We’ve been hard at work again!
Both John and I have had a good hard look at the site attempting to identify areas where we can improve.
We feel that we provide content which is both informative and interesting to all of our readers – hopefully you will agree with this.
Many months were spent creating some guides (eBooks) to assist the beginner in this amazing hobby. These guides are full of information and a lot of time and effort was spent making these as easy to understand as possible while also being easy to follow. Quite a lot of these guides have gone ‘out of the door’ so to speak and we have received some excellent feedback on them.
We both wanted to be able to interact with our readers from the very start which is one of the reasons why we accept and encourage comments/participation on all of our published articles. Yet we wanted to expand this and Aquarists Online Social was born. This area allows for a lot more interaction and involvement. This area allows the uploading of pictures, viewing other peoples pictures, sharing videos, creation of blogs, buying/selling in the classifieds area, creation/joining of groups, running of polls, the ability to post upcoming aquarium related event as well as being able to ask/answer questions in the forum. This area has started quite well and we have a fair few members and both John and I are pleased with the result.
We have a monthly newsletter which is created and sent out via E-Mail. This newsletter which is called ‘Salty News’ includes information based from personal thoughts/experiences, tips, techniques, fish, corals and what has become a firm favourite – the ‘Ask John’ section. There is, of course a lot more information than that and the content changes on a monthly basis. We now have over 1000 subscribers to the newsletter and with only a few people who have unsubscribed we believe that it is doing very well.
Over all we are very happy with our little corner of the internet.
But we both knew something was missing.
We knew that people were looking for information, looking to interact, looking to share and also looking to find products they need online.
The last piece was the bit we were missing – it was the next logical piece, the last piece in the jigsaw if you will.
Of course we are not a shop though. We thought that we might be able to team up with an online aquarium store and link to all the products you need but we thought to ourselves – ‘is that really helping our readers?’
The answer was no.
What we wanted was an area where you would be able to compare places where you can purchase from, a place where products can be reviewed and also a place where the online stores themselves can also be reviewed.
A long time was spent trying to work out if this was actually technically achievable. Once we found out that it was we got to work.
The result – Aquarists Online MarketPlace is born.
So what is Aquarists Online MarketPlace?
Effectively it is a price comparison site. In this area you have the ability to be able to search for products you may need/want and then compare these products with other online suppliers. If you have a good experience with an online retailer then you can leave a review if you wish to do so. The same goes for a bad experience as unfortunately this does sometimes happen. You can also review individual products so that other visitors can benefit from your experience with the product in question.
Obviously there are a lot of online stores on the internet in relation to aquariums so for obvious reasons we have not been able to load them all in. If we did that we would still be loading them in this time next year!
For us to load the products of an online store into the MarketPlace basically all of the product information is required, as well as a picture, the price and the internet link to the actual product page on the company’s online store.
We were able to get this information from some online stores and these are loaded into the system. There were others who either did not have this information or did not want to participate.
As said we know that there are a load more online stores out there so we will be looking to load more into the system over time, however we did not want to wait too long before launching this area of the site so decided that we have enough products in the area to make it useable.
At present there are literally thousands of products loaded!
As said we will be looking for more sites to add to this area however if you know of an online store who would like to participate in this area or perhaps you have your own online aquarium related store then why not contact us so that we can inform you of the information we require.
One thing that must be noted is that if you do decide to go off and purchase an item through this area then the product in question will not be shipped by us. It will shipped by the actual online store you were transferred to from Aquarists Online MarketPlace.
Both John and I hope that you find this area beneficial. We believe that it is a good addition to the site. It would be great to hear some comments as to what you think about this so why not leave a comment below.
Will there be any further additions and/or enhancements to the site – who knows. As present we do not have any areas planned but you never know what is around the corner. We may have an idea one day and decide to give it a try or we may be contacted by one of our readers with a suggestion.
One thing is for certain – if we do not feel it is beneficial to our readers then it will not even get started.