This will be the first post in a series chronicling the building of TV for Tots. I already discussed the motivation for the site, and this post will detail the first week including research, blog creation, design, and initial content.
The idea for TV for Tots was born on October 11th. I took a look around the internet for a site doing something similar. While there were other sites like TV Squad that were blogging TV in general, I didn’t see anything dedicated to the preschool-set. This has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s great to be first into a niche, but at the same time it is tougher to find link partners. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for TV for Tots because my target audience is parents (of which there are many blogs) with an entertainment topic (and there are plenty of those sites as well).
I looked for a couple of domain names at Go Daddy, and decided I liked the ring and conciseness of TV for Tots. At the same time I registered TV4Tots.com just as a preventive measure. As for hosting the blog, I already have an account with Cornerhost with extra space and bandwidth. I then set up a new blog with blogger, and the blog was born.
I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on site design, so I started with one of the default templates from Blogger. I chose “Minima” because it was so simple and clean, and it seemed easier to add to a simple template than subtract from a more involved one. I switched it from a two column design to a 3 column desgin. I wanted my left sidebar to be for navigation and links, and I created a right sidebar for the express purpose of displaying skyscraper ads. I must say it’s much easier to incorporate ad space into your design when you start out, than trying to cram it into a design later on. My Tiger blog was set-up without any consideration of ad space and I continually struggle with ad space and placement in that design. In fact, I recently had to do quite a bit of tweaking to make room for Chitika ads, Adsense ads, and sponsored links.
Another design element I’d like to work on is to create a banner. The plain text is clean, but it is also very standard. Unfortunately image manipulation isn’t my strong suit, and I didn’t want to invest the time in that. I figured it would be more valuable to start creating content.
On October 12th I made my first posts to the blog. I created the very important “About” page, and then a post about Dora the explorer costumes. That was simple enough, but where was I going to get the rest of my content? I set-up several news alerts with Google News. I also became familiar with the press areas of the various channels and producers, as well as including links in the sidebar. For a number of them, I sent emails introducing myself and the site and asked to be included on any future press release distributions.
For the remainder of the week I created 3 more posts. Two of which linked to several parent blogs commenting shows and stations. Hopefully I’d show up in their referrer logs and gain a look – not to mention it was relevant. I also created my first Show Profile. It’s something I’ll be doing for a number of the shows, and is in-depth original content – which is what ultimately will create readerhship.
With 7 pages of content I decided to submit my site to search engines at the end of the week. Seven pages may not be a lot, but I didn’t want to wait either. I submitted to Google, MSN, and Yahoo to start.
One week was in the books and I was the only one seeing my content. But that’s okay, I wanted to have a few posts before came to the site for the first time.
The Part 2 will cover some other things I did to drive traffic to the site, and I’ll let you know how it went with the search engines as well.