I recently reached out to Dewayne Carel of Modders-Inc (@ModdersInc) to ask how his blog has been doing since his call-in. He said he tried some of the suggestions but hasn’t seen much improvement and the harder he tries the worse it seems to get. Thinking that the economy is having an effect on the modding community and his blog I asked his opinion, here is his response.
As for case modding… yes it has declined in popularity over the years and it is harder to get people interested. With all the “pre-modded” cases out there people do not want to make the effort to work on their case. I mean you can buy just about everything and bolt it on, but where is the fun in that?
The manufactures still like us modders as we are always pushing the designs and looks of PC’s and they take the popular stuff and incorporate that into their designs.
It seems that modding might have pushed itself into a small corner niche’ that only the outrageous and super unique cases get a short time in the spot light. This one of the reasons that we also do product reviews on Modders-Inc, to fill in the gap when mods are not pulling in the traffic.
We are always looking at ways to increase traffic and hits and I KNOW that we can get modding popular once again as mainstream hobby.
While not an expert, I thought I’d give my opinion, somethings just beg to be changed.
Content – Content is king, no changing that, if it isn’t resonating then change your approach and be sure to watch your analytics to see what is working.
KISS – The site is too busy and it needs a face-lift, I am a big fan of make it simple for the user, something a long the lines of less is more. Consider checking out WooThemes, StudioPress for a new design, look at sites you like and sites that are big and emulate them, they are doing something right. To be more specific I’d consider morphing your site into something like TechCrunch and Both Sides of The Table. I like like how TechCrunch shows a partial posts and integrates social media. I like how Mark’s site is clean and simple (RSS, and Twitter easy to find), just a post area and right sidebar. What I like about both these sites is, if I see a post I wasn’t expecting I will search and see what I’ve missed.
Community / Social Media – You need an easy way for your readers to promote your articles, Tweetmeme button , Facebook Like, Google Buzz, Digg buttons are easy to install, a must have and better than the “Share This” button. You need a dedicated Facebook page for the site, all the posts get pushed there, I think it would be a good way to replace your forum, encourage people to participate. Mention your thoughts on changing your site on your current forum, describe your idea and see what they think, ask for their input, let them know you value their opinion. Your forums they are not dead, look at what posts get the most responses and see if you can do something their, what caught my eye was 10 responses to a video blog following a mod from start to finish. Publish “how tos” or anything helpful to Slideshare and send traffic back your way a complete social media upgrade is required.
Visual Experience – Modding it’s a very visual end experience in my mind, I’d go heavy YouTube and Flickr, they have communities themselves that you might tap into. Short Video posts are a must in today’s age, they will more than likely stink in the beginning but after a few tries, solicit feedback from your loyal supporters and improve. This also gives you and opportunity to mention that tweeting and “liking” a story really helps your site. Take one day a month and do an hour long mod “how to” and break it up into a short series (the appearance can be that it is being done weekly , change your shirt between shoots and mess up your hair) and publish at a set interval. It could be an educational series for the beginner, you know the space better than I or ask your community what they want to see.
Engage Other Blogs – If a mod was featured on your site and let’s say it was World of Warcraft or CoD themed, I’d reach out to sites that cover those games and see if you can tap into their community. You can even reciprocate buy holding a contest with your community to make the coolest mod for “X” gaming site.
Identity – With the new site I’d consider a new logo, a new beginning if you will, it may jazz the current users to promote you more, make it a big deal that your have a new site coming, try retrain your current community to promote your site.
Distractions – You have a lot of ads top, left and right sidebar, all flashing and distracting which takes away from the content, if you aren’t making much money with these I’d consider trying to get a sponsor (your answer above begs to see if some manufacturers are interested). How to price, you might ask? I’d look at what I was making on the current ad model and start there, and give a few prime spots to businesses and making it more enjoyable for the user. In the past Jason has recommended having a “Founding Sponsor” and if they sign up with you for a set period of time they gain a discount for the entire time you operate the site. Love Thy Sponsor
While I covered a lot, I know many of your have better ideas than I, what recommendations would you give Dewayne?