Terry Delaney is offering a great giveaway on his Christian Book review blog. You can win an autographed copy of Russell Moore’s new book Adopted For Life, all you have to do is leave a comment and say you want it.
Click here for details and to enter the contest.
On the marketing side, this will be a real breakout for Christian Book Notes. Terry has been writing some great content and the challenge is getting noticed in the increasingly crowded blogoshpere. We are planning several “giveaway” promotions to build momentum.
Most people assume that link directories are dead.
They are wrong.
Website directories still exist, attract users, and some even turn a profit. It’s true that the “general” directories can’t keep up with the growth and change of the internet. But topical niche directories, or regional specialist directories are still strong and even growing.
The software scripts that run these directories are definitely more complicated than WordPress, but it’s nothing a few hour of instant coffee can’t overcome.
All this is to say. I’m building a directory of Christian websites. Right now, web development challenges are my recreation. Plus, I think a directory can be relevant again if done well. So, check it out an add links to all your blogs.
One note – I just started this thing over the weekend. Most of my time has been spent in learning the script and tweaking the design. So, it’s still very skinny on links. You can help me out by adding some of your favorite sites.
Update: Nov 27, 2009 – I just shelved this project. The levels of spam were amazing.
After about 3 hours of work, I have the forums up and running at my children’s ministry blog. They are built on bbPress which I installed automatically with Simple Scripts via my Bluehost dashboard.
Overall, it was easier than I imagined. The only hang up was customizing the forum appearance to better match the main website.
A few considerations:
- The success of forums depend on a large group of active readers. This is the main reason I held off until now to add them. But with several thousand unique visitors each day, the website seemed like it was ready to expand.
- Forums can be a great way for readers to contribute to the website. By asking and answering questions, the community created content expands the value of the site rapidly. Plus, bbPress can be set up to be very search engine friendly.
- To get the forums past the tipping point, I’m running a contest to encourage readers to register. Bottom line – if I can ‘t get readers to use the forum then they will not add value. So, giving away $60 in books from Amazon seemed like a good strategy. If it pays off, then the forums will get off to a strong start and have some momentum going forward.
Over on My Christian Blogs, I’ve been testing a promotion idea that I am calling the “Friends program.” Basically, I’m giving regular bloggers a chance to be listed along side all the best Christian bloggers.
The response has been very strong. So far, 65 bloggers have been approved. This is well beyond my initial goal.
When I think it over, it makes sense. What is one thing I can give away that can’t be bought? Targeted exposure for their blogs. As My Christian Blogs becomes a major website (hitting 400+ pageviews already & aiming much higher) it will send waves of traffic to the blogs I’m listing.
It’s a win-win situation.
In case you were wondering, I’m running the whole thing through a Google Reader shared clip right now. It’s easy to administer and doesn’t add any stress to my website load times.