View Full Version : Need Website Help

01-01-2009, 02:25 PM
It's me....again. I bet you're tired of me making threads. But I am trying to learn from the best of the best in the haunt industry on how to get started. My question now is about websites.

I have made a website to help build buzz about the haunted house I wish to build. Due to me not having very much for the haunt yet (a spotlight, strobe-light, and a broken fog machine), I decided to not start on my professional site yet. I figured my demographic would be mid-teens to late twenties. And what's the biggest thing for that age group right now? Social networks...mainly MySpace and Facebook. So I thought, if I make something that will attract these people, then I may be able to get some buzz going for my "haunt". Well, I decided to go through Wetpaint to make my site.
Wetpaint offers a free service that combines many features of Myspace with the features of a wiki, plus it throws in a few more. I signed up for an account using the url http://tchaunt.wetpaint.com
As of right now (at the time of this post), the website is seriously lacking much of any content. It has a section promoting three fund raisers for our haunt, a page to thank the people who have helped, and it has a page explaining information about the members of TCHaunt.

Basically, our website that was made to create buzz for the upcoming haunt is missing things to create buzz. So here's what I need help with:
What can I add to help make the website create buzz about the haunt?
If you would like to look at the website, there is a link in my signature (the one titled Website).

01-01-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm not a haunt owner myself, so take what I say with a grain of salt...but I do know a thing or two about marketing, and how to create a buzz in the music industry. The big thing is to get your name out there. A website alone won't build a buzz. There's billions of websites out there...how will anyone know yours exists?

You don't have a haunt yet, which makes building buzz about your haunt rather tricky. You can try with press releases, but I doubt you have anything really newsworthy. You need something that makes you stand out from the rest. Right now, you're just someone who's haunting their backyard (or front yard or garage, whatever). That's nothing new. There's already a ton of people doing that. So you need to ask yourself...what sets you apart from the rest?

I'm not so sure your social networking site is going to work so well. Myspace and facebook are the giants in this business, and they're going to be hard to take away from. People want to join social networking sites because their friends are on there. Or it offers features no one else is offering. You probably won't defeat anyone on the features since you're using a free system, which I'm sure is rather limited. As for joining because their friends are on....it sounds like you don't really have any members. Another strike against you is it's a social networking site specifically for your haunt. I don't think there's a lot of teenagers out there who want to join a site to network with their friends and discuss your home haunt.

Now, if you ignore the social networking concept, it seems your key goal in this all is just to build a buzz about your haunt, which is what the website is for. You're on the right track, but again, it's hard to build a buzz when there's nothing newsworthy. What I think you should try is making a myspace page and maybe a group for your upcoming haunt. And then add everyone. Not just kids at your school. Not just your demographic. Everyone within your area. You can start with the teenagers though. Possibly ask some of the people around here who have a myspace to add you, to show support. But this is just the first step. You still need to have something buzz-worthy. Being a haunt is not enough. You may have a lot of friends on this haunt myspace, but the ultimate goal is to get them to the website. That's going to be tricky without some unique content. You know your town better than anyone here, so you need to figure out what these kids would want to see, and what they'd be interested in. Maybe have a forum to discuss things going on around town. Maybe you could organize haunt themed events around town.

I would abandon the social networking/wiki concept for your site. Personally I think it'd be confusing (is it a social networking site or a haunt site?), and I'm not so sure many teenagers really care about the wiki concept. It's very hard to populate any sort of social networking site. I've run a forum before, and I know it takes a long time to get a large member base...something my forum never acheived.

Looking at your website, it seems you're lacking content. And I can't really tell you your demographic is. Is it teenagers and potential customers? Is it people in the haunt industry? Is it general haunt enthusiasts? It's going to be difficult to be all three. Right now having your goals as the main content makes it look like it's more appealing to sponsors and investors than potential customers. As with any business endeavour, you have to ask yourself...what is your ultimate goal? You've laid out some goals for the website, but what is it all for? Is your plan to ultimately build more buzz for your haunt? To create a fan-site of sorts for haunt enthusists?

01-01-2009, 05:38 PM
Wow. That's a wee little bit long. :)
Anyway, you gave some good points. Many of them are for a final site. Currently, I do not have any thing built for the haunt. I figured that I wouldn't make a "customer" site until I start building. This site is mainly to help get some money for the haunt. You are right about the wiki thing though. When I think about it, most people won't care. Plus, with the site advertising a business, it's not a good idea to let people add content that could scare away sponsors...in a bad way. I guess for now I should just drop the site due to it not making sense.
Thanks for helping out. :) You did give a lot of good information.

01-01-2009, 06:31 PM
I think you could keep the site...a web presence is a good idea. Just completely change it, drop the social networking/wiki idea, and maybe make it a bit more stripped down. Explain your idea, your goals, and any current news. This at least gives people a place to look for updates.

01-01-2009, 06:57 PM
Well, I decided you drop wetpaint. I'm going to just make the website from scratch. I'll post the link when it's finished (maybe sometime tomorrow)

01-02-2009, 06:09 AM
Stage some sort of scene and make a video of it, get it out there on YouTube and start e-mailing people the spot. I did this last year as an afterthought because our web design people offered to add a video to the site. So when they did we e-mailed a bunch of people, maybe 50 people, within a day our video had 100 hits, within a week it had 1000. We asked people how they heard about us and over 15% said e-mail or YouTube.

01-02-2009, 02:38 PM
Sadly, I don't even have a quality costume yet, let alone a scene. I only have $30 in donations as of right now.
Do you think if I posted a few descriptions about the rooms that may be in the haunt, it would help increase the traffic by a bit? I wouldn't go into detail, but just mention what it would look like for a guest?
For instance, if I wanted to do a dot room (which I don't), I could add something like:
You walk into a room filled with hundreds of neon-colored dots. Did you just see.......nah, never mind. Wait! There it is again! The dots.....are......moving!
Nothing fancy, just a teaser of sorts telling the guests a few things that could end up being in the haunt.

01-02-2009, 04:25 PM
Okay guys, I need serious help. I was working on my website (the more pro style one) and my PC is being a b****. I don't know if the host is messing up or if Netzero is being its sh**ty self again. Can you test this link and tell me if the site will load for toy. NOTE: The only thing you should see is two red wax-seals that don't have links, a logo, and two lines of text. If other people are having the problems viewing the site, I'm going to find a different host. So please help me. I'm wanting to get the basics of the site done before the weekend is up.

Nevermind. I got it fixed.