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New Website Design – Auto Repair Facts.com

Been picking at this website since May of 2008. In April a friend of mine who has been a mechanic for many years was looking to start up a website that talked about repairing cars. I could tell by the way he spoke and knowing his passion that he was looking for a creative outlet.

I knew that there were plenty of websites out there talking about car repair, the key would be finding a niche mission. Oh, and the little thing that I know very little about cars, so the website was highly reliant on him being consistent about writing content. Here we are September of 2008 and this Auto Repair Facts.com website has taken off.

The mission of Auto Repair Facts.com

Here is a look at Auto Repair Facts.com, follow the link if you want to check the site out or click on the screenshot below.

Auto Repair Facts.com Screenshot

Our original mission was loose to begin, teach mothers in simple jargon free language how to repair their own car. But as I started to think more about car repair and the automotive demographic here in Indianapolis and beyond I started to wonder if that was the right mission.

I felt like the size of the demographic was too hard to define. Here we are loosely saying women’s 30-45 who want to perform simple repairs to their own cars. But not every person has the time to read up, get the tools, and then perform the repair. Sometimes it is easier to save your own time and pay a repair shop to do the work. If we were going to keep along this path I felt like the best option would be to better inform this demographic of actual prices of parts and repairs to save them from being ripped off. That information base didn’t seem sustainable.

Talking with my partner, it really struck me. He has just come off a two year teaching stint at Lincoln Tech. Every day I am bombarded with radio and television advertising for these smaller colleges making outrageous claims like ‘Make $60-80,000 right out of school repairing diesel engines’. I get angry and shake my head, the uninformed will actually believe this skewed market research. I also know for a fact that even the best state Universities have little in the way of job preparation.

Why not focus on the period where these students either come out of high school, or another vocational college ready to repair cars but no clue how to interview, how to make a resume, how to network and what skill sets (soft and hand) they will need to possess.

In other words, the site will focus on acquiring all of the tools to best leverage your knowledge to become an automotive technician. This site will not be able to replace the ASE certs, or any other certifications. We will however recommend which ASE focuses are best to have and how to balance those costs when looking for a job. On the flip side, we will outline how much of a pay increase you could be looking at with each certification you get.

Based on the secondary schools in a major Metropolitan city like Indianapolis my estimate is that in a given year there are about 1,000-5,000 students looking for a career in auto repair. This base of people compounds exponentially each year, and this is just one city. Simple math says that even at only one city in each state, that is a demographic of 50,000-250,000 users annually.

A little bit about the design

Of course this automotive geared website is also a WordPress core. I redesigned the ‘Ikarus’ theme to work with our needs. I felt like that theme had an uncomfortably sized main content area, but I liked the integrated Moo Tabs and rotating flash gallery to spotlight articles. A fairly powerful theme out of the box, it may have overkill functionality but it was a nice classic look.

This WordPress theme customization was one of 3-4 major items I wanted to crank out in my 3 week break in my MBA program. Two of the other items were the RGVAC WordPress theme and finalizing starting times on the Image Builder Website.

There are a lot of auto blogs already in existence, the key to the traffic of this site will be to differentiating ourselves from everyone else. It shouldn’t be too hard to be different, as long as we have a large enough user base. I found that the auto marketplace seemed to be either repair or reviews of hot auto show cars.

What are your thoughts

We are still in the growing stages. I am serving more in an advisory role, directing my partner with my knowledge I have about making a blog successful with grass roots marketing which trying to let him do what he does best, write simply about auto repair with the heart of a teacher. He’s written about 90% of the content on the site so far.

Currently we have scheduled several focus groups with schools in the area to start to give me a feel for what these students need when they graduate and get ideas from them on the content we should have.

I think this is a good mission, all knowledge about auto repair relates back to how to make yourself successful in your career. The future opportunities for monetizing are there as well, we have set these out in the marketing plan as well. (I’ll leave them out for now)

What do people think? Is this a good idea? Be more specialized in our training and knowledge than a Monster or Career Builder, and give specific location information.

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Comments
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It’s always good to know how to fix things yourself. I think this site will be good for all those do it your-self people out there. But if you want true automotive reconditioning training, look for the right institute to get certified.

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@Paintless Dent Tools:

I guess I didn’t specifically write this in the post, so I went back and modified it.

The information we provide will help students / career converters with the final steps they need to become an auto tech. Building a resume, making a cover letter, networking, leveraging social media online for finding a job, what soft skills you need to work with people, and what certifications you will have to have to get a job (and a comparison showing with and without those certs wage wise).

The info we provide will in no way shape or form be able to replace the ASE certs and is not intended to. It’s more everything in between when you are on your own to ‘make it happen’ with some sweat and hard work.

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Hey Just leting you and any readers out there know that I work at a shop of large vehicles and multiple makes and models with different problems. And while this sight may not directly answer your question, myself and many of the employee’s here have used this sight as a reference tool and with great results.

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Thanks Ben for leaving a comment…and a serious one this time 😉

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