Stanley Roberts runs possibly the oldest blog on the internet
Stanley Roberts is the founder of we8there.com, which offers restaurant, hotel and bed & breakfast reviews to an international market. we8there.com is dedicated to real people (never paid) and real reviews written by everyday patrons. Each month there is also a featured chef profile including a favorite recipe.
Roberts started as a journalist in TV news more than 20 years ago, working in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He is a multi-award winning broadcast news photojournalist who has received several Emmy Nominations. His love of food was so strong he had to create a website about his favorite subject. He founded we8there.com in 1998 and has been blogging ever since.
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Mequoda – How many blogs are you currently writing for?
SR – I only really blog for we8there.com unless you include my daughter’s blog. 🙂
Mequoda – Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using? What do you like about it?
SR – I use BlogSpot from Google. I find it very easy to use.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of you job (ie: corporate) or is this a personal passion?
SR – My blog is both personal and business related.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
SR – Absolutely, I am considered a highly respected expert in the restaurant industry by many.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
SR – I write a blog named “Stanley’s Corner” and John Grabowski writes a blog named “An American in Europe”. Both are monthly blogs with a regular following. Actually, both blogs are within we8there.com via a proprietary software, plus I use Blogspot to re-post the original blog.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
SR – We8there.com targets anyone who loves a good restaurant or is looking for a great place to stay.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
SR – we8there.com is privately owned, so our resources are very limited but we use everything available to us to get the word out.
Mequoda – How is using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
SR – Social media websites are very useful as they give you a constant audience and they help to improve your business’ reputation.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue: ads, sponsorships, product sales, or donations?
SR – Our main source of revenue is premium listings where the business owner can purchase a listing for pennies on the dollar and have complete control of their listings.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
SR – Our overall revenue comes from online advertising utilizing Google ads and private ad sales, about 90% of our revenue comes from these methods.
Mequoda – What is your main source of referrals?
SR – we8there.com is mostly a word of mouth website. We used to have a “refer a friend” feature on the site until it was exploited by spammers and almost crashed our server. Also, I found that affiliate programs are pretty helpful; currently we use ShareaSale to attract smaller business to our website.
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
SR – Traffic is the key way to analyze the overall health, since we8there.com does not have a physical product line.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
SR – We have been linking to different sites over the past 10 years. In the past 30 days I am sure we have either added a new link or deleted an old link. It’s a constant balance.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
SR – I have seen more and more people getting free perks than blogging about the perks and not exposing the fact that they received the item they are blogging about as payment.
Mequoda – Any interesting experience you’d like to share?
SR – Since creating we8there.com I have been called by FOX News, 20/20, and other popular food related websites and televisions shows to discuss food and lodging information.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
SR – Don’t give up, keep blogging away. It may seem like no one is listening but trust me, in time you will build an audience.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
SR – We hope to get acquired by, maybe, Yahoo or Google and expand. We have had inquiries related to selling we8there.com and the first non-refusable offer will not be refused. 🙂
Visit we8there.com to read or write your own review of any restaurant or bed and breakfast.