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June 22nd, 2010, 08:42 AM #1Please Talk Me Out of This!
I have wanted to build a "gifts" type of site for many years, but it is soooooo broad. Not that it can't be narrowed down because it can ..... but I don't want to narrow it down. I want to build the whole darn thing!
And it's been done before, and those sites are very popular, and I'm sure profitable, sites.
My (Random) Thoughts:
1. I could start out with a smaller version, maybe just a single category.
2. I will have enough time since both kids will be in school.
3. This is a stupid idea.
4. Can I make this profitable? What can I add to make this site valuable that hasn't already been done?
5. I could include the merchants that I have always wanted to work with but never had a place for them.
6. I could do seasonal web design updates which I really enjoy.
7. This is a stupid idea.
8. I could add a gift registry/wish list/gift reminder service to encourage traffic.
9. I could finally have a site where a mailing list might make sense.
10. This is a stupid idea.
11. And I'm stupid for even thinking about it.
Please add to my ramblings, either positively or negatively, both are greatly appreciated.
June 22nd, 2010, 08:47 AM #2
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
It is a brilliant idea.
I have wanted to do a gift related site for many years. One day, I *might* get around to doing it.
June 22nd, 2010, 08:49 AM #3
NOT a stupid idea at all. A bit difficult to break into because it is a crowded vertical but it sounds like you are passionate about gifts.
So...I would suggest picking a niche in which you have a high level of personal interest and get started. Don't try to sell "everything" - keep it focused and put "yourself" into it. No canned descriptions from the merchants for your favorite products. Write your own cool narrative for the niche. Write as though you are talking to a best friend about this neat gift you just bought - be descriptive and personal.
June 22nd, 2010, 08:58 AM #4
Gee Julian, thanks so much! I'm quite sure "brilliant" has ever been used to describe any of my ideas before?
Thanks Bill! This is kind of strange (but true), I had even thought about how I could include GirlyChecks.com. I remembered having to get new checks printed when I got married and was going to find a way to include it in weddings!
June 22nd, 2010, 09:04 AM #5
June 22nd, 2010, 09:15 AM #6
Not strange at all, bettylou. A change in marital status (in either direction) is one BIG reason that people order checks before they run out. A change in address (which frequently happens with that "change in status") is also a big reason for new checks.
Buying a new house (where decorative items are needed - gifts?) means a new address - and reordering checks.
When we talk to people about the checks program we frequently get the response that people don't write many as many checks as they used to - so this must be a dying industry. They forget all the other reasons that people need to get new checks.
June 22nd, 2010, 01:06 PM #7
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
We love sites that sell gifts Especially personalized ones. There is always room for sites that "do it better" or else there would be no reason to keep at affiliate marketing.
Focus then build out.
PM me if you want some specific niche ideas.Deborah Carney
TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com
June 22nd, 2010, 05:46 PM #8
Being in that industry I definitely want to offer you encouragement. It is a tough niche but often times the most successful are those that focus on a specific area and have quality content. You'll do great if you have a passion for it! Wish you the best!
June 22nd, 2010, 07:21 PM #9
we are working on new shopping offers as well. it is a good market to enter vs. many of the come & go style high risk offers of the past. take a look at how amazon, ebay, pricegrabber etc. organize their front doors for some examples of how to integrate a big assortment of potential categories. good luck![URL]http://Essociate.com[/URL]
June 22nd, 2010, 09:02 PM #10
You can do it Bettylou. Your passion for the idea will lead the way. Besides, what is the worst thing that can happen?? Go for it!
June 22nd, 2010, 11:39 PM #11
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
The key is to start with a narrow focus on a very narrow subject matter. Think about what "search phrases" people would use to find a particular type of gift (graduation gift, housewarming gift) or to find a gift for a particular person (teacher gift, accountant gift) or to find a gift for someone with a special interest (schnauzer gift, billiards gift, bicycle-theme gift).
And don't get hung up on the word "gift," but instead consider other keywords and concepts that people might search for when planning a gift (schnauzer calendar, graduation teddy bear, bird-watcher's hats, GPS for bicyclists), and of course don't forget that people buy this stuff for themselves, too.
Pick a narrow niche, then try to brainstorm the search phrases people might use (and the questions they might ask, and the issues they might consider when selecting a gift and placing an order) -- and create a web site that answers those questions and helps people make a decision.
Consider: what value are you adding? What might your site offer that isn't available from many other sites? How might your site be different (better, more focused on a specific audience or need, etc)? Be relevant and useful.
I've experimented with several different "themed gift" web sites (including, for example, "frog-themed gifts"), and quite frankly I've never succeeded with any of these. In hindsight, I can see that I didn't plan any of the sites well, and I abandoned them after very little effort, because other more focused projects always seemed more promising.
It is probably important to recognize that the "purchase-decision process" can sometimes be very different for a gift than for a purchase for oneself. (Someone once told me that the "electric carving knife" was originally abandoned because the inventor asked people, "would you buy this?" and most people said they would not buy it for themselves -- but then someone had the brilliant idea to ask, "would you buy this as a gift for someone?" and many people answered yes.)
June 23rd, 2010, 05:19 AM #12
Thanks guys for all your great thoughts. I debated whether I should even start this thread because I was afraid you guys would laugh at me. I really appreciate and value your wisdom.
June 23rd, 2010, 07:51 AM #13
Gift sites convert, but competition is brutal. Pick a niche that you can support with a lot of unique content. (And use a keyword tool like WordTracker first to make sure the niche is being sought out by enough people to make it worth your time and effort) If you go too broad, like Gifts for Everyone, you will find the competition to make your site nearly invisible (speaking from experience). And Google will place your pages down in the results due to duplicate content (aff links and products). PPC bids on gift sites are steep so buying traffic is rarely profitable (never has been for me). I still am looking for the "magic bullet" to get my Personalized Gift site off the ground making more than the $50-$100/mo it makes now - it has been 5+ years! My mistake was going too broad.
You might consider starting with just a content site offering advice and/or resources on a particular niche. Once this gets well ranked, then add your product pages, feeds, etc.This World is Not My Home
We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993
August 16th, 2010, 03:38 PM #14
Similar dilemma, different vertical
- Join Date
- January 23rd, 2010
- Radford, VA
This is exactly the question I'm asking.
I've got a green products site that I inherited that was set up to be a broad one-stop portal site for green info. Do I need to break it up into four or five different more focused niches within the green world? Or just start with one niche and build up the traffic, then add new categories as I can? Or just try to make it fly as is?
I love blogging about a wide range of green topics, but I just worry that I'll never get my traffic up with the big umbrella approach.
And yes, I'm a newbie.
By sam_park in forum Commission Junction - CJReplies: 2Last Post: January 11th, 2008, 06:19 PM