When I stated this website in mid-October with a soft launch of November 1, I did not really plan much with it. I just got the domain, install WordPress and started writing articles. That’s was it. However, now that we are a few months into it, I have to get a more solid plan.
The official launch of the website will be January 15 which Martin Luthur King’s birthday. The reason for this day is that the hope is the website starts a movement much like King did for black people in America in his generation. We want to reform what people think about traveling inside the United States.
Many Americans want travel until they are going to some other country. They ignore the beauty down the street and only see going to Bali or Jamaica as a vacation. We want to change that. The reality is that many of our cities that people live, work and shop in have amazing opportunities to explore.
People could do a day trip every weekend in America and never run out of things to see and do. I know that many people visit Kansas City but all my friends say there is nothing to see. While, there is only 20 different things you could do and locals are just blind to the fact. This problem happens in every city across the country. Americans do not see the United States as a place to visit.
What led up to the launch
In early October, I wrote the first article that was about Jesse James that was killed in my hometown and about his legend. It was followed up with posts about Pony Express and Joseph Robidoux. Since, I have just been trying to update the website with new articles every day or at least 3-4 times a week.
In addition to that, I have been working with other websites to try and get the word out about the launch of the digital property and tell them about articles that might interest their readers. As of this writing, there has been over 70 websites that loved what is coming out and linked to us. That’s a great start that many do not get.
I have also began to prepare social media as well. I took the Facebook page for my old travel website, Travel the Fire and changed its name to Last Kodiak and we will use it for the new launch. The reason for this is that having 3,000 followers to start with is something worth using. Many of them follow travel, not a specific location.
At the end of the day, we have had about 4,000 views so far and we have not even really promoting the website at all. of these views, 3 out of 4 of them are coming from Google searches. That’s a great place to be. It is my desire to be search driven.
While the work is far from over, I firmly believe we will be ready to tell the world about the project on Martin Luther King day in 2018!
What is the business plan for the website?
I know some people, mainly other bloggers, would be interested in how we plan to monetize. On my two other main websites, I use Google Adsense. However, I plan to make them go away on this website shortly after the launch. The plan is to replace them with brand partnerships.
If it works out, I want to have a brand of the week that we work with. This will mean a few things for them and for you, the reader. They will get a dedicated article about their product, a mention of partnership in a video during the week and other things. It is important for brand to have awareness like this.
For the reader, it will be even better. We will work for the brand to have a giveaway every Friday to people who follow us on Facebook. This is something that people love and I am hoping to have some really awesome products to give to people. Things like cameras, guitars, tickets to show, airplane tickets, and free hotel stays.
I firmly believe that this is something that will benefit everyone. It keep the bills paid for Last Kodiak, gives marketing power to the brands and gives free products to our readers. Everyone will win and no more annoying ads on the website.
Building these relationship do take work, especially with national brands but only we get them all in place; it will be great for all the readers that are with us present and future.
What is happening to Travel the Fire?
Nothing. It will remain there. It will still have all the content there. It just won’t be updated that much. I am sure if something major happens that I need to talk about, I will. If there is big change that affects one of the articles, I will update to reflect that. Besides that, I probably will just leave it alone and let it run.
It would be dumb to kill it at this point. There is over 23,000 views a month driven mainly from Google to the website and hundreds of back links to the website. It is a very useful project that helps a lot of people. I just can’t see why I would want to pull it down completely.
The investment into it now will be very small. I have disabled comments due to some angry people pushing their personal agendas. As a result, no need to answer comments, no social media accounts to manage, no managing anything to be honest.
I had considered continuing to build the website up to the point that I could just sell it off to get some capital. It sounded good but in the end, I am not sure I want someone having control of my content and I have no say in the matter.
The bottom line is that Travel the Fire is still going to be online and all the content will be in tact….and updated when there is a need.