I came across a website the other day, which, although clearly designed as a bit of fun has managed to achieve just about everything an online entrepreneur could wish for.
Before you look at the site, let me tell you that it has several top ten search engine rankings, there are over 200 other websites linking to it and the Alexa ranking (http://www.alexa.com) confirms that the site is receiving some very worthwhile traffic.
Given the above and the fact that I thought the site had excellent entertainment value, I felt that the site could be used to generate a good income, so I emailed the owner to see if he would sell it to me.
At this point, take a look at the site:
Back to my story, the owner (artist) initially agreed that he would be interested in selling the site but then after calculating how much money he had made in the past year, he changed his mind as it did not make financial sense! Yes, you did read that correctly, people are actually buying this product!! (If you haven’t bothered to go and look at the site yet, this won’t make sense to you, so let me just say, the product is a screwed up piece of paper – nothing more, nothing less!)
Artist has not paid for any advertising – it is all viral (word of mouth). As I said above, he has over 200 websites linking to the site (at no cost whatsoever) simply because the site is completely original and it is funny – which is one of the best ways of generating word of mouth appeal.
I particularly liked his ‘letters from dumb-dumbs’ page. Not only are his replies to emails amusing but many actually contain superb advice. For example in reply to the question, ‘How do I start my own trendy business idea?’, he replies ‘Spend less time dreaming, more time working’. How true.
The point I am trying to make here is this, to have a successful online business, the product is often not the most important thing, often it is the way the product is presented and delivered that decides success or failure.
If artist can generate an income from selling crumpled up bits of paper, then I have to wonder if the rest of us are the ones that have got it wrong and ask myself if we all just trying too hard?