Welcome Division St. Business Owners! First of all, thanks for visiting my little project site focusing on SE Division Street. It's my goal to help gain attention and customers for everyone and, right now, as you can probably tell, I'm still building out the general infrastructure of this web site. That said, I think it should be evident that I'm building a database of everything of interest on SE Division, for a bunch of various reasons:
- I thought it would be neat as sort of a SEO experiment. For lots of various reasons, I hope to see high organic rankings for this site (and not only to receive them, but to deserve them -- distinct items there!) But, yeah, I'm a web guy, so that aspect interests me.
- I think this community NEEDS such a resource, as Division has simply exploded in recent years. When I moved to this neighborhood in 2010, it was almost better described as a residential street w/ some neat restaurants. Now, I need a whole web site to keep track!
- I think this community DESERVES such a resource, as a lot of PDXers may not yet think of Division as a destination street -- although the press has been increasingly favorable with phrases such as "restaurant row" being tossed about.
- I get downright EXCITED about Division... more and more lately. I mean, walk down past Salt & Straw & check out how long those lines are! Head over to Bollywood Theater & grab some samosas & a chai! Man, it's crazy out there now -- and I'm sure a lot of the early Division businesses are digging the new attention -- places like Appethaizing and Flying Cat Coffee. Let's hope they're getting tons of new customers!
Anyway, as is (I hope) evident, I'm a marketing guy, specializing in web development. Sometimes I look at an environment and just think, "yep, that needs a site." And, depending on whatever it is, I just may build it myself, just to make sure it exists. So, that's largely what this is. But, of course, I may also think things like, "Is there a way I can provide a needed service and also build my own business?" I mean, that would be the ultimate win-win, right? So, that's part of this, too.
Along those lines, some of my early plans (or, really, I should say "possibilities") for this site would be:
- Building out individual location pages on behalf of the business owner. Right now, I'm trying to incorporate all of the basics, including a link to the business site, a Google map, and in most cases photos that I've personally taken while walking the street. (Sorry, I haven't gotten to EVERYONE yet, but I'm sure I will in time. But, as a premium service, I have definitely thought of possible tricking out individual pages more. What that means, though, I'm not yet sure. On this site, each page is pretty much open for development.
- Coupons galore. I guess that's a no-brainer, but that's definitely something to consider.
- Banner ads. As I'm developing and hosting all of this on my own dime, I will likely at least run some banner ads, not that those usually return much more than normal server costs, if that. But, it's likely coming soon.
- Business advertising. I'll likely develop some standard sized ads that can also link to individual business pages on this site.
- Other Categories. This one I struggled with a bit. When I first launched, I did have a category for health and wellnes, one for real estate, condos, etc., and one for professional businesses located on Division. But, what I found upon surfing the site myself was that the sizzle was getting pushed down -- and, by "sizzle" I really mean all of the excitement on the street -- the restaurants, bars, and retail shops. So, in response, my current plan is to focus most on those sizzle areas, but to also at least make space for the others, which could then be discoverable in other ways such as directly via search, via ads that would appear on business pages, and/or other as-yet-to-be-developed features such as maps, etc.
- Links to other items of interest to our community. So, with Division becoming more and more its own destination, the community itself is actually a fairly cohesive type of demographic. From a marketing perspective, that means we share some common interests most likely. So, how can I achieve that same "win win" of making this site better and also helping me earn a bit of a living from doing so? Well, I'm thinking about it!
- Video marketing campaigns. I'm a huge believer in video, and think Division would benefit greatly from a campaign where we focus on individual restaurants, bars, and shops somehow. I can think of about 10 ways to get this done, and each is better than the last, so I'm still planning this part.