if you build it...

If You Build It...

I built Alert Ferret and learnt one large lesson. The Internet is huge. Of course, I did know this before, I do build parts of it. What I have very little experience of however is attempting to entice people to use or visit certain parts of it.


I experimented with AdWords. The first thing I realised is that the AdWords system is huge. It may have been simple once upon a long time ago but now the range of options open to you is staggering. Finding your way around the interface to decide where to begin is interesting.

The system is so complex they have multiple tools to help you to generate campaigns and model expected traffic based on keywords used.

After spending some time playing with their Keyword Planner I finally started a small campaign with limited funds to advertise around the dating and dating safety set of terms.

It worked! In so far as I gained some traffic from it. In terms of conversions to people using the service it was pretty disappointing. I’m sure that some of this is to do with the keyword choices and setup I used but I also think that advertising a safety system for dating might need more than a few keyword targeted adverts.

Blagging The Bloggers

One of the main uses I have down for Alert Ferret is dating safety. So I searched for, and subsequently attempted to contact a number of blogs that related to dating and advice.

I found a handful of likely candidates and emailed them with some information regarding the service to find out what they might think of it.

Very few replies. None in fact.

Did I email too few people? Was my message bad? I know that I don’t have enough experience to know the answer to these questions but I can believe the answers are yes to both.

Word Of Mouth

I love my friends, they’re great. Unfortunately I don’t have enough of them to make a Twitter/Facebook push large enough to go viral or even reach a decent amount of people. Without people using the service word of mouth isn’t up to much cop so it needs to be kick-started somehow.


So, marketing isn’t my strong suit, and quite frankly I can give more value to a business by doing any number of other things. I guess that means I am looking for someone with a marketing brain when it comes to co-founders. More on this in another post.

My main lesson here has been, if you build it, they will be none the wiser.

06 November 2014 - start-up marketing adwords word-of-mouth

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