for details.) [UPDATE: Amazon Associates are back in California, at least for now.]
So what do you think?