Building a Website Using an eCommerce Affiliate
My great-grandfather, grandfather and father were and are in the home textiles business, and each built and owned his own retail store. While growing up, I visited many of the Manhattan showrooms of my father’s suppliers, and I attended many tradeshows at the Javitz Center, domestics buildings and gift buildings. I spent my summers in high school and college working in my father’s store, which is one reason he and I are so close.
Although many people speculated that I would end up taking over my father’s business, my entrepreneurial spirit led me to become a domain investor, where I found this neat little niche. I didn’t think I would follow in my father’s footsteps in the home textiles business, but this assumption may change due to a timely introduction.
A few weeks ago in my “5 With Mike Berkens” interview, I mentioned the success my friend Mike Berkens had with his affiliate development of LuxuryBedding.com. He built a relationship with Torrey Commerce, an ecommerce affiliate site that builds, maintains, and operates websites as an affiliate. Many of the brands offered on LuxuryBedding.com are brands in which I am familiar, due to my experience working with my father.
After speaking with Torrey Commerce and Mike, I am going to try an experiment. I recently registered a *nice* two-word domain name related to the home textiles business. I am going to use Torrey Commerce to build an affiliate site on my domain name. (I know what you are thinking – not impressive. Even if 100% of the traffic converts and buys product, 100% of 0 traffic will yield $0.00.)
Here’s where my experiment comes into play:
Instead of hoping or wishing that people type this domain name into their browsers when they haven’t before, I am going to do keyword research and build content around many of the pages. My goal is to build a hybrid site around the affiliate site, helping my site rank higher in the search engines. Torrey’s content management system will allow for easy insertion of text, and I will try to optimize the pages as best I can with unique content.
I will focus on the highest value luxury products, as the margin is the greatest. Incidentally, based on a bit of research I have already done, there aren’t many searches for many of the luxury brands, and there aren’t many developed sites either. While traffic will presumably be light, by focusing on the smaller niches, I hope to convert this traffic. I intend to use Google Adwords to buy niche keywords where the potential payoff is greatest.
I also plan to work with my father to build a blog on the site in phase two. My father is an expert in the home textiles business, and this would be another differentiating point to drive traffic. Additionally, I may work with my father to meet potential vendors for my website. Perhaps my father can open doors for some of his smaller suppliers, and he could receive a small percentage of ALL sales from these vendor across the Torrey network of websites and affiliates, similar to a brokering fee. This is well down the road, but there are many opportunities.
The cost for me is fairly minimal, as I am basically only paying for the domain name ($7.50) a unique logo ($150), and Adwords (TBD). Of course I plan to spend my own time building content for the landing pages, but I think the potential benefit will outweigh the risks. And, one of the best parts of this project is that it will allow me to work with my father again! I guess some people were right about me going into this business after all.
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