As a reader of my blog, you know by now that I run a company called Blind Surprise – a subscription box that works with up-and-coming product designers, artists, and unique brands. As part of our sourcing, we spend countless hours every month researching the internet for cool products to feature in our subscription box, and we only select 4 or 5 products monthly. We have very specific needs – a product that fits in our 8x8x3 box that MSRPs for around $25. Along the way, though, we find fantastic gifts that we unfortunately cannot feature. In an effort to avoid this time being wasted, we decided to start a new website that just features cool products – a massive catalog of cool things to buy online.
When we conceived the idea, we decided we wanted the website to feel like Skymall. A site that’s extremely easy to browse, and waste time on just scrolling through awesome stuff. We ended up using a theme that has 3 columns, and all products on the site are listed on the homepage so you can just continuously scroll through them all. Then, they are categorized, so you can browse for gifts that are just for jocks, geeks, wives, etc. Additionally, we have a slider on the top of the website that allows for us to feature a handful of products daily. The site launched last month, and really, I think it’s beautiful.
The way that we monetize this site is through affiliate earnings. About 65% of the products on the site are sold through an affiliate program, so if you click on the link on our site and make a purchase, we make a small percentage. The rest of the products are just awesome things that I wanted to put on the page for my customer’s entertainment. The true way, though, that we’ve been making money on the site is through Amazon’s affiliate program. Essentially, if you click on one of my products that’s listed from Amazon, and make ANY purchase on Amazon over the course of the next 24 hours, I make some affiliate income. If you click a badass gadget on my site, go to Amazon, and buy toilet paper, I make some money. So, the idea is really to get people clicking around on the site.
I’m excited about this project because I think others are going to help advertise the site for me. The gifts that are featured are meant to be so entertaining that people will make them viral for me. Pintrest, Facebook, and Reddit have been big sources of traffic so far, and through hours and hours of guest posting, I am ranked in Google on the first page for some keywords like ‘cool things to buy’, ‘cool things to buy online’, and other similar terms. Additionally, we feature Blind Surprise as one of the items on the site, and have seem some nice traffic roll over.
I’m pretty excited about this new project, and I’m glad that it kind of goes hand in hand with Blind Surprise. Check out Cool Things Addict – tell me your thoughts, and go waste some time!