I was reading BRW (Young Rich) Edition the other day and I was really struck by a number of things in the Rich List. First of all, there’s the mix of who is on the list – basically Mining, Property and Technology.
When you look at the Technology list you have businesses like Site Point, Retail Me Not, software programs like ….but there’s a common thread. All of these businesses started as one idea. One site. One place to make a difference to a user experience on the internet.
Retail Me Not has always been one of my fave websites. Not for the coupon codes – I just like looking at it. It’s so deliciously pretty 🙂 What fascinates me about the success of Retail Me Not is that this coupon shopping site was knocked up over a weekend for $30.00 and now it’s worth 90 million dollars (that’s what it sold for earlier this year). It generates revenue of over $30,000,000 per year.
Here’s the thing
- They built it in a weekend.
- They tried it out on the market.
- It answered a need that they had to find a site that provided up to date coupons/discount codes to shoppers.
After they realised that the market also shared their need then they tweaked the site. All the while they were getting traffic. That traffic 90,000,000 visitors per month and returning is why the site sold for the amount it did.
Just to recap
It wasn’t the pretty graphics and the fact that they are so deliciously cute I could lick the screen when I look at the site. It’s the traffic. The traffic that returns.
Here comes my rant …
I’ve ranted on this subject many times before (and no doubt I will again) but marketing is not about how pretty your website is. Marketing is about solving people’s problems and getting the traffic to the door. Retail Me Not would have been popular without the graphics because it answered a burning need (take a look at the Drudge Report for an example of an ugly but great site).
Start Traffic & Stop Tweaking
So stop tweaking the site and start building the traffic. When you have traffic and can monitor user experience then you can make some tweaks.
When I think of 90 million dollars I think of that other gorgeous coupon site. Groupon. Lovely site. How much did it cost to build? Who knows but it’s travelling on the wonderful WordPress 🙂 How much did the other G offer to pay?
What’s my point?
You don’t need fancy graphics, themes and plugins when you are starting out. You need a great idea that there is a need for and Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!
There were four things that intrigued me about the techno geeks in the BRW List:
- They were focused on ONE thing
- they were in a partnership with someone else
- they expanded into other profitbale arenas after their primary focus was successful; and
- what they did was not earth shattering. We all could have done it, seriously, but they talk action and did it
Which leads me to question a lot of what internet marketers do as their business model. Usually, instead of focusing on being great at ONE thing we create hundreds of sites, we consume a ton of courses, we are always thinking of new ways to monetize our virtual property and perhaps we are mediocre at all of those things.
What would happen if instead we just done one thing and made that great?
No, I’m not saying tear down the niche sites but what I am saying is, maybe, if we applied ourselves, formed strategic partnerships, kept our visitor in mind at all times then great things would happen to us.