This is my first post, as this is my first website.Your critique of my site is very appreciated and I will try to give you as much background as possible to explain my motives.
I was going on vacation for 2 weeks and really didn't want to leave my dog in a kennel all that time, neither did I want to pay that boarding bill. I met a new neighbor whose kids had been begging for a dog, but she didn't think they could handle the responsibility. It turned out to be a win-win situation, she minded my dog for 2 weeks, realized the family was too young still for the responsibility of a pet and I saved a large sum of $$$$.
About the same time, I met a man walking a dog and in chatting, he mentioned that the dog he was walking was not his, he didn't want the responsibility of a full-time pet, the expense, the hassle. But he enjoyed taking care of his neighbor's pets because it got him out of the house for a walk.
I realized there should be a website to connect these people and though I spent hours searching, I could not find a site that met these specs. So petstoshare.com was born, I envisioned a sort of social net-working site for pets.
The site was developed through a firm in India, found using e-lance.com. I wrote the roadmap which they followed and they essentially did the design. It functions very much like a dating site, where you can search within a geographical area for pets that fit your specifications. For now the site is free, as I need time to build a user database, but my goal is to eventually charge pet owners $19.95/year to register their pets. Following a business model like Angie's list, the first 50 members in a zip code are free for life. This is hopefully, an enticement for people to register.
Everyone I pitch the site to loves the idea. But since the launch about 6 weeks ago, I have only had a very few sign-ups, about one a week.
For marketing, I have been pretty traditional, I took out an ad in a local weekly publication and wrote an article for them. I produced some snazzy bookmarks that I've been dropping off at local pet stores and vets. Sent out a press release. Still very slow response. I have both a facebook and twitter account for the site, I am desperate for ideas to drive traffic to the site.
Any responses greatly appreciated!