Today, I’m going to talk about my most recent project (apart from this blog), Salvia Trip.
Originally, most of the experience reports came from SalviaSource (in my mind, the number one salvia divinorum community), but due to a decision by the owner (Paradoxic) to move away from the experience and focus more on the cultivation and the science behind it all, the reports were removed from the site. In a stroke of benevolent wisdom, Paradoxic decided to compile all of the reports in both a Word document and SQL format. Seeing a massive cache of free, keyword-rich and relatively unique content, I jumped at the chance to download the lot, determined to do something worthwhile with it.
Picking the Domain
Using Google’s free Keyword Research Tool, I played around with a few words including “salvia”, “divinorum”, “experience” and “trip” in various combinations. It turns out the phrase “Salvia Trip” gets approximately 12,000 searches per month on Google, and with only 138,000 competing sites, some domain featuring the words “Salvia” and “Trip” was going to work best. Salvia-Trip.net and Salvia-Trip.com were both available, so I registered both of them, and pointed .com to the .net extension.
Giving Something Back
When I was first tossing ideas around about what to do with these reports, my incentives were two-fold. Make a bit of money myself and give something back to the salvia community. Initially, I had just wanted to create a place that the community would be able to use and enjoy, while keeping any income from the site seperate. I had considered a single “shop” page on the site through which to sell some salvia, but I thought that might be a bit tacky, and more likely to land me in hot water somewhere down the line. So, I decided I’d put some adverts around the trip reports, and that’s when I realised I could combine both of my goals in a single elegant solution — give the members some of the advertising revenue! The user registration form now allows you to input your Adsense publisher id, if you have one, so we can display adverts belonging to your own Adsense account 25% of the time.
I wanted to keep it simple. Well, maybe I did. Maybe it’s also down to the fact that I totally suck at Photoshop. Whatever the reason, I knocked up a quick design and got things up and running as soon as possible. My first real Photoshop attempt was designing the header — not bad, I reckon. In case you can’t tell, I did pretty much exactly the same thing for the header and rss button here.
So far, things seem to be going well. A few links have been exchanged and SalviaSource now recommends all its users submit their trip there for comment. That’s got to be good, right? More importantly though, how’s it doing in Google, the biggest, baddest search engine of them all? Well, it’s been up for little over a month now, and already we’re on the front page. No doubt I’ll talk about this site again in the future, so I’ll keep everyone up to date with it’s progress.
Anyone can submit their reports anonymously, or by creating an account first. In the not-too-distant future, I might be giving away some salvia to the top members, who have contributed the most, so keep an eye out for that..