Need advice on the direction for a new idea

17 replies
Hi all,

First time posting.

I've started a new website for people to vent and write over the top/funny/angry responses to frustrating work/client situations. If the mods permit it, I will post the link, but I'll hold back for now so I don't come across as spammy.

The idea for the website came as a result of my own frustrations. I wanted a way to vent without burning any bridges with clients and bosses.

I'll give you the details first, and then I'll ask what I need to know:

1. Readers submit their messages through a special form on the site that collects their email address and asks permission to subscribe them to a mailing list.
2. The messages are then vetted and posted anonymously on the website in a special section so that others can read them.
3. When submitting a message, the form asks for the email address and requests (optional) permission to subscribe you to a mailing list. I intend to create a weekly newsletter with a curated list of best entries for email subscribers.

I've already created a number of initial posts, and intend to create more to give the site an initial content load.

That's the bare bones framework.

Obviously, I'd like to grow this and monetize it, which is what I'd like to hear your thoughts about. I'm also going to list a few ideas that I have, and I'd like to hear your feedback about those too please.

- I'm thinking of adding a blog (written by myself) about topics that might interest the audience. Initial topics could be about handling difficult situations in the workplace. Then as time goes by, I could send out surveys to find out what the site's followers wanna read about. The blog would be for attracting organic traffic. Do you think I should spend time on this?
- Once I have a bigger audience, I'll start running surveys to discover common interests and pain points, and then sell products/services/affiliate offers accordingly. Any recommendations on this approach?
- I could have a section for google ads. Do you recommend this? Would it make sense in this context? Since the website relies heavily on creating a feeling of trust so that people post, I'm concerned google ad banners might kill that feeling.
- I'm thinking of creating facebook ads to get the traffic going. Also thinking of targeting to specific segments of freelancers and employees and using a customized landing page to really speak to their specific situation. What else would you suggest?

That covers my initial, broad questions. Any help would be truly appreciated.

Thanks a ton :-)

C
#advice #direction #idea
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    A website like your idea won't work in my opinion. You'll compete to those social medias. But if you can make it like a magazine-site, maybe you can have a better chance to work on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
      Originally Posted by superowid View Post

      A website like your idea won't work in my opinion. You'll compete to those social medias. But if you can make it like a magazine-site, maybe you can have a better chance to work on it.
      Thanks for your reply superowid. Your point about competing with social media is an important one. I should definitely try to position the site in a way that distinguishes it from social media.

      The magazine style you mention is something I also have in mind. Besides publishing people's rants (anonymously, which is what makes the site different from social media), I also intend to publish articles that are relevant to my audience. Once the site starts growing, I'll be surveying my audience to find out what they wanna read about.

      Does that make sense?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Cedric,

    Cool idea buddy. The concept sounds solid.

    2 things I noted:

    #1 - Yep; start a self-hosted Wordpress blog and share your thoughts. This is where you will gain your most cred and build the most momentum for growing your site. Readers need a reason to visit the site beyond sharing their venting sessions; if the site owner runs a content-rich, helpful, beneficial blog, you stand out and inspire readers to join your site, and to become active members.

    #2 - If the permission is clearly option - meaning users need to check a box or take specific action to sign up - feel free to go for it. I'd be less concerned with growing your list in that manner and more concerned with getting high levels of engagement on your site and blog. Simply include a pop up form and opt in form on your sidebar. If folks dig the site and your content, they will sign up.

    Really dive into blogging though. Grab your domain and hosting, create helpful content and build friendships with bloggers in similar niches by helping them out. Lay the foundation for a rocking campaign.

    Ryan
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    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here
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    • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Hi Cedric,

      Cool idea buddy. The concept sounds solid.

      2 things I noted:

      #1 - Yep; start a self-hosted Wordpress blog and share your thoughts. This is where you will gain your most cred and build the most momentum for growing your site. Readers need a reason to visit the site beyond sharing their venting sessions; if the site owner runs a content-rich, helpful, beneficial blog, you stand out and inspire readers to join your site, and to become active members.

      #2 - If the permission is clearly option - meaning users need to check a box or take specific action to sign up - feel free to go for it. I'd be less concerned with growing your list in that manner and more concerned with getting high levels of engagement on your site and blog. Simply include a pop up form and opt in form on your sidebar. If folks dig the site and your content, they will sign up.

      Really dive into blogging though. Grab your domain and hosting, create helpful content and build friendships with bloggers in similar niches by helping them out. Lay the foundation for a rocking campaign.

      Ryan
      Thanks for the insights Ryan.

      Yes, the opt-in is optional (box is unticked), plus people need to double opt-in by clicking a link in a confirmation email. I know it's a lot, but the new GDPR is very demanding, and I'd rather have less subscribers but have my ass covered.

      I agree about the blogging thing. One thing that's on my mind is that there's a very specific segment of people who will post. To elaborate, I'm considering three types of people, only one of which will actively post.

      You have:

      - People who are actually blunt and vocal in real life. These people will not post, because they already do those things face to face in real life. They don't care about the repercussions or burning bridges.

      - People who just let it "roll off their back". These are typically people who don't allow anything to upset them. They just move on and put it all behind them. These people don't feel the need to vent, because there's nothing for them to vent about.

      - People caught somewhere between the first and second group. These are people who --like myself-- get really frustrated by certain situations, would love to say something, but understand that it's not wise to do so. In my case, I have a family and I can't afford to damage my reputation by giving people a piece of my mind, no matter how much they deserve it. Ii's bad for business, so I can't do it. These are the people who will find use for the website.

      Of course, there are barriers to overcome before they actually pull the trigger. I think the most significant one is the "I'm not the type" objection. I suspect that most people in group 3 will really want to post, but the action will conflict with their inner self-image. Overcoming that is gonna take work on my part. I need to ease them out of it with good copy and blog posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
    Do I have permission from the mods to post the URL? I think it would give a better idea of how I'm trying to implement the concept.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
    Another question.

    The site's homepage is currently set to the "About" section. A friend of mine suggested that instead of doing this, I should set the homepage to the "Message Submissions" page, to encourage people to post. And then I should do a first-time-visitors popup with the About message.

    Thoughts?
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  • Go ahead with your idea and test it. You are not going to know if anything is going to work unless you get started.

    Blogging with the purpose of getting traffic doesn't seem right. Blogging to sovle your readerships' problems will drive more targeted traffic.

    What niche are you marketing too? What problems will your blog address?
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    • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
      Originally Posted by Internet Trillionaire View Post

      Go ahead with your idea and test it. You are not going to know if anything is going to work unless you get started.
      Absolutely agreed. In fact, I've created the website and started posting some personal content. I haven't shared the URL here yet because I don't want to post it without permission from the mods.

      Originally Posted by Internet Trillionaire View Post

      Blogging with the purpose of getting traffic doesn't seem right. Blogging to sovle your readerships' problems will drive more targeted traffic.
      Yes, in fact my plan is to blog about the situations that surround the topic, and start repurposing that content for guest posts and potentially facebook ads. And of course, the content itself will be encouraging people to post their own stories.

      Originally Posted by Internet Trillionaire View Post

      What niche are you marketing too? What problems will your blog address?
      At this point, I can only speculate. But I'm part of a possible target market for this, so I can talk about that market.

      I can tell you that there are people like me who:
      1. Work in a job
      2. Have to face people who frustrate them
      3. Want to address the issue with these people
      4. Cannot address them because it would lead to bad consequences

      It's not a case of not being able to build proper dialog, mind you. Sometimes, there are people with whom you've tried everything and there's nowhere else to go. Sometimes your boss is an asshole simply because he's an asshole. You'd love to be able to tell him what you think about him, but you know you'd be out of a job in a jiffy, so you can't.

      Same goes for annoying clients. Some people have the luxury of dumping a client who's a nuisance. But very often, it's not that easy, especially if you've got a family to feed.

      This website is for people like me who really need to vent, but don't have a safe place to do it.

      Sure, there are people who will say what's on their mind regardless of the consequences. Those people are not my audience. Then there are people who will let anything just roll off their back. Nothing disturbs their inner calm. That's great. Those people are not my audience either.

      That said, I could provide lots of content about ho to approach difficult conversations without burning bridges, or to learn how to let things roll off your back so they don't hurt you anymore -- so that you no longer need the website.

      And by writing all this, I've come one step closer to identifying the mission.

      The mission is to help people vent, but also educate them so that they will eventually no longer need to vent.

      Thanks I.T. Your question helped me bring out even more of the details of this project. This was an important step. I really appreciate it

      By the way, on the back end, I could start selling affiliate products for people who wanna quit their job or find better customers. I could even create my own products. But I think that's something I can explore once I have some traffic that I can survey. What do you think?
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      • Originally Posted by Cedric Debono View Post

        Yes, in fact my plan is to blog about the situations that surround the topic, and start repurposing that content for guest posts and potentially facebook ads. And of course, the content itself will be encouraging people to post their own stories.

        At this point, I can only speculate. But I'm part of a possible target market for this, so I can talk about that market.
        So what is your "topic"? Which search terms will your prospective blog readers be searching for, in order to find your content?

        Is it "unhappy at work", "asshole boss" or "dissatisfied with your job"?

        Which niche are you marketing too?
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        • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
          Originally Posted by Internet Trillionaire View Post

          So what is your "topic"? Which search terms will your prospective blog readers be searching for, in order to find your content?

          Is it "unhappy at work", "asshole boss" or "dissatisfied with your job"?

          Which niche are you marketing too?
          Good question, and I don't really have an answer for that. I really need to give this part more thought.

          I could do a search to see what kind of content exists on difficult situations at work. Then build from there. What do you think?
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          • Originally Posted by Cedric Debono View Post

            Good question, and I don't really have an answer for that. I really need to give this part more thought.

            I could do a search to see what kind of content exists on difficult situations at work. Then build from there. What do you think?
            You will have a better chance of choosing an appropriate domain name for your website, once you can identify the main keyword/s and LSI keywords associated with your main keyword/s, that you want to rank in the search results of search engines for.

            You have a better starting chance of choosing a domain name for your website that has those keywords in it, once you have done the necessary keyword research that should be done before you start building your website, or before creating a product for sale. This is internet marketing 101.

            It's seems like you have put the cart before the horse, by creating a website first and then looking for a niche for it to fit into.

            You first pick your niche with a high search volume of at least 3000 to 6000 searches per month. Once you have established how many people are looking for what you want to create, then and only then do you start picking domain names, and start creating content around the keywords in your domain name for your website.

            Use the search function on this forum, to search for threads to see how you can best do your keyword research, and to see which online keyword research tools will be best for you to use
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            • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
              I see your point. I created the website because it was something it fulfills a need I have. Maybe there are others who think the way I do. Or maybe it'll fail. I'll give it a shot and see what happens. If nothing else, I'll have learned something. Thanks for the advice though :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    I've seen people ask for reviews before and link to their site for that purpose so since the OP shared it with me and has indicated he wants to share it here for review sake I will do so

    (Mod note: if its been deleted before for some reason I am unaware.. I mean no harm nor foul. I am not associated with the site at all so theres no promotion - especially given the rest of this post).

    I just hate to see people spend time with nearly zero chance at success (especially since the OP seems to be a good guy). I don't see this taking off the way he wants to but he doesn't believe me thats its just clearly not enough.

    To me it has no hope whatsoever to be a hit as it exists. Its just a wordpress blog with some text and a submission form

    https://bluntandvocal.com/

    Maybe if he hears from more people that it takes more than that to get a hit then he will believe and stop chasing unicorns or maybe my jaw will hit the floor and you all will declare it a winner.

    Thats not to say the idea is a bad one but that it needs to have much more going for it and the Op seems to think it might be a hit as it is with just a a few changes to fonts. It has waaay more that needs to be done IMO (user profiles. community interactions, commenting , replies voting likes/ratings all which the Op doesn't want to be part of it)

    I'll have nothing more to add.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The downside might be opening yourself up to slander lawsuits.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      The downside might be opening yourself up to slander lawsuits.
      I have a system where I vet all entries. The system is automated, so the messages go into WP posts pending approval, so it's pretty hands off as a process. However, I still vet all entries. I check for things such as racial/gender/religious hatred and incitement to violence. And my T&C states clearly that I have the right to edit, retract or refuse to publish content without giving any reason or warning.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by Cedric Debono View Post

        I have a system where I vet all entries. The system is automated, so the messages go into WP posts pending approval, so it's pretty hands off as a process. However, I still vet all entries. I check for things such as racial/gender/religious hatred and incitement to violence. And my T&C states clearly that I have the right to edit, retract or refuse to publish content without giving any reason or warning.
        I meant towards a business.

        How do you know a business competition isn't bad mouthing them just to make them look bad? This type of stuff is real and people pay money to make it go away, it's called reputation management.

        Example, what's stopping someone from creating 100 comments under different names (whatever) flaming one business? Even If the flames are drip fed over a year.
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        • Profile picture of the author Cedric Debono
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          I meant towards a business.

          How do you know a business competition isn't bad mouthing them just to make them look bad? This type of stuff is real and people pay money to make it go away, it's called reputation management.

          Example, what's stopping someone from creating 100 comments under different names (whatever) flaming one business? Even If the flames are drip fed over a year.
          I see your concern, but as I said, I vet entries, and that includes editing out names of individuals and companies, as well as anything that I think may attempt to identify a person or entity.

          Of course, this is a manual process and if the volume of entries increases considerably, I'll have to find a way to manage it. But for all I know, this project just might flow, so I'm not gonna worry about scaling just yet.

          Additionally, if the project picks up speed (and that's a big IF), I intend to get a lawyer to look over my T&C to make sure I'm as covered as possible.
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