Discovering this forum has assuaged any anxiety about which, what, how, why, etc. of all the mattresses out there I may properly be suited for. I have moved from visiting stores and their mattresses, processing all the divergent info from the sales people and the manufacturers hype, trying to decide what would work for me, a Tempupedic Rapsody, an Icomfort Genius, a Sterns and Foster Royal Parks firm, to now thinking I should use one of the sites members to construct a custom selection. I have hi hopes here. Wish me luck. I think I might use the sites consultation program. Any one with experience using it? Thanks!
You would be the first to officially use this service (there were some that I invited to use it “unofficially” as part of my research in the few months before the development and launch of this site a few months ago) but most of my time and efforts now go into the forum and the website and ongoing research itself.
I was planning to remove the service sometime soon because as the site keeps growing in the rankings and activity, it would be rather time intensive if many took advantage of it and may reduce my ability to do further research and development on the site and forum itself.
So since the service is “time permitting” and may only be up for a little while yet … and since you are the first to “officially” ask me about it … if you private message me your phone number … I’d be happy to call you and provide the service for free if you feel it may help you.
Not sure if this would help you in any way but have you considered having maybe a subcategory with location-based hierarchy for your forums?
For example you can have a forum category like: [Regional Mattress Forums], then sub-categories broken down by either state or region [Atlantic North, Atlantic South, Canada, etc…] and then in the sub-categories, and then individual threads would exist for major municipalities within each sub-category.
If you can visualize it, it would go something like this:
The Mattres Underground → Mattress Forum → Regional Mattress Forums → Canada → The Edmonton, AB Mattress Thread
So basically, within the “Canada” subcategory, you would have different threads as people ask questions…there would be the Calgary, AB Mattress thread, the Banff, AB Mattress thread, etc. And if someone asked a regional question in a general forum, you could just merge the question to the relevant region thread.
The slugs in the URL would greatly help your threads to rank higher for important cities, and with enough questions/answers collected over the long-term, you would probably end up being the top 3 ranked quite quickly for many very specific and valuable search queries (for example “mattresses in New York”) - an advertiser’s dream, as it were.
I’m not sure what your goal is for the website but I can see a strong $$$ potential in what you’re doing so I couldn’t help but throw in my 2 cents even though you did not ask for it :)…either way you are providing a very valuable service and you have been incredibly helpful; I wish you the best whatever your goals are!
Edit: Just wanted to add that I hope I didn’t come across in my post as preachy or anything of the sort. I love the design of this website and it is already ranking quite well and probably the most consumer-friendly & informative site I’ve come across on the web. The region-splicing just occurred to me as it is something that has helped the web-portion of my business grow significantly the past couple of years.
I truly appreciate your suggestions as they are good ones and I take them (and all suggestions) in the helpful spirit they are given
l also appreciate the chance to share a few of my future plans with you and others since you brought this up.
There are about 600 or so mattress manufacturers in the US and a few hundred more in Canada. Out of these of course … many are major manufacturers or their subsidiaries and others are more opportunistic manufacturers that are not really what I call “mattress people” as much as they are “money people” that usually don’t last so long and don’t have great value or service. It would be reasonable to think (based on my experience and research) that there are about 100 or perhaps 150 of these that I would consider to be the type of manufacturer or outlet that I would be happy to have as members of this site.
Much of my time so far has been spent talking with these (much of this as a “customer”) to get a sense of who they are and what they stand for. Many of these (including the current members) have led to hundreds of hours in conversations. Of these 100 or perhaps 150 or so … I am hoping that over time, and as they come to recognize what I stand for and that I am “working for them” in a sense because I believe in what they do and produce … they will recognize the value of membership on this site and accept an invitation to become members when the time comes to invite them.
I plan to focus on increasing the membership over the coming months so there will be members that are spread out over more areas of the US and Canada and my thought is I would be happy with 50 or more of these high value manufacturers. Of course the membership fees will help to produce a small income to help “keep me going” but this is only a way to get to the real goal of the site which is to change the way that people shop for mattresses and help them recognize where the real value is that is currently being “overwhelmed” by massive advertising budgets which aren’t telling the whole story.
As more and more people purchase mattresses from members of the site (and take advantage of the discount that is available through a post on the forum) … the “back end” income will start to grow (as outlined in the services section of the site) and of course I am hoping that over a year or two (or sooner would be great) it will actually produce a reasonable income :). I have always believed that if what I am doing has real value … that it will be rewarded as the site grows in popularity and in its ability to help people. My goal from the beginning was never to have to accept web advertising since most of the advertising that would be served as people browse here is not from manufacturers I would recommend. I must say that so far I have been grateful that google has seemed to recognize that the site is “information dense” and not just online for the sake of creating rankings like so many hundreds of sites I have come across in my research.
Along the way towards the membership I am looking for … I was planning to do something very similar to what you are suggesting through web pages describing the specialties and strengths of each member and then cross linking these pages to web pages that include cities and regions in the URL or title. You have given me food for thought to do the same with the forum structure as the volume of posts grows. I am also hoping over time to encourage some of the manufacturing members to contribute their own unique knowledge to the forums as their time permits as many of them already work long hours.
I also plan to eventually incorporate a growing list of “analysis and reviews” of many of the more “popular” mattress brands both in the forum topics and then in sections of the website just for this purpose which of course will include the make and models of the mattresses in the title or URL.
My original plan was to first create a single forum for ease of use so people would be able to scan all the topics on a single page and then to diversify into separate subforums as the topics became more diverse and the need arose so your suggestions are very welcome as this time approaches.
There are many more long term plans that are part of my original long term hopes for the site but some of these will likely take a long time. When I first began to formulate the ideas that led to this site … I had absolutely no knowledge of anything to do with building websites or even what most of the terminology meant so the learning curve of building a site itself was (and to some degree still is) quite steep. It has been a “labor of love” so far but of course I am certainly hoping that it will produce an income that will support the many hours that go into any venture like this.
Sometimes the biggest challenge of all (as I’m sure you know) is to find the time to both learn how and to implement all the good ideas that have come from both my own thoughts and from many others like yourself in the journey towards making this site as informational, helpful, and easy to use as it can be.
Thank you so much for taking the time and caring enough to make great suggestions. I certainly welcome them all
I will reply to your other post in the morning