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Salvia Trip

By John Clarke

Today, I’m going to talk about my most recent project (apart from this blog), Salvia Trip. Salvia Trip

Back Story

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.

Design

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.

Progress

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..

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