Bike198.com – Behind the Scenes
As most of you already know, Mountain Biking by 198 has been preparing for a move to Bike198.com. We have started packing and labeling boxes, wrapped up the delicates and…pretty soon…we’ll start to move the TV’s and valuables before the movers get here to finish off the job.
For a long time now – since the start of the blog – Mountain Biking by 198 has been plagued with a couple big problems that were hindering long term growth.
Domain Name Is Hard To Remember! – I don’t know about you guys…but it is my site and even I have trouble telling people mtbtrailreview.com. Bike198.com is going to be much easier for everyone to remember, say out loud and brand around, so that is a much needed change for the site. For those of you that don’t know, the url mtbtrailreview.com stemmed from the idea of having a user submitted trail review site back in the day. When I started the blog side of the site (hence the /blog on the url) to get traffic to the trail reviews, it ended up completely taking over the domain so mtbtrailreview.com really didn’t make any sense anymore. I am looking forward to the move just so I can say Bike198.com instead of mtbtrailreview.com and get that look like “what did you just say? let me write that down…”
The Logo Does Not Match The Domain! – Mountain Biking by 198 is not represented in the domain name anywhere! For those of you in the marketing world, you already know that brand confusion is not a good thing for long term growth, so this had to be handled pretty quickly. Bike198.com will match the Bike198 logo and branding will be consistent across the site to avoid confusion.
Increased Demand For Other Cycling Disciplines - Mountain biking is where I call home, but I also enjoy everything pedal powered. There has been an increased demand for expansion into the other cycling sub-niches and the name Mountain Biking by 198 would not fit that scope, so a name like Bike198.com will allow us to create sub-domains for mountain, road, urban and lifestyle. Each site will be separate to itself but you will also be able to navigate to other topics through the header navigation.
So…when I looked at all of this…I knew we had a huge plate to fill during the move and the long-term plan for Bike198.com. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy rapid growth on Mountain Biking by 198, so now it was time to give back some more and really organize things around a central branding platform to make the content, reviews, tips and everything else on this site easier to navigate and consume.
For the Bike198.com logo, we wanted something unique that portrayed strong riding and a quest to be a better rider in all cycling disciplines. I also wanted something that was going to stand out on a future apparel line that is in the works, so the logo would have to work for print, apparel and web use. I hooked up with the crew over at Vitamin and we got to work on the new Bike198.com logo. After a lot of back and forth (I am not the easiest client in the world), Vitamin came to me with something that I think is 100% perfect for the needs of the site and future expansion.
Say hello to the branding behind the new Bike198.com.
As you can see by the logo design, we are centering the site around Bike198.com and the different sub-niches of cycling. As we start the process of site layout and design this week, we are going to theme each sub-site according to the colors laid out in the cog. This will make for easy navigation and differentiation between the sub-domains with a special homepage for Bike198.com.
Want To Guest Post?
Fortunately, Mountain Biking by 198 has seen some fantastic guest posts over the past couple of months. If you are looking for more exposure for your site, shop, brand or just feel like contributing content to the site, I am starting to compile the initial content for Bike198.com and would be stoked to post some content from you guys. Hit me up via the contact form with any of your ideas and we will get the ball rolling.
Thanks again to Vitamin for putting up with my picky ass and giving Bike198 an end product that we can really be proud of.
What do you think?