Keeping Up with the Community

online community[This is a guest post from Amy G. Howard, Founder of Raleigh Special Tonight. Follow her at @amgenove.]

Running a hyper-local website about daily specials can be quite grueling. In order to keep readers, you need to update at least once a day, or people will stop visiting your site. Raleigh Specials Tonight averages about 600-800 hits per week and 50% of that traffic is returning. I have very loyal readers and I am grateful for that, but I know I need to keep coming with the content if I want it to stay that way.

Where do I find daily content for my site every day? When I first started the site about a year ago, it was tough. I had to seek the information myself by going to individual restaurant websites. I still do that occasionally, but here are some tools I use to keep up with my community so I always have fresh content:

Mailing Lists

Many restaurants have mailing lists where they send out information about specials and events. Some lists go out weekly, some monthly, but I always have an inbox full of information for my website. It’s a great way to have the information come to me so I don’t have to search individual restaurant websites.


I “friended” or “liked” local restaurants on Facebook. Their events show up in my feed and I RSVP to them so I always have a fresh look at what’s going on. Content for my site is only a click away on my events page! I also take note when they have status updates regarding upcoming events or specials.

My Eyes and Ears

Raleigh Specials Tonight isn’t just my website; it’s my way of life! I don’t just write about my favorite local bars and restaurants, I go to them. Many restaurant managers/owners know about my website will inform me of events and specials themselves. Also, if I spy a flyer about a local event that my readers would want to know about, I snap a picture with my phone so I have all of the information in the palm of my hand.

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