Although theleavingcert.com is already my biggest & most successful site on paper, we’ve just completed a takeover of one of our big rival sites… leaving-cert.net. leaving-cert.net has a lot going for it. It’s student driven, it’s updated fairly regularly, it performs well in search engines, it’s been plugged in national newspapers…
So when i was approached about buying it, i knew it would be a smart buy, but at the same time i also knew it would be a risk. The first question we asked ourselves was “will it pay for itself?”. The fact we ended up buying the site shows you what our answer to that question was. But right now, it’s just an expensive toy… we have to make it work, we have to make it pay for itself and that’s always easier said than done.
theleavingcert.com started off as my first ever website and last year it turned in to a two man project, with Enda & myself now at the helm. we’ve done a good job with it… it’s just gone from strength to strength every year since it’s birth in 2006. Right now we’re getting about 800 unique visits /day and rising. Double that in pageviews.
We also agreed this summer to start looking at it seriously and to put in place plans to ensure it continues to grow and that we really start to get behind it and turn it in to a strong, active community site.
leaving-cert.net wasn’t part of those plans but it’s now a welcome addition to our team. It will add traffic, content & value to what is now our leaving cert ‘network’ and it helps strengthen our stranglehold on the leaving cert niche. It also gives us a nice headache as we have to sit down and figure out what we want to do with it. Will we merge the two sites? we will run then independently? If we merge how will that effect traffic, search engines, users? Loads of questions, loads of thinking for us and decisions will have to be made.
And those questions will all be answered by September this year. We put real thought and time in to theleavingcert.com’s revamp in january of this year and that paid off big time. So if we do the same again over the summer, i’m confident we can step it up yet another level.
Next school year (September 2010 – June 2011) we’ll be much more aggressive with the entire project. More marketing, more social media, more features, more content, more engagement…